Do you doubt if you have enough knowledge/experience to start a project?
Do you feel uncomfortable when people compliment you?
Are you afraid of talking to a person you like or admire?
Do you prefer to stay in your comfort zone instead of trying something great?
All of these questions (and many more) have one common root – lack of self-confidence.
We all admire qualities of self-confident people. They always seem …what’s the word… confident (*smile*), steadfast, successful and balanced.
Self-confidence is one of the essential traits of balanced people. Think about it for a minute.
How can you be balanced if you are constantly questioning yourself?
How can you keep your inner peace if you constantly doubt yourself?
How can you live a meaningful life if you are afraid to develop something that is important to you?
How can you keep your balance if you don’t like what you see in the mirror?
Self-confidence is a must when it comes to life balance.
I’ve never been the most confident person around. While growing up I was extremely shy. I am an introvert so I am perfectly fine living in my own world without any outside distractions. But nevertheless over time I managed to develop my own self-confidence.
When I first met my husband and I liked him a lot but didn’t know how to get to know him better. We worked together but the art of small talk has never been my strong point. One day I finally mustered up my courage and invited him to go for a walk so that I could improve my English skills.
Here comes the funny part.
We spent half a day together but spoke English maybe for 10 minutes or so. (He speaks Russian so we thankfully didn’t walk around in silence.)
I was afraid to speak English with my future husband because I lacked confidence and was afraid to make mistakes and look silly. (The funny part is that I was hired at my job because of my great English skills but I still wasn’t sure of myself.) It worked out for the best in the end though, because I had an excuse to hang out with him frequently to keep improving my language
My story sounds silly and funny now but at that moment I definitely realized how much I needed to build up my self-confidence. Here is what helped me:
You must know your strong points in order to start building your confidence. Take a minute to write down strengths that you are proud of (you are good looking, you make the best apple pie in the world, you are a great mechanic, you are tech-savvy etc.) and keep expanding that list as you think of something else. Soon you will see what an exciting person you are and confidence will come naturally to you. When in doubt or questioning yourself, just go back to the list and remind yourself of those strengths.
Do you remember the list we just made? Take a look at it one more time. You are not supposed to have every single quality/skill in the world on that list. You don’t have to be perfect in everything to be confident. Accept the fact that you suck at something (I do and I have no problem with it) and admit it to yourself and in public if needed. It is a difficult thing to do, I know, but it is a necessary step to becoming a whole and balanced person.
Your self-confidence suffers every time that you try to be the best in something you hate or simply don’t understand.
Do you have an activity that makes you forget about time, hunger or sleep? It is your strong point, for sure. A confident person draws confidence from his/her knowledge and expertise. Once you get into your “passion zone” you forget about any discomforts or doubts. You can talk about your passion for hours. You can be your best self while doing what you love (even if it’s just your hobby.) If you have trouble discovering your passion try Barrie Davenport ’s excellent guide Discover Your Passion .
Nothing builds your confidence more than a victory (even a small one.)
Is there something that you are afraid of?
Are you afraid of talking to a cute guy/girl?
Are you afraid of saying “no” to the next “friendly” request?
Are you afraid of speaking in public?
Create a plan of how you will do it (take a look at the next step) and do it.
You must make the first step to self-confidence, nobody else can do it for you.
Uncertainty is probably the worst part of low self-confidence. I’ve been there plenty of times:
What if he won’t like me if I ask him to go out with me? (I asked myself this question a hundred times before I asked my husband out on our “English-speaking” date.)
What if I forget what to say when I am in front of all those people?
What if I offend somebody when I refuse their request?
Do these questions sound familiar?
The best way to deal with them is to prepare the worst-case scenario in your mind. Think of what a confident person would do in a situation like that. Accept it as a possible outcome and simply make your first step.
Self-efficacy (confidence that, if we learn and work hard in a particular area, we’ll succeed) is a building block of self-confidence. And the best way to develop it is to learn a new skill and master it. It takes time, preparation and work, of course, but it’s well worth it in the end.
When I moved to the US I wanted to be a certified Pilates instructor. I started my training with a huge chunk of fear inside. English was my second language, I didn’t know the teaching terminology, I was afraid that I simply wouldn’t understand something during a class, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to explain the exercise properly in English. And that, of course, was topped with my built-in discomfort of speaking in public.
How did I get through it?
I took the manual and started studying page after page. I practiced with my husband, I memorized the most difficult parts, and then I practiced more. Of course I was highly motivated because teaching Pilates was something I was passionate about.
My hard work paid off and the training was a success. That’s not to say that I didn’t make any mistakes, but I was able to either laugh myself out of it or learn from my mistakes.
Laughter can cushion even the hardest fall. Instead of being hard on yourself or super serious just lighten up and find something funny in the situation. It will make you a happier person and happy people are always confident.
If you have low body confidence then it translates into your behavior, your posture and your manners. Regaining body confidence is a topic for an entire course but today simply try to
Straighten up while walking or standing;
Put on some flattering clothes that emphasize your best parts instead of swallowing you;
Make a step towards improving your body whether it’s making a healthier dinner choice or doing a 15-minute workout.
Are there people in your life that you don’t like? They might be great personalities, but something simply doesn’t click between you two. Why are you any different?
Just because someone doesn’t like you doesn’t mean that you are doing something wrong.
As a writer of this blog I had several people tell me that they simply don’t get my ideas. I had visitors who unsubscribed from my articles, and several of them have been pretty rude.
But I had hundreds of people tell me how much they enjoy reading BalanceInMe and how well they connect with my message. I don’t have a huge following but I am happy to touch people’s lives (and, come to think of it, almost 6000 people follow BalanceInMe, it’s almost the entire population of a town that I live in!)
You’ll never succeed at being liked by every person and you might only lose your authentic spark while trying. Be proud of who you are because that’s the only road to self-confidence and balance.
If you want to further the development of your self-confidence please download a free ebook by a friend of mine Diggy of Flawless Confidence . He combined articles from the best personal development blogs (including BalanceInMe) into a great guide to self-confidence.
Did I miss any tips on developing self-confidence? Please share your experience or ask your questions.
(Let this article be a self-confidence exercise for you. If you never leave comments – do it now to gain your first little victory on the way to flawless self-confidence.)
Keep it balanced!
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