Building Self-Confidence

What is Confidence? Confidence is feeling certain of yourself and your abilities. It doesn’t mean in an arrogant way, but rather in a sure and realistic way. It isn’t about bragging and feeling superior to others, but it’s rather feeling secure and having that innate knowledge that you are capable. Knowing that you can rely on yourself, your knowledge, skills, and abilities to handle whatever that maybe that comes along your way, that’s called self-confidence.

A lot of people lack self-confidence, and there are various reasons why. It could be from the way parents raised them, past trauma, physical insecurities, bad friends/ colleagues, anxiety and depression and etc. But the good news is confidence is something that can be learned and developed.

So how do you develop and build confidence in yourself? Confidence comes when you build competence. Of course, how can you be confident if you suck at everything? You don’t have any skills! You are not good at anything! In short, you are incompetent. 

Competence comes with preparation, repetition, and experience.

Preparation:

Take for example Ms. Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. Can you imagine the time and effort she had spent preparing herself and everything for the pageant? It took her months, if not years. She had to learn to do her own make-up. Imagine the diet and exercise regimen she had to do and the discipline to achieve her ideal shape. She had to master her signature lava walk. She conceptualized her gown, costumes, and accessories and wardrobe selection. She did mock interviews and rehearsals for the Q & A. #

Here comes the pageant night, and you could see how Ms. Catriona Gray was oozing with confidence in the stage. She handled each and every stage of the competition very well. 

She knew in herself that she came well-prepared, she felt more competent from all the preparations she had done, thus she presented herself with much confidence.

Therefore, the more prepared you are, the more competent you will feel, and the more competent you feel, the more confident you will act. 

Repetition : 

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

You don’t always succeed the first time you do something.  Oftentimes you fail or get disappointed that you don’t achieve that satisfying results. And when you fail, sometimes it takes a fatal blow on your confidence. It diminishes how good you feel and think of yourself. But don’t quit! Try to evaluate where you have gone wrong, and what are the things that you can improve. Keep trying again and again until you succeed and get the satisfying results that you wanted. Repetition is the key to mastery. As the saying goes “ Rome wasn’t built in a day.” So mastering something or a certain skill doesn’t happen overnight.  Over time, you get better and better. And eventually, you will become really good at it. So you have built that competence, which then would make you feel more confident. 

 And the better you get, people around you will notice that. They will start giving praise, positive feedbacks, and affirmations. And those validations help boost your self-confidence. 

Take for example Peng Joon, an internationally renowned speaker. He was terrified at first to speak in public but now he becomes a pro. He made over 200 + speeches in over 20 countries and has shared a stage with Robert Kiyosaki and Tonny  Robbins, to name a few. But how did he get to this point? By practicing. He grew up as an introvert kid and he used to fear speaking in front of people. What did he do to develop himself and become a competent and confident public speaker? He started to talk and practice in front of a small group of people from like  20 people, then to 40 people and he kept going and eventually, he became really good at it. He attended seminars, went through workshops and kept practicing in front of the mirror and camera, and eventually he overcame that fear.

The same is true for all great public speakers. They didn’t start being very good at speaking in public. It took them lots of practice before they became one. The first time they had their public speaking experience, they also felt that fear and nervousness. It is a step-by-step process and a journey for them. 

Experience:

With experience, either good or bad, you tend to learn a lesson or two. But it is up to you how you gonna let it affect you.  But try to collect and treasure those positive experiences.

With negative experiences, do not dwell on it. Pick a lesson, learn from it and move on.

Try to recollect when you had your first ever job interview? How did you feel that time?  Excited? Worried? Nervous? How did those mixed emotions affect the way you handled the interview? How did you answer each question? Did you answer it with confidence? Were you able to deliver and convey your message across well? Did you speak clearly? Probably not, that’s why you failed and was not chosen for the job. How did you feel afterward? Probably, you feel pathetic and worthless. It takes a toll on your confidence level. Rejection hurts, right? But don’t let it define you. You have to move forward. Analyze where you went wrong and try to correct it next time. Now fast forward your say 10th job interview, it probably was not as terrifying as your first job interview experience. With every job interview you had,  you will learn and improve. You become more knowledgeable. Over time, you know you are competent and confident enough to handle it, thus it will be just a piece of cake for you.

By: Merced Sarsona Morley

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