You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens – Louise L. Hay
Before we go any further, let’s examine what self-confidence is, how it manifests itself and how it makes us feel. By understanding what self-confidence is (and importantly, what it is not), it will help to demystify the subject and help us to realize that it’s not a super-power, it’s something we can learn and practice.
Self-confidence is a strong and reasonable belief in oneself. It entails consciousness of one’s strengths and awareness of one’s own capabilities. It is a positive mindset that leans towards the thinking that one is equipped with the necessary resources to respond positively to all the challenges in life.
The degree of confidence is an outcome of how you perceive yourself. This has a bearing on how people will perceive you. How people interrelate and respond to you is a reflection of how you perceive yourself. Therefore, if you do not have high self-esteem, people generally will have a hard time trusting your capabilities.
Low self-esteem is a product of too much focus on your negative traits and on what you are doing wrong. In other words, you are being your own worst enemy!
Think of this in a business situation. Imagine you make and sell beautiful hand crafted jewelry, but instead of seeing the wonderful workmanship that goes into your work, you just see the mistakes and things you could have done better. This will affect the way you market your products, the way your price your products and will touch on many other important factors in your business.
This self-doubt trait that’s very common in entrepreneurs and small business owners and ultimately fosters low self-esteem.
People exuding self-confidence do not necessarily rely on the approval of others. They listen and are respectful of the opinion of others; but still, in the end, they make decisions on their own.
Like most people, confident people have realistic goals, aim for practical aspirations, and pursue their dreams. They also encounter challenges. What do self-confident people do when things do not go their way? Confident people take a step back to assess the situation and try the best options available.
If, despite these efforts, things did not go as planned, they come to a point where they realize and willingly accept that they cannot always get what they want. The confident person acknowledges this and moves on.
From this stage, although they move on, they also carry with them the lessons learned from previous experience. They are excited to tackle new goals and dreams. The strong belief in their capabilities remain intact, knowing that they are now stronger, more capable, and better equipped with the wisdom that comes from experience.
What Self Confidence Is NOT
Self-confidence is not something you either have or you don’t have. It’s also not a magic wand that will lead to instant success. Instead, self-confidence gives you the power to persevere and work towards achieving success.
Self-confidence is also not arrogance. Self-confidence is a belief in yourself, arrogance is a belief that you are better then others (and this often manifests itself in an arrogant person wanting to impose their beliefs and views onto others).
Self confidence is also not something that we’re born with. Simply put, self-confidence is not something innate. Self-confidence takes time to develop and requires the same to be nurtured.
In addition, confidence is not the possession of one person or a personality type. Confidence and attitude are accessible to all. It is up to us as individuals to nurture our own levels of self-confidence.
However, as we mentioned earlier, confidence alone will not lead you to the dream life or successful business you are aspiring for. Foremost, you need to take action. You need perseverance, patience, logical reasoning, trustworthy mentors, and a whole gamut of others in order to succeed. Confidence is a crucial step. However, it’s just one step of many. What self-confidence does provide, however, is the strength to make decisions and move forward.
When we see one self-assured person, we often think that he is confident in ALL of his capabilities. Confidence is not all encompassing. Let us take one example: Rich Dad, Poor Dad author, Robert Kiyosaki, exudes confidence in his business and entrepreneurial skills. Yet, he is honest enough to admit that he struggled in academic subjects at school.
A friend of mine is super-confident in her ability to write great sales copy. Her writing is so engaging and persuasive, her confidence is well justified. However, put her in front of camera and her mind goes blank. That wonderful eloquence and rich use of language she has using the written word, disappears in a puff when she is speaking. While she comes over as being supremely self-confident, this isn’t the case in all aspects of her life (more on this later). Confidence is not all-encompassing. It is not pervasive.
SELF CONFIDENCE QUEST TASK (if you haven’t already downloaded the workbook, you’ll find it HERE)
Write down three strengths – three things you are really good at doing or achieving.
Self Confidence Quest Menu
Here’s a summary of what you’ll find in each Self Confidence Quest post. Click on the link to go to the relevant page:
- Self-Confidence For Creative Business Owners – Introduction: why does self-confidence matter for creative business owners? What are the unique challenges we face?
- What Is Self-Confidence? – Before we dive into tips and techniques for boosting self-confidence, let’s look at what self-confidence is. And importantly, what it isn’t.
- Change I Can’t Into I Can – An important part of self-confidence is a subtle change in mindset.
- How Self-Confidence Affects Our Lives – How self-confidence impacts our lives and why self-confidence and success often go hand-in-hand.
- Self-Confidence and Ability – Why developing our skills (the know what, know why and know how factors that affect how we do things) will help to super-charge your self-confidence.
- Positive Thinking and Self Confidence – Self-confidence and positive thinking are two sides of the same coin. Learn how to think positively to help boost your self-confidence (and if you’d like to dive deeper into how you can power your business with positive thinking, don’t forget to check out our Positive Thinking Quest.
- Overcome Self Defeating Thoughts and Habits – Often we derail our own self-confidence with self-defeating thoughts. We give ourselves reasons why we can’t do something and therefore don’t even start. Learn how to battle self-defeating thoughts and give your self-confidence the opportunity to shine.
- How Our Early Years Shaped Us – In order to really understand why we are lacking self-confidence, taking a look back at our early years can help to shed light on where we are now. If we can understand what has shaped our confidence in ourselves we can better understand what we need to do to address this.
- Find Your Best Self – Well, that’s why you’ve joined us here at Best Self Quest 🙂 Finding our best self is key to becoming self-confident. If you love who you are, others will love you too. And from that comes self-confidence.
- The Inner Filter – Learn about your inner filter. The inner filter is what stops us from believing the positive things that other people see in us. Overcome the inner-filter and you’ll release yourself from the shackles that lack of self-confidence brings.
- Give Your Best – Give your best and let your self-confidence soar! In this post we look at tips for giving your best and how to concentrate on what you are good at and face up to the things you’re not so good at 🙂
- Stop Making Comparisons – That’s it. Stop! Making comparisons is human nature, however, it is also damaging to our self-confidence. In this post we look at ways to stop the negative habit of comparing ourselves to others.
- The Origins of Self Criticism – In order to build self-confidence we must stop criticism. But where does self-criticism come from? In order to stop criticising ourselves, we must know more about where it comes from and why we do it.
- Listen To Yourself – Are you stopping yourself from being more self-confident? In this post we share a great tip for helping to understand what part we play in our own battle between self-confidence and self-doubt.
- 15 Ways To Boost Your Self Confidence – Here are 15 ways to boost your self-confidence. Not every tip is going to work for every person. Try them and see what works best for you.
- Friendly Inner Dialog – Stop your mind from working against you! Allow yourself friendly inner-dialog and this will help to support you in your quest for increased self-confidence.
- Prepare For Self-Confidence – Self-confidence will come with preparation. Learn how to prepare and plan to become a more self-confident version of you.
- Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People – Know what? Self-confidence is catching! Surround yourself with self-confident and supportive people.
- Statements of Affirmation – Here we have some statements of affirmation to share with you. If you’ve never tried using these to help shift your mindset, now is the time!
- The Last Word – Winding up the self-confidence quest for creative entrepreneurs!