Oprah Winfrey stated that “It is confidence in our bodies, minds and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures”.
It is obvious that some people appear naturally confident with themselves whilst others do not. Nonetheless, self-confidence can be developed. Confidence includes believing in one’s self and their ability to go an extra mile to complete various tasks. Believing in one’s self helps risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit. Despite the variation in the different environment that people are born into, leave in and work within, developing self-confidence has been identified as an important tool that contributes to improving performance and ensuring a more successful life in various aspects of life. It is, therefore, not arguable that successful people are generally confident in themselves. It is no wonder that low self-esteem can be attributed to most of the mental and emotional problems that people face globally. As such, improving self-confidence can provide an improved performance as well as cure some mental and emotional challenges and diseases.
This article aims to evaluate several strategies that can help boost self-worth and confidence as well as ascertain some benefits of confidence in an individual.
CONCEPT OF CONFIDENCE AND HOW TO IMPROVE CONFIDENCE
Psychology related research studies identify the concept of self-confidence as a commonly used and misinterpreted concept. The concept has been explained in simple terms as believing in oneself to more complex explanations as an individual’s expectations of performance and self-evaluations of abilities and prior performance. The concept of confidence identifies an individual’s trust in his or her own abilities, capacities and judgments or with the belief that he or she can be successful in any daily challenge faced as well as any demand expected from him or her. People who are more confident are identified to be happier. This can be attributed to the success they enjoy due to the confidence. Also, being confident equally imply there is a better feeling about one’s capabilities. People tend to also be more motivated and energized to undertake any task and further take actions that contribute to achieving a set of goals. An individual with a high level of confidence is expected to perform better in future tasks in the near future.
Lao Tzu stated that “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her”.
Confidence can help improve the health and social live of individuals as it helps improve the individual’s protection against mental disorders and social problems as well as ensuring a successful coping and general mental well-being. An assessment by Mann et al (2004) identified that children with high confidence tend to perform better at school as well as later in life and also tend to have a higher job satisfaction rate. Confidence also helps increase the chances of survival after a critical surgical procedure as identified by Mann et al (2004).
Research studies by Stankov and Lee (2014); Skenderis (2015) and Atherton et al (2016), all opined that confidence has a significant influence on positive mental health. Also, several attributes associated with confidence include a greater sense of self-worth; greater enjoyment in life and in activities; freedom from self-doubt; freedom from fear and anxiety, freedom from social anxiety and less stress; more energy and motivation to act; and also having more enjoyable time interacting with other people at social gathers. These tend to explain why confident people are more relaxed and confident to interact with others around them.
Golda Meir stated that “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement”.
In the bid to practice and improve one’s confidence level, some few strategies can be adopted. They include the following:
Standing or sitting in a posture of confidence
One must learn to assume sitting and standing postures that portray confidence. There are several positive effects of confident body postures on the human body and also leads to hormonal changes. A unique standing position that encourages confidence is feeling one’s feet on the ground and keeping the body relaxed and open.
Practicing presence or mindfulness includes becoming aware of one’s awareness by being observant about one’s self and their immediate environment. Attention should be paid to one’s body sensation, feeling in the feet and legs, belly and chest, arms, neck and head. There is also the need to pay attention to one’s breath control by noticing the pattern of breathing in and out. The eyes should be made to notice what is within the visual field as well as ensuring that the ear is hearing correctly. Sensations associated to smell and taste must be trained to highly aware. It is also important to feel the energy, quiet and noises that surrounds you at any point in time.
Build one’s capacity for energy
This can be achieved by encouraging a little bit of stress to help improve one’s level of alertness. This helps provide a unique amount of energy to help perform tasks. Try reframing your nervous jitters as excitement. One must know how to engage with such feelings in the body to help expand one’s presence.
Regular exercise has a significant influence on one’s confidence. The hormone endorphin is regularly released during regular exercises and they tend to interact with the receptors of the brain, thereby improving a positive atmosphere in the brain. Exercise not only gets one to be physically better, but also makes one feel motivated to act in ways that help build self-confidence.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover” – Mark Twain
Sometimes, all one needs is to close his eyes and completely relax his body. It also helps to stay firmly connected with the sensation of relaxation. In the mind’s eye, one must see himself on camera or doing whatever activity for which more confidence is required. Allow the feelings of comfortable presence to pervade the body and the mind. Plan to take that action in your mind’s eye and actually take it or you may end up regretting as Mark Twain indicated above.
Being confident is a process and not an event so be free and ready to start that process, take risks and make mistakes.Aiming to be like everybody around you, is not enough. Just because you see an outward sign of happy mood they seem to be in.
Everyone struggles at some point in their life as well as at some aspects. As such, one must be ready and willing to let go off that fear to take risks and make mistakes and furthermore learn from these mistakes. At every point in time, everyone becomes a novice and must understand that it is alright when you are not perfect at something. Aim to leave your comfort zone and start something new by expanding your limits. This helps brew one’s confidence to a higher and finer stage.
Trumpet your successes and feel easy to talk about your mistakes and fears with friends. You will become confident when you tell people especially your supervisor /assessor/manager that you will finish the task assigned to you. During discussions with friends in a group or with colleagues in a meeting do not hesitate to speak your mind freely-It helps you build your confidence. If you are reprimanded or personally attacked verbally, let it not anger you or feel resentment, rather turn this personal attacks into a change agent to make you change and grow and thus you will get confidence. Read a lot, watch documentaries and take part in seminars and workshops – All these activities build up your confidence. Last but not the least do well to smile a lot and link up with people who will boost your confidence by motivating you and building you up.
If you feel you lack confidence and you want support, please do not hesitate to speak any tutor lecturer/ management staff at London School of Management Education (LSME) – They are all trained to boost your confidence and help you to realize your dreams.
Ending with a quote by Dalai Lama, confidence must be developed on a daily basis on the various aspects of our human lives.
“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”
Have a blessed week and hope to bring you another interesting article soon.
- Atherton, S., Antley, A., Evans, N., Cernis, E., Lister, R., Dunn, G., Slater, M., and Freeman, D. (2016). Self-confidence and paranoia: An experimental study using an immersive virtual reality social situation. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 44, 56-64.
- Mann, M., Hosman, C. M. H., Schaalma, H. P., & de Vries, N. K. (2004). Self-esteem in a broad-spectrum approach for mental health promotion. Health Education Research, 19, 357-372
- Skenderis, V. M. (2015). Implementing a team approach to improve positive behavioral changes for 9th graders: An action research study. Capella University, ProQuest Information & Learning. UMI number 3705434
- Stankov, L. & Lee, J. (2014). Quest for the best non-cognitive predictor of academic achievement. Educational Psychology, 34, 1-8.