Welcome on board to this confidence-building journey! Like many others who are reading this right now, you are here to gain insight into the world of confidence building, and to understand what it is all about and how it can be achieved immediately.
There are many instances in our lives where we feel awkward in situations, or completely unable to deliver a performance worthy of praise. Most of us attribute this to the natural reactions humans have of being nervous in unfamiliar situations, being shy or refusing to be receptive to change. As such, it is crucial that we identify these issues, correct them, and make them work to our advantage instead. This is where the element of confidence surfaces. Confidence is key to the way we behave and affects our life in more ways than we realize.
Definition of Confidence
It is hard to find a phrase that aptly qualifies as definition to the word “Confidence”, as each individual perceives and values it differently. However, this book works with a general simplified meaning. Here, “Confidence” refers to “being self-assured and certain, believing in others as well as having faith in one’s own capabilities”.
In other words, the focus here is developing a character trait that makes you more assertive of your abilities, allowing you to do more than you previously could. Being able to take appropriate actions on things you cannot manage enables you to overcome past difficulties and lets you feel good about yourself. This, coupled with an outward appearance of confidence and poise would be ideal to living a fulfilling life, because not only would you have peace of mind about yourself and your own abilities, but you will exude this aura of confidence to the people around you and make them want to be around you.
There is a fine line between being confident and overly confident. Being overly confident involves being too presumptuous of certain things or qualities. It may entail demonstrating a specific ability to do something, when in fact the person hasn’t the ability to accomplish such feats. As such, there is a negative association to such qualities, and most people do not like to be involved with such people. So when deciding how you want to go about boosting your confidence, make sure you take things one step at a time, and not over do anything that may offend any one. Identify areas that you need to work on and strategize ways you intend to go about achieving those goals.
Qualities Possessed by a Confident Individual
What then makes a confident individual? Generally, most people feel that being confident involves both the appearance of being assertive and firm, as well as the inner feeling of believing in the actions taken or to be taken by that individual. As such, these qualities should be looked out for when one wishes to identify a role model, for instance, to act as a guide and reference to help along in the confidence building process.
There are many qualities that can be associated with a confident individual. They will be elaborated in the following few paragraphs:
- Possess a good level of self-worth
- Being self-assured of one’s own ability to perform
- Trust and faith in oneself and others
- Ready to accept and initiate changes
- Having clear goals and an optimistic mind set
- Being self-aware and motivated to work
1. Possess a good level of self-worth
One of the key characteristics of being confident is possessing a good level of self-worth. Self worth refers to how one regards himself, and the beliefs and emotions experienced that reflect how one feels about himself on the inside. It is important that we rate ourselves highly on the inside, as it affects how happy we are with ourselves and the way we lead our lives. The way we judge ourselves influences our relationship with others, the choices we make and our outlook on life. This determines our sense of fulfillment and the level of happiness achieved in life.
The fundamental concept revolves around believing in yourself, that you are good enough for what it takes. Do not think that you will not be able to achieve your goals based on past failures, or criticism given by someone before. Look forward and see how someone as competent and able as you can make change and advance in the task. The increased respect you have for yourself marks the beginning of change that you want to see materialize and succeed.
It is essential that we have a good level of self-worth on the inside, as it affects the way we see ourselves and lead our lives. If we rate ourselves poorly on the inside, we then end up relying on external factors to make up for the low ratings given. For instance, many determine success based on the 5Cs: Car, Cash, Credit Card, Condominium and Country Club Membership. This however, may not always be the case for all individuals. Not everyone will be as lucky and successful to get what they dream of. As a result, the external factors that should be giving them the increased level of self worth may not materialize. This thus leads to an overall low inner and external level of self worth, which in turn results in the individual losing confidence in life and everything else. It is therefore evident that we cannot always rely on external factors to determine who we are. We must start by believing in ourselves from the inside, before we turn outside for additional support.
After realizing the importance of giving yourself a high rating and level of self-worth, you will then be able to use this foundation to build your level of self-worth. Remember, you are good enough and worthy of respect!
2. Being self-assured of one’s own ability to perform
Each individual has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. It is crucial that we identify what they are, so that we know what we can do to profit from them and what we should avoid.
Certainly, we should use our strengths to our advantage, by working and excelling in them. For example, if a person is able to recognize that he is good at writing, he should search for writing related jobs as compared to communications related work, over which may offer him a higher pay. This is because it is a field that he can excel and progress further in the long run. Although the salary offered maybe somewhat higher, but getting a job which provides more satisfaction and happiness is what is necessary to building confidence. Doing well in a job and rising through the ranks provides positive affirmation of an individual’s ability. This would allow the individual to be more self-assured of his own ability and have faith in himself, gradually increasing the level of confidence within him as he holds himself in higher regard.
In certain cases, it is possible to turn weaknesses into strengths. As American Poet and Essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Our strength grows out of our weaknesses”. By being able to identify weaknesses, an individual can then plan how he can turn those weaknesses into something useful instead. By knowing how not to commit those errors and how they can be overcome, one can then turn his weakness into strengths.
You should know what your abilities are and how they can be used to your advantage. Use your abilities well as they will help in giving you assurance and affirmation in what you do when you succeed. This in turn gives you a sense of satisfaction and happiness that contributes to giving yourself more respect. As such, being self-assured of one’s ability to perform contributes positively to developing his confidence level.
3. Trust and faith in oneself and others
Like that in marriage, having trust and faith is cornerstone to the relationship between yourself and others. A confident individual knows who and when he should trust himself and others. Through the means of communication and being aware of issues around, he will ensure that what he knows is right and can be relied upon. Then, he works in an assertive way, displaying an air of confidence and delivering optimal results.
You can have faith in yourself and others by being aware of your expectations and knowledge of what people can deliver. Do not set unrealistic expectations and lose faith as people and yourself fail to achieve them. Identify your real needs and establish a trusting relationship between those you are working with, while acknowledging that competent individuals can only achieve this much. This is vital to the development of your confidence in them and things related. Through communication and physical familiarity, you will eventually be able to become a certain and confident individual as trust and faith are established.
4. Ready to accept and initiate changes
A confident individual is ever ready to accept and initiate changes. The world is ever changing and all of us have been nurtured to accept it in big and small ways. Most people like the sense of familiarity and cringe when something new is thrown to them. Yet, it is of utmost importance that the fear of change must be eradicated completely for confidence to set in.
Focus on believing that some changes can be good and are necessary for the advancement of certain events. The terms “adopt” and “adapt” describe what confident individuals can do to make the best out of situations they are in. By being flexible and open to change, you will not be faced with surprises and be thrown off guard when things do not go your way. In other words, this prevents you from losing confidence in things when they do not turn out right. Readily accept changes and be as cautious as you should be, as it aids in the development of a confident individual, when things gradually go your way
After being able to accept changes, it would be good to initiate some if they help to achieve your goals quickly. Situations may arise that call for changes to be made, and, alternations to the usual plans may in fact cause the goals to be reached faster. You must therefore be strategically on the outlook to see when would be a good time to make changes. Thus, a confident person believes in accepting and achieving challenging
goals and changes.
5. Having clear goals and an optimistic mind set
Being focused on what he wants and how he intends to achieve his goals is part of being confident. Nonetheless, a confident person must also know how to stay positive.
It is important that you know what you want, how you intend to get it, and when you can achieve it. You need to set clear directions for yourself and people around you, prioritize and ensure that they are realistic. This way, you will always be certain of what steps to take when you are lost or need a reference.
6. Being self-aware and motivated to work
Nonetheless, it is important that you are fully aware and conscious of your surroundings. Communicate and research to find out more ways you can profit from the circumstances if possible.
Keep in mind that being confident involves motivating yourself. Enjoy what you do and always look on the bright side of things when they do not go your way. Take pleasure in stretching yourself and encourage others to do beyond what they are expected as well. Having drive and determination contributes to the development of a confident person, and this fervent energy will similarly influence those around you.
The characteristics discussed above are some traits that one would find in a confident individual. There are many ways that you can go about achieving them: by understanding your character traits and adopting mindsets that allow you to make changes and be confident. More methods are further discussed in the later chapters.
Watch this video, which nicely summarises all the lesson on confidence above. Pay careful attention to what characteristics he mentions.