There are a few things in life that you can hardly get enough of. Self-confidence is one of them. (Did you just think about sex, you piglet?)
Sure, we must doubt ourselves and ourselves and question ourselves. Otherwise, we run the risk of making the same mistakes over and over again or becoming a person in love.
But in general, a strong awareness of your self is an important cornerstone for a self-determined and happy life.
But do you know what the crazy thing is?
Becoming more confident is not difficult.
The only problem is that many people have a wrong understanding of how this awareness arises and what it is. And that is exactly what keeps them from becoming more self-confident in the long term.
In this article, you will learn what it means to be self-confident and how you can build your self-confidence in 3 steps.
- WHAT IS SELF-CONFIDENCE AND HOW DO I BECOME MORE SELF-CONFIDENT?
- How do you increase your self-confidence? Allow yourself to fail!
- Ignore your fear!
- Increase self-confidence: start small!
- This is the video:
- Don’t judge yourself
- The best way to develop more awareness of yourself: Find something really important to you
- Psychological explanations for self-doubt
- How can I overcome self-doubt?
- Conclusion on the topic of self-worth
WHAT IS SELF-CONFIDENCE AND HOW DO I BECOME MORE SELF-CONFIDENT?
Your awareness of yourself is ultimately nothing other than trust in yourself and your abilities. It is the certainty that you can deal with difficulties, hurdles, and fears.
And this is where the great misunderstanding arises that prevents many people from becoming more confident.
Being confident and strong does not mean that you are no longer afraid, no longer doubt you, or never fail. It rather means that you are OK with these things.
A child does not learn to walk because it is confident and knows that it will work. A child learns to walk because it is okay for them to fall. If a child expected it to never fall, it would never learn to walk.
One of the areas of life in which most people want more self-confidence is, for example, in social situations. At a party, chatting with a colleague or on a date.
But what does it mean to be confident in social situations and to have a strong demeanor?
It doesn’t mean that you never say anything funny, that every joke is made, or that you always know what to say. It just means that you don’t care about saying anything funny, making a bad joke, or not knowing what to say.
Paula is confident! She doesn’t care what others think of her …
A few years ago I was on a date with an attractive woman. There was a pause in the conversation and I just didn’t know what to say. So I was silent for two or three minutes – but that was completely OK. Suddenly the woman told me that I was unsettling her! She said that I deal with the silence so relaxed that she now feels insecure. And that’s the whole point.
I am often asked:
“Anshu, how do I become more open and confident in dealing with other people?”
Small “tricks” like speaking consciously or adopting a conscious posture can help.
But in the end, it’s all about being OK with not being self-confident.
You will radiate a lot more self-confidence if you can live with making a mistake, being funny at times, not always quick-witted, or not mastering something perfectly.
And that is exactly the paradox.
People want to become more aware of their selves to avoid anything unpleasant – mistakes, failures, rejection, doubts. But only when we accept and accept the unpleasant do we become more confident.
How do you increase your self-confidence? Allow yourself to fail!
Imagine you have a date or an interview.
The more you persuade yourself that your date has to like you or that you shouldn’t screw up the interview, the more nervous you will be. You will pretend to be constantly worried about saying something wrong and every reaction of your counterpart over-analyze. So you will be anything but confident.
However, if you are OK with your date not liking you or not getting the job, then you will build a better awareness of yourself.
“Oh, whatever! If my date likes me or I get the job, cool. And if not, it doesn’t matter. “
It is your wish to always be convincing and to be strong and never to fail, which prevents you from being confident.
The moment you allow yourself to be insecure and fail, you become more confident and your insecurity disappears as quickly as your last fart.
“Anshu, that’s interesting. But how does it work? “
Nice that you ask!
That with the fart: just let go and look as normal as possible.
And to be OK with the fact that you are unsure or fail: Distinguish between yourself and what you do.
Distinguish between yourself and what you do
Failing to make mistakes or appearing strange to others is uncomfortable.
The trick to dealing with it better is that you differentiate between yourself and what you do.
- Just because you make a mistake you are not a bad person.
- Just because you’re doing something weird, you’re not a weird guy.
- Just because you fail you are not a failure.
What you do and who you are are two completely different things & shouldn’t negatively affect your self-confidence
The problem with many people is that they deduce themselves from their actions as human beings. And then judge yourself.
“Oh, man! I didn’t manage to give my boss my opinion today. I am such a failure and no use. I can’t do anything and I will never make it. ”
Zack, you are already lying on the couch and eats chocolate with frustration until you get sick or play video games for the next 7 hours.
Realize that you are OK the way you are. And only because you say something funny, don’t overcome your fear, make a mistake or fail, you’re not a bad person yet.
Nobody is perfect. So stop getting ready for yourself.
“Ok, Anshu. I see your point. Just because I’m doing something wrong, I shouldn’t immediately judge myself for it. But what about other people’s opinions about me? “
Good question! Have you ever considered that someone else’s opinion says nothing about you?
If someone criticizes you or you are rejected, it says nothing about you, only about the other person and their image of you.
This is also the big key to dealing better with rejection. Confident people understand that they cannot please everyone and that rejection says nothing about them, only about the other person.
So, better focus on more important things!
In the following, let’s consider 2 ways you can build your self-confidence.
- BECOME MORE CONFIDENT: WHERE THERE IS FEAR, THERE IS THE WAY!
Most people believe that they have to be confident before doing anything that scares them.
- One day I will finally be confident and then I will travel alone.
- Once I’m more confident, I’ll change my job.
- I cannot approach strangers because I am not confident enough.
- I have no self-confidence. But as soon as I am confident, I will be able to set limits and say no.
The problem of the matter? It is exactly the other way around.
If you do things that scare you, you will become more confident.
Ignore your fear!
No matter how confident you are, there will always be things that scare you and challenge you.
If you’re like me, you’re probably afraid to speak to a large crowd. But do you know what? Almost every person is like this!
Even self-confident people who have been speaking to large crowds for years are usually still very tense and nervous in advance.
For example, some singers claim that even after 20 years they are still tense before every concert.
Fear is one of the most uncomfortable feelings there is. But although fear affects us, it doesn’t control us. And that’s the whole point.
So your fear doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you want.
For example, although I’m afraid to speak to a large audience, I do.
I was scared? Yes! Did I still give my lecture? Yes!
You will not become more confident as long as you run away from your fear. You will become more confident if you face your fear.
You can find out how this works in this detailed guide to Overcoming Fears.
Increase self-confidence: start small!
Most people make the mistake of choosing too big challenges.
Let’s say you want to travel alone, but you’re afraid of it.
If you now plan to travel South America alone for two months, you probably won’t. The challenge is simply too big. And then you will tell yourself that you have poor self-esteem and failure and then you feel even more insecure and dare less and then you reach for the next vodka bottle and everything gets worse.
What is the solution? That you take small steps.
Applied to our example:
- First of all, spend an afternoon in a neighboring town. For example, if you live in Berlin, spend an afternoon alone in Potsdam.
- The next step is to spend a weekend in another city. If you live in Cologne, for example, go to Hamburg on Saturday and go back on Sunday. So you spend a night alone in a strange city.
- If you are confident enough to spend a short weekend in a foreign city, you can travel to another country for 5 or 7 days. For example, you can spend a few days in Spain, Italy or France.
- And if you’re OK with being alone in another country for a long time, you’ll also have the confidence to travel to South America alone.
Small successes increase your self-confidence and self-confidence
Self-confidence comes from different types. However, an important factor is a positive feedback.
That means: you take something and achieve it. That makes you a little more confident. Then you take on something difficult and achieve that. And you always become a little stronger. And so on.
That is why it is so important that you take small steps. By experiencing a few small successes, again and again, you become more and more confident.
Do you want to be more confident? Start small!
Imagine writing an entire book. You will probably say: “I can never do it!” But what if you should only write one sentence? Then you will say: “Sure, completely simple!”
Well, I’ve already written a couple of books. And you know what? Ultimately, a book is nothing more than many sentences in a row. The only problem is that it makes sense to line them up …
So keep in mind: No matter what you do or what you want to achieve, start small.
Or as the saying goes: every long journey begins with a small step.
- BECOME MORE CONFIDENT: AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN
At this point I would like to point out that there are two types of self-confidence:
- General self-confidence
- Situational self-confidence
General self-confidence means that you trust yourself and your abilities in all possible situations – even in new ones. You achieve this primarily by accepting negative experiences (mistakes, failures, doubts, being rejected, etc.) and not judging yourself for it – as we have seen before.
Situational self-confidence, on the other hand, means that you are very confident in a specific matter. You can do that by doing something over and over again.
I made the very first video for my blog in 2013. Back then I was extremely nervous, tense, and unsettled.
This is the video:
Since this video, however, I’ve made a few hundred more videos. And lo and behold: making a video is no longer a big thing for me. I’ve done it so many times that I’ve got used to it and now I’m very confident in it.
Certain things will always make us a little nervous – such as approaching a stranger or talking to a large crowd. But in general, the more we do something, the more conscious we become about our selves.
Don’t judge yourself
It was some time ago that I was doing boxing for the first time in my life. In the first 10 minutes, we should jump rope to warm up.
While the others were jumping rope for two or three minutes at a time, I didn’t manage to jump the rope more than ten times.
But instead of worrying about what the others think of me, I made myself aware that I’m learning it.
I didn’t judge myself not to be able to do it but instead made myself aware that I simply had no practice in it.
The thing is, no matter how confident you are, if you try something new, you’re probably not good at it. It usually takes time to learn something.
Hardly anyone is good at something from the start. It is constant repetition that makes us better.
By the way: Sport is generally a good way to increase your awareness of yourself.
If you’re trying something new, you’re probably not good at it at first
The best way to develop more awareness of yourself: Find something really important to you
In 2012 I dropped out of college to start my blog. This decision radically changed my life and allowed me to travel around the world for years, get to know interesting people, and earn my living with something that made sense to me.
At the time, however, I did not know whether I could write well enough and whether I would ever make money from it.
So I was anything but confident about my plan. But on the contrary. My fears almost ate me up at the time.
I imagined what would happen if I failed. I would stand in front of my friends, acquaintances, and my family as a failure. I would be the idiot who washes down his promising career as an industrial engineer in the loo as if it were vegetable soup from last week.
But then I thought to myself: “ Doesn’t matter! I’ll do it anyway. ”
At that time I decided that my dream was more important to me than the promising career, my fears, the obstacles, and the opinions of others. And that is exactly the best way to become more confident and to overcome your fears.
The thing is, you can be confident right away if you decide that something is more important to you than your fear and insecurity.
What is it that scares you right now?
- To address a stranger?
- To set personal limits?
- To jump out of an airplane? (Of course with a parachute)
- Traveling alone?
- To make yourself self-employed?
You probably think you can’t do these things because your fear is too great.
But what if I offer you a million euros for you to do it? Could you do it Would you do it You could! And you would! And that’s the whole point.
Most people are waiting for one day to be confident enough to finally do what they want. As if a fairy godmother came by at night and blew magical fairy dust on their faces and this raised their self-confidence by 3256%.
But that won’t happen. So forget the crap!
Instead, find something really important to you. Something more important to you than your fear and your insecurity. And when you find something really important to you and you just do it, you will suddenly realize that you are already confident enough.
You just didn’t know it yet.
Self-doubt reduces our quality of life and prevents us from moving forward. In most cases, the doubts are completely unjustified, and only the birth of weak self-esteem and low self-confidence. You can work on this!
“Doubt destroys more dreams than failure ever could.” – Suzy Kassem (American author and director)
How do self-doubts arise and how can they be explained psychologically? Before we come to concrete techniques and approaches, I would like to explain the background from a psychological point of view. Understanding these helps to deal effectively with your individual problem.
Psychological explanations for self-doubt
The inability to internalize success and the constant fear of being exposed as an impostor is also known in psychology as an impostor phenomenon. The person concerned is of the opinion that his performance can only be attributed to happiness, relationships, or the overvaluation of others’ own performance.
We are all touched positively or negatively by the feedback we get from our environment. If someone compliments us, we are in a good mood. If someone hurts or insults us, we feel offended. However, some people feel this feedback particularly strongly. In technical jargon, this is called “interdependent self-esteem”. The person concerned makes his self-esteem completely dependent on the reactions of his environment.
His thoughts constantly revolve around what his fellow men think of him. British philosopher and Nobel laureate Bernd Russell once said: “People who always think about what others think of them would be very surprised if they knew how little others thought about them.”
How can I overcome self-doubt?
In the following, I would like to give you some practical tips on how you can actively work on your self-esteem and become a more confident person.
The influence of external circumstances
Self-doubts do not necessarily have to be caused by your own personality or experience. It can also be the current, external living conditions. Do you have a job that you cannot identify with? A boss who just keeps putting you down so that you feel like your work is worth nothing even though you put in so much effort? Change Your Circumstances! Read: Don’t be afraid of change!
Self-doubt can paralyze you and keep you from acting for a long time. However, once you’ve taken the first steps, your actions will give you a boost. The feeling of being active and not just waiting to stand still will inspire you.
Keep a success diary
Make a list and think about what you can be proud of that day before going to bed each night. Don’t be humble! You can also include apparently small things on your list. For example, you have successfully mastered your working day and made money to feed and pay your bills. This is not a matter of course! Over time, the following happens: Your thoughts will get used to seeing the successes and not the failures. You will develop a feeling of pride in yourself and become more confident.
Dealing with the right people
Do you know people in your circle of friends who are only critical of you? Perhaps you used to have teachers who always had something to complain about and were obviously incapable of praising words? Or your parents made high demands on you at a young age and only showed you love when you fulfilled them. Especially in childhood and adolescence, we are extremely susceptible to any kind of feedback. We may develop low self-esteem that continues into adulthood.
You should stay away from people who only see the negative in you and the world. There is an interesting article on dealing with problematic people. Surround yourself with people who are positive about your desire for more self-confidence and with whom you can exchange ideas. If you talk to other people about your concerns and fears about your personality, you will have great experiences.
Many people will be impressed by your courage to open up to them. Admitting our vulnerability and imperfection makes us vulnerable. But at the same time, it also opens us up for deep interpersonal experiences, because you can now meet your counterpart on a true level, without the seemingly perfect facade.
Allow yourself mistakes
It is not uncommon for self-doubts to feed themselves from an overly perfectionistic claim on themselves. However, it is misleading that perfectionism corresponds to a personal, subjective ideal, and not a general standard. We usually place the highest demands on ourselves!
Mistakes are natural and good for the learning process. The greatest geniuses of our time had to learn what they were later able to do so easily. Often the genius is not characterized by a talent that is fully developed at birth, but by the will to learn and persevere. There are many advantages to breaking away from the ideal of perfectionism: fear of failure will decrease and you will become more relaxed. Self-doubts also show you your potential. They can be the motor that gives you strength and shows you the direction in which you should move.
Develop positive beliefs
You can consciously work on your thoughts. Whenever you have a negative thought in which you make yourself down, write it down on a piece of paper. Now you have your negative beliefs in black and white. This is an important step because this abstract structure “self-doubt” in your head is now palpable. Now reformulate every negative sentence that is there into a positive one.
For example: “I am unattractive, I am sure he/she does not like me” becomes “I like myself the way I am and feel comfortable with myself, with all corners and edges!”. “I’m just not good enough for this position” becomes “I have the skills and competencies to work in this position!”
You will initially feel resistance to positive beliefs. That is normal. Your thoughts must first learn to identify with your new self-image. Basically, the greater the resistance to a positive formulation, the greater the pain that we associate with this belief. Conversely, this means that working on this belief is very effective!
You will see: Over time, reformulating negative beliefs will become a habit and your thought patterns will turn positive, you will be happier! The book “ Free Yourself! About the art of living truly. * “, Which contains many affirmation texts.
Breaking up beliefs from childhood
We were often instilled with rules and proverbs as early as childhood, such as: “Complete what you started!”, “Life is not a treat!”. In certain situations, these proverbs are justified. But maybe you have started a course of study or training that you realize does not match your passion and your personal goals at all.
The guiding principle “Complete what you started!” Will, under certain circumstances, waste many years of your life! And who says that life is not a treat? If you believe this saying and internalize that life primarily consists of toil and effort, you are guaranteed to be unhappy.
Think about what beliefs you have inherited from your parents and write them down. Then consider whether they are useful to you in your current life situation or whether they are blocking you. For those who are more of a hindrance, you rephrase it as positive in our exercise! Here we recommend that you use Phyllis Krystal’s “Letting Go ” exercise.
Facing new challenges
Increasing your self-confidence doesn’t happen overnight. You yourself know best in which areas you feel insecure and which situations you are afraid of. Face these challenges. What you fear most will also give you the greatest confidence. You will feel great if you have done something that you did not believe in at the beginning. You will look back and remember how your inner voice told you: “You can never do it!” “You are not the type for it, others can do better. Better not try it ”.
But now you stand there, you just started, faced the uncertainties, and did it. The more of these experiences you have, the more the feeling of being able to create something will become a habit!
Don’t identify with your self-doubts
Personalize your self-doubts, imagine them as a small, puny guy who is constantly telling you lies and trying to talk you into something. Decide not to believe him. If someone wanted to make you believe that the earth is a disk, would you believe him? This inner demarcation helps you not to identify yourself with your self-doubts, but to differentiate yourself from them and to build self-confidence.
When faced with your self-doubts and debilitating fear in a particular situation, consciously focus on your body. Where do you feel the pressure in your chest, in your head? Focus on the feeling in your feet, imagine they’re as heavy as they stand on the floor there. Self-doubt and excitement are electricity, tensions that flow through our bodies.
Our brain is unable to perceive the inner monologue and the physical sensation at the same time. By concentrating on your physical sensations, you bring your energy to the floor and a feeling of inner calm will arise.
Conclusion on the topic of self-worth
These were nine practical techniques that you can use to work on your self-doubts, and we are almost at the end of our article. I recommend that you deal intensively with every exercise and also tell people around you about your work on yourself. There is no reason to be ashamed of it, on the contrary: The physical and mental health that feeds on the benevolent treatment of yourself is the essence of a happy life and should be relevant for everyone!
If you would like to share your experience on the topic, you can also do so in our forum.
In conclusion, it can be said that overcoming one’s self-doubt is not something that happens overnight. It is a gradual and sometimes difficult process. Don’t forget: honest self-reflection leads to self-awareness. However, you will be rewarded with more confidence in yourself and the fulfilling feeling of making the best of you.