Why do we need to build self confidence? To me confidence has always been the core of self development; the building block on which goal setting, motivation, problem solving, communication, willpower and other aspects of self help stem from. No confidence puts us at a major disadvantage in life.
Definition of Self Confidence
How do you define self confidence? Dictionary.com says
“realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc … belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities”
The word confidence originates from the Latin “confidere”, meaning to trust. Trusting and believing in ourselves, having faith in our ability in whatever situation we need to perform.
Building Self Confidence
To be more confident then, we have to somehow generate this faith or trust in our abilities. Unfortunately, we are constantly being challenged by new situations full of variables we cannot control. In building confidence, we cannot eliminate this uncertainty.
A common approach to build confidence is good preparation. If I have to give a speech tomorrow, I would carefully prepare what I was going to say. I could reassure myself, challenging my automatic negative thoughts. However, even though I’ve given speeches before, there are always going to be variables that I cannot eliminate or control.
At the heart of building self confidence and becoming more confident is this conundrum of uncertainty, our inability to control the world around us. Whilst there are many other techniques and ideas that we will cover in this blog, the first and most important is to accept this lack of control.
You can build self confidence by not letting the feelings generated by uncertainty take over. We have an built in system to protect us from danger – “fight or flight” – that creates what we identify as anxiety symptoms when threatened. Tolerate that feeling of anxiety, recognise that uncertainty is a challenge rather than a threat. Once you start to do that, then you’re on the way to building confidence and generally being more confident.