What really is confidence? Ask yourself, if you had more confidence how would your life as you know it be any different?
Confidence has many labels, fear of failure, self-doubt, not good enough or anxiety. Russ Harris talks about confidence being a game and not knowing the rules of the confidence game. We hear and see so much of others who are successful, read about it magazines, watch it on television or see it at the movies. So these comparisons arise and thoughts of, my life doesn't look like that, I wish i could do that, if only i could be that person.
Just pause reading for a moment and notice what thoughts you are saying about yourself about wanting to be more confident. One of my main models used to help you on this journey is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
OK, now with that in mind, lets look at 5 tips to build your self-confidence.
1. Leaving your comfort zone.
We all have a learnt comfort zone, which is more than an actual place, is a psychological/emotional/ behavioural construct that defines the routine of our daily life. Being in one’s comfort zone implies familiarity, safety, and security. It describes the patterned world of our existence, keeps us relatively comfortable and calm, and helps us stay emotionally even, free from anxiety and worry to a great degree. Creating a comfort zone is a healthy adaptation for much of our lives. But so is stepping out of our comfort zone when it’s time to transition, grow, and transform.
To experience a little stress and anxiety is a good thing. If all you ever do is strive to stay wrapped up in your little cocoon, keeping warm and safe, you may be missing out on quite a lot. Maybe no new experiences, no challenges, and no risks. So therefor, if you can’t step out of your comfort zone you may experience difficulty making change or transitioning, growing, and ultimately, transforming; in other words, all those things that define who you are and give your life personal meaning.
Very simply, what we fear most about challenging ourselves is that we may fail and/or get hurt in the process. But truth be known, most of us have the ability to rise to the occasion, overcome hurdles and obstacles, and actually succeed in accomplishing something new and challenging. If leaving your comfort zone is something you struggle with and need support, book a counselling session with Redland's Counselling Service Capalaba.
2. Allow your self to make mistakes.
Give yourself permission to make mistakes. If you start a project, say to yourself "I'm not going to be good at this right away, I'm going to make mistakes, and that's okay."
So now you're probably thinking, "If I take your advice and actually let myself screw up, there will be consequences. I'm going to pay for it." Fair enough. But you really needn't worry about that, because studies show that when people are allowed to make mistakes, they are significantly less likely to actually make them! Let me explain.
We approach most of what we do with one of two types of goals: what I call be-good goals, where the focus is on proving that you have a lot of ability and already know what you're doing, and get-better goals, where the focus is on developing your ability and learning a new skill.
3. Allow for anxiety and self-doubt
Anxiety is a normal and natural symptom to anything outside your control. The process of facing fears is called exposure. Exposure involves gradually and repeatedly going into feared situations until you feel less anxious. Exposure is not dangerous and will not make the fear worse. After some time, your anxiety will naturally lessen. Starting with situations that are less scary, you work your way up to facing things that cause you a great deal of anxiety. As you continue to expose yourself to uncomfortable situations you build up confidence in those situations and may even come to enjoy them. This process often happens naturally. A person who is afraid of the water takes swimming lessons every week and practises putting their feet and legs in the water, then the whole body and, finally, diving underwater. People with a fear of water can learn to love swimming. The same process occurs when people learn to ride a bike, skate, or drive a car. If anxiety is an issue for you contact me at Redland's Counselling Service.
4. Competence precedes confidence
'Practice makes perfect', i am sure you have heard that saying before. Whatever new or even existing venture you immerse yourself in, 'doing' it create competence, so you it will build confidence. Let's say you want to learn how to ride a bike, naturally if you have never rode a bike you will not have the skills or feel competent and may be a little scared saying, 'what if i fall'. However, over time and after a few falls(nothing bad I hope) you will get better.
The actions of confidence comes first, feelings of confidence come later.