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5 Tips For Gaining Self-Confidence

Written by: Mechelle Webb, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Mechelle Webb

Want to be more confident? Learn science-based strategies to build your self-confidence. Self-confidence can help us more easily reach our goals, stay motivated, and even boost our well-being.


A photo of happy woman.

Self-confidence is a person’s sense of competence and perceived capability to deal effectively with various situations—for example, performance, appearance, relationships, and social interactions (Cheng & Furnham, 2002). A self-confident person is thought to rise to new challenges, take advantage of new opportunities, and deal with challenges or difficulties. They may also be more self-motivated, likely to pursue goals, and successful at manifesting—and why not? They believe they have what it takes to succeed. That's why confidence is a valuable characteristic most of us likely want to build.


We may feel insecure, self-doubting, unsure, and self-conscious if we lack self-confidence. Rather than approaching new situations, our instinct may be to withdraw for fear of failure, ridicule, or incompetence. So, we may also be shy, nervous, and apprehensive.


How to build self-confidence


Self-confidence grows in a spiral pattern. Successful experiences lead to self-confidence, self-confidence leads to more successful experiences, and so on. If we get into this positive feedback loop, we can grow our self-confidence one experience at a time. Here are some tips to help with this.


1. Talk back to your inner critic


As a start, we may want to formulate affirmations that shift our negative beliefs about ourselves. For example, if we have thoughts like, "I'm not worthy,” we can use affirmations like, "I have just as much worth as anyone else." Or if we have thoughts like “I’m not good at making friends," we might replace them with something like, "I have the ability to make new friends." It may not feel natural to say positive affirmations that go against what we currently feel to be true, but by practicing saying and thinking these things, we help create new pathways in our brains that grow stronger over time.


2. Affirm your positive qualities


All this involves is saying out loud (or in your head) that you possess as many positive attributes as you can think of. For example, you might say, "I am kind. I am smart. I am determined," and so on. Even if you have some negative opinions of yourself, these affirmations can help you focus on the things you like about yourself.


3. Affirm your skills and abilities


In addition to affirming your positive qualities, you can also affirm your abilities. In this case, you'd focus on saying statements that remind you of your skills. For example, you might say, "I am good at X. I am hard working. I am a good gardener," and so on. This can help you feel more confident in these skills but also help remind you that you were able to build skills in the past, so you can build new skills again in the future.


4. Practice self-compassion


Self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness, recognizing our shared humanity, and being mindful and gentle when exploring the negative aspects of ourselves (Neff, 2011). Self-compassion can help us hold a more positive attitude toward ourselves, aiding self-confidence (Owens, 1993).


5. Cultivate self-focused optimism


Being optimistic involves looking towards the future with hope and positivity. Optimism has been linked to positive outcomes, including greater well-being (Carver et al., 2010). For gaining confidence, there are some ways we can be more optimistic, specifically about ourselves and our abilities. For example, you can do a visualization exercise where you imagine the best possible version of yourself in the future, focusing on the good things you do. You could also imagine yourself reaching your goals successfully. This can help your mind adjust to the idea of your success and help you feel more confident in pursuing your goals.


To summarize


Many of us would like a little more self-confidence. Hopefully, the tools in this article helped you gain insight and build skills that'll boost your self-confidence in the long term.


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Mechelle Webb Brainz Magazine
 

Mechelle Webb, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Resilience was paramount for Mechelle in overcoming her chaotic childhood and ultimately breaking the cycle of abuse in her family.


Now, she is on a mission to empower individuals worldwide to unlock their resilience to overcome challenges and achieve their version of success. Combining decades of personal experience utilizing resilience with her professional training, she is uniquely qualified to help clients unlock their resilience and achieve success.

 

References:


  • Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F., & Segerstrom, S. C. (2010). Optimism. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 879-889.

  • Cheng, H., & Furnham, A. (2002). Personality, peer relations, and self-confidence as predictors of happiness and loneliness. Journal of adolescence, 25(3), 327-339.

  • Neff, K. D. (2011). Self-compassion, self-esteem, and well-being. Social and personality psychology compass, 5(1), 1-12.

  • Owens, T. J. (1993). Accentuate the positive and the negative: Rethinking the use of self-esteem, self-deprecation, and self-confidence. Social Psychology Quarterly, 288-299.

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