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If your outlook on life is negative, and you want to think positively, do so. In a similar way, this can apply to a sense of confidence.
Confidence is an all-encompassing cognitive feeling that is the difference between going after things we want and steering clear of them. Therefore, it is an extremely powerful term and concept.
Think about a time when you assessed a situation, of any nature, and said to yourself: “I’ve got this” and at that point, you felt unstoppable and unimpeded by doubt.
But for most people, to varying degrees confidence may not be a simple mental switch that we flip or something that is in perpetual “on” mode. It may be due to your upbringing, one or more bad experiences in the past, or a sense of something lacking in your life that is keeping your confidence at bay.
Perhaps you see others to whom certain skills come easy or who have assets you wish you possessed. This is a natural feeling, and experienced to some degree is by even generally confident people.
Confidence is a cocktail of open-mindedness, positive outlook, acceptance of shortcomings, and the willingness to learn from rather than be discouraged by occasional lack of success. Its a matter of knowing that next time you go at something, you know you will try just as hard and will do better.
So how then, is a person quell that inner voice of self-restriction and learn how to be confident? Well, as mentioned, confidence is cognitive, so to bolster it, a cognitive approach is needed.
Table of Contents
- Identify The Source
- Know What Empowers You
- You Do You
- Recognize That Your Capabilities
- Find Support
- Move Forward
1. Identify The Source
No problem can be addressed without knowing what the cause of it is, anything else is just a short-term roundabout.
So before any remedies are applied, you must look inside yourself to try and identify in what areas of life you lack confidence, where the source of your negative feelings or self-doubt is, and where do you wish you could bolster your confidence more.
Be specific, and even more importantly, honest with yourself about this. Knowing as half the battle, as the saying goes.
2. Know What Empowers You
This is different for everyone so no one besides you can answer the question of what makes you feel confident. Think about the times in your life when you have felt empowered. Then think about what it was that made you feel confident in those situations.
Perhaps it was how you felt at the moment, something you had been doing, or the environment you were in at the time. Once you recognize what gives you confidence, you now have the key to utilize it.
3. You Do You
Confidence is introspective, so you cannot acquire it from someone else. You cannot emulate the internal triggers of other people to bolster your own feelings, so think about what distinguishes you.
Nothing hurts your confidence more than comparing yourself to others. If you hold others as the standard by which you judge yourself, you will not accurately be able to assess your own needs to gain confidence.
Be true to yourself and really face what sets you apart from others, then couple that with your empowerment recognitions mentioned earlier.
4. Recognize That Your Capabilities
One of the core principles of a confident person is a positive outlook. If you find yourself actively seeking reasons for why you can’t do something, force yourself to think of reasons why you can. It sounds so simplistic, and yet it’s a necessary step.
You need to recognize that you have enough in you to accomplish your confidence requiring goals, and you will then feel a stronger sense that you actually can accomplish them.
5. Find Support
This one seems to contradict all of the above points about confidence being internal, but it actually is a highly useful supplement.
Remember you are not looking for a person to talk you up with falsehoods, but one (or several) who will bolster the confidence points you have identified yourself, and helps lift you up by validating that you are right in what you are good at, what makes you feel strong, and what drives you to success.
6. Move Forward
All of the steps before are precursors. Once you have the tools and mental readiness, move forward with action. Do not let yourself fall into the second-guessing trap. Think things through, but know what you are smart enough, savvy enough, and resourceful enough to overcome whatever obstacle is in your way.
Change your mind, step onto those negative distractions, and shift your focus to what you know the positives to be. Regardless of your success, you have organically achieved an important cognitive recognition and a level of confidence you seek.