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Think of a confident person in your life. It may include a fearless coworker in the face of adversity or a friend who doesn’t care what anyone thinks when they hit the dance floor. Though these people may have the “fake it ‘till you make it” mentality down, being truly confident involves much more. A confident person shows competence and intelligence in a natural and quiet demeanor.
As such, confidence can impact all aspects of your life. From work and school, to social and family relationships, it can determine success as well as open the door to new opportunities.
Read to learn more about confidence, how you can continue to build self-confidence and see the positive impacts in your life.
What is Confidence?
As Vincent van Gogh explains, “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Confidence is the belief in one’s ability to succeed. It’s not just a behavior, it can also be seen in our body language. From eye contact to good posture and smiling more often, looking confident plays an important role to your overall confidence level.
Although this may come more naturally for some people, confidence is a behavior that can be learned and incorporated in various facets of your life. How? From gaining better listening skills to owning and growing through mistakes and being ambitious in your actions, there are many ways to grow as a confident person. Observe the confident people in your life, and take note of their qualities. It can help show you how diverse real confidence is in the world.
Why Does Confidence Matter so Much?
When you are confident, it can improve your quality of life and affect your success in work, school, relationships and more. More importantly, confidence correlates with self-esteem. John M. Grohol, Psy.D. explains,
“People with a good and healthy self-esteem are able to feel good about themselves for who they are, appreciate their own worth, and take pride in their abilities and accomplishments. They also acknowledge that while they’re not perfect and have faults, those faults don’t play an overwhelming or irrationally large role in their lives or their own self-image (how you see yourself).”
In addition to self-esteem, confidence is how we are able to keep learning and developing in order to contribute to our communities and to the world. If we all lacked confidence and as such, self-esteem, there would be no education, progression or innovation within our society. When it comes down to it, confidence impacts the way we choose to live our lives.
How to Build Self-Confidence
So, what’s the best way to build confidence? Below are various ways that can help you boost self-confidence:
Exercise: Exercise is a great remedy, especially when you feel stressed or anxious (which kills confidence). Look for ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Whether you enjoy practicing yoga at home after a long day in the office, play a pick-up basketball game with your friends on the weekends or take a quick walk outside in between work meetings—there are many activities that can help reduce stress and boost confidence.
Make a list of your strengths: When was the last time you’ve sat down and thought about what you excel at? Spend 5 to 10 minutes creating the list, thinking also about what other people have observed or admired about you. Once you’ve created the list, turn the paper over and make a list of what you want to become better at. Whether you want to improve or develop a new skill or educate yourself in a new topic, working on self-improvement can help increase your confidence, especially in new situations.
Set a small goal: With the above list you made, pick a small goal and work to achieve it—something reasonable that can be accomplished in the timeframe of a couple of weeks. This is a good habit to develop, as each goal you’ll achieve will not only boost self-confidence, but allow you to start setting bigger goals.
Listen: Confident people are not afraid to take the backseat and listen when having a conversation. If the conversation lulls, instead of filling the air with your own comments, ask thoughtful questions or advice to not only show respect to the person you’re communicating with, but to give yourself the opportunity to learn something new.
Volunteer: When’s the last time you’ve given back to the community? A great way to grow self-confidence is to forget about your own needs for a couple of hours and devote your time volunteering for a good cause. Serving those in your local communities boosts positive emotions that directly impact your confidence.
Don’t Stop Improving
The key with confidence is to always keep growing it—learn new things, put yourself in new situations or opportunities to succeed in. But more importantly, catch yourself when you’re not feeling confident. Stop the vicious doubts or thoughts in your head the moment they come up and instead, take a step back, relax and reassure yourself of your abilities. Lastly, when working on confidence, don’t abandon who you are. Being comfortable with yourself and your interests creates a natural confident behavior.
All in all, having confidence can help propel you forward in the various aspects of your life. To truly achieve confidence, you must be confident in your words and actions. This also means being comfortable with who you are and within your own skin.