Updated: Jan 25
Confidence comes from practice and can be learned, developed or taught.
“People will hate you, rate you, shake you and break you. How strong you stand is what makes you.”
-Anonymous; taken from confidence boosting quotes repository
Confidence is the belief in oneself, the conviction that you can meet life’s challenges and succeed, and the willingness to overcome obstacles. Confidence readies us for life’s experiences. When confident, we are more likely to seize opportunities and not back away from them. And confidence enables us to try again if things don’t work out in the first instance. It is the opposite when confidence is low.
Why Confidence is Important?
Confidence gives you the skills and coping methods to handle setbacks and failures. If you are confident, people believe in you. Confidence is attractive, brings success, helps you connect well with others, and makes you generally feel happier. High self-confidence gives you the energy and motivation to take action.
Here are eight specific reasons underlying the importance of confidence for success:
1. Confidence makes you healthier.
Confident people tend to be healthier and live longer due to the positive effects of emotions associated with confidence – happiness, optimism, and satisfaction. People who lack confidence often struggle with emotions like fear, depression, and anxiety, which are related to adverse health effects.
2. Confidence keeps you safe.
Confident people are less likely to do things they don’t want to. This can include risky, dangerous activities that others are pressuring you into. A person with low confidence is more likely to cave to peer pressure, despite knowing better.
3. Confidence facilitates quicker decision-making.
Confidence helps keep things in perspective. If you lack confidence, it’s natural to doubt yourself, try to reverse a decision or berate yourself if things don’t go according to plan. You will feel more secure in your ability to make decisions, and if the outcome isn’t exactly what you want, you’re more likely to be able to adapt.
4. Confidence helps in building resilience.
Confidence helps you put failures in perspective. When you have confidence in yourself, you know you have the skills necessary to tackle any challenges that come your way.
5. Confidence enhances your relationships.
Confident people are less dependent on others for assurance and approval. They are comfortable being themselves, which encourages more honesty in a relationship. Confident people are also more likely to maintain healthy boundaries and not cave in to those who don’t respect them.
6. Confidence earns you respect.
People respect confidence. Confident people give the impression that they know what they’re doing and are therefore more trustworthy and inspiring. Confidence doesn’t mean “arrogance.” Confident people also earn respect by listening to other perspectives, responding to criticism, and understanding their weaknesses.
7. Confidence helps manage anxious feelings.
Everyone feels anxious at some time. You might have an important meeting at work or need to have a difficult conversation with someone. Confidence helps shield you from the nervous voice that says, “You can’t do this. You should give up.” Instead of feeling trapped by negative self-talk, confidence provides an alternative message: “You can do this.”
8. Confidence motivates you.
Confidence is one of the many forms of finding motivation. Confidence helps you look back at your previous successes, no matter how small, and use them as fuel for the future. It enables you to feel proud of what you’ve accomplished in the past and hopeful for what you’ll achieve next.
Why Confidence is Important in Communication?
Confident people are often good communicators. They aren’t afraid to be direct when necessary and don’t second-guess themselves while talking. People with low confidence may struggle to clear their needs and wants because they aren’t sure of themselves or are afraid of how others will respond. This lack of clarity makes misunderstandings more likely. Confidence, on the other hand, ensures more direct, honest communication.
Effective communication is critically important for career advancement. Confidence allows you to speak concisely and with clarity. Professionals with confident communication can convey what they want to their clients and co-workers clearly and efficiently.
Among the top traits employers look for when hiring or promoting a candidate are interpersonal skills, professionalism and enthusiasm, all by-products of confidence.
Tip: Want to know which areas you need to work on to enhance your communication skills? Take the Free Communication Skills Assessment to take the first step to communicate with influence.
Where confidence comes from?
Confidence comes from within yourself. It is an inner knowing of your strengths and weaknesses while thinking positively about yourself. It is a feeling of well-being from acceptance of your body and mind (your self-esteem) and belief in your ability, skills and experience. Being in an environment that fosters positivity also boosts confidence.
20 ways to boost your confidence
Confidence comes from practice and can be learned, developed or taught. Practice the following powerful tips to build your self-confidence:
1. Think about someone who is confident and then act, talk and walk like them. Model their mannerisms and behaviour. It works for them; it will work for you.
2. Smile a lot more. That doesn’t mean putting a silly grin on your face! But smile when you walk down the street when you meet people and generally be happier even if you’re not feeling that way.
3. Learn from the past; don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s gone; it’s never coming back. Instead, learn from it for next time.
4. Buy yourself new clothes, get your hair done, and treat yourself to something new. It will make you feel better and give your ego a boost.
5. Are you prepared for situations? Are you ready enough to meet any challenge that may come up? Are you prepared for that meeting, presentation, or job interview, when you meet someone for the first time? If not, get to it.
6. Play to your strengths. Know what you are good at and expose yourself to these opportunities at every opportunity – because you’re good at it, you’ll enjoy it and have more confidence.
7. Improve your weaknesses. Know and appreciate what these are and put a plan in place to improve them over time.
8. Learn how to say no to people. Just watch the reaction on their face after you have said it the first time, and there will be no going back. Don’t be afraid; you have got nothing to be afraid of.
9. Be positive. Look on the “can do” side of things rather than the “can’t do”. You’ve accomplished lots in your life and will achieve much more in the future.
10. What is a thought? It’s just a question you’ve asked yourself, and the thought is your answer. You’re probably asking a negative question if you’re thinking negative thoughts. Change the questions to be more positive. Be in charge of your thoughts at all times.
11. Whenever you feel a negative thought coming, STOP, THINK, and ASK yourself, “Is this really important in the grand scheme?” A lot of the time, it isn’t. Many people in life major in minor things!
12. Do you let the words of others affect you? Do you mind what they think of you? Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. It’s not what they say to you that’s the problem. It’s what you say to yourself after they have stopped talking that’s the problem. Change the way you think.
13. List the words you use consistently when you feel let down or annoyed. People use different words to mean the same thing, and depending upon the intensity of the word, this will affect your confidence. Instead of saying, “I’m enraged about this,” say, “I’m a little annoyed”. Make a substitute list for the words that you use. Make sure they are lower in intensity and then use them. You’ll be surprised by the results.
14. At the end of each day, list your achievements and successes throughout that day.
15. Be appreciative of what you have to be thankful for in your life right now. Who do you love? Who loves you? Who do you help, and who helps you?
16. Every morning when you are in the shower, play over the events of the day in your head as though they have already happened and were a success. Visualise all the meetings you had, the people you talked to, and your outcomes. Visualise success and confidence, and it will be so.
17. Improve your body language. The way that you move your body has a massive impact on your confidence levels. Move your body assertively and walk with your head up, shoulders back and as though you’ve got somewhere very important to go. Feeling low in confidence? Change your body language
18. Emotion is created by motion. Make sure you move around consistently. This creates energy and gets the blood pumping around your body, making you feel better and more confident.
19. Learn to brag about yourself. Yes, you read it right! Talk about your achievements and successes more than you currently are.
20. And finally – You only live once, so any time you are down, ask yourself, in 10 or 20 years – will what I am worried about really matter?
How to be more confident in the workplace?
Improve Your Confidence with the boss and take charge of your career
Managers are interested in employees who will help them accomplish the many goals often set for their teams. Self-starters, initiative takers, and independent, results-oriented individuals are often in demand.
If your boss had a hand in hiring you, you can be confident that they already think well of you. Now that you’re hired, it’s up to you.
Performing well can reinforce the message that bringing you on board was the right decision.
Following are some tips that will help you build a great relationship with your boss while building your confidence in your ability to “manage up.”
1. Put yourself in your boss’ shoes.
From their perspective, what are the stresses, the pressures, the goals, and the demands?
Once you have a clear sense of this, you are better able to make decisions, tailor your communications, and make contributions that will enable others to perceive you as an MVM—the most valuable team member!
2. See your boss as a person.
Your boss is just like you—he has worked their way up to the position he now has. Therefore, he has lots of experience to share with you.
If they are willing, allow them to be your mentor. Ask for feedback regularly, and get their input on your career goals.
Foster bonding by occasionally banter about family, personal hobbies, etc. Share your information, but inquire about their family, hobbies, etc. as well.
3. Be helpful/ proactive.
Since you understand what the demands are on your boss, try your best to contribute to them.
What are some immediate accomplishments you can make to help further the team?
Where can you take the initiative to solve a problem or improve a process that wasn’t even on the radar screen? Demonstrating a clear understanding of the organisation’s strategic focus will help others perceive you as a leader and team player.
You will gain the respect of your managers and ensure your career is on the fast track.
4. Manage your performance review process.
Record your accomplishments, and inquire about other ways you can contribute to overall team goals.
Be assertive about your career plan and ask for projects that stretch your current abilities.
Be clear about the support you seek from your boss, and be equally clear about the deliverables you will produce.
Build Confidence by avoiding confidence sapping colleagues
The people whom you have the most contact with and hang around will have either a positive or negative effect on your levels of self-esteem and confidence.
We all know those people who are positive, happy and joyful to be around.
How do they make you feel?
Yes, they make you feel the same! They can but zest into a boring atmosphere and can fill the room with positive vibes that have a knock-on effect on everyone else.
We also know of those people who only know how to moan! They never had the opportunities, are always putting people down, don’t like others to be successful, are jealous and are negative thinkers - need I add more?
These people drain your energy and bring you down to their level, a million miles away from the level you want to operate on.
So, what should you do to ensure that the people you hang around with empower and support what you stand for rather than bringing you down all the time?
1. You have the power to choose who you hang around with. Ideally, you want happy, vibrant and positive people.
2. If you get along well with negative colleagues and yet still want to hang around them, let them know how you feel – if they are true friends, they will respect you for this. If they are negative, just acknowledge that this is what they are like and block out the negativity.
3. The same can be said with family. Your more mature family members have behaviours that have been conditioned for years and years and from different eras. Appreciate where they have come from, and elicit and select the information that filters through to your brain.
4. Remember that nothing has meaning in life except the meaning that you give it.
Your Confidence Diary: One of the most Effective Activities for Confidence Building
Keeping a confidence diary is a great way to boost your confidence.
It is a smart tool to remind yourself just how good you are and what you have to be thankful for and pleased about in your life.
Buy yourself a nice new diary for your confidence diary. Allocate a day every week to work on this diary.
Staring with ten minutes every week, jot down your answers to the following confidence questions:
1. What have I got to be grateful for in my life right now?
2. What am I happy about in my life right now?
3. Why am I happy about these things?
4. What did I accomplish last week?
5. What am I excited about in my life right now?
6. Who do I love and appreciate in my life? Who do I like hanging around? Why?
7. Who loves and appreciates me for what I am?
Answering these questions will enable you to leverage your confidence for success.
After you answer these questions, revisit this confidence diary on your allocated day, or when you are feeling low to remind yourself of what you have got going for yourself in your life.
Maintaining and revisiting your confidence diary is one of the most effective confidence building activities you can follow to improve your confidence.
Do you exude confidence with your words? Take the Free Communication Skills Assessment to take the first step to communicate with influence.
How to Build Confidence: The Last Word
The important thing to realise is that confidence is a skill that can be learned, developed or acquired. It’s just a matter of discovering the best tools and resources to help you develop it.
Tap those resources and ask for expert help if you are struggling with low self-confidence.
Smita D Jain is a Certified Personal Empowerment Life Coach, Executive Coach and NLP Practitioner. Smita’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Executive Coaching Programs enable introverted executives to speak with confidence and communicate with influence so that they emerge leaders faster than envisaged.
Prior to her journey as a coach, Smita had extensive experience of 14 years as a corporate and business strategy professional with Fortune 500 companies. She is also a speaker at various public forums, a published writer, and an Amazon bestselling author.
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