Win the world with confidence.5 June, 2011, by Seema Bhatnagar
When did you last feel great about your achievement, felt overwhelmed about performing in a competition or after giving an excellent presentation in your office, or simply felt happy after doing something very well? Just hold yourself for a moment and feel, what kind of energy you experienced in all those moments. Didn't you feel positive about yourself and had a strong feeling of unlimited power inside you and felt like undertaking that task once more. If you could recall all those moments of triumphs you would find yourself working with the best of your capabilities, skills with a positive state of mind. If you see any successful individual around you, you would find one common quality and that is, perfection in skills and the ability to use those skills. You pick any leader you know and you would see him/her using skills to the best with a positive state of a mind and exuding positive energy in the environment. If you have felt it deeply this is what confidence is all about.
Confidence is that state of mind in which you have complete trust in your abilities and you can exercise those abilities in the toughest of situations. It is a key to become successful in any sphere of life be it career, job, business or personal relationships.
Build a strong relationship with yourself
I have seen people failing in life due to lack of confidence. There are lot of people who even after preparing very well for an event face failure, just because they lack confidence in themselves.
Sometimes you must have experienced that if you are afraid of something, only that specific thing confronts you and you fail at that moment. For example, it might be that you have a fear about scoring well in mathematics and you prepare well for an exam with the fear that you do not know the subject very well. Since fear is a demon, it raises its head and kills your confidence exactly when you are attempting your exam. Eventually, you forget even those topics which you prepared quite well. Another good example could be of facing job interviews, you are nervous about what tough questions might be asked and there is one area in which you are not good enough and do not have well developed skills. When you face an interview, you were asked only those questions which scared you most and due to this you could not answer questions about topics which you prepared well, as a result you landed up failing in interview. Similarly, we can list several such situations where you avoided or ignored one thing and only that confronted you at a crucial moment.
The basic foundation of great confidence is a mastery of skills. As represented in an image below, confidence is the top most layer and is based on an underlying layer of mastering skills, you may have many skills and abilities but your real confidence comes from the mastered skills.
The real and only possible way to enhance confidence is to overcome inherent fears and master personal skills. Once the skills are mastered you would be able to face challenge in any sphere of life be it a career, job or personal relationship.The fundamental goal is to develop self reliance on our personal skills and abilities.The more self reliance you have the more confidence you have. Most importantly, you are developing a strong relationship with yourself. You are making yourself strong enough to be relied upon during any tough situation in life. How do you feel when you rely on your friend and discuss your problems? Deep down, you trust him/her and have complete confidence in his/her abilities otherwise you would not have thought of contacting him/her.
Many people are afraid of making mistakes and give in at the first failure. If you are making mistakes you are in fact taking lessons to master the subject. Mistakes or failures are our teachers for mastering skills. So make mistakes and try to learn a lesson from each mistake.
Tips to build confidence
Set SMART goals
The expanded form of SMART is Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Let’s take a brief example here, suppose you want to lose weight and want to enjoy a healthier life. So you promise to yourself, I will lose weight and will become healthier very soon. But this is just a goal and it is not a SMART goal since it is very general without any specification. The SMART goal would be, I will lose 5 pounds in 40 days loosing approximately 1 pound a week and will have a healthier food to support my goal of losing weight. With this statement you will experience more confidence in yourself about meeting your goal. Since it is simple to understand, measurable, losing 1 pound a week, achievable, losing 1 pound in week time is quite achievable and completely realistic and not at all scary, with a timeline specified to it so you can measure the results after specified days i.e. after 40 days, in this case.Similarly you may have goals in any area of life, keep them SMART, they will double your confidence and self-reliance.
Challenge yourself and expand your comfort zone by accepting new assignment which will test your existing knowledge and will force you to learn something new. Pick up any task which used to scare you in the past and you always felt yourself getting failed at while doing it. A good example could be of learning fast mental calculations, learning new language.
Help others in achieving goals
If you feel that you have some good skills, go and help others in building skills.This will in turn help you to become more confident about your own skills. For example, you feel, you are quite good at managing time at work and at home, then try to help your colleague or may be your child to develop these skills. When you start helping other, sometime you see gap in your knowledge and skills, and helping others might be a good opportunity to fill these gaps.
Expose yourself to wide variety of experiences
The more you expose yourself to different situations and experiences in life the more confidence you will gain. Visit new places, meet new people, make new friends, try new food, try new looks (off course not to impress others), read inspiring books, write about your experiences. All these will enhance your repository of experiences, which will help you to take better decisions in life and better decisions means enhanced confidence in yourself.
Visualization is a very good technique when you are facing confidence deficit. This technique is very popular with players. Day and night they are asked to visualize themselves winning a gold medal. This keeps them motivated towards their goal of winning and boosts their confidence about their performance. You may try this when you are about to give an important business critical presentation to your prospective client, or may be when you are about to appear for an important examination.
Develop an allergy for negativity
Any trace of negativity is injurious to growth of confidence. If you want to see yourself as a confident being, develop an allergy for negativity. Thinking negative is an act of self-sabotage and creates negative energy in environment. I am not saying that you should ignore the downside of your decisions. You may very well assess and evaluate decision but prepare yourself positively after confronting all your fears. This would double your confidence.
Build courage to explore unknown
Exploring unknown means you have no idea about the risks and hard situations you are going to face, but still you are ready to face the situation. A good example would be of entrepreneurs, they starts new venture with limited capital without knowing how many troubles they might have to face in order to be successful. You may very well imagine the height of confidence in case the venture is successful. Here the success or failure does not matter, what matters is to build courage to face unknown which in turn means heightened sense of confidence.
Sport is an excellent way to experience the taste of victory and defeat. If you win, you will gain confidence, if you lose, you will learn how to perform better next time. So in both the conditions you are a winner. So, play games with your friends, nowadays there are several online games which may help you to give similar experience, but for sure, when you play with real beings the experience is entirely different.
Many people are afraid of making mistakes and give in at the first failure. If you are making mistakes you are in fact taking lessons to master the subject. Mistakes or failures are our teachers for mastering skills. So make mistakes and try to learn a lesson from each mistake. Once you finish all the lessons you will be a confident being.
All above tips will help you to build your confidence. Personally, I keep experimenting with new things and new routines and have tried almost all these tips on myself, my favourite one is to explore the unknown. I find it quite exhilarating that give me double boost of confidence, though I am not lacking confidence but enhanced confidence makes me stronger and more courageous.
I would strongly encourage you to work on your confidence and become self reliant because when you are in tough situations in life, you find yourself very weak and alone, then, it is only YOU and your confidence that work together to bail you out from situations. All such situations make us realize that our confidence is an asset and gives that inner power through which we can win the world. Your commitment and dedication towards building confidence will not only boost your confidence but would also improve your self esteem.
If you are a parent, help your children to become more confident and more self reliant about themselves, if you are a mentor, encourage your fellow beings to enhance their confidence.
Remember, confidence is contagious, the more you exude it, and the more it will spread. Go and win the world with your confidence.