Readers of my blog often ask me the question: «How to become a confident person». In this article I will answer this question.
Self-confidence is determined by our subjective perception of ourselves, our abilities and skills, our psycho-emotional state, our beliefs and internal attitudes. In addition, this quality is based on our actual skills and abilities.
How to become a self-confident person
When you’re good at something and reality has shown you that you’re really good at it, there’s less to eat to doubt your ability.
If you have never had any problems in communication, if you have always been able to clearly articulate your thoughts, to be an interesting interlocutor and you have always seen what a good impression you make on other people, then you will have difficulty doubting yourself as a interlocutor.
But everything is not always that simple. Often we do not have an adequate assessment of our skills, and regardless of what we know and what we do not know, we still doubt ourselves.
I will give you 25 tips on how to become confident in yourself. Self-confidence concerns different aspects. First of all, it is self-confidence, self-confidence, self-confidence, self-confidence. Secondly, it is self-confidence in the process of communication, which is expressed in firmness, perseverance and lack of shyness. Third, it is the perception of your real qualities. Developing these qualities, you will be able to be confident in them.
In my advice, I will touch on all these components. I will not share advice on the criterion of their attitude towards these several levels of self-confidence. After all, self-confidence is connected, for example, with confidence in communication. All these tips are interconnected and will suit a person who is afraid to communicate and a person who doubts his abilities or can not defend his own point of view.
Nevertheless, I will try to maintain this line: first, there will be advice related to the work on eliminating doubts, then there will be advice related to confidence in communication, and then I will talk about the acquisition of some personal skills and abilities.
Tip 1 — Don’t try to get rid of doubts, live with them!
When I started writing articles for this site, I was tormented by a lot of doubts: «Suddenly I won’t be able to write, and suddenly my advice will not be useful to anyone, suddenly no one will read my site, suddenly my thoughts will seem silly, etc.
At the same time, I read the book by G. Hesse — Game of Beads. And to awaken my self-confidence was helped by a phrase from this book. «…his doubts did not stop talking, he already knew from his experience that faith and doubt are inseparable, that they condition each other as a breath and exhalation …»
One of my readers may think that this will be followed by my phrase: «I read this, and at this point all my doubts were miraculously resolved!
No, my doubts have not disappeared. It’s just that the quote from the book helped me to make sure that I knew what I had in mind. Doubts, uncertainties are natural and natural. They accompany any beginnings. It is not always possible to run away from them. There is nothing wrong with the fact that I doubt it. What’s more, it’s okay, because I started doing something new, unusual and ambitious. Therefore, my first task is not to resolve doubts, but simply to do my job without listening to the voice of uncertainty when it prevents me from doing so.
The fact is that in many cases doubts are only emotions that have nothing to do with reality. If you don’t think you can do something, it doesn’t mean that you really can’t do it if you do your best.
If you don’t think you’ll understand that you’re going to be laughed at, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be like this.
Doubts and confidence are constantly changing. These phenomena are transient. If you want to test this thesis, then remember the moments when you doubted something, and the next day you were more sure of it than ever. And if you don’t remember, just watch yourself for a few days, pay attention to how confidence is constantly changing uncertainty. Usually people are more confident in the morning, when they are full of strength than in the evening, when the forces leave them.
Confidence depends on your tone, your mood and even your health. This is just one of the emotional states that comes and goes. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you should just ignore it in every case. Sometimes it can tell you something, for example, that you overestimate your strength. Sometimes you can just get rid of it as a hindrance, an internal constraint that prevents you from achieving your goals.
But in other cases, you should just stop listening to that voice of doubt and act. It’s okay to doubt yourself, and sometimes it even helps to get rid of a lot of arrogance. But doubts should not get in the way of all your undertakings.
I want to say that to become confident in yourself is not to ever doubt yourself. To be self-confident means to bury your doubts and fears!
If you want to know, I still often doubt myself, but do I give the impression of being insecure? If I had stopped every time I had doubts, you would not have seen almost any articles on this site.
Tip 2 — Know the time when self-confidence leaves you
Pay attention to when, in what situations you are usually tormented by doubts. If you find a pattern in this, do not give it much importance.
For example, I have noticed that I start to doubt myself, my beginnings, my words, my thoughts just before I go to sleep when I start to fall asleep. I’m used to it and when I get used to it again, I meet it as an old acquaintance: «Here they are, evening doubts, as usual.
I can’t say that I completely ignore this voice, but if I listen to it, I’m correcting that it’s an emotional state that’s customary for this time of day. And if I doubt what I said at that time, that doesn’t mean I’m really wrong.
On the contrary, in the morning I’m usually self-confident, even too much. And evening doubts balance the morning’s confidence, so I don’t give up on the evening’s doubtful voice, just making adjustments.
Learn to pay attention to the temporary, coming nature of doubt, depending on your current condition. Remember what moments of uncertainty you experience. And if it happens all the time, and you see a pattern in this, lower these doubts «in price».
Also use moments of «self-confidence» in order to destroy your doubts. Think about what you doubt when you are on the rise of vigor and strength. This will help you to decide on something.
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Council 3 — Know your strengths
Sometimes, if I’m tired or upset about something, one of the disagreeable comments on the site can kill for a few seconds the confidence in what I’m doing. (However, lately it is happening less and less often. Not comments, but uncertainty.)
And at this point, it doesn’t matter to me that I hadn’t doubted anything a few minutes before. Also, it doesn’t matter to me that reality has repeatedly shown me the correctness of what I do.
People tend to overestimate the significance of the present moment and they extrapolate their current state to the global perspective of life. If they now feel like they can do nothing, they are beginning to think that this has always been the case, despite all their past successes.
At such moments, just try to look at reality, at your real opportunities and successes, without succumbing to the current state. Like «in fact, I can do it and that, I know how to do it both ways, I’ve already done it both ways.
For example, when I start to doubt my ideas, I think my website has helped a lot of people who have already written about me, it is regularly read and commented on, someone has quit smoking and learned to deal with depression, panic attacks, etc.
At times like this, I don’t try to praise myself, but just look at the facts to get back at the reality.
I recommend that you also stop at the facts and no longer argue with yourself. If your doubts are caused by your current mood (fatigue, irritation), you will probably not be able to get rid of them until this condition has passed.
Therefore, your task will be simply to convince yourself that these doubts are groundless and do not relate to reality (you need to treat them the same way as obsessive thoughts).
And if you start to think a lot about it, then your mind, bound by the state of fatigue, will continue to doubt and lead you to uncertainty. So just tell yourself that these doubts are lies. Rely on reality, not emotion. Didn’t help much? Nothing, it happens. Then just forget about it and do not think about doubts. They will take place together with your bad mood.
Tip 4 — Don’t listen to people who say «you won’t make it».
It happens that when you have doubts about something, you share your plans with your friends, people you know. You expect them to support you in your new venture, but you often only get a stopwatch.
Some people simply cannot dispel your doubts because they care about their own psychological comfort, not your happiness.
You do not think that you are the only insecure person, and you are surrounded only by self-confident people? Unfortunately, most people never dare to do anything bold and independent. They want to believe that if they don’t succeed, you won’t succeed.
They secretly wish your failure and even wait for it. Because your success can be a living reproach for them, a reminder of missed opportunities.
Imagine that you have decided to start your own business and consult with a person who works most of his life on a hired job. What advice do you expect him to give you? Most likely, he will say that you will not succeed (because he did not succeed), that you take risks and you should not go into this area, but continue to live a normal life and go to work every day.
Therefore, consult about your undertakings with those people who have already achieved some success in the field, which you want to get advice about. Take an example from them, not from those who have failed.
Council 5 — When in doubt about yourself, think about the «ideal me».
Sometimes our insecurity tries to misrepresent itself as common sense arguments. For example, you are afraid to approach a girl or young man and ask him or her out on a date.
You tell yourself that you are not afraid of fear, but of some objective obstacles. You think that this person will refuse you, that he already has someone, that you are not his type, and so it makes no sense to ask him on a date and spend your time on it.
But in fact, you’re just afraid and you don’t want to confess your fear, inventing excuses. How do you know what is keeping you afraid?
Form in your mind an image of the «ideal self», which is not afraid of anything and which is always self-confident. It is a perfect copy of yourself. Think about what it would have done if it had been you? Wouldn’t it even try to achieve its goal?
But even if it were the «perfect self» to ask another person out, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it. You are not perfect. But when you realize that ideally you would have to put aside your doubts and act, you realize that all you have to do is fear and no other restrictions. The problem will immediately lose the complexity that you have assigned to it. With this understanding, it will be much easier for you to do something about it.
Council 6 — Remember, it’s up to you
While you’re tormented by doubts: «I can’t do anything», «I can’t do anything», «I can’t do anything», «I can’t do it, etc.» Remember that everything depends only on your will. You determine for yourself whether you will get something or not. If you want and show diligence, everything will work out. And even if not, you will try again.
You are free people, and no innate qualities, properties of character do not prevent you from achieving your goals and becoming the person you want to become by getting from life what you want to get. Your will is subordinated to a lot more things than you are used to thinking.
It is necessary to stop seeing the limitations where they do not exist. Don’t be afraid of difficulties, just start acting.
Tip 7 — Stop being paranoid
The next few tips are to touch upon the problem of self-confidence in communication.
I have already written about what I want to tell you in this article about the power of acceptance, and here I will repeat once again. Do not think that all the people around you are constantly watching you, noticing all your shortcomings and remembering all your words. People are obsessed with their problems. Most of the time they think about themselves, even when they pretend to listen to you.
So relax and calm down. There is no reason to be afraid of communication or public speaking. People pay much less attention to you than you think.
Council 8 — Listen to others
That’s the advice I give in many of my articles. Here I give it for the following reason. If you learn to direct your attention to someone other than yourself, your mind will be less puzzled by being afraid of possibilities and suffering from doubts. You will stop thinking endlessly about yourself, about how you look, talk and think about you.
You will look at other people, you will have a dialogue with them. You will distract yourself from your fears and see in other people a lot of things that they have not noticed before. You will understand that you and other people have more in common than differences. And that’s why you don’t have to be afraid of anyone.
Tip 9 — Get rid of perfectionism
You’re not perfect. And no one is perfect. Accept it. So do not react painfully to your mistakes and failures that undermine your confidence. Everybody is wrong and it’s okay.
Therefore, be calm about your mistakes. If you feel that you have done something wrong or said something wrong, just draw conclusions from this situation, learn a lesson. Try not to make this mistake in the future instead of worrying about how stupid you behaved.
It is common for people to make mistakes, there is nothing wrong with that.
Council 10 — Don’t be afraid of people
The people around you are likely to have many drawbacks and weaknesses, even if they look very confident. You don’t have to think that when you’re in society, you’re in the position of a small fish surrounded by sharks. In fact, you may be surrounded by as gentle and doubtful people as you think you are. Even if they are trying to hide it.
You shouldn’t be afraid of people, especially if they can’t hurt you. Do not be timid to bosses, women or men, or colleagues. They are people like you.
Council 11 — Don’t seem better than you are
You shouldn’t go out of your way to convince people that you’re the smartest, most sophisticated, most erudite, most «right» person. Such attempts, as a rule, indicate uncertainty in some of their qualities. When you are not too sure of your mind, you try to make other people believe in it.
Therefore, in some cases, vanity, boasting, and excessive assertiveness in communication can speak of inner doubts in yourself.
So stop bragging and try to impress everyone. First of all, you need to convince yourself that you are worth something. Be who you are by communicating with other people.
Council 12 — Don’t be too modest
Surely moderate modesty is a virtue. You don’t need to seem better than you are, but worse than you are, neither should you. Everything should have a limit. Do not hesitate to talk directly about your merits if you are asked about them (for example, at an interview).
If you are not afraid to talk about your strong qualities, it shows your confidence in these qualities. And when other people see that you are confident, they become confident in you. They think: «I see that this person does not doubt himself, and since he does not doubt, it is likely that he has nothing to doubt, and I too can be sure of him.
And if other people praise your qualities, then do not hesitate to accept their compliments, as if you deserve it. Thank people for their kind words to you.
Council 13 — Pretend to be self-confident
Despite the fact that a little higher in the article I advised to be myself and not to pretend, still, I recommend to pretend to be self-confident in situations where you feel a lack of this quality.
First of all, to seem confident in yourself is just advantageous, because people become more confident in you. The fact is that insecure people are less loved and respected.
Secondly, when you just pretend that you are confident in yourself, you actually become confident in yourself. After all, very often feelings of insecurity, doubts are not related to your real qualities. These are just emotions that can be overcome. And when you, instead of going to their trouble, try to do something else, you take control of them.
Council 14 — be friendly
Smile more, take an interest in other people’s problems, cheer them up. This will get the people talking to you. And when people are there for you, it’s easier for you to stay confident.
Tip 15 — Be honest
Do not shut yourself up, but speak openly about your views and thoughts, if the situation allows and it will not disturb the comfort of others.
Before, when I was an insecure person, I used to keep something in mind without losing my temper. But it didn’t help me find my self-confidence, it just helped me lose it. As a result of my self-development, I became very open. It seems to me that I am always in the palm of my hand for my loved ones.
On the one hand, I am confident in my thoughts, so I am talking about them directly. On the other hand, I’m not afraid I won’t be understood or criticized. I’m not afraid to admit my own wrongness, to give up my views if someone reassures me.
I am interested in discussing with people those topics that concern me, to learn someone else’s opinion, expanding my horizons.
When I talk about myself out loud, when I present my thoughts to the public, I have to remove all doubts if I do it. And it helps me to be more confident, because I test myself with the opportunity to get criticized and confront others’ opinions. Under the influence of these factors, self-confidence flourishes!
Do not wait for someone to pour out your soul first to open your soul to that person. Take the first step (although the circumstances must be suitable, you do not need to pour out your soul without the need. Start a sincere dialogue as sensitively as possible, removing all barriers). Be honest with the person you are talking to, and then the person you are talking to will be honest with you. And when someone opens up to you, then your self-confidence will increase!
Tip 16 — Do not overestimate the role of external data
Of course, appearance has some meaning, but charisma, mind and charm mean much more!
Council 17 — Don’t be timid!
Speak clearly. Look into the eyes of your interlocutors, do not make unnecessary gestures with your hands. Do not cram your fingers, pick your lips, or «eeacate. Just keep an eye on yourself, keep an eye on your body, sharpen your communication skills, and then, sooner or later, you will be able to do it.
Get rid of shyness, get rid of all thoughts that prevent you from deciding on something important. Remove internal barriers. Just act out of fear and uncertainty!
Council 18 — Help people
If people will appreciate your help, they will appreciate your experience, your knowledge and skills. They will respond with gratitude and support. They will believe in you. And then you will believe in yourself!
Council 19 — Don’t look for a problem in yourself every time
I have always said that in many situations you have to take responsibility for yourself, not to blame it on other people or on external circumstances. But this should be understood correctly.
This means that you can decide for yourself what your life will be like, rather than throwing your destiny at the mercy of factors beyond your control. I didn’t mean to say that you should look for the problem only in yourself.
If people don’t understand you, don’t support the topics you raise in the conversation, it doesn’t always mean that it’s your fault. Sometimes it is the problem of other people, not yours.
There are people who cannot understand you. There are people who make everyone laugh because they have such a character. There are people who always criticize everything because they are angry at the world.
Not everybody will be able to find a common language with you. There is no escape from this. You should not blame yourself for something that is not your fault.
Council 20 — Ask yourself: So what?
I have given this advice in other articles. Let me do it again.
You think you made a bad impression, so what? What difference does it make what other people think of you? Moreover, you should not worry about it if you see them for the first time and in the future will not have many contacts with them.
You are afraid that a girl will refuse you if you ask her out. Even if she does, so what? What difference does it make? Why should you be afraid of that? What’s the point of this?
Are you afraid of your boss? Why are you afraid of him? What can he do to you? He is as human as you are. Children in kindergarten are sometimes afraid of their teacher. Don’t be a child.
Are you afraid to go to an interview? Are you afraid to ask for a higher salary? Are you afraid that you will be thought of badly? Why should you care what they think about you? Let them think what they want. You have your own plans and goals. Some absurd fear should not get in their way.
If you get used to asking questions like that every time you are afraid and uncertain, you will find that many situations do not deserve to be worried about. There is no point in being afraid of people who can’t hurt you. There is no point in being shy about yourself.
Other people’s thoughts about you will only remain their thoughts. What difference does it make what is going on in their heads?
Council 21 — hold your own opinion
Have a firm stance and unshakable views on some things. Do not rush to agree with everyone. A firm position does not mean blind stubbornness in your opinion. It also does not mean that you always need to aggressively defend your opinion, to conduct long pointless disputes (although, in some situations, you have to defend yourself).
How to become confident
This means having a strong, well-founded, considered position, a set of your own principles, which cannot be shaken by every random opinion.
I am confident that I am doing the right thing by maintaining this site and filling it with articles. I am sure that meditation is beneficial, and people are deprived of many benefits if they refuse this practice. I am sure that people are responsible for their own shortcomings. I am sure that everyone can change themselves.
I have strong principles and views on which my words and actions are based, and therefore I am confident in these words and actions. This confidence helps me continue to do what I do. Sometimes it is overshadowed by clouds of doubt, but behind these clouds you can always see the sun, because it does not disappear.
Form your life position. Understand what you want from life. Think about your principles, stick to them, but avoid stubbornness, blind passion and rejection of others’ opinions! Maintain a balance between moderate healthy stubbornness and softness, be flexible but firm, rely on the opinion of others, but do not depend on it!
Formulate your principles. I will give you an example of this: «If you exercise diligence, it will work out». Realize how confident you are in this principle. Think like this: «The experience of many people confirms this principle. The one who really strives for something, does not give up, only the one who achieves something. Therefore, I can be sure of this principle. And it does not matter what others say! Anything can be said! Hold on to this principle. Sometimes it will be overshadowed by doubt, then go back to your inner confidence, again and again find evidence of the truth of this idea in life and experience.
Council 22 — Learn from life
You do not need to attend any special courses to increase your confidence. Why do you have to do this, why pay money when reality provides a lot of reasons to develop this quality?
Why do you need to train in some artificial situations, when life gives you the opportunity to sharpen your skills in real situations?
You need self-confidence for life, so learn from life!
Communicate more, get to know other people, go to meetings, collective events (it is better to abstain from alcohol, why — I wrote in the article about sober parties). Apply the recommendations I made in practice, keep an eye on yourself, and be aware of your fear and uncertainty. Try to understand what things you are not sure about and why. What are you going to do about it?
Interviews are great free lessons in business communication and self-confidence. Just be sure to put your resume above your current salary level. The higher the salary you ask for, the harder it is to justify that you deserve this money. But in the process of such communication, your self-confidence will be strengthened.
A side effect of such training can be that you will find a more suitable job for more money. Isn’t it tempting not to pay for the lessons, but to get them yourself?
Council 23 — Develop yourself
Of course, it is very difficult to be sure of one’s qualities if they are poorly developed. Confidence in yourself must be based on something real, on your real merits.
Certainly, the perception of yourself, emotional mood — very important components of self-confidence. People need to stop belittling their virtues and learn to cope with doubts, as I wrote above.
But, unfortunately, one thing is not enough. I don’t think it’s quite right to artificially increase people’s self-esteem, convincing them that they are better than they really are. The increase of self-confidence must be accompanied by work on oneself, self-development, so that a person has something to be sure of.
So, develop your personal qualities. This blog is dedicated to how to do this. Read my articles, try to apply the recommendations. Develop willpower, improve self-control.
Read more books of any orientation: fiction, science books, educational books, etc.
Improve your professional skills. Think about what you want to do all your life. Follow this goal.
Always strive to learn something new about this world, to learn some skills. When you learn some skills, your confidence in these skills increases. It’s hard to doubt what you’ve devoted so much time to and that you’re doing better than others.
Think about what you’re good at.
If you constantly learn something, put your skills into practice, see the impact of your actions, then there will be much less room for self-confidence!
As I read in the book Flexible Consciousness, it turns out that people who think that all their qualities are given by nature and cannot be changed, are less confident in themselves than those who believe in the possibility of self-development and growth! Why is this happening? Because people with a so called attitude to reality (quality cannot be developed) believe that if they are shy, without charm, and not smart enough, then it will always be so. Therefore, they are afraid of communication, as it will once again remind them of their «inexorable» shortcomings.
But people with a focus on growth (quality can be developed) on the contrary, do not miss the opportunity to develop their communication skills and self-confidence. For them, the very fact that they are not smart and self-confident does not mean that this will always happen. It may be difficult for them to communicate and believe in themselves for the time being, but everything can be developed. That’s why failures do not undermine these people’s self-confidence. They are not afraid of trials and are only looking for a reason to develop themselves, to become better!
Other people’s criticism is not a verdict for them. It becomes valuable information that they can use for self-development. Failure ceases to be failure, and it becomes a valuable lesson. Readiness for trials and failures, healthy stubbornness and intransigence shape people’s self-confidence! And if you do not strive to develop your qualities and consider yourself a worthless person who will never be able to do anything, you will not achieve anything and will not be able to develop self-confidence.
Therefore, once again reminded that any qualities can be developed! Everyone can change! You suffer from self-doubt not because you are «such a person», but because you have not made any effort to change!
Council 24 — accept your shortcomings
I’ve already said that you should know your strengths. But besides that, you need to know your shortcomings. Why? To calmly treat them and understand what you need to work on.
Instead of thinking, «I’m so bad, I don’t know how to do anything,» you have to think, «I know how to do it, that’s what it is, but I’m weak in it, that’s what it is, and that’s what it is. Some qualities I can improve, some I don’t need at all, and some of them I can’t do anything with. It’s okay, because you can’t be perfect.
Make a list of what you can and can’t do. And think about what you can improve in yourself. Take these shortcomings not as a given, not as something immutable, but as a front for future work.
Yes, you do not know how to do something now, but in the future the situation may change due to your efforts. Everything is in your hands. This understanding will give you extra self-confidence, which will not hurt you at all.
If you believe that practical qualities of any kind can be developed (and this is undoubtedly possible) and will strive for it, then you will stop avoiding those life situations that you were afraid of because of insecurity. Because, as I said earlier, many of these life situations are the training of your personal qualities.
Do you have a bad communication situation? Instead of avoiding communication, on the contrary, communicate! This is the only way you can develop your communication skills.
Are you afraid to perform in public because you think you are not good at it? There is only one way to learn it and I think you can guess what it is.
Do not avoid what you are afraid of, work to eliminate your shortcomings, the properties of your personality, of which you are not sure. Learn new skills and use them in a variety of life situations. Instead of passing over difficulties, overcome them with a desire to develop. And then you will open up much more life opportunities than you would if you were sitting back, just by laying down your hands.
If you don’t know how to do something, if you doubt your quality, develop it! Why grieve? Try, experiment, exercise diligence. And if something is impossible to implement, the more so, there is no point in being sad about it! Why worry about what you cannot change? Accept it!
Tipp von 25 — Don’t wait until you are sure — act
This is the last and most important piece of advice You don’t have to wait until you have no doubts and fears before you decide on anything. You can wait for this state to appear without results all your life, without having started doing anything.
Doubts and fears will not go away. Remember, I said that doubts accompany any bold undertaking. And you will not be able to become confident until you start to step over your fears, to act contrary to them, without paying attention to your anxiety and uncertainty.
Your goal is not to get rid of fear, but to learn to ignore it! And the more control you get over it, the less it becomes. So do not wait until it becomes easy, act now, through force, through uncertainty. Then life with all its troubles will harden your character and it will become hard as a diamond and indestructible as a typhoon!