Every single teacher and motivator talk about building self-confidence in ourselves. So, we have a vague idea of what that is. But we should have an in-depth understanding of what self-confidence is if we are to work on it.
What is Self-Confidence?
Although it is the most used term regarding similar concepts, there is confusion about an exact definition. A very commonly cited source about self-confidence refers to it as simply believing in oneself (Bénabou & Tirole, 2002). Another favored journal describes self-confidence as an individual's expectations of performance and self-evaluations of abilities and prior performance (Lenney, 1977).
According to Psychology Dictionary Online, self-confidence is an individual's trust in his or her own abilities, capacities, and judgments, or belief that he or she can successfully face day to day challenges and demands.
Self-confidence can bring about satisfaction. Confidence in our abilities makes us happy when we are successful. If we feel good about our capabilities, we are motivated to work hard and more likely to accomplish our objectives.
Self-Efficacy and Self-Esteem
These are similar terms to self-confidence but offer different meanings.
Albert Bandura, a Canadian-American psychologist, refers to self-efficacy as the belief in our ability to accomplish specific tasks. If one believes he or she is capable of swimming in a river, it will indicate that he or she has high self-efficacy. Low self-efficacy is often the reason for failure since it causes a lack of belief in oneself. The insecurity he or she feels about completing a task makes them nervous, prone to mistakes, and even unwilling to make an effort.
Although self-confidence is often confused with self-esteem, it is the one with the least similarity. Self-esteem characterizes the belief in our overall worth. It implicates a broader statement like, "I am an honest person". A gradual increase in self-confidence can attribute to our self-esteem.
In his 1965 book, Society and the Adolescent Self-Image, Morris Rosenberg, one of the most influential voices in self-esteem research, discussed his thoughts on self-esteem and proposed the widely used and accepted Self-Esteem Scale.
He defined self-esteem on the assumption that it was a comparatively
stable belief about a person's comprehensive self-worth. The scope of this definition is expansive. Because it refers to self-esteem as a quality that we acquire over time, is influenced by many incidents or factors, and is relatively difficult to change.
Steps to Improve Self-Confidence
According to The Harvard Business Review, there are some habits we need to grow to boost our self-confidence. Let's take a close look at those habits.
Prepare Yourself and Work Hard
We all say practice makes us perfect. It is very relevant in the case of confidence-building. "Confidence comes from hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication," said Robert Staubach. We tend to give up if we are unsure of our ability to finish a task. But deliberate practice almost always gets the better of our weaknesses. "One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation," said Arthur Ashe. What is more interesting is that people with natural confidence can get even better with more practice.
Be Willing to Learn New Things
The great thing about confident people is that they acknowledge they do not and cannot know everything. "It's better to know when you need help than not," says Gruenfeld. Nobody is perfect and certainly not an all-knowing god-like entity. We need to carry on learning throughout our life. We also need to accept help from others and welcome their knowledge and experience to enhance ours. With an increasing knowledge-base comes the confidence to approach new challenges and overcome them.
Get Feedbacks from Knowledgeable Well-Wishers
While we do not need the praise and opinions of others all the time for our work, we want validation from our genuine friends when we accomplish something new. We must welcome the criticism from them when we are wrong or at fault. We should also seek the advice and opinions from expert and knowledgeable well-wishers if we get stuck anytime trying to do something.
Take on New Challenges and Stop Procrastination
Choosing the safest option can be a smart tactic but not always the best tactic. We cannot know our limit until we test it. "The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you," said William Jennings Bryan. Trying the things that look daunting to us at first glance is a great way to overcome our fears and gain confidence. It also broadens our scope of capabilities. "Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful," said " Mark Victor Hansen. We cannot afford to wait for a favorable condition to take the step forward as it may never come.
Also, we can consider the steps The New York Times Suggested.
Be Hyper Honest with Yourself
If we hesitate to share simple things like what our profession is or our hobbies are with people whom we know, it indicates that we do not feel happy with our life-choices. We must either change or accept those choices. It is not to say we share every aspect of our life with just anyone, but we must have someone with whom we share those things. "When you stop hiding parts of yourself from other people, you will find you feel more confident in who you are," Mr. Houpert said.
Try Daily Workout and opt for a New Look
Most people start doing physical exercise to lose weight or build muscles but working out can be a massive boost to our self-confidence. It refreshes our mind, enhances our efficiency, and make us more confident about our appearance. The American Psychological Association has noted that exercise can improve your mood and — along with regular treatment and therapy — help combat depression and anxiety. How we dress can affect how others perceive us. But it can also affect how we see ourselves. Going for a different attire can help us think or operate differently than how we typically do. It offers us a fresh approach to life.
Be Yourself, Do Not Copy
We must have faith in our abilities and trust in our uniqueness. Every one of us has some unique qualities that give us an individual identity. We need to believe in these qualities and give these an edge by practicing regularly. Refraining ourselves from blindly copying people who we perceive as successful can significantly improve our self-confidence. We can learn from their experience and knowledge. But we must maintain individuality when making a decision and performing a task so that we stand apart.
Defy Your Insecurities and Imposter Syndrome
Our mindset can trick us into thinking our accomplishments do not really count and that we will be considered fraud for our achievements. It is a doubt we all face because it is easy to remember our mistakes than to remember our successes. We should put down our daily accomplishments in a journal so we can recollect them when we need self-assurance.
But beware, being self-confident can often be confused with being arrogant.
Avoid Being Arrogant
When we become more confident in our work and words, it is easy to find ourselves being arrogant or cavalier. But we need to understand the difference between confidence and arrogance. True self-confidence is the result of our conviction in self-worth and assertiveness in doing what we believe is right. Conversely, arrogance comes from a place of self-doubt and a need for recognition in everything we do by boasting. If we are self-confident, we will not need to solicit approval from others.
After all, we all face insecurities and doubts about our capabilities and worth. None of us are above it. But the key is to remember that if we practice hard, learn continuously without prejudice, and face our fears head-on we can overcome any obstacle in our path. Because being apprehensive is not mutually exclusive to being confident. We can be confident without being reckless by recognizing our fears or shortcomings and learning to neutralize them.
Be honest with yourself, enjoy the work you do, and open yourself to new challenges. Do not worry about things that are out of your control. And there you go, enjoy being self-confident.