how to build self confidence

Time to shine: 8 ways to build your confidence and stand out

Confidence is the reflection of what you feel inside and how you project it to the outer world.
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Confidence helps you thrive when your back is against the wall. Whether it’s your relationships or work life, when you are confident, nothing can break your spirit. At the same time, a lack of this quality can make you look timid and unsure. It can make you indecisive as you lose the ability to step out of your comfort zone and take risks. Confidence is not something people are born with. Some build it as they grow up while others struggle to nurture this quality all their lives.

Thankfully, you can take measures to develop confidence and wield its power for growth and success. But before we jump into it, let’s figure out what does confidence really mean. According to Mark D White, chair of the Department of Philosophy at the College of Staten Island, “It’s an awareness of who you are, regardless of how you compare or measure up to others. It shows people that you’re comfortable with yourself, which grants you a certain poise, charm, or assertiveness.”

In short, it’s the reflection of what you feel inside and how you project it to the outer world. That’s why confidence is considered one of the most important assets to have. Let’s take a look into how you can build your confidence and shine.

Repeat powerful affirmations 

Affirmations can do wonders, especially if you are running low on confidence. All you have to do is repeat them and you will find a surge of motivation to tackle your challenges. Affirmations such as I am a warrior, I can’t lose, I got this can instantly wire you to refocus on your goals and build a positive reinforcement system.

These short sentences, filled with the rush of motivation can help you break out of any slump. Science has backed the power of affirmations that activate brain systems associated with self-awareness. According to research, “Affirmations can decrease stress, increase wellbeing, improve academic performance and make people more open to behaviour change.” Next time, you feel like you are lacking confidence, repeat powerful affirmations to get back on your feet. Turn this into a habit and build your confidence.

Question your inner critic

If self-confidence is your voice of encouragement in times of crisis, the inner critic is your biggest enemy that holds you back. It cripples you from the inside and keeps you from achieving your dreams. It makes you feel that you are not good enough, you deserve less, and you are inferior to others. Your inner critic is your fear speaking to you. You should stop, just quit, don’t embarrass yourself—such voices in your head trap you in the limbo of negativity and prevent you from taking any actions and leaping forward.

So, how do you silence your inner critic once and for all? You can start with mindful activities such as meditation and yoga that can teach you how to calm your mind and stay focused in the present. Another precaution you can take is to avoid comparing yourself to others. Comparison is fodder for your inner critic. The more you do it, the louder your inner critic gets. Also, cultivate self-compassion. It will not only help you avoid the comparison trap but silence your inner critic too.

Remember your winnings

One bad game doesn’t define who you are as a player. The same goes for life too. One bad day or a month cannot make you a loser. On such days, you just need to remember your previous winnings. Your victories are a testament to your capabilities and determination to be successful. If you can recall your heydays when you are feeling low, you can build the confidence you need to weather the storms.

If you take one blow to the ground, get up and fight again. Don’t give up. As the great Bruce Lee once said, “Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.” So, when you get knocked down, don’t be devastated. Just remember your winnings and you’ll find the motivation to get up again.

Take cues from your role models

Everyone should have a role model if they are aiming for the stars. They are people who have walked down the path you are on; who are aware of the pits and ditches you can fall into and the challenges on the road ahead. They can be the guide showing you the way as you move forward in your journey. During days, when nothing goes right and you feel beaten and discouraged, they can be the light at the end of the tunnel, giving you hope to build confidence and keep moving forward. All great leaders, athletes, hall of fame legends who reached the pinnacle of success had role models in their lives who taught them to always trust their abilities.

Be patient with yourself

Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau once said, “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” Where patience can help you deal with tough times, impatience can lose you a winning battle. Your spirit and confidence take a beating when you become restless. You begin to question your abilities, whether you have what it takes. One failure and everything crumbles down like a house of cards. In such moments, ask yourself which person has received success overnight. It can take months, even years for success to knock at your doors. Until then, learn to be patient. Don’t lose your confidence on day one of your journey. Without it, you won’t make it far, let alone the finishing line.

Figure out what affects your confidence the most

There could be several things hurting your confidence without you even knowing about it. One of them is having the notion of ‘what others might think’. Whether it’s your parents, friends, loved ones, or followers on social media, this negative attitude can evaporate your self-esteem and make you timid and apprehensive. Don’t worry about others. Just focus on your journey and goals. Stay away from people who pull you down with themselves. Surround yourself with confident, like-minded folks who encourage you when you are feeling low. Most of all, don’t try to be someone you are not. This approach to life will never allow you to reach your full potential. Instead, accept who you are and your flaws. If you can do this, you will never run short of confidence ever in life.

Know you will fail and that’s okay

Failure is the venom that can instantly kill your confidence. In some cases, it can demotivate a person to an extent that they refuse to get up and continue to fight their battle. The thing to understand here is, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear,” as told by the American author and motivational speaker, Jack Canfield. By fear, he means, fear of failure and fear of not trying again. Such thoughts occur when you have no confidence left. But if you can muster the strength to overcome this fear, you will build confidence and find your goals and dreams waiting for you. This little strength can be the difference between success and failure. And to find, you just have to tell yourself one thing, it’s okay to fail, let’s try again.

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