Confidence can empower you to take control of your life, change your behaviour, and improve your performance at work. It can even enable you to strengthen your relationships, hone your self-awareness, and reduce overall stress. This article describes the misconceptions surrounding individual confidence, and three basic techniques that will teach you how to have confidence.
You have it or you don't
One of the biggest misconceptions is that confidence is a skill that one either possesses or they don't. The truth is that anyone can gain confidence by building skills through practice.
In business, it's generally understood that giving employees positive feedback can help build their confidence. While positive feedback has many benefits from a business perspective, a lack of confidence is a personal issue that can only be solved if the inflicted party takes the time to alter the way they think and behave on a daily basis.
Success and failure
Success doesn't always breed confidence, and failure doesn't always destroy it. The reason for this is that each person defines success and failure in their own subjective way, and each person looks upon these outcomes in different ways.
Use both sides of your brain
Right and left brains
The two sides of the brain both receive and interpret information in different ways. The left brain is fact-based, and it is concerned only with the logical, while the right brain is emotion-based and concerned with creativity. We need both sides of our brains to gather information and generate solutions to problems.
Change your behaviour
Most brains work by passing information from the left brain to the right, and information received by the right brain is taken as fact. This means whenever you say,
"I can't do that," you are affirming that as truth in your own mind. You can become more confident by changing negative thoughts into positive ones. Say to yourself,
"I can do this," instead.
How to boost your confidence
Visualisation is a cognitive technique that trains your mind to focus on the positive, remain optimistic, and build self-confidence. You picture the reality you want and banish all thoughts that conflict with that reality. As you practice this, you'll find your mind thinking of creative solutions that help bring your reality closer to your goal.
Make it manageable
In situations where you find you are habitually nervous, you can use a cognitive technique called "progressive desensitisation" which involves you imagining a scenario that causes you fear in detail by breaking it into portions. Try to recall the emotions you feel in such situations, and sit with the emotion until it lessens. Repeating this process will make you self-confident over time.