Build Confidence
Tricks to Build Your Confidence
Apr 05, 2022 5 min read

Confidence can be fragile. It cannot stay consistently high all the time. Even the most confident people face times of self-doubt.

Additionally, our levels of confidence can be situational and context-driven. For e.g, we may be very confident among colleagues but less confident among senior bosses.

So, it is safe to infer that all of us have innate confidence, but the degree can be dependent on external and also internal factors.

The good news is that we can gain lost confidence back with some persistence and mental discipline.

 

Nurture Confidence

The average human body temperature is about 97 degrees F. When you are ill, your temperature rises, indicating that you need attention and some form of treatment, i.e rest, medication, diagnosis, care etc.

In the same way, imagine you have an inbuilt thermometer that indicates your confidence level and it stays at an optimum level daily when everything is going well.

The temperature rises when you feel very confident and dips when you feel underconfident, indicating you need help.

The temperature rises when you feel very confident and dips when you feel underconfident, indicating you need help. When you feel your confidence dip, your job is to give yourself the attention and care it needs to get it back to the optimum level, like you do when you are feeling unwell.

Confident people know how to manage themselves.

 

Managing Self

We are impacted by our environment and other people who either support us in achieving our results or can hinder us. These can be placed under the category of 'external forces'.

And then we have our 'internal forces' that impact us, i.e our thinking patterns and the beliefs we carry about ourselves.

Confident people focus on managing their 'internal forces'.

When your core is strong, it will withstand external disruptions.

 

Mental Tricks

Affirmation Power

As human beings, we are wired for both optimism and pessimism. We need to choose which is the dominant wire we want to plug our minds into.

While pessimism is a part of us and plays a role in our protection in certain situations, if it becomes our dominant wire, we can feel hopeless about ourselves and our self-worth.

If we plug our minds into the optimism wire, we begin to see ourselves and the world around us with positivity.

Affirmations are a key part of training our minds to think positively. Over time we become what we say to ourselves because our mind is tricked into believing the affirmations.

If you wake up every day saying, I am a confident person, the mind begins to believe this statement and it gets embedded into our neural system.

Slowly you will find yourself starting to build the muscle of confidence. You will be fully alert to thinking, acting and behaving like a confident person in the most challenging situations.

Fake It

You have often heard the adage- fake it till you make it.

In situations where you can sense your confidence draining, adopt the posture of a confident person. Shift your body language for e.g sitting straight with shoulders thrown back and keeping eye contact, regulating your breathing etc. When you do this your mind begins to get directed towards confidence vs under-confidence.

Here is a resource by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist that is helpful to understand the role of body language.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7dWsJ-mEyI)

The critical thing to remember here is that do not push yourself to do something that feels inauthentic or forced. Adopt what comes naturally to you.

Self-Talk

What we say to ourselves creates emotions that create physical stresses and strains. These physical changes impact our ability to perform and be our best selves.

Let's take an example. When you sit at the table with senior management, you are an expert in your field of work, however, you lack the confidence to voice your opinion or suggestions.

A senior director asks you a question, and all eyes are on you. Your negative self-talk can say something like this "I don't want to sound like an idiot in front of these people" What will they think of me?"

As your mind races with these thoughts, your palms go sweaty, and your throat feels dry. You can't think clearly, and when you speak, your voice sounds shaky.

To win the battle with your negative thinking, follow these three steps-

  • acknowledge the negative thinking
  • silence it
  •  And then replace it with something better to get the last word.

You can take a breath becoming aware of your negative self- talk, pause and replace your thoughts with I am an expert in my field, and I can handle this.

Creating a mental discipline of managing our thoughts creates a shift in our mindset so that we can perform better.

 

Conclusion

Finally, protecting your confidence is an ongoing practice. You'll never stop doing it — but the good news is that it will give you an edge if you can develop and sustain the practice successfully. Even the most fragile items when handled with care can give us joy for a lifetime. Confidence is no different – protect it and nurture it!

 


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