Lack of self-confidence is something that many of us experience. It can hold us back from making the right decisions, having more fulfilling occupations, and satisfying relationships. If you always doubt yourself, being hesitant, too often staying within your comfort zone, dealing with a lot of negative self-talk, and being too sensitive to criticism, then you need to work on your self-confidence.
Confidence works as a self-fueling cycle, either for the positive or for the negative. The following is an example of a negative confidence cycle: To improve your self-confidence, you must look at it as a small little emotional loop that has a switch in your brain’s limbic system. You can turn it on at any time you want.
Why Do You Not Feel Confident Enough?
The root causes of low self-confidence can be related to different things. It’s essential to be aware of what causes them in the first place. These usually come from life events related to childhood and early adulthood. How you were raised and treated by your parents is also a factor. These early years’ experiences don’t necessarily have to be traumatic. In some cases, it could be connected to abuse and bullying, but not always.
6 Steps to Improve Your Self-Confidence
1. Understand confidence
Confidence is not the absence of fear or nervousness. It’s also not about being extrovert, arrogant, or dominant. Confidence comes in many forms, but it all boils down to believing that you have it in you to succeed and overcome challenges. It’s being realistic with your skills and knowledge. It’s about using rational and positive thinking.
2. Change your paradigm
Your paradigm refers to your thinking patterns. These thought patterns form your behavior and habits. Take a moment to list down your thoughts about yourself. What negative beliefs do you have about yourself? What are your fears? Turn these into empowering thoughts. Remember, experiences where you felt successful. List down your strengths as well as your areas for improvement and give yourself credit for your successes.
3. Have strong principles
Know what’s important to you and what you value. Don’t base your goals on what is expected of you. You are just as worthy as others.
4. Visualize yourself as confident
Rewire your brain with visualization. Think of a time where you felt confident. Remember what you felt, saw, and heard at that time. Remember these sensations and mentally put yourself in a situation where you want to be more confident. Let’s say you want to feel more confident when speaking in public. Imagine yourself talking in front of a broad audience. Mentally rehearse it and remember all the sensations you associate with confidence.
5. Do power poses
Your body language affects the way others see you, but it also can change the way you look at yourself. Studies showed that people who are more confident and assertive share not only a similar mindset but also the same level of hormones. These hormones are Cortisol and Testosterone.
Higher levels of testosterone (in both men and women) can lead to increased feelings of confidence. Meanwhile, lower levels of Cortisol lead to decreased anxiety and an improved ability to deal with stress.
The good news is that these hormones levels can change rapidly depending on your social, physical, and environmental cues. It turns out that one of the physical cues that impacts these two hormones is body language. And if you understand how to improve your body language, then you can increase your testosterone, decrease your Cortisol, and “magically” feel more confident and risk-tolerant.
Start your morning by doing power poses. Standing up straight, puffing out your chest, and putting your hands on your hips are some examples of power poses that make you feel more confident.
6. Learn about your emotions.
Recognize negative feelings and where they are coming from. Typical emotions associated with a lack of confidence are a worry, fear, and self-doubt. It may take time and considerable effort to replace these negative feelings with positive ones. The key is to learn to live with them by not letting these feelings dictate your actions. Face challenges even if they make you feel uncomfortable.
Confidence is a little emotional loop that has a switch in your brain’s limbic system. You can turn it on at any time you want. Your preconceived ideas about yourself and what you are capable of, as well as your past negative experiences, or even those of other people, can prevent you from thriving.
- Understand how confidence works.
- Change your paradigm.
- Have strong principles.
- Mentally rehearse confident moments.
- Practice power poses every morning.
- Learn about your emotions and how they relate to your confidence.