The Science of Self-Confidence



Confidence is contagious. When you’re self-confident, you inspire everyone around you. People see that they can rely on you. And self-confidence is something you can acquire. Here are some tips to assist you:

Examine Yourself

Developing self-confidence starts with examining your own behaviour. Begin building your self-confidence by asking yourself a few questions.

When others criticize you, do you second-guess your actions?

Never let others influence the way you think. Criticism is important for developing a deeper perspective on your actions, but it should never define them. Follow yourself rather than others.

Do you admit your mistakes or shy away from them?

Always accept when you’re wrong. Don’t discount your actions; be proud of where they’ve brought you. Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before creating the lightbulb, noting that he had discovered 1,000 techniques for future inventors to avoid. Admitting your mistakes is about bravery, which is a key aspect of self-confidence.

Do you wait for people to compliment you? Do you accept them?

People often take on big projects because they want to be recognized, but you don’t need people to acknowledge your worth. If you know that you’re capable of achieving something, do it yourself. And if you’re complimented, accept it. People often reply with deflections like, “oh, it wasn’t a big deal,” or “anyone could have done it.” You receive compliments because you deserve them. Don’t lower your confidence when others build it up.

Take Pride in Your Achievements

Focusing on what you haven’t done can easily diminish your confidence. Instead, think about what you’ve accomplished so far. Make a list of things you’re proud of to motivate yourself to continue achieving. If you don’t feel that you’ve accomplished much, think about the things you’ll do in the future. Put the work in, and before long you’ll have plenty to be proud of. Share your successes with others and let them motivate you.

Act with Self-Confidence

Now that you know the basics of self-confidence, act with self-confidence. Practice makes perfect, so practice your newly-confident persona. Speak assertively, voice your opinions (respectfully, of course), and discover the difference you can make. Surprise your co-workers and impress your clients. If you need to say something, don’t be shy or hold back.

Self-confidence is also about being a leader, so show initiative. Lead yourself, don’t wait for others to guide you. If you see something that needs to be done, do it. Prepare an agenda with your goals for the day and work to accomplish those goals. End your day with the satisfaction of a completed checklist

Practice Self-Talk

Self-talk is a crucial aspect of building self-confidence. If you’ve ever worked on something and constantly reminded yourself of what to do, that’s self-talk. Only now, talk to yourself with more pride and assurance. Monitor your self-talk and avoid negativity. It’s normal to be self-critical but don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes. Remember, to err is human.

If you do make a mistake, spur yourself on with statements like, “this time I’ll fix it,” or “I won’t let it happen again.” Stay inspired. Think of words to keep you motivated or borrow quotes from people you admire. Your self-talk should always be positive and uplifting. As St. Francis of Assisi said: “Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Believe in Yourself

The last step to self-confidence is believing in yourself. It’s easy to lose faith when you become discouraged, but if you don’t trust in yourself, you’ll likely fail. Believe that you’ll always overcome obstacles. Realize that self-confidence comes from within. It’s all about mind over matter.

In June of 1940, a baby was born prematurely weighing 4.5 lbs in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee. She contracted polio at the age of 4 and grew up wearing a leg brace and orthopedic shoes. After her treatment ended in 1953, she joined her high school basketball team, where she caught the attention of a track and field coach. At just 16, Wilma Rudolph won a bronze medal in the women’s 4 × 100 metres relay at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, and four years later in Rome she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track in a single Olympic Games. What transformed that child, the one that doctors said would never walk, into the world’s fastest woman? She believed in herself.


Lizel Shabudin | Contributing Writer


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