Confidence is that ornament that only you can make for yourself. No amount of social acceptance, name, fame, power, money can give you something that’s truly an inner quality that you can build for yourself. There are several distractions though, that come in the way of building your own confidence. Just like if you were to build a house. Here are a few tips that help us steer clear of things that damage our building. As you know, your confidence influences how the world sees you. If you don’t believe in yourself, others will find it even harder to believe in you. Hence, it is so important to build our building first. And it isn’t rocket science. If you operate with enough awareness, you should see yourself build a beautiful sense of self for yourself pretty quickly:
- Stop comparing yourself to others. You aren’t here to be better than or worse than anyone. You are here to explore yourself. Compare to learn, not to judge (read a blog on comparison here).
- Don’t judge yourself. Observe and improve. Judging is to evaluate and say good or bad. It pulls down confidence. To observe means to notice and see if it’s working or not and figure out what changes need to be made.
- Stop listening excessively to others’ opinions of you. Everyone has a perspective. It doesn’t mean they are right. It is just another perspective. Have a perspective of your own and value it because it is yours.
- Don’t seek validation or approval from others. The more you seek, the more elusive it is. People’s validation is not a certificate for you since it represents their state of mind and their thought process. Do things for the joy of doing it. Not because you expect someone to applaud or recognise you for it. When you do things for the love of it, you’ll do your best and you’ll know it. And that’s when you’ll be happy with what you do. The biggest geniuses in the world were not approved by the world because they were extraordinary and it takes an extraordinary mindset to recognise another extraordinary mind. Some extraordinary things need time to be accepted.
- You aren’t here to be perfect. You are here to progress. Just because you don’t know something well, like a language or a skill, doesn’t mean you can’t be confident. Be confident always of your ability to learn. Not your current level of skill. Skills can always be improved if you are confident of yourself as a learner. See if you are making incremental progress every day. That’s what counts. Not perfection. The need for being perfect has stopped many from getting started on their dream projects. It’s always progress that is important. Incremental progress each day will pave the way for perfection someday. Don’t wait! Just get started and embrace learning and progress versus perfection.
- Be happy that you are making mistakes, because at least you know that way you are trying. Mistakes aren’t to be frowned upon. There is no human in this world who has ever learned a thing without making a mistake. Mistakes aren’t bad. If it is intentional, then that’s something to watch out for. But otherwise, if your intentions were right, find ways to correct that mistake. If someone doesn’t forgive you, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. An end of a relation doesn’t necessarily mean you are terrible. It means you are not working out together. Besides, there’s no human who goes through life without entries and exits of relationships. At all points, see what is it that you can do to make things better.
- Don’t blame others – one sure-shot way of losing confidence is by holding others responsible for your life. You will never get the confidence to change your life if you constantly blame others for it. Take charge, take responsibility for whatever happened because it is your life – and you can’t be the victim in your own story. You are a hero – whether you see it or not right now! Rise to be the hero of your own story rather than spending time being the side-kick in someone else’s story.
- Don’t measure yourself the way the world wants to measure success. Have your own measures. Having a house, education, degrees, jobs, marriage, kids, the brand of your vehicle, etc. don’t define you. They are still objects at the end of the day. Anything has as much value as you attach to it. Ask yourself are you attaching value to things based on what’s your reality or others’? And at the end of each day, see what is it that you can be grateful for. Is there anything that’s really bothering you today? Tomorrow can be taken care of when you reach there. But if today is okay or some things are okay, be grateful for it. You can never lack confidence when you notice what’s right with you and your life.
- Remember life is too short. Anything that’s bothering you, ask yourself will it matter if the world was going to end today? Most things that we get worked up about, aren’t things that actually matter to us in the long run. Like someone’s judgment of us, or an unsuccessful attempt, etc. These aren’t the kind of things that people pay attention to when we die too. They only think of the good in us.
To improve your confidence, the biggest thing to be aware of is what’s impacting it right now. That should be the starting point. Once you are aware of what’s impacting, you can coach yourself by asking if it is really that important to lose your confidence over it. Nothing in life is worth losing yourself really.