Confidence can be defined as the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.
Self-confidence requires a person to place trust in their own abilities, qualities and judgements. People form their beliefs about themselves over a long period of time and this process is likely affected by a range of different situations, circumstances and life experiences.
A person’s self-confidence can have a huge impact on their psychological well-being, academic and professional success and overall quality of life. Projecting confidence helps put others at ease, makes a strong first impression, and is appealing inter-personally. Confidence can enable a person to deal with pressure and tackle personal and professional challenges. Having confidence in yourself can therefore help you become successful in your personal and professional life. Low self-confidence and/or self-doubt however can cause people to fall short of their potential and can lead to problems such as anxiety and depression.
Everyone struggles with confidence issues at some point in their life and it is important to note that confidence is not an innate, fixed characteristic. Self-confidence can be acquired and improved over time!
Below, we list five tips which can help anyone improve their confidence.
Thinking that friends, family, and colleagues are better than you will affect your self-confidence for the worse. When you notice you are drawing comparisons, remind yourself that doing so is not helpful. Life is not a competition.
Research consistently shows that physical activity improves confidence. Make self-care a priority. When you’re feeling at your best physically, you’ll naturally feel more confident about yourself.
Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness when you make a mistake, fail, or experience a setback. Speaking to yourself harshly, will not motivate you to do better. Try speaking to yourself as you would a friend and remind yourself that no one is perfect.
Sometimes, the best way to gain confidence is by doing. If you are afraid, you’ll embarrass yourself in a certain situation, e.g. a presentation, or asking someone on a date, try it anyway!
If you experience negative self-talk, remind yourself that your thoughts are not always accurate. Sometimes the best way to deal with these thoughts is by challenging them. It might help to tell yourself it’s just an experiment and see what happens. You might learn that being a little anxious or making a few mistakes is not as bad as you thought, and each time you move forward you, self-confidence will grow.
Please note that if you are experiencing confidence issues which are having an impact on your mood, work, and/or social life, it is recommended that you seek professional help.