You can't change others, but you can change your mind about how much their words matter.
Knowing how to build self-confidence is vital to reducing stress and overwhelm. When you're confident, you feel free and look forward to your future. Otherwise, you're flying by the seat of your pants hoping things go your way, while your emotions (and your life) are influenced by everything and everyone around you.
You know those moments when you feel so confident that you want to bottle that feeling and save it for later, because you know it can't possibly last? We've all been there. Yes, the amazing feeling unfortunately does fade, sometimes a little bit and sometimes it slips into oblivion. But, there is a way to raise your confidence so that the down times are fewer and far between. The first step is knowing what kind of confidence you have presently.
Situational Confidence vs. Self-Confidence
"Situational confidence" is when you feel good about yourself when you're doing a specific thing—dancing, singing, running, cooking, networking, business, etc. You may be rocking your wardrobe or gym workout, or perhaps you're spectacular at parenting or journaling. Do you know the situations when your confidence shines (and you would give anything to have that same level of confidence elsewhere)?
If, for example, you are a superb singer—when you are singing and feeling confident in the moment, how does it feel in your body? What expression is on your face? Do you hear angels singing, or cheers from a crowd? How does your energy feel—Upbeat? Ecstatic? Like you could expertly rule the world at that very moment? This is situational confidence.
But now, think of something you are not confident about. What is your facial expression now as you think of it? What is your energy level? Low? Depressed? Embarrassed? Sad? ... Yuck. What a difference. The point? Situational confidence feels great in the moment, but it fades when you are out of that situation. What you truly want is "self-confidence"—the kind of confidence that sticks around no matter what situation you're in.
What Is The Biggest Barrier to Real Self-Confidence?
True self-confidence comes from inside. It means being confident regardless of what's going on around you (even if you screw something up and everyone feels compelled to tell you about it). The question is, "how to build self-confidence?" Because, let's face it, friends, family, coworkers and society all weigh in with their opinions of us and their feedback and comments are often a recipe for self-confidence disaster.
So, let's dismantle the HUGE myth that our value is based on other people liking us. We know it's not true deep down, yet it hurts when we feel left out or belittled, even by someone we don't like. Our unconscious mind takes everything personally by default. We can talk ourselves out of feeling hurt, but the wound is still there internally. So, let's gain some new perspective on other people's opinions so we can more easily brush off what does not serve us. If we can stop noticing it, there will be nothing to take personally.
Here are 5 self-confidence boosting mindset shifts that will actually serve you:
1. Everyone sees us as a reflection of themselves, and vice versa.
If you like someone, they likely have qualities you either admire or aspire to have yourself. If you don't like someone, they are likely reflecting back to you some aspect of yourself that you dislike (or a trait you envy because you lack it), but you're being snarky about it instead of learning to master that trait or behavior yourself.
Maybe the other person is successful and speaks up for themselves boldly, and you wish you had some of that spunk. Maybe they are physically fit and you wish your body was as toned. Seeing that person makes you mad at yourself because you just faced another reminder that you're not working out or becoming better at your career. Seeing them feels painful, so instead of focusing on that part of yourself that needs growth, you decide not to like that person.
2. Rethink whose opinion you're valuing.
Are the opinions you're listening to coming from the kind of people you want to be like? If not, if they accept you, you'll "fit in", but it's not where you truly want to be. If they are the type of people you genuinely aspire to be like (we all need role models) and you're not being accepted, why not? If you're being yourself and not fitting in, what's missing?
Look at those you admire. Watch what they do and how they live their lives. Are they compassionate, loving, respectful and trustworthy? Are you? We attract those who are like us, and people who are like us ... like us! There are many, many people who portray themselves as confident and together but are secretly falling apart inside. So, be careful how much weight you place on other's opinions.
3. Realize there is not one person alive whom everyone likes.
It can be challenging, but we have to stop beating ourselves up when people don't like us. Consider this:
- 25% of people won't like you no matter what
- 25% of people won't like you, but may be persuaded to
- 25% of people will like you, but may be persuaded not to
- 25% of people will like you and will stand behind you no matter what
Now, how do you feel about wanting to please everyone? It's a losing battle and your self-confidence will never improve while your goal is impossible to reach.
4. Certain personality styles can support or destroy relationships.
If you don't understand the basics of personality styles, you don't have all the pieces to your puzzle in place. In other words, if you are a "sounds fun, let's do it" kind of person and someone close to you is a "give me all the details, time to research and two weeks to decide" person, you're likely to clash. Worse, this can wreak havoc on your self-confidence. You question yourself as to why you don't see eye-to-eye, or why they don't understand you (or you them).
I'm a "jump in with both feet" person. My dad is a "details and think about it for days or weeks" person. I used to wonder why he didn't want to do things with me and if he really liked me. When I learned personality styles, us being off-page with each other suddenly made perfect sense. I began giving him details and time to process and it made all the difference in our relationship. We understand each other now and it's a fun game of communication, rather than pain and fear on my part.
Self-confidence is raised when you feel good about yourself consistently.
Learning how to flip from "what do others think of me?" into a feel-good, self-confident mindset (regardless of what's going on around you) is a power we all wish to have. So, start letting the mindset shifts above break you of the habit of approval seeking. Pretty soon, with practice and dedication, you'll notice you don't get dragged down by the opinions of others like you used to. You will also see that people begin to model YOU (and your happiness), too.
Kelly Rudolph is a Certified Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Founder of www.PositiveWomenRock.com. Are you tired of stress, lack of confidence and fear about your future? Kelly can help. Begin getting her free Life Strategies now.