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Everyone lacks confidence at some time in their life, and it can be a temporary state or it can be an ongoing lack of self-esteem. A lack of confidence doesn’t have to be a lifelong trait. Learning how to be confident can be practiced by anyone, and it can be relearned by those who were once confident and had their self-assurance shattered.
Self-confidence is best described as the ability to judge one's personal and professional standing with others. Many factors can contribute to a lack of self-esteem as your upbringing can contribute greatly to a lack of confidence.
Perhaps you had siblings who were favored by your parents or a sibling who bullied you. You may have grown up with a parent who was mentally abusive or wasn't involved. The way we were raised can have a major impact on our confidence.
Peers can be another cause of confidence suffering. Whether children, teens or adults, negative peers can influence how you feel about yourself. You might have a friend or friends who bring you down and leave you questioning your self-worth.
For those bullied, self-confidence can be completely shattered. Friends who make you feel as if there’s something wrong with you are most likely jealous, but their persistence causes you to believe you’re not a good person.
Body image can be detrimental to self-confidence, and the young, especially, are prone to feelings of insecurity. Body image isn’t only something that makes girls feel inferior, boys aren’t immune.
Feelings of being overweight, struggling with acne, having crooked teeth, and even not having the latest clothing trend can be devastating to a preteen or teen who is already battling the rage of hormones, testosterone, moodiness, and a desire to fit in. Adults can also feel the same way about their image.
Other ways of feeling inadequate and less confident include:
Not making the grade- School grades can impact the way we feel about ourselves, especially if we don’t live up to our expectations or the expectations of others, such as a parent or teacher. Bombing a test that all your peers passed can make you feel inferior and worthless. Getting passed over for a job promotion can contribute to feelings of inadequacy.
Unrealistic goals- When we expect too much from ourselves, we may have unrealistic goals that can result in feelings of failure. Whether you hoped to excel academically or in sports or other extracurricular activities, or if you set your sights high on your job, if you underachieve what you wanted to overachieve, it can be a real esteem-crusher. When others expect too much from us, we can also harbor a feeling of unworthiness.
Negativity- Negativity can break anyone's self-confidence. The author who gets a bad review might suddenly feel incompetent and start to question their ability to write. Some might feel so bad that they pull their book off of the market. For someone who has dealt with self-confidence issues in the past, one negative comment can send them right back into feelings of uselessness.
Many people suffer from anxiety and depression nowadays, I have had some trouble with it in the past myself and I want to create more content about managing these mental health issues, I already have one post on dealing with anxiety effectively.
Feeling overwhelmed as there’s nothing worse than feeling like a goldfish in an ocean of whales. Feeling invisible, and feeling swallowed up by the world, can easily steal our self-esteem. And, this doesn’t mean that only teens and young adults feel this way. It can happen at any age, and it can lead to feelings of incompetence and worthlessness.
No matter what led your self-esteem to tank, there are ways to boost your confidence.
Confident First Impressions
If you're going to an important meeting or meeting someone for the first time, you'll want to present yourself with confidence even if your knees are shaking and your stomach is flopping. There are several things you can do to make a good first impression and to give you the confidence boost you need.
Start with a smile. Greeting people with a friendly smile shows not only friendliness but it also shows confidence. A firm handshake and looking someone in the eyes tells the other person that you're sincere and not self-conscious. Speak with confidence and remain upbeat. You may find it difficult at first, but with practice, you can gain confidence with each encounter.
Be sure to wear clothing that you're comfortable in so that you don't start to feel self-conscious about a shirt being the wrong color or shoes that might not coordinate with your outfit. The more comfortable you feel, the more confident you'll feel.
Speak in an audible tone and don't cover your mouth with your hand when talking. Keep your eyes from wandering away from the person you're addressing. It can make you come across untrustworthy.
The best thing you can do is to be yourself. It's easy to tell when someone is being pretentious or superficial, so don't try to be something or someone you're not.
Learning how to be confident can seem impossible, but with the right mindset, it can be done. The most successful people are those who are confident and comfortable with who they are.
Being self-confident can make a difference in our personal, social, educational and work lives. The more confidence we have, the better ability we have to overcome obstacles. When we're self-assured, we aren't afraid of challenges and we don't pine over failure. We accept it and move on.
So how do you begin to build self-confidence?
It's a matter of putting mind over matter. First, don't think of yourself as a victim. Skip the "woe is me" attitude. Victims are powerless, and you aren't powerless. Think of your strengths and what you're good at. We all have things that we can do and do well. Also, don't try to please others all of the time. It's important to put yourself first.
Instead of focusing on your faults (yes, we all have them), focus on your positives. When you see yourself in a different light, you will start to feel better about yourself, and that will lead to self-confidence.
Destroy Self-Limiting Beliefs
When you feel like a loser or a failure, you prevent yourself from being your best and doing your best. You have to let go of negative beliefs. You need to climb out of your shell and face new challenges.
Those who fear no one likes them will never go out to meet new people, but the only way to get over that feeling is to get out and meet people. Start slowly and work your way up to becoming sociable and accepting the fact that you are a likable person.
Shake off unhealthy thoughts. If you own a business and it's not generating enough revenue, do you surrender and close or do you look for ways to turn it around?
A confident person will take a chance on making the business profitable, while a person who isn't confident won't have the courage to try something new and will fold.
When we limit ourselves, we lose out on opportunities to grow and to live life to the fullest. Failure isn't the end of the world, and only when we limit our belief in ourselves do we truly fail.
Stop Being Self-Deprecating
When you're your own worst critic, and constantly putting yourself down, and even making jokes about it, you're only keeping yourself in a state of unworthiness.
Don't be unassuming in your abilities. The more you criticize yourself, the lower your self-esteem will go until it completely tanks and sends you into a depression.
The next time you start to think critically of yourself, change the thought to something good about yourself.
Confidence Tips For Work and School
If you're feeling inferior at work or at school, you can boost your self-confidence and stop feeding into negativity.
One way you can feel you're on a level playing field with your peers is to ask questions. No one wants to feel as if they don't know what's going on in a room filled with people who do. Chances are you're in a room with others who feel the same way. If you're unsure, ask. By boosting your knowledge, you boost your self-confidence.
It can be more difficult if you're in school and you are facing peer pressure, but by remaining positive, you can overcome your feelings of weakness.
You can also have colleague pressure on the job, and it's important to remain positive so that it doesn't impact your work. Some jobs are demanding and others can be competitive, so it's important to stay focused on the positive.
As you can see, learning how to be confident isn't as daunting as you might think. Building self-confidence won't happen overnight, but it will happen if you remind yourself how special you are and how you have a purpose in life.
The human mind would sometimes like us to believe we are weak when, in fact, we are strong. Each day, practice self-confidence, even if it's something small such as passing by a stranger and saying hello. Remember that you can do anything you put your mind to.
As you learn how to be confident, those around you will notice, and you'll feel you fit in, no matter what the situation.
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