JANUARY 3, 2021
“Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.”—Cicero
“You should learn how to build self-confidence.”
“You should be bold.”
“You should speak without fear.”
“You should become more social.”
“You should stop being such an introvert.”
Have you heard these statements from your friends, relatives, family, or colleagues? Do you want to learn how to actually be more self-confident and get straight to the solution? Do you want to overcome your fear of speaking with people or in front of a large audience? Then stick around, because this post is just for you!
The Real Meaning of Confidence
Before we tune into the strategies and ways to learn how to build confidence, we must understand what it means on the most foundational level because terms like these, when overused, often become cliché. According to Merriam Webster, the definition of confidence is “a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances.”
If we break this definition down into the simplest words, confidence would mean believing in yourself, and that’s it! Because the specific term “confidence” has become a clichéd parameter we constantly judge ourselves with, we tend to hyperbolize its meaning. When we look at its foundation, we realize that confidence is based on self-belief.
Can You Learn How to Be Confident?
When you say and think that you are not confident enough, you are internalizing the thought that you don’t trust and believe in yourself. When you say that you want to learn how to build self-confidence, you internalize the idea that you want to learn how to trust and believe in yourself.
But there is a problem with this approach itself. In any relationship that you have, you cannot learn how to trust; you can only gain trust through your actions, and this also applies to the relationship you have with yourself.
Therefore, you can’t learn how to be confident, but you can surely gain confidence by acting a certain way. “Confidence” has become a trite phrase because we look for hacks or methods to learn it. We can learn about the direction we must walk in, but significant and major progress only happens with internal reform.
Find Out How to “Gain” Confidence.
To gain confidence, bring internal reform and find the right direction, follow these steps: –
- Understand yourself. Just because someone told you to become more confident doesn’t mean that you should be. Other people will constantly judge you and tell you about things to improve. It is great to accept other people’s suggestions and feedback because that can help you grow, but until you don’t evaluate that feedback and see it as necessary, you should not implement it. Before you follow any judgment or suggestion blindly, check if it is suitable for you or not.
How do you do that? By knowing who you are and where you want to be. Let’s say that you want to become the Vice President of a Fortune 500 company. You start at the bottom as a base-level employee, and you analyze your position. You conclude that you aim to become the Vice President, but currently, you are at the opposite post, so you need to make your way through, and it will take some time for you to do that. After understanding this, create a simple checklist for the qualities you have and the qualities you will need to reach your goal. Your current attributes are that you are resourceful, productive, and finish everything with dedication and commitment. But you need to be a more proactive leader and eloquent public speaker to get to that rank. Now you have clarity about your position, and you know what to do. Imagine that one of your colleagues comes to you and says, “Hey! I found a good course on public speaking; I think it will be good for you.” You take this feedback, and when you compare it with your analysis, you will realize that this will be an excellent investment for you.
Similarly, if someone says you have to become more productive, it may not hold true for you. When you stop listening to other people’s suggestions and judgments blindly, you find your self-worth and the qualities you can rely on, and you gain confidence. First, understand yourself, then analyze, and finally decide.
- The passer-by thought experiment. If you feel that you lack confidence and self-belief, the primary reason behind that is the fear of being judged by others. Your mind is always in a frenzy of finding out what others think of you. Whether you look good or not. Whether you speak correctly or not. Whether your body language is right or not. Whether your shoes are acceptable or not. There are just so many different thoughts running inside your head about how others will judge you. But there is an interestingly innovative way to tackle this situation. The founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, proposed a thought-provoking situation in one of his talks. He said that imagine you are standing at the corner of a street and watch people pass by. When you see someone, think about what they are thinking, and in almost all cases, none of them will be thinking about you. This approach is very rational and true. When you realize that people already have a ton of things to worry and think about, your fear of being judged will go away, and you will naturally gain confidence.
- Think, think, think. Whenever you go into the spiral of negative thinking and negative self-talk about yourself, you are doing nothing but cheating on yourself, thus destroying your trust and belief. Whenever you break someone’s faith in a relationship, you often do that by doing something harmful, wrong, and negative. And when you talk yourself into a spiral of negativity, you are shattering the trust you have with yourself. To gain your trust and confidence back, you need to build your beliefs on positive foundations, and the best way to do that is by thinking so. The concept of “Fake it till you make it” holds utterly true for gaining confidence. When you repeatedly say to yourself, “I am confident. I am self-trusting. I have immense self-belief. I am bold. Other people’s judgments don’t affect me. I am full in myself. I am constantly learning and growing,” you learn to manipulate your thoughts. When you repeat all of this, again and again, your mind will become so accustomed to these thought patterns that they will become true for you.
- Take action. All of these directions will only be meaningful if you take action and walk towards them. We learned that confidence is trust and belief in oneself, and all of it can’t be learned; it can only be gained by taking action. So when you put all of these things into effect and become comfortable with yourself, your qualities, vulnerabilities, and issues, you truly gain self-confidence and become comfortable speaking, discussing, and interacting with people without feeling the fear of being judged.
Remember, you can’t learn “confidence”; you can only gain it by believing in yourself, overcoming your fear of being judged, and living to the fullest by taking actions in the correct direction!
I hope that this post helped you understand the concept of self-confidence and how you can bring it into your life. If you would like to learn more and go in-depth about living your dream life and developing the right set of beliefs to achieve success, then you will love reading my latest book, Explore The New You! Buy it now by clicking here!
Do share your thoughts, feedback, or questions in the comments, and I will surely reply! Also, if you found this post useful, do share it with your network so that everyone can learn and grow together! I am waiting for your comments!
Partnering in your growth and success,