Do you need anybody’s permission to be yourself, absolutely not and have you ever felt that if you had more faith in yourself, your life would probably be totally different.
Possibly you might be earning more because you had the guts to ask for that raise or if you’re totally cool with stepping out of your comfort zone, you might be running your own business or living in your dream city a thousand miles from home. But the fact of the matter is that nobody has limitless self-confidence.
The slings and arrows of life, whether in the form of criticism from your boss or rejection by a loved one, can hit us hard. On top of this, we have to deal with our inner critic, who’s always quick to tell us we’re not good enough.
It’s perfectly normal to be less-than-confident in some areas of your life. But if self-doubt and a fear of failure are seriously getting in the way of you living your life well, you seriously need a shot in the arm to boost your self-confidence.
If you feed your confidence, you will starve your fears however some people often make the mistake of setting overambitious goals and when they fail, they get demoralised and their self esteem takes a huge hit.
In order to save yourself from any such heart-ache, break down your big goals into smaller, less scary ones. So if your aim is to start your own business, you can break it down to “go to a start-up networking event” and “draft a list of possible grants you can apply for”.
As you achieve these smaller goals, you’ll feel better about yourself, leading to a virtuous cycle that will see you tackling ever-more challenging goals. It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not. Confidence is not something that’s just miraculously bestowed upon someone.
It’s something you have to consistently work at, over a period of time. By taking small risks on a regular basis, you’ll notice that every time you do something that scares you, your overall confidence will grow. Simply, do one thing that scares you, everyday.
This exercise doesn’t have to be connected to any of your big life goals—it could be speaking to a stranger at a party or a gathering, pitching a crazy idea to your friend or colleague or even asking for something you don’t think you’ll get. Slowly but surely, you’ll build the confidence needed to tackle the Big Scary Goals.
Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside. Do keep a list of all your achievements, both big and small, to remind yourself of all the awesome stuff you’ve done.
Keep this list close by (like on your vanity mirror or the wall by your desk) and add to it as you rack up more wins. When you’re low in confidence, take a look at the list— reflecting on your achievements is a great way to reinforce confidence in your skills and dispel negative self-talk. Self confidence may not bring us success but it surely gives us power to face any challenges in life.
It isn’t just about social health but physical and emotional health as well. After all, it’s hard to feel good about yourself if you feel lethargic all the time or self-conscious about how you look. So be sure to get enough sleep, eat well and exercise regularly. On top of this, wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself.
As always, there may be some people in your life who are a constant source of criticism and negativity – whether it’s a colleague or even a friend you’ve known for years, you should consider staying away from those whose only job is to criticize for the sake of criticism.
Even a temporary break from such people can make a huge difference to your self-confidence. Bottom line is that, while Self – confidence is silent, insecurities are loud and YOUR only limit is YOU.
(Ifthikar Bashir is a freelance Financial Advisor)