Do you tend to feel upset (or even angry sometimes) about the fact that there are people that seem to have total confidence while you don’t? They are growing with greater success and life satisfaction when you are not?
Self-confidence is one of the most important human traits. Having high self-confidence opens the door to personal growth and helps you explore yourself without having the trouble of knowing your true capabilities.
Earlier in my days, I suffered from two things: fear of failure and low self-confidence. If anybody who knows me on a personal level is reading this, they will think I am just making this up for the sake of my blog post. But I am not.
I am good at public speaking. Although I never really went on stage speaking with a large audience but being a teacher, I did conduct meetings with me being in the spotlight in a room full of teachers and directors as well.
It wasn’t really a tough thing to do because I knew what I was talking about, but at the same time it wasn’t easy for me. Why? Because of my low self-esteem.
I always believed that no matter how good I am at something, I am still not good enough. This especially happened when I met or encountered someone who is better than me in the thing I believed I am good at. Man, that was a crushing feeling for me.
It took me a while to realize that all these insecurities towards myself were just meaningless and based on my limited beliefs. This is because the only fact about my insecurity regarding how good I am was that I chose to focus on my “negative feeling” that was all in my head rather than the truth of how good I am as a speaker.
When I thought about it, I realized that people always complimented my work and the way I conveyed whatever I wanted to speak about. I had solid background knowledge about what I was doing/saying, and I had no trouble speaking about what I know. So why would I have low self-esteem?
Now notice I said low “self-esteem” not low “self-confidence” when I was talking about myself. I was confident in what I can do because I had all kinds of evidence supporting my confidence level. However, I had trouble with my esteem because I felt that I was not good enough for the task.
Thankfully I was able to overcome these feelings and decided to take the journey to success. It wasn’t a piece of cake, but I do believe that nothing is impossible. I am going to share with you the ways that worked with me that helped me build my self-confidence and self-esteem.
So what is the difference between both?
Difference between self-esteem and self-confidence
Self-esteem and self-confidence may be used interchangeably most of the time but you have to understand that they are not the same thing. The basic difference between them is:
Self-esteem is referred to how we feel about ourselves in general. It tells us how much we love ourselves and the overall image of who we are. It is shaped by our environment and our experiences.
Self-confidence is referred to how we feel about our capabilities. It tells us how we view ourselves when doing certain things or handling different situations in life.
You can learn more about the difference between both in this post.
A friend of mine once asked me this question so I thought of including it in my blog post: “Can one have low self-esteem with high self-confidence and still be successful?”
This can be a very tricky question that some of you may not have thought about or even realized yet. The answer is no. Let me give you an example to show you what I mean.
If I am the kind of person who is very good at giving presentations and have high skills as evidence to my belief that I can do it, yet deep down I don’t value myself of who I am. Do you think I can become successful?
You might disagree with me and say it is possible, but I don’t see them working out solo. You need to have high self-confidence and self-esteem to reach the goal you want and accomplish what you desire.
How can I take control of my self-confidence and self-esteem?
Now that you know and understand the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem, and how they affect each other, it is time to know how you can control all these limiting beliefs and start your journey on personal growth and success.
Although there is a thin line between self-confidence and self-esteem, you need the same kind of tips and tricks to help you build and/or enhance them both.
Here are some of the things you can do to boost your low self-confidence and self-esteem.
Be aware of what is causing you to feel insecure
As a life coach, I can tell you this is the main part of the self-awareness phase. You need to first understand and figure out what is causing you to feel insecure about yourself and/or your abilities.
If it is low self-esteem that you are going through, then try to go deep down into the core of your feelings to figure out why it is happening. If it is low self-confidence, then you can try and gain more knowledge and understanding about what you are trying to be confident about.
Without realizing what can truly be causing this, you will get nowhere.
Reframe your negative thoughts
Whenever a situation happens that breaks your self-confidence or demotivate you, negative thoughts start swarming into your thoughts. Instead of just letting those thoughts in, start questioning them to know where they are coming from and later try to reframe them.
Basic questions to ask yourself about those thoughts are:
- Why do I believe it is a negative situation?
- What else might be going on here?
- What positive outcome can possibly come out of this situation?
- What can I do differently next time?
By focusing on such (CBT) questions, you will reframe your negative thoughts and go deeper into understanding them and ultimately move on from them.
Contend with your inner critic
We all have someone in our head that criticizes us when we do something. This person can be someone we look up to and don’t want to disappoint or it can be our own voice. Yes! You can be the strident voice in your head being own your worst enemy.
Negative self-talk should not be given much attention. The minute you learn to spot the self-talk or inner critic that is causing the distortion in your head, then you can learn to ignore it.
Think of it this way: you will always have an angel on your right telling you the positive things and the right thing to do, and you will have the devil on your left opposing everything the angel tells you about yourself and what is the right thing to do.
So choose to spot them and know who to listen to. Some of the basic questions to ask yourself about your inner critic are:
- What is my inner critic saying that is shutting down possibilities?
- Why is it saying that I can’t do it?
- Is what my inner critic telling me true? How do I know?
Stop comparing yourself with others
This not only destroys your self-confidence, it truly demotivates you in every single way.
The thing most of us refuse to understand is that there is always someone better than us and we are always better than someone. Sounds contradictory? Think again! Let that sink in.
You may make a presentation that is not as great as how your colleague or your boss did it. But that doesn’t mean yours wasn’t good enough.
Instead of functioning by trying to prove yourself better, replace your jealousy of their amazing work with appreciation and learning opportunity to become better. You may never know it, but there will be someone who is taking you as an inspiration and learning from your amazing skills.
So just embrace that we all are different and complement each other and learn from each other.
Expect and Accept criticism
You have to understand that no matter how imperfectly perfect you are (because nobody is perfect), there will be people who don’t really like you. And what can those people do? Criticize you as much as they can.
This is why you need to build your self-confidence. Expect that people are going to mock you and make you feel like you are not worth anything you get or your work is never good enough.
What you should be doing in a case like that is not to take it personally and lower your self-confidence. Instead, look into their criticism and analyze it. Is it true I lack in the point the criticized me in? If so, how can I improve it?
This is what you should be telling yourself instead of crumbling and taking a corner downgrading your self-confidence or self-esteem. You can also prepare yourself for these low confident moments so you won’t get that much affected by it.
Believe that you are attractive and confident
All the above and below points can never be achieved if you don’t believe that you are an attractive and confident person.
Try to visualize yourself as being attractive and confident and you will immediately boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.
One way you can do that is by practicing the confidence posture. Just stand straight with your head positioned on a not very high position and you will truly notice the difference.
Here is a 2-min video that shows how to Boost Your Confidence With Perfect Posture.
Other ways you can boost your self-esteem and confidence
The points I shared above are the foundations of how you can boost your confidence and esteem. After having completed them, you can go further and consider these points as well.
- Stop trying to please everyone around you.
- Accept that you are imperfect so you can focus on your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
- Divert your negative thoughts to what is positive in your life at the moment.
- Face your fears and try to overcome them.
- Make a list of self-assuring affirmations and repeat them whenever you feel your confidence is in jeopardy.
- If there is someone who drains your self-confidence, just cut down your relationship with them.
So now that you have an understanding of what you should do to boost your self-esteem and self-confidence, you need to start practicing them. Nothing in this life works without practice.
However, keep in mind that some of the points may not work for you while others can. Also, when it comes to practicing, the first attempt don’t really work most of the time. So NEVER GIVE UP ON BOOSTING YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE; no matter what.
Thank you for reading till the end 🙂
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How do you boost your self-confidence? What worked for you and what didn’t?
Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.