Many of us struggle with confidence. From deciding on a career path to having your voice being heard at the workplace or asking for a raise, a lack of confidence can have a bigger impact in our lives than we might think.
Although I won’t go into detail about what causes a lack of self-confidence, I would like to clarify that self-confidence is different from self-esteem and that they don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Self-confidence refers to the trust an individual has in their own abilities, whether they think they can rise to the occasion and be successful in a certain situation. Self-esteem refers to the appraisal of one’s own worth including appearance, emotions, and behaviors. It is possible to be self-confident and to have a low self-esteem (and vice versa).
A person with a healthy self-esteem can build their self-confidence through positive and successful experiences. I’d like to offer some ideas to start building your confidence.
1. Make a list of everything you have achieved in your life so far and you are proud of. We often forget or belittle the importance of our own accomplishments (graduating school, raising a child or a work anniversary). Achievements should be celebrated and seen as a demonstration of our own effort and abilities.
2. Come to terms with the fact that you are not perfect. You are -just like everyone else- good at some things and bad at others. Holding yourself to a very high standard and then failing to achieve it can result in low self-confidence.
3. Step outside of your comfort zone and get stuff done. Try attending a networking event or filing paperwork in person. Tackling these small tasks you dread can help you build your confidence as they will provide you with an instant feeling of achievement.
4. Take up something you are passionate about. For some people, it’s hard to feel efficient and accomplished when working in a competitive environment. For other people, it’s just the opposite and they feel that their current occupation it’s not challenging enough. Starting your own project or taking up a hobby can help you identify things you are good at, which will, in turn, make you feel more confident in your abilities.
5. Lastly: always allow yourself to make mistakes. Building self-confidence from experience also entails making mistakes and learning from them.