Some of us are more confident than others, but confidence is really a skill all of us can develop with practice. There are several benefits to developing confidence. Confident people are more successful. They have more friends and they are in better relationships.
Young children develop confidence when their parents shower praises on them. But as they grow up, they will have to get out of their comfort zone and then their confidence levels take a beating. High school can be an awkward phase of your life. You are confused with hardly any sense of direction. Even talking to a member of the opposite sex can be difficult at this stage. Laughter healing can really help here.
Confidence is not something you can boost by simply turning on a switch in your head. Your parents and peers might encourage you to be ‘more confident’. But if you already suffer from a social anxiety disorder, you will not benefit from this advice.
It takes a lot of time to develop confidence. Involvement in sports and games may boost your confidence level. They challenge you physically and help you grow into a more confident person.
What we don’t know about confidence?
Telling somebody to be confident is a bit like telling them to be happy. Happiness is not something you can pursue directly. You become happy when you lose yourself in some meaningful pursuit, idea or sensation. Confidence, like happiness, cannot be pursued. You develop it after going through a life-changing experience or process.
Here is the basic formula to develop lasting confidence.
Diffidence often stems from an inability to do something. Maybe you are interested in this pretty girl, but lack the courage to ask her out. Some people are afraid of giving a speech in public. Some others can’t even talk to a member of the opposite sex. They are afraid that the people they talk to will make fun of them. Does that sound familiar? If you can conquer that fear, you will feel more confident. So, what you need to do is to make a resolution that you will do what you are afraid of doing. After making that resolution, go ahead and do it. You will develop confidence if you manage to do it.
Inspirational quotes and self-affirmations might work in the short term, but if you need lasting confidence you need to conquer the fear that is holding you back. Laughter healing, as suggested earlier, also helps.
Confidence has to be built on the foundation of challenge. If you were looking for some secret formula, you will be disappointed.
Self-help books and laughter healing help people develop confidence one step at a time. They lay the first foundation and pave the way for self-development. Parents can play an important role in raising confident children. When they praise their children, they are building their confidence. But showering such compliments on an adult does not serve the purpose.
What to tell somebody who is lacking in confidence?
A grownup man or woman is unlikely to experience a surge in their confidence levels when you tell them that they are great. A better option is to offer them a challenge. They will probably not accept it, but that is not your problem. Confidence is not something that you can force on anyone. If someone needs a lasting change, they will have to undergo a transformative experience. A challenge, even if that seems insubstantial, can help grow the seeds of confidence. Before taking on any challenge, accept the fact that there are no losers. Sometimes our preoccupation with success prevents us from taking on any personal challenges. You may or may not win, but if you take on a challenge and complete it, it shows that you are capable of doing it.
Simple formulas can create great results. So, start small. You don’t have to conquer Mt. Everest to feel good about yourself. The next time you find somebody lacking in confidence try offering them a challenge.
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