Sep 23, 2008, 6:35 AM
Do I Really Feel Confident About Myself?
"Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it."-Stan Smith
Every body at some point in time in their lives feel down because of some problem and some of these problems are usually unimportant. We might feel down because of family conflicts, school work or a misunderstanding between in our relationships and friendships. Everybody could do with a confidence boost sometimes, so to start with, here are a few basic tips...
1) How to Feel Good When You Need to
Because self confidence and feeling good has a major 'hormonal' element, you can change the way you feel by re-living good times. If you can remember a time you felt really self confident, then excellent - use that! If not, then use a time you felt contented or happy. You could use a photo taken at such a time to remind you. This is just a start but an important one; taking deliberate control of your thoughts and emotions will have a huge impact on your self confidence and other areas of your life.
2) Beating Self Consciousness
Too much self consciousness is the No.1 enemy of self confidence. The trick is keeping your attention off yourself when you need to. Here's how...
a) When you feel self-conscious, (you can usually tell because you start to feel anxious), choose something outside of yourself to focus on and study it in detail. For example: examine a door, look at the different textures and shades of color, wonder about who made it and how and so on. The important thing is that you're learning how to keep your attention off yourself.
It is a good idea to practice this technique in private first. Just sit quietly, practicing focusing firstly on your own thoughts and then deliberately focusing outwards onto a picture or piece of furniture.
b) Social self confidence can be difficult to find sometimes because it is unclear what you are 'supposed to do'. In this event, concentrate on what your purpose in the situation is: whether you're there to...
- find out if you like the other people present
- make others feel comfortable
- find out some information
- make business contacts
- and so on... It's much more difficult to feel self-conscious if your mind is occupied with a task.
People are often most comfortable with others when working towards a common goal. The common goal of socialising could be making friends, the exchange of mutually beneficial information; expanding your knowledge of different types of people... it could be whatever you want it to be! The key is to have an aim.
3) Watch Out for Undue Criticism - Especially Your Own!
Have you noticed that people will speak to themselves in a way they would never speak to others? You know the sort of thing - you break a glass and it's "You stupid! You can't do anything right, can you?"
Criticism that leaves the receiver feeling upset or depressed is rarely useful.
Challenging your own assumptions about yourself and other people can really help build self confidence. Here's a few to get you started:
1. Those confident-looking people have bad moments too - you just don't get to hear about them!
2. If you feel under-confident, it doesn't mean other people can tell. They're often too caught up with their 'own stuff' to notice!
3. If you catch yourself saying things to yourself like "I'm not good at anything" then rest assured, you're wrong about that. Everyone can compose a sentence, get successfully to the store, eat without choking and do a million other things. Negative thinking can make things seem hopeless when they rarely are.
Don't let yourself make sweeping statements about yourself - in the long run it is this sort of thing that can really damage your self image. If this happens, say to yourself calmly and gently, "Hold on a minute, that's not true". If you can come up with some evidence that disproves the sweeping statement, then even better. It may take a bit of effort at first, but the impact on your level of self confidence is huge.
Building self esteem is not just about thinking good of yourself, it's about not thinking bad for no reason!
4. Just because you have felt bad about yourself in the past doesn't mean you're always going to feel that way. I have seen hundreds of people surprise themselves once they have learned exactly how to build confidence in themselves in such a way that it stays built!
The important thing is to get away from thinking "Why did that happen?" or "Why do I feel this way?" and instead move towards "How would I like to feel?", "In what situations do I feel confident?" or "What do I need to learn in order to have better self confidence in this situation?"
5. Persevere and don't expect everything at once. Really learn how to develop your self confidence by following the tips above and in the happen. Building high self confidence is a wonderful thing, and it's much easier than you'd imagine.
The Self-confidence Test
1. Do you walk with your head high? Do you assert yourself with confidence or wish you could stick your head in the sand?
Yes or no?
2. Do you feel that you can't do anything right when you fail your exams?
Yes or no?
3. When you are about to bag a position at your work place and your archenemy bags it, do you feel you can never ever rise up in that company?
Yes or no?
4. When you go to a party and all your friends wear fabulous dresses and yours is just from the cheapest shop, do you feel like an outsider?
Yes or no?
5. Do you change your hairstyle simply because someone asks you to?
Yes or no?