Self-confidence comes naturally to some people and others, like me, need to work for it. I believe that self-belief is paramount to having a more satisfying and successful life. I have experimented with various ways to feel more assured about myself and realized that there is nothing too complex about it.
What is self-belief anyway?
My definition of self-belief might seem a bit mathematical but I will try to explain it. For me,
Self-esteem + Self-efficacy = Self-belief.
Efficacy refers to an inner desire to produce the intended results. For instance, you might watch Olympic swimmers breaking world records on T.V. You are inspired to become a better swimmer. You put in the extra hours at school. You download swimming tutorial videos to evaluate your performance. Here, your mind is stimulated towards achieving a result. You realize that mastering some skills will require hard work and patience. You are ready for the grind. As you progress, you accomplish many smaller goals, i.e. en route to the eventual target. This gives you a sense of accomplishment—you aren’t competing with anybody but you still win. This feeling translates into self-belief where you know that with dedication you can overcome challenges in life. This confidence inspires you to try harder, no matter how dreadful the circumstances seem.
What is self-esteem and how to improve self-esteem? Esteem refers to admiring yourself—this is not narcissism. You don’t need to put yourself on a pedestal. You regard yourself important, whether at work or at home. You take pride in taking responsibility and earning the adoration. You are proud of the smallest achievements. This induces a feeling of competency. Your mind believes that you are a doer, an achiever who can deliver results. This stimulates the habit of perseverance, helping you overcome phases where you seem to fail repeatedly.
Zen Mind also talks about being more confident without being rude or arrogant. Self-belief doesn’t need constant competition or praise from others. It is something that you develop with your own efforts.
Does self-belief affect your everyday life?
Yes, it does and in a very significant way. Here are some of the most common scenarios:
- Self-assured people make better leaders. At work, this quality can highlight you as managerial or senior position material.
- Self-confidence inspires a positive feeling among the people around you. At work and home, this quality attracts people towards you. It makes them listen to you and trust you.
- Self-belief is needed most desperately when you are facing a low point in life. You might fail an examination, but self-belief will inspire the courage to study again and excel next time.
- Self-assurance is often more potent than physical attractiveness. When you are confident, another layer or two of charm is added to your overall personality. You might not be the most beautiful person in the room, but your confidence can magnetize attention towards you.
Some Tips to Build Self-belief:
1. Get Real
There are no two-minute solutions, so be prepared to work hard. You need to accept that the quality of your life is hampered by being timid or self-doubting. Take a stock of your present circumstances. Evaluate how being more self-assured can help you with different issues. Acknowledge that being self-confident is a life skill and not just a temporary fix.
2. Appreciate Yourself
Write down your smallest and biggest achievements, in the past five years. These don’t have to be something as dramatic as winning the Oscar! Sticking to your exercise regimen, staying put at your workplace, or devoting more time to your parents are also reasons to pat yourself on the back. If possible, create a list of 10 things you thought you could never do. Now, tick-off the ones you managed to achieve. The remainder is your challenge and the ones you accomplished are reasons to smile. You can also jot down your personality traits that often draw compliments.
3. Start Your Pursuit & Be Ruthless
Promise yourself that you will not quit until your confidence levels hit the roof. In fact, I believe that getting a bit overconfident, every now and then, isn’t too harmful. To become more self-confident, you will need to:
- Face your fears—the things you dread the most will deliver the maximum impact when you take them hands-on. Even if you fail, you will gain confidence from the effort you made.
- Count your blessings—don’t compare yourself. Try to be more thankful for what life has given you. This will give you a calmer mind that will breed positivity.
- Be More Compassionate—confidence often stems from helping others. Try to be a better listener, more helpful, and more accessible when people really need you.
4. Get Better at Mind Management
The biggest threat to every resolution is negativity. Pessimism seeps in every time we make the smallest of mistakes. This is natural. You too will have moments when it seems that your efforts to become more confident aren’t producing results. Here, you need positive reinforcement to help you carry on. This could be something as simple as putting motivating phrases on your mobile’s wallpaper. I personally use the habit of self-talking when I need to shake off the negativity and restart, with a clearer mind.