As a follow up to my last article, I wanted to share a number of tips that can help you in the journey of developing your confidence (they are also a reminder to myself :-))….
- Have an honest evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses. And no, this is not the time to throw your hands in the air or groan that you are not good at anything. Everyone is good at something – whether that be making people smile, doing hair, understanding complex mathematical equations or simply even listening. Celebrate your strengths. Keep building them and work diligently on areas where you need to grow.
- Examine why you don’t feel confident and address it. For some people, their lack of confidence is contextual. In general, they feel pretty confident, but when faced with an unfamiliar situation they clam up. Fear often causes us to shut down and not carefully think through our responses or improvise appropriately. For others, their lack of confidence is deeper. They have very low self-esteem, which may have been brought about by a past situation. I recently watched a TV show that featured a young boy who was painfully shy. When probed on why he was so quiet, he said that he felt like he was a low – life and that no one really cared about what he had to say. He was about 13 years old. I was heartbroken. I wondered what could cause him to think in such a self-depreciating manner. Addressing your lack of confidence could be as simple as practicing impromptu speaking, or it could mean dealing with negative experiences that have long gone unchecked.
- Think about where you want to be. Visualise. Dream. Use this as fuel to work on your development areas. Focus on the areas where you want to grow in confidence, and don’t give up!! I have this quote currently saved on my phone: ‘fear kills more dreams than failure ever will’. It reminds me that we are often our own worst enemy and that sometimes it is overthinking a situation that causes us not to get there.
- Start by practising it in a safe environment. If you want to be a better writer, but you are not yet that comfortable in putting your work out there – that’s OK. But please give your work to someone you trust and who you believe has good judgement to proofread and edit, and then get it out there. If you are preparing for an interview, do a mock run first with a friend. If you have to sing or give a speech in public, do it in front of a video camera or mirror first. Practice, practice, practice with your family, receive honest feedback, practice again, and then make it happen.
- Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. Do the best you can and just let it be. Xx