If you have confidence in yourself and your abilities, life is going be to good.
No obstacle will appear too big. No mountain to big to climb.
On the other hand, if you lack self confidence it can stop you from reaching your full potential.
Instead of having a solid foundation to stand upon and launch, your base is somewhat wobbly and unstable, making it more challenging to move in the direction you seek.
The word confidence has Latin origins and originally translated into “full trust.”
In the 14th century it was defined as, “assurance or belief in the good will, veracity etc, of another.”
From the mid 15th century it included the concept of self confidence and was defined as, “reliance on one’s own powers, resources or circumstances, self assurance.”
The latter is certainly the crux of what we know as self confidence.
Firstly, there are two types of motivators that you need to understand in relation to self confidence; whether you are intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated.
Intrinsically motivated means you are self motivated and you don’t need approval or recognition from others. You’ll do something for the sake of it, because you want to and you’ll back yourself to do it; whether that’s applying for a job or starting a new sport or hobby. You’ll give it a go because you are driven internally and what others think of you doesn’t really bother you.
When extrinsically motivated it’s usually related to an outside motivator such as a reward or punishment. Think of working for a wage. You get paid to do something and as a result are extrinsically motivated to work. Extrinsic motivation does not come from within.
Extrinsic motivation is also linked to what others, those around you, think of you and what they may or may not say about us. In other words, it’s judgement from others.
Poornima Vijayashanker says the following:
“One our skills, talents and our abilities are questioned, it shakes our self confidence. We feel like we have to prove ourselves, we feel the need to improve. And we’re back to needing to be proficient to gain confidence.”
Here’s the clincher, 90% of people are extrinsically motivated.
They’re motivated by the promise of reward or punishment (so chances are, you’re extrinsically motivated).
In terms of confidence, think about this, if those around you make you feel good about yourself and say things to make you feel good about yourself, then your self confidence is probably going to be high.
However, when people talk down to you or question your merit or ability, it can negatively effect your self confidence and this is where many people flounder with their confidence as it’s tied up in what others think of them and their approval of them.
In saying that, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are steps you can take to improve your self confidence.
Why is this important?
If you have a strong sense of self confidence, you are more likely to try things that may be out of your comfort zone. Think of the following:
· Going for that job you’d love to get
· Asking someone out on a date
· Speaking in front of a room full of people
· Wearing that bright outfit that you’ve always wanted to wear
· Starting an exercise regime
· Starting a business
It’s about having the belief in your self to give something a go and believing that you’ll be able to do it.
When you do things outside of you comfort zone, it’s where real growth happens.
It is truly invigorating and does wonder for your self-esteem.
Jack Zenger (2018), talks about Amelina Arehart as an example:
“Amelia Earhart was not the only highly competent female pilot during that time in history. Although she was skilled, I don’t believe that is what caused her to be so successful. Rather it was her confidence, her willingness to go after the impossible, and her belief that she could do it.”
So, what can you do to improve your self confidence?
Here are 5 simple steps
1. Embrace Positive Language and Thoughts
Tony Robbins, says to ask yourself the following questions…
“Why shouldn’t I accomplish everything I set my mind to?”
“Why would I waste time on my anxieties instead of focussing on my strengths?”
What we think and the language we use toward ourselves impact’s our confidence, so when you catch yourself being negative, try and flip to positive language and focus on what you know you are good at. Focus on your strengths.
2. Set Small Wins
Setting small goals and achieving them will do wonders for your confidence and ties into Tony Robbin’s above questions. Celebrate the small wins and then move to bigger goals on your list. Take it step by step.
3. Immerse Yourself In A Supportive And Fertile Environment Where Growth And Confidence Are Encouraged
Who do you spend the most time with? Do they lift you up or drag you down? Do they support you to move forward in life or do they want to keep you playing small? Do they encourage you or discourage you?
If you run a business, make sure where you can that you interact with other business owners who will support you. Mentoring groups and networking groups can be fabulous for doing just that.
4. Visualise What You Want
Never underestimate the power of visualisation and make it part of your goal setting. See yourself on that date, see yourself in the new job, see yourself exercising and smiling, see yourself in the bright outfit, see yourself standing confidently in front of a group of people delivering a killer presentation. It will do much for your confidence if you can already see it happening.
5. Be Confident In Your Body Language
Where you can, be aware of your body language as it tells so much about your state to others.
Stand confidently, walk tall, make eye contact, look up when you speak.
Remember, fake it til you make it! It’s so true!
Back yourself and go after the things you want in life, with gusto and confidence.