We ALL have struggled with confidence at some time of our lives and thought that if I was more confident I would perform better in life. But confidence is a skill not an inborn talent – it can be aquired.
Let’s begin by understanding what self-confidence is. Self confidence = Trust on oneself.
A trust on your ability to do a particular task with ease is self-confidence. Now, this could be any task – it could be riding a bicycle, going for shopping alone, or using the features of your smartphone, it could also be a big task like passing an exam or clearing an interview. Self confidence is the trust we have on our own abilities to accomplish that task.
Now where is this confidence going to come from? In this article you will find the 5 secrets to become more confident and 1 bonus tip at the end.
1. Recognise your superpower-
Reflect back over your childhood for a moment. Do you remember a time when nothing seemed impossible and you believed you thought you were superman or supergirl?
Do you also remember when this started to change?
Most likely, things changed for you when someone you cared about made a statement that shattered your ambition. And you lost confidence in your own abilities.
Chances are that they were only speaking from their experiences and fears, yet the impact on you was profound.
The first and most important way to become more self confident is to remember that you are indeed the superman / supergirl with great power and ability.
Second – now go and reclaim your magic wand. Don’t let your source of self-confidence come from someone else. The true and only source for personal power comes from within.
Third – every superhero has his unique strength. Just like spiderman can build webs but is not fire proof, we must do an honset assessment of our skill and knowledge levels. One great source of confidence is to know what our mojo is and what our achilles heel is.
Be honest about your own strengths and weaknesses. But believe that no matter what, you are special.
2. Eliminate the Villain-
It is important to know that we are the hero of our own life story and we have a huge mission to accomplish. But like every great story, there are strong villains too that need to be conquered. In our story there are two villains – one is our own negative self talk and the second is detractors / negative people
The first is the bigger villain. Observe how you pull yourself down – there’s no way I can run the marathon OR I will never clear the CAT, maybe I should just not even try OR I am not so well prepared this time. This is a bit like driving through life with a hand brake on.
Thoughts influence action. Now, I am not saying that you should go around like Mohammad Ali saying ‘ I am the greatest’ but stopy destroying your self confidence by disqualifying yourself before every bout.
The second villain is negative people – the kryptonite for superman. The fears from his childhood were his weakness. Now, drop the nay sayers, eliminate them from your span of attention. Stop looking outside for approval. Keep telling yourself that you are the captain of your ship and the master of your fate
3. Practice, practice, practice
One of the things that evokes the most fear and makes us most underconfident is public speaking. And there is no short cut to becoming a confident public speaker except extensive practice.
Similarly in all other situations, especially those that you are most afraid of. Keep learning and trying. Grab every opportunity to learn a lesson or try out a different strategy.
Another tip could be to try out a proxy. Say you are afraid of getting into a sales job and are not confident about your abilities. Join the college annual fest team and try to sell tickets or sponsorships. But don’t hide behind the proxy, keep stepping up the challenge.
Make an achievements diary – set yourself small goals and note down your accomplishments. It could be as small as you handled a situation better than last time or you started working on a new task or you made a mistake and learnt from it. Read this diary for 5 minutes every day to remind yourself of your super power.
Do one thing that scares you every week, get out of your comfort zone. Feel the pressure, after all, pressure builds diamonds.
4. Sharpen your Conversational Skills
Talk to a lot of people, talk to your seniors in college, help your juniors. Spend time with your professors by waking up to them and starting a conversation. Talk to a variety of people including the uber driver or the librarian. This improves your social and conversation skills, builds empathy and increases your own confidence.
Try to help others. This builds confidence in many ways – one it takes away the focus from oursleves on to people worse off than us, which creates feelings of gratitude. This releases endorphins within us which help us in feeling confident. Also when you focus on others, compliment them and smile more, in turn people start liking you and that too helps build confidence.
5. Feed your brain –
Imagine you are travelling by a plane which suddenly starts going down. suddenly, there is an announcement ‘who can fly this plane?’ and imagine that voice at the back says “I can, I am confident’ . Clearly that won’t work. Confidence has to be backed up by skills, knowledge and experience and that will be a lasting source of self confidence.
I personally find reading books to be a great source of knowledge which helps us make conversation easily and to sound informed in any situation.
But reading books can be time consuming and many times we find that we are not able to sit down and complete a full book. So there’s an app that I use very often and I highly recommend called ‘Blinkist’.
Blinkist is a wonderful app that culls out the key takeaways, the need-to-know information from thousands of nonfiction books and condenses them down into just 15 minutes so you can read or listen to.
Blinkist is made of busy people like you, who want to get the main points of the books quickly without going reading the entire book. With audio feature, Blinkist makes it so easy to finish 4 books a day!
(showing the app) – I like Blinkist because I can set small goals for myself and achieve them easily which makes me feel confident. I mostly listen to it when I am driving or in the gym, so it saves me time. Two books that I highly recommend to you from this list are
‘Start with Why’ – by Simon Sinek and ‘Hit Refresh’ by Satya Nadella
So the first 100 people to go to Blinkist will get unlimited access for 1 week to try it out. You’ll also get 20% off if you want the full membership. And you can cancel the 7 day trial at any stage, so once you are finished watching the bonus tip, click on the link given in the description box below the video to avail of your free trial.
Write a personal commercial – give a motivating speech to yourself every now and then highlighting your strengths and achievements. Remind yourself of your super powers, also keeping in mind your mission. Remember that you are unique, special and awesome, and you are here on this planet to perform a special mission. So go for it and let no one or nothing stop you.
Look at confidence as a process, not as a singular achievement.