Friday, October 2, 2020

How To Become a More Confident Person

I was fortunate enough to have an upbringing that really gave me the confidence I carry with myself to today. My parents raised me with the "compliment and celebrate all small wins" method. And at the same time, supported my decisions, big or small. This positive parenting implanted a lot of assurance into my personality. I hence was eager to challenge, to try new things, to achieve, and while doing all that, learned about my likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, - achieved clarity. I believe it's the combination of all these, rooted from having confidence, that has concreted my high self-esteem, and contributed to a majority of my success in my adulthood.

Confidence and self-esteem comes hand in hand. When your self-esteem increases, you will stick to your principles because you respect yourself and your value. You will believe you are worthy of the life, the work, or the person you desire. It will be easier for you to accept failures, and at low times, still manage to give yourself the credit you deserve. This is why studies prove that people who lack self-worth are significantly less happy than those who don't.

I have carefully examined some of the attributes and key factors that have built my confident characteristics. I have even shared my insight with a few friends who later told me my tips were very helpful for them in building their own self-confidence. So I have humbly assembled a list of things that I really hope could also be beneficial to you :

1. Take the time to REALLY know yourself, inside out.

I truly believe, one of the most important steps to gain confidence, is to know yourself, be honest with who you are, be proud of your positive attributes and admit to your faults ( BE HONEST WITH YOUR FAULTS), know your own nature. The following 9 tips, will all be revolving around recognizing your true self. You will find out why.

You will have to first know yourself to be able to express to the world of who you are. You will be happier if you can clearly express what you want and what you do not want, through your thoughts, your mindset, your day to day actions, conversations, and interactions. And once you do that, you manifest an energy that attracts your desires and repels what you are not looking for. Then you will be surrounded by more of what you want than what you do not, your confidence level will hence increase.

Once you really know who you are, your logic will better match with your emotions. You will experience less situations where your emotions take the upper hand, and make irrational decisions for you. You will have less inner conflict because your actions will be in accordance with your feelings and values. You will then start making better decisions - ones that will confirm your worth, and your confidence will rise with it.

Once you really know yourself, you will stand strong with your values, goals, and preferences. You will stick to who you are, and not sway by social influences. You will be less likely to push yourself to say "yes", when you actually want to say "no". You will make less wrong decisions, which often bring down your self-esteem. You will actually feel good by doing what is right, that's also when your confidence level will match.

2. Make decisions and ask yourself the real WHY.

As I mentioned above, making the right decision tends to boost your confidence. So before you make any decision, ask yourself the real reason behind why you make such a choice. Is your choice based on emotion or logic ? Emotion means, if you don't make this choice, you might be sad, so you make this choice because it makes you happy. You simply make the decision according to how the result will make you FEEL. You let your emotion control your decision making. And this result often occurs immediately, so you crave that immediate change of mood.

Logic means, you reason with your mind by prioritizing according to your values, principles, and goals. You weigh the pros and cons of a choice without any emotional interference. You put your emotions aside for a moment, and analyse the decision critically. This result might not offer you an immediate dose of relief, but you know that is the correct thing to do in the long run.

So before making any decision, ask yourself the real WHY to figure out if your decision has a clear, sound reasoning. Because a series of wrong decisions in life, especially those that's made without sense, will hurt your self-esteem repeatedly. People with low self-esteem tend to me more sensitive to their emotions, and hence tend to make more illogical decisions. And you can see a vicious cycle forming when that happens.

It often helps to write things down if you can't think clearly. Write down the reasons behind your decision, look at them and analyse when you feel better emotionally, then gauge if your decision is rational.

3. Write down your strengths and weaknesses.

Speaking of writing things down, another activity you can do to help learning about yourself, and in turn gain confidence, is to write down your strengths and weaknesses. This is not an interview question, you do not need to show ANYONE this list, so be absolutely honest with yourself when writing this.

It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses so you can utilize, improve, or avoid them.

The definition of confidence is a state of feeling self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. So by knowing your strength, you can learn to splurge that in your life by focusing more on what you are good at. It is easier to achieve success that way.

At the same time, see if there are ways to improve your weakness. I often see articles persuading people to challenge and overcome their weaknesses. I don't disagree with that, I think you should at least try to improve on what you lack. However, sometimes we are just not born to do certain things. Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that "this is my weakness", and be okay with that.

I'm not good with things that require prolonged and repetitive practice. I attempted with piano and violin, and have eventually decided that this is just something I am not good at, and learned that shortcoming of mine, and accepted it as who I am. No one is perfect, and no one needs to be.

By truly accepting your weakness, you accept who you are as a person, and you won't feel like a failure when you can't accomplish certain tasks. This is an important acknowledgement you need to come to to defend your self-esteem against a world of challenges.

By accepting failure in this logical way, you will deal with rejections better, too.

Being confident is not knowing you are good at everything, but know that you are not good at certain things, and that is okay.

4. Celebrate all small wins !

If you feel like you cannot find anything to celebrate in your day, you might be thinking too big and too hard. It doesn't have to be extraordinary achievements, it can be as small as - you had a good work out, you took a bath to destress, you helped someone, you finished a good book, or you got a good deal !

Finding these "wins" is also a great journey to knowing yourself. It reveals a pattern of your behavior, your actions, hobbies, what makes you happy, your successes and strengths. It could also make you realize what you value as success and happiness, it will in turn strengthen your worth. Through this, you will more easily recognize the things that lift you up, and the things that pull you down.

5. Let go of your toxic environment.

Unfortunately, sometimes it is what you surround yourself with that's bringing down your self-esteem. Take some time to examine your environment, your social circle, your career, and your family. Do you have that one friend who always puts you down ? Do you have someone who takes advantage of your low esteem ? Do you feel growth in your career and your efforts appreciated ? Does your family constantly criticize you and make you feel like you are never enough ?

I'm not saying you should abandon your family, as it is obviously easier said than done. If communication is not an option, you should try to tune out those negativity yourself. By truly knowing yourself, you should be able to recognize nonconstructive or irrational criticism fed to you by other people. And you will be able to realize that, the issue is not you, but the feeding party.

If this toxicity derives from your friend, I'd suggest you to just let go. I've written an article before about unhealthy friendships that you should move on from, you can check it out here. The bottom line is that friendship exists to offer support, appreciation, happiness, and not just company. Sometimes only by letting go of something, will you have the space to bloom.

6. Don't compare yourself to others.

If you don’t have a toxic surrounding, but you still feel your confidence being diminished when you are with certain people, then you might need to dig within yourself - maybe you have been comparing.

It is impossible to not compare as it is almost human nature. Everybody compares. And comparisons sometimes can be a good thing because it motivates us to expand our horizons, to set goals, and to improve. But you need to know when to draw the line before comparisons start to take a toll on your mental well-being.

Happiness is a rather relative thing. You won’t feel like something is not sufficient if you have not seen or experienced better. But we often forget that, people tend to only show the glamour, and we often only see the faults in ourselves. So this biased foundation forms a very irrational ground for toxic comparisons. It is crucial to always remind yourself that everybody has their own sets of flaws, everybody has their own struggles we know nothing about, and everybody can be better or worse when compared to someone else. Focus on yourself and let your own substance elevate you.

7. Try new things and make new friends.

We often have a set dynamic / personality when we are with a specific group of people, and sometimes this dynamic changes when the group changes. Hence by trying new things or throwing yourself into a new social circle, you may discover hidden talents or characteristics you never thought you have. This is another great way to learn more about yourself and what you are good at.

8. Learn to accept praise.

It’s good to be humble, but it is also important to accept praise. When someone tells you , “hey, you have beautiful skin!”. Don’t give a shy response like, “No, I don’t, it’s actually really dry”, or “No, you have better skin!”. Graciously say “Thank you !”, or “yes, I do ! I’d love to share with you my skincare tips !”. Don’t doubt yourself or others will also start to doubt you. Accept your compliments and own it. Believing in yourself and taking pride in your charm is an essential part of becoming confident.

9. Learn to praise yourself.

This one comes natural to me as it is part of my personality. But I figure it is something that further boosts my confidence. I praise myself out loud all the time, even for the smallest things. It may sound shameless, but when you do it when you are with your close friends or loved ones, praising yourself could be a humorous and cute expression. Hey, it’s a great way to fish for compliments and tangible appreciation. And by voicing out your merits , it’s also a great way to concrete your belief in yourself.

10. Read more, and expand your knowledge.

By reading more and expanding your knowledge in different subjects, you will feel more confident to contribute in conversations, to offer ideas, or simply feel confident to stand among people. When you read, try to read critically, this will train your analytical skills, make you a more logical person, and take your brain to clarity. The more you read, the more you know, the wealthier your mind becomes. This wealth is what will fill your void, your defensiveness, and your lack of self-esteem.

Knowledge, and the quest for more knowledge, will also offer you the serenity and satisfaction to be alone. Acquiring the ability to enjoy alone time, offers you an emotional independence which proves that you, and you alone, are enough.

Confidence doesn’t come naturally, and it for sure doesn't come easy. But it is something that everybody deserves to have. I wish you all the best on this journey of discovering your beautiful self. Be proud :)

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