“Damini* does everything as if perfect”, Ritu*, a first year student in a college, often thought to herself. Damini had mastered an essential art of success – confidence. Hence, her demeanour spoke volumes, and gained applause wherever she went. While her peers looked upto her, her teachers backed upon her for delegating. “She is exactly like I would want to be. I wish I had the formula…” Ritu would further dwell.
Given a scientific definition, ‘Confidence’ means a mental process that arises from considering if a person or thing is capable of something. Simply put, it means believing in oneself. It is made up of five components: ‘social confidence’, ‘physical presence’, ‘stage presence’, ‘status confidence’ and ‘peer independence’. As a psychological quality, confidence is related to, but distinct from, self-esteem.
Here are a few tips on gaining confidence, be it for entering a long-dreamt-of-job, or for dealing articulately with your mother in law…
“As is our confidence, so is our capacity”, said William Hazlitt, the reputed humanistic writer. Behave as if you are already the person of your dreams. It doesn’t mean you exude over-confidence; that can have multi repercussions, but, believe that you CAN BECOME what you want to, and behave accordingly.
Firstly, it’ll make people look up to you positively. Secondly, you’ll feel good about yourself and put better efforts into doing everything; thus producing better results.
“Honesty is the best virtue” the old adage holds truth even today. An integrated individual doesn’t need to fear anything. Thus, confidence begins to set in on its own. On the other hand, even the smallest lie produces fear evoking chemicals in the brain. This can cause choking. Choking refers to losing confidence, especially self-confidence, just at the moment when it is needed most e.g. in sports. Be honest -to yourself, to others, and to your work. It’ll make you strong.
Further, have thorough knowledge of your work. When you know something in-depth, you also know that your opinion in that matter will stand unchallenged. Hence, it produces confidence.
Be positive. Confidence can get you where you want to go. In other words, love yourself, and love life. When you love something, you give it your best, hence enhancing its positive worth.
Negative thoughts suck energy from our minds and bodies and block the flow of positive messages. We need to hear the positive messages as they will build self-confidence and raise our self-esteem. Use your inner thoughts to talk to yourself in a positive manner, as often as you can. As said by Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, “If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Stick to your principles, and believe in your ideas. Further, have the courage to stand up for what you believe is correct. Whether it is for supporting a cause or going in the direction of your objectives, be firm on your morals. This provides with an identity and a sense of belonging, especially when people join in your mission.
“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power”, says Brian Tracy, motivational coach and author. Have Bull’s Eye, confidence will itself come looking for you!
Have a close group of friends. Nurture the relationships. It’ll give you a firm footing, both in times of happiness and distress. Knowing that there are people you can back upon keeps you uplifted. These bonds stay within you, wherever you go; thus making you feel confident.
Further, everybody has limitations. When you feel accepted despite your limitations, you learn to forgive yourself; further elevating the levels of confidence. Says John Edmond, the famous musician, ‘Make sure you smile when you meet people”. He explains that this spreads warmth, a dramatic effect on others and on one’s self confidence.
Eat good, dress good, and live good. It’ll reflect in your persona, thus making you feel self-sure. Dress as smartly and as classily as you can. It feels great when you are wearing your best clothes, are well groomed, and are surrounded by a clean environment. Even if it’s Sunday, put on nice clothes, get the car washed, style that hair! Hairdressers often say, “Everyday is show time”, when it comes to self-confidence it holds tremendous truth.
Quick Fix Tips:
- Focus on what you love. If you really enjoy something you will have the persistence and patients to work at it. Confidence often comes with experience and practice.
- Take it step by step. Do all the groundwork required, rather than thinking you have to have everything immediately. Each step you complete will give you more clarity and ideas on how you can move closer to your goal. This instills confidence.
- Invest in yourself. If you want to do something, be willing to invest the time, money and resources required for your success. Assured investments bring home success.
- Release your doubt. Everybody has doubts at some time in their lives. Instead of putting all your energy into doubts and thinking why something will not work, place your energy on how it can work. This will allow your imagination to take flight. Creative thinking provides with confidence.
- There are no failures just feedback. If you do something which does not work, it does not mean that you have failed. Make new choices and you will get a different result. It’ll build up inner confidence.
Here are some situational tips:
- For exams revise smartly and in plenty of time
- For parties, know the dress code and wear something that makes you feel fabulous
- Have a few questions to ask new people you meet (what do you do, have you read …)
- Smile, as people gravitate towards happy looking people
- Say something nice to yourself three times every morning
- Whenever talking to someone, maintain eye-contact
- Stand or sit correctly, as it sends out a positive message to the world, and in turn, back to you
We often envy people who have little fear of the unknown, are able to stand up for what they believe in, and have the courage to risk embarrassment (for instance, by giving a presentation to a large group of people). These people, like Damini, have mastered the art of confidence. However, confidence can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as those without it may fail or not try because they lack it, and those with it may succeed because they have it, rather than because of an innate ability.
Ritu found her confidence mantra by excelling in college debate society. It gave her an edge over the others, and she felt assured of herself in all situations. Develop your unique mantra like her, and get going. “With confidence, you can reach truly amazing heights; and without confidence, even the simplest accomplishments go beyond your grasp”, said Jim Loehr, the world-renowned performance psychologist.
Finally, as is suggested by the meaning itself, have faith – on yourself, on others, and on Cosmos. The first one is most important as only the person who has faith in himself is able to be faithful to others. The same is suggested by Erich Fromm, philosopher writer, in all his writings.