4 Tips to Help You Understand and Build Your Self-Confidence
Having self-confidence and belief in your own abilities impacts on every aspect of life. If you have self-confidence, you will have the courage to pursue your passions and try new experiences — without it, you can become depressed or stuck in a rut.
In this blog, Billy looks at what self-confidence is (and what it isn't!), and gives some advice on how you can build your confidence.
Hi, we are Happy
We are leading a movement to create happy, empowered and productive workplaces.
How can we help you and your people to find joy in at least 80% of your work?
Confidence is about believing in yourself and your own ability to prosper. Confidence levels vary depending on that which you're applying yourself to. If you've never made raspberry shortcake, you probably won’t feel too confident when commanded to do so, even if you do know how to knock together a mean banana loaf.
That said, some people have more in-built confidence than others, which helps them take on new challenges with enthusiasm rather than fear. The consequences of low confidence, on the other hand, are manifold and potentially damaging — in your professional life, self-doubt can hinder career progression; in your personal journey, low confidence will prevent you from taking risks and seizing opportunities, which ultimately stunts growth.
Let's take a look at how to build confidence, while also identifying the distinction between confidence and another c-word, cockiness.
What confidence isn't
Confidence is not synonymous with superiority. You’re missing the point if your primary focus is proving how much better you are than others. An urge to demonstrate your supremacy tends to be rooted in insecurity. Even if you are confident that your ways and methods will bring you success, it doesn't justify shoving your ideas down someone’s throat. Confidence should open you up to others' input and not lead you to isolate yourself in a chamber of self-satisfaction.
What confidence brings
The positive outcomes of confidence are innumerable and invaluable. Confidence provides the foundation for expanding the range of your abilities. Confidence should also give you the courage to pursue your passions. If you're frightened of branching off from your current career path even though you’ve got zero love for what you do, then your biggest enemy is a lack of confidence.
With confidence on your side, you can develop an understanding of your wants and aims as well as a clear-sighted view of what you’re capable of. From here there's no reason you can't transition into your chosen field or advance up the ladder.
Change the inner narrative to counter a lack of confidence
An amount of unhelpful self-talk generally accompanies a lack of confidence. "You're not good enough," says your inner adversary, "you don't deserve this. Other people get to do this sort thing, not you. Pull back, stick to the shadows, don't be daft."
It's your job to challenge these deflating taunts. Shifting the conversational tone gives you something to build upon. First of all, tell yourself you are good enough and you do deserve success.
Unless your lack of confidence is chronically debilitating, there are probably times when the discouraging voices fade away. Think about these times — what explains the shift? Could it be the result of someone trusting you? Or is it when you're performing a task that feels liberating and constructive?
Use these occasions as ammunition to break down the negative chatter. Make a point of deriving satisfaction from your proven aptitude. This should create a healthy base from which to build your confidence.
Preparation and hard work
Let's go back to the raspberry shortcake example. If you've never done something before, your confidence in that task won’t be too high, and nor should it be. Overestimating your abilities — and displaying over-confidence — deprives you of crucial learning opportunities.
Confidence comes from focus, commitment and doing something repeatedly. Think of situations when your insecurities rise to the surface, such as during work meetings or at dinner parties. To eliminate these recurring instances of low confidence, it's important to recognise them and prepare yourself.
Ask yourself what makes you uncomfortable around your partner's friends or why you feel hesitant to add your voice to the meeting discussion. Try to visualise a more desirable turn of events than the erstwhile norm. Work towards this while understanding that improvements might take time to materialise. Learn from your failings, but don’t obsess on the negatives.
Keep track of your progress and take pride in each step forward. Push back against negative thoughts about yourself. In the oft-quoted words of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, "confidence is the greatest friend," and a friendly attitude towards yourself is required for harvesting confidence.
Why not sign up to our newsletter?
Sign up to our monthly newsletter, full of tips, tricks and news to help you to be happier and more productive at work.
Billy has been writing blogs for Happy since 2017, covering mindfulness, stress management, confidence building and emotional intelligence as well as offering handy tips for Office 365 users. As an arts, culture and lifestyle writer, his work is regularly published in Music Feeds, VICE, RedBull.com, Beat magazine and Mixdown.
Testimonials from happy Customers
Energetic workshop facilitation, good materials provided. Good communication close to the workshop.
Jade Stapleton2 days ago
Thoughtful, well structured courses with responsive and expert trainers and a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere to learn in.
Gail Sullivan2 days ago
Course delivered in a very friendly way easy to follow. Picked up tips that would not have found without
Richard Nuthall2 days ago
Enjoyable, participatory and thought provoking. Thoroughly recommended.
Charlotte Bennett2 days ago
Had to chase to be rebooked on a new date after trainer didn't show up for our original session and some people did not receive joining instructions until the last minute
Joanne McGinnis2 days ago
Super facilitator. practical session with brilliant tips and techniques
Anita Borsberry2 days ago
The interaction was good due to smaller class size. The trainer explained all agenda items well. I would have liked course supporting documents earlier.
Angela McGough2 days ago
Very efficient, great paperwork and test guidance. Trainer was really helpful and patient with the learners and would hope to have her train our staff on the next level.
Keeley Kemp2 days ago
Brilliant friendly service
Mandeep Butt3 days ago
Anna Lister3 days ago
Really smooth from start to finish
Jude Goddard3 days ago
Friendly skilled and enthusiastic I enjoyed learning with them