Increase Your Self Confidence
If you are use to being the one that shy’s away from conversation, gets nervous about meeting new people or gets horribly scared of going for that new job, then increasing your confidence could be just what you need. When you are confident, you find it easier to talk to people and it generally becomes easier for other people to talk to you too, and so making new friends becomes less difficult. You will also come across as more collected and professional, meaning it will also increase your chances of being successful.
Identify your self-worth
A good place to start is by knowing your self-worth. Identify the things you are good at. It doesn’t matter how small of a thing it is, it could be anything from organising a business meeting to cooking a meal for one. The point here is that you start noticing your achievements. It may not seem much right now but with more practise of this, you will start to notice the good things you can do, and the more you realise the things you can do, the more confident you will become at doing them.
Put the same trust in yourself as you put in other people
Most people are happy to put their confidence and trust in other people but then give themselves less credit? Would you trust a nurse to help you if you needed it, a police officer or the fire brigade? Yes. Why? Because when we come across our times of need, we trust that they know there job and will do the best they can. So trust in yourself, know what you are good at and know that you are doing the best you can.
If you know you are going to be walking into a certain situation then being as prepared for it as possible will help you to feel more confident when you are there. Plan ahead for it, ask yourself “are they going to be asking me questions, what type of questions will they ask”? Try to come up with some possible answers ready so that you don’t feel on the spot so much when you get there. Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before so that you wake feeling fresh and alert. Maybe you have a few questions you’d like to ask them, think about the possible answers you may get so that you have a good idea of what you can respond with.
When you lack confidence, it’s difficult to look at anything without a negative point of view because you tend not to believe in yourself as much, but this does you more harm than good. If you walk into a situation with a negative attitude then people around you will pick up on it. Thinking positively lifts your spirits and helps you to project yourself with energy. You start to focus on the good things that could come from that situation instead of the bad.
Try not to compare yourself without people, yes they might be great at something but you are great at something too. Know your strengths and weaknesses, be grateful for the strengths you have got and work at improving your weaknesses. Accept a praise when you get one, be gracious and say thank you.
Have a confident front
What does this mean? It basically means fake it! It takes time to build up your confidence so in the meantime fake it till you have it. Think of it as make-believe or acting. Believe it or not, the more you practise this, the more you will start to feel confident inside, it becomes automatic. Disguise any sluggish feelings by keeping an upright posture, this way you will look like you carry yourself with confidence. Smile, be friendly and try to look calm (even if you don’t feel it). Practise this at home in the mirror a bit before you need to use it. Whilst you may still be cringing inside and wishing the ground would swallow you up, you will at least look confident to other people. That will help them to feel relaxed around you and will in return help you to feel more relaxed.
Once you’ve got the hang of it a bit, then it’s time to start making yourself believe in it. You look confident, so give your self permission to feel confident.
I used this technique myself when I had very little confidence and self esteem. Once I had got used to it, my nerves kicked themselves into overdrive and as a result so did my mouth. That was the turning point for me, when I realised I didn’t have to worry about not knowing what to say to people ever again! The worry then; was learning to shut myself up.
Make peace with yourself
Being comfortable with who you are, and finding your inner peace plays a big part in being confident. Try to find the things that you like about yourself. Listen to the things that other people like about you.
Avoid over criticising yourself for mistakes you’ve made and except that just because you may have made one mistake in the past, it doesn’t mean you are going to continue making loads of mistakes for the rest of your life. As long as you are learning from your mistakes then it’s ok to make a few along the way.
Try not to take other peoples criticism too much to heart, except that you do not need everyone else’s approval to do something. Sometimes people can be crawl and will go out of their way to say nasty things just for the sake of it (that’s their bad; they are the ones with horrible characteristics, not you so shrug it off).
Know the difference from someone who is criticising you for the sake of being a nasty individual and some that gives you constructive criticism. With constructive criticism, someone may say to you, “that’s a great peace of work but I think you could have done better”. It doesn’t always feel very nice to hear it like that, but that person maybe knows you and has faith in you, they are looking at your peace of work or what you are doing and believing that you could have done better, so ask yourself “could I have done that better”? If your answer was yes then you know to try a bit harder next time.
Try not to let people get one over on you just because you are feeling low on confidence. People get use to you saying “yes I’ll do it, I’ll take on that extra pile of work in my free time”, or “sure I’ll babysit for you for the fifth time this week”, if they know you are an easy target then they will make the most of it. Be as assertive as you possibly can, speak up for yourself and say “no” to doing the things that you don’t want to do.
Take one step at a time
Remember that confidence doesn’t happen over night, it takes time and practise but you can achieve it. Take one step at a time and try to believe in yourself a small bit more everyday. No matter how low your confidence is, you can increase it and you can be the person that you want to be.