Confidence is a useful thing. If you have too much of it, then you might occasionally run into difficulty in life. Having too little, however, tends to be much worse. It can lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression – which can have consequences in both your professional and personal life.
What is self-confidence?
Your self-confidence refers to how confident you are in your ability to perform a given task. You might be assured in your ability to play golf, for example, but less so in your ability to strike up a conversation.
People who lack self-confidence tend to dwell on their mistakes and ignore their successes. They might decide that they are fundamentally faulty in some way. Often, this is a manifestation of confirmation bias: once we have a hypothesis that we are not good at something, we seek out evidence that confirms the theory.
How to improve your self-confidence
Picking yourself up can be a difficult thing. For most people, some combination of strategies might be appropriate.
You might learn to accept the support of friends and family, and to recognise praise when it’s delivered to you. You might make a point of writing down the evidence that undermines your negative perceptions about yourself. If you think of something positive about yourself, then you might record it in a diary.
One practice that’s gotten mainstream attention over the past few years is that of mindfulness meditation. This can be summarised as the practice of paying attention to the present moment. It’s an effective way of improving your mental control, and stepping out of negative thought cycles.
Looking good might also improve your mood, particularly if your struggles relate to your appearance. If you’ve having difficulties in the bedroom, then a one-off purchase, like sexy lingerie, can help to provide a much-needed sense of novelty.
Getting physically active is something that everyone should be doing, regardless of how confident they feel. Among the many benefits are improvements to your general mood and well-being. Make sure that you pick a form of exercise that you enjoy, and persist with it for the long-term (which really means for the rest of your life).
Confidence Improves your Relationships
Once you’re confident in yourself, you’ll spend less time thinking about yourself, and more time engaging with others. You might start to forget about the impression you’re making on other people, which will make it far less painful to talk to them. You might even become more empathetic.
Confidence Provides Greater Freedom
When you’re suffering from a lack of confidence, it becomes easy to say ‘no’ to just about everything. You might suffer from a form of imposter syndrome, or related problems. By contrast, if you build your self-confidence, you might find yourself saying and doing things that the old you would not have dreamed of!