Self-Confidence is Fundamental to Everything, But What is the Source of Self-Confidence?

fundamentals of self-confidence

If you’re here, you have at least one question on your mind that you want the answer to. Is improving self-confidence possible, and if so, how? 

If you want to get anywhere in life, doing all the things you want to do and seeing all the things you want to see, you can’t do it while missing one of the key elements which is self-confidence. One’s experiences influence one’s perception of the self. A child that has been brought up from an early age believing they can achieve anything they will tend to grow up with a generous amount of trust in their own abilities.  

Not all of us are so fortunate. Facing failure at an early age without being able to bounce back from it can lead to poor self-esteem. Our inner critic constantly uses these little incidents to make us question our self-worth. The lack of confidence can lead a person to back out from situations, growing incredibly anxious in public events, or even making mistakes in things they already know.  

However, we have all seen numerous examples showing that one’s attitude as a child does not completely determine their path as an adult. It means, there is a way to quiet that inner critic and build up one’s self-confidence as an adult. The path may be more complex at a later age, but it is certainly possible to develop and maintain higher self-confidence.  

With the right guidance, support, tools and desire to live a happier and healthier life overallyou can build a new mindset, and with that, you can change your experiences. 

For some, it may take years of practice, but eventually, we can all reach a stage where we intrinsically believe in ourselves and where we need not consciously remind ourselves of our worth.  

Basically, that is the state where you can confidently say you have a good sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Naturally, we all have our ups and downs, and we don’t feel confident all the time. Such moments, when you start questioning your abilities are also helpful, so listen to yourself. Listen to your mind. This is where it all starts. Those moments, when you waver, indicate which situations you may have trouble with, what your triggers are and which skills you need to work on.  

Building up your self-confidence might sound difficult, especially if you have very little belief in yourself right now. But after experiencing the first quick improvements, you will have something to build on. Do not underestimate small results.  

We prepared some easy to implement tips to help you start your journey and build your confidence.  

 1. Visualization

Visualize yourself as who you want to be and how your life will look like once you have more confidence You don’t have to imagine yourself all successful, be realistic and visualize the next stage of development. With time, you will and can be bolder.  

Often, we suffer from poor self-image. By imagining yourself as a confident, capable person, you can open your mind to new ways and new thinking. New ways which you are not choosing yet because you don’t believe you can do it. Experiment and keep your risks at bay.  

Are you not confident to ask for help from an experienced colleague or be a part of that project where you could prove your abilities just yet? Visualize various scenarios, practice what a confident person would say. Collect your thoughts, relevant experiences, and examples of similar situations. This is what confident people do. They rely on their past results and experiences. They rely on their skills. You have skills; we all have skills; you are no exception. The difference is that you haven’t recognized your skills yet, or you have no reference point. Find yourself the first reference point. A problem you can solve. 

Click the link to learn 5 Ways you can use relaxation and visualisation to help advance your career

2. Affirmations

We tend to beat ourselves up for the smallest of mistakes far too often, but rarely do we remember to compliment ourselves for the things we do well. When you know you are good at something, make it a point to remind yourself of that. Say it out loud, do not be shy. It is true for you; it has already been proven. You have proved it.  

It may sound strange first to hear your own voice saying, I tackled that interview and got the job I have been dreaming about. But it will give you a sense of pride and closure too. Knowing that you have accomplished something as a result of your talent and effort.  

I recall the first time I did that. I didn’t even state my achievement. Also, I said it as if it was a question.  

This method can apply to your physical insecurities as well. The next time you look into the mirror, compliment yourself. Compliment yourself out loud, for features of your appearance you are proud of. It can be anything, and you may be proud of your shapely eyebrows, nice smile, you can even compliment yourself for your hairstyle that day. 

Similarly, do not forget to compliment yourself for your mind, resilience, and perseverance. Compliment yourself for your dreams and plans. Without them, you wouldn’t make any progress. Dreams and plans are fuel to your growth.  Appreciate your own qualities with conviction, and your self-confidence will have no choice but to follow. 

3. Challenge Yourself

Do something that makes you uncomfortable. Start small, and this is not a competition. Your development and happiness are at stake. Others have no say in it. Listen to advice and opinions but know that you live your own life, and no one else lives it on your behalf. 

I know some would question this advice. Why would I start small? Why not be bold I can tell you if you ask these questions, you probably have enough self-confidence in that field, so find another challenge for yourself. 

By facing a difficult situation head-on, your heart will finally start believing that you can do anything you set your mind to.  Also remember, facing it head-on does not mean you have to rush into it. You can still craft your plan and progress at your own pace.  

4. I mentioned this already. Start Small

Often, we set ourselves on a course for a nearly unachievable aim, and when we are unable to meet it, our confidence takes a hit. Instead, break down your larger long-term aims into goals and those into smaller, short-term objectives 

After achieving your objectives, make a list of those achievements, no matter how small you believe them to be. This will help reaffirm your faith in yourself, and eventually, you will have achieved your goal as well. 

5. Personal Boundaries

It is okay to say no to other people. By setting personal boundaries and doing things that make you happy, you will be more in control of your life. Naturally, this will improve your perception of yourself.  

Follow these five techniques, and soon, you will be the person you always wished to be.  

Related articles
What does it take to be confident?
Benefits of Believing In Yourself.

 

Cover photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

The Ingredients of Developing a Growth Mindset

The Ingredients of Developing a Growth Mindset

Developing a growth mindset and being able to sell yourself to your boss may just be what you need to get that long-awaited promotion. Being successful is everyone’s dream, but only those with a growth mindset get closer to achieving it. While you can wish to be successful, you are not just born with a growth mindset or get it automatically. Being truly successful and get recognition for your work means you show an aptitude to develop yourself and build resilience. It’s easier than it sounds, so if you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place!

Create Your Personal Vision of ‘Success’

The literal definition of success may be similar for everyone. Still, its real meaning differs from person to person. Everyone’s vision of reaching the pinnacle is unique. To start establishing your mindset, all you have to do is envision your pinnacle. What do you want to achieve to be able to call yourself successful? What does success mean to you? What do you want to see, hear, and sense around you when you are successful? Remember, for this exercise to work, you have to envision, you are already there.

Set Your Goals with a Growth Mindset

After you framed your personal vision of success in your mind, the next step is to set goals that lead you to this ultimate vision. Your goals need to be reasonable because success can’t be achieved overnight. Similarly, you cannot accomplish your goals overnight either. Ensure you cover all the important things such as wealth, career, personal development, social relations, joy, and physical health. This will mark out the milestones on your journey of building a growth mindset.

A Dose of Motivation Each Day

It isn’t easy to stay on your path to success without motivation. In fact, without motivation, you may not last very long in the first place. Go out there and find your inspiration. It is easier than you think! Take a walk in the park, set aside time to listen to our podcasts, or to read our articles.

Inspiration is everywhere. It can be in the form of words by your role model or the form of lessons from a self-help book. Reading articles and watching videos of personal stories can also be a great start. Watch the stories of successful people and what they did to reach their level of success. All of these will give you ideas as to how to get closer to your goal. It will also add to the strength and resilience to keep going each day to keep forming your growth mindset.

Routines With a Dash of Habits

One of the most difficult steps to success is building and being able to stick to a routine. Dedicating 15 minutes a day to an activity doesn’t sound like too much. However, it is indeed rather difficult if you’ve never stuck to a routine before, or if you are not willing to change an existing habit. To develop a growth mindset, maintaining good habits is highly essential. You have to develop the habit of working towards a new goal each and every day. It doesn’t mean you have to change your goal every day; it means you reach for more every day while moving consistently in the desired direction.

Break Up with Procrastination

Procrastination is an easy trap to fall into. You might think that deviating from your routine for a day or two won’t matter, but this is where your sense of control should come in when you aim to develop a growth mindset. Because procrastination may turn into a habit before you even recognize it, and it can become very harmful. One of the best ways to defend yourself from slipping into the habit of procrastination is to understand the reasons behind your inactivity and handle them.

Think about the reasons. Why do you not proceed? What holds you back? Is it motivation? Most of the time, it is not about motivation. It is about not believing that you are moving in the right direction. Procrastination also creeps in when you don’t trust yourself. Did you know many become unsuccessful because they give up before reaping the benefits of their efforts?

Part of a Growth Mindset is to Say YOU Can

A growth mindset also enables you; you don’t only envision yourself as successful; you plan the steps to lead you there. You think about the potential roadblocks and figure out the solutions. You do that because you concentrate on growing. Not avoiding something, not competing against something, you are not driven by fear of losing. You concentrate on YOU and becoming a better version of YOU.

Success is not something to place on a pedestal and dream about. Instead, it is achievable with consistent efforts. Integrate the growth mindset into your life. Manage it as part of your life, not as a distant destination you only desire to get to one day.

You might also be interested in the following article: 3 Methods successful women follow to keep their career on track

Cover Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash

The psychology of positive thinking

The psychology of positive thinking

3-min read

If you have ever applied for a job, you couldn’t avoid spotting positive thinking or positive mindset in the list of requirements. We all accept that having a positive outlook on life helps when it comes to facing everyday challenges even though we might not know precisely how positive thinking works.

So, what is positive thinking all about and how can you train your brain for it? Is glass-half-full way of thinking hardwired in us?

Beyond displaying a positive and upbeat attitude, positive thinking affects how we approach skills’ development and how we decide on allocating our resources to specific activities.

Researchers found that daily experiences of positive emotions, in fact, enable the build-up of useful resources and skills, while negative experiences may even paralyse the individual. It is not difficult to see that without motivation and inspiration your personal energy level is not the same. And experiencing difficulties without encouragement or support on a long-term eats up own energy and may lead to depression.

With a positive mindset, you approach difficulties with a higher level of confidence; in other words, you trust your ability to face the challenges that come your way successfully.

Positive thinking also influences how you explain past events and how you see the outcome of specific situations, what result you predict. Furthermore, a positive outlook on life often helps people see adverse events as atypical and temporary.

Does positive thinking equal to ignoring risks or potential limitations?

Are you fooling yourself? Certainly not.
It means that despite risks and difficulties you anticipate a positive outcome. You do that because you see those potential risks and challenges as opportunities or things you need to deal with in order to accomplish what you planned for yourself; instead of seeing them as roadblocks or showstoppers.

You may fool yourself, but the reason for that won’t be your positive mindset; instead, it would be that you are ignorant about crucial facts or potential dangers in a situation. Sometimes it may not be easy to distinguish between positive and wishful thinking.

If you follow wishful thinking, you form beliefs according to what might be pleasing to you instead of making decisions based on evidence and rational thought. Match your thinking to a perception that better reflects reality, and your positivity will be well-founded. You can use these 5 Ways to support your positive mindset.

Some say, convincing yourself that you will ace that presentation or job interview is basically lying to yourself. It might be unless you are entirely clear about the key messages of your presentation and you, or you prepared for that interview. While positive thinking will give you a great kick start, it is not going to solve the problem.

When wishful thinking is misinterpreted as positive thinking, come the comments about positivity being overrated. People disappointed with the outcomes because they expected something better might blame positive thinking for their unpleasant experience.

What are the benefits of a positive mindset? Let’s see a couple of those benefits:

  • Better health leading to a longer life
  • The ability to handle stress factors driving a more balanced and happier life
  • Better decision making leading to a more prosperous life
  • Healthy relationships

It seems positive thinking has its benefits when it is understood well, and your self-awareness supports it.

Next, I assume you would like to know how you can train your brain to have more positive thoughts. Here are a couple of tips for you.

  • When you are preparing to deal with a complicated matter, picture a positive outcome. In fact, picture several positive scenarios and think about what steps you should take to make one of the favourable situations happen.
  • When you expect that a challenge is coming your way, instead of thinking about the event itself, spend time thinking about the causes of that unpleasant event you predict, and the means you have to reduce the negative impact or to eliminate it altogether.
  • Fill your day with words that make you feel that you have control over your life and strength. Focus on words that suggest competence rather than the ones that indicate failure or mistakes.
  • Redirect your thought. If you remember, we were talking about how your energy level is affected by negative thoughts. You have the opportunity to choose your thoughts. Uplift yourself by concentrating on things that make you happy. Use this to achieve the mindset that enables you to take action. Once you are in action mode, focus on finding solutions to your primary problem.
  • Use positive words during the day. You may not tackle the ‘positive talk’ game right at the beginning but with practice, you will use more and more encouraging words and will feel how it affects your self-confidence.

Cover photo is from Unsplash

How to set goals you can achieve

how to set goals you can achieve article cover image

4-min read

Typical goal setting mistakes and how to fix them

Various sources, methods and even apps are available to support you if you decide to set goals for yourself.

Many of us set new goals in January each year and we all try to do our best to achieve those goals.

Somewhere along the way, after a couple of weeks or months these goals seem to fade away. You turn your attention to something else, which you believe, seems to be more important. Similar may happen to other goals you set during the year.

Why did you decide to place these goals in the back of the top shelf of your mind? Was their fate to be forgotten? Which goals prove to be long lasting and achievable? Where did it go wrong and what could you have done differently? Did you use the best app?

Let me share with you the common mistakes in goal setting, and these have very little to do with an app:

  • goals are set based on an impulse;
  • you think goal setting is like writing a daily to do list;
  • goals listed as you would prepare your shopping list;
  • you can only achieve your goal by doing something you really don’t fancy;
  • you think achieving the goal will sort out your life;
  • the goal is shiny and fantastic, and it is so far from you as the moon and the stars … but when you talk about it everyone admires you for having such a great adventure ahead of you;
  • you set a goal, because your friend(s) or significant other set the very same goal and by the way they are doing quite well in achieving it;
  • you can achieve the goal when sleeping, or standing on one leg, singing a song and juggle three apples at the same time.

Probably I could extend the list with a bit more effort, but I am sure, by now you understand, goal setting is about you. Your life and your future are in your hands, you are the director of your own movie. Therefore, anything goes wrong with goal setting is on you.

Devastating, I know…

On the other hand, it might just be good news. There is freedom in accepting you have control over your life and that comes with freedom to decide and act. For more inspiration click here.

Let’s take a look at these mistakes one by one. Learn from them, so that you can embrace your newly acquired set of opportunities.

Goals are set based on an impulse

New year resolutions, unless you built a habit of them, are good examples of such goal setting. However, you may experience this phenomenon when you buy a treadmill, because you saw an inspiring video. It convinced you running is the best option for you to lose weight.

You are setting a goal in a mood for changing things quickly and/or in a hopeful moment. On the other hand, don’t think about ways of achieving it or the activities and obligations coming with it. You try to stick with it, try your best to achieve it. At the end your schedule, work, other tasks or even your hobby may cross your way. Finally, the goal you want to achieve seems to require so much effort you can’t make.

Goals listed as items on a shopping list

Shopping lists are created in different ways, some like to sit down and think what is needed for the next couple of days or for the week. Others leave little notes about the items they need to replace, replenish in the household. Alternatively some just would like to add the most obvious items and add more items while shopping to allow some creativity and flexibility around shopping. The more practical you are with your shopping list is the better for your purse probably.

What is wrong with the shopping list type of goal setting?

Basically, you list things you would like to buy, rather than to achieve/earn and you think on a short term.

I give you an example, which is coming from one of my friends. His goal list started with get a new sports car this year.

He was thinking about an item, and acquiring this item was itself the goal. Even if not within a year, but within a year and a half or two, he could finally buy the sports car and that is when the disappointment started. The sports car was great, but he couldn’t drive it as much as he wanted. Additionally by the time he got the car, he felt he could have invested the money better, and he didn’t enjoy the car as much as he thought he would.

You set goals as you would write a to do list

A to do list includes activities you plan to deliver in a day, so you define what you would like to achieve on a short term. The activities you plan are usually the ones that can be delivered easily and will not pose much challenge.

You can only achieve your goal by doing something you really don’t fancy

Doing the Ironman triathlon is an impressive goal unless you have hydrophobia, or losing 22 pounds in 2 months can be very challenging if you know you are not ready to leave your favourite foods behind and find alternatives.

You think achieving the goal will sort out your life

While losing weight, or changing your career may bring improvements to your life, hoping it will solve all your problems may cause you disappointment at the end.

Many believe they just need to change their clothes, earn big money, or have cool friends and they will change their lives. Waiting for something to happen just to start something else. This decision makes your life journey more difficult and takes you away from what you really can achieve and what really can bring you success.

You set a goal, because your friend(s) or significant other set the very same goal

Friends can show you a good example inspire you, root for you and be with you in the moments when you need them most. Doing things together is fun and strengthens your relationship, on the other hand your friend’s life is different than yours. His or her desires will be different from yours. Your friend set the goal for him or herself, believing the goal will take him or her forward, not you.

The goal is shiny and fantastic, and it is so far from you as the moon and the stars

Being a billionaire in a year, may sound ambitious and worth sharing at a party. Assuming you have surefire ways to achieve it or you are a genius who gets new revolutionary ideas quite frequently and have the talent to make things happen quickly.

Should your friends not see you this way, your goal will sound as bragging and may damage your relationships. Maybe your friends already know, you like to set big goals, which you abandon later. If that is the case and you are just fed up others not taking you seriously, you might want to change your mind about goal setting.

You can achieve the goal when sleeping, or standing on one leg, singing a song and juggle three apples at the same time

Setting a goal of being promoted this year, when you already know the promotion is on its way is not only naughty, but unhelpful in many ways.

I shared with you the most common mistakes in goal setting, so you may be curious to know the better ways of setting goals.

Let’s start with understanding how setting goals for your life is different. As you are achieving goals you put yourself on a certain track of your choice.

Talking about life path sounds more serious than just setting goals, isn’t it? Your life is very precious and you have the right to make decisions on it. Setting goals are such decisions.

If you asked me whether there are golden rules for goal setting, I would probably hesitate saying there are, because I saw many people successfully set goals in many different ways. However, there are certain guidelines to goal setting, which may help you to be better and more effective, and by more effective I mean you will feel closer to your goals and your sense of achievement will increase.

Set goals that make you feel you are going in a good direction

Setting goals helps you stay focussed and allows you to take and/or increase control over your life. It also will make you more structured and will improve your memory.

Each goal you set may or may not fit in the big picture of your life. Why not choose the ones that fit?

Once you decided the direction for your life, you can start planning the journey. Setting goals is to lay the stepping stones on the road, your goals will take you further in your journey.

Set goals that relate to your priorities and target areas in your life where you identified a gap and will aid your efforts in building your skills and improve your life situation.

Make your goals measurable

Sense of achievement comes when

  • you know what you want to deliver and how your success will look like;
  • also, you have a plan of action
  • finally, you deliver on your plan.

Goals can be defined in different ways, the more specific the definition of your goal is, the closer you may get to accomplishing it. A measurable goal will specify what exactly you want to achieve and by when. Include specific dates, volumes, or rates.

Set goals that motivate you, but don’t make you struggle

Goal achievement requires dedication and to keep progressing your motivational level needs to stay high. To achieve that you need to be convinced you can do what is needed, but delivering it will not be too easy for you either.

When you don’t have this, you risk postponing what you need to do to make the goal a reality or accomplish so easily that the goal will not give you a sense of achievement, leaving you feeling disappointed.

I set my goals in details, and include why I want to achieve the goal, where achieving it will take me and how it will help me in the future. I end up with longer sentences, but it is worth as I can keep my eye on the ball and have a check whether the goal still fits in my bigger picture of life. 

Record you goals and your progress

Writing a list of your goals, recording the deadlines you set for yourself and create a habit of looking at your goals periodically will help you maintain focus.

I personally use an app to record my goals and have a reminder each day, so the goals appear every day in the morning on my phone. This way I start every day by thinking about how much closer would I like to get to achieving my goals and what do I need to do differently if I slowed down.

Make an action plan

Develop a plan of actions in that includes the steps you want to take to achieve your goals. Depending on your preference you can create a detailed plan including every step to take, just consider how much effort will be required to maintain your plan.

A good plan is clear, simple and logical and includes just as much detail, that is necessary for you to understand and remember what the steps mean.

You can write your plan on a paper, develop it in a spreadsheet or in a project planning application, or if you are in a very creative mood you can create a visual representation of your plan.

Make things happen

Even the shiniest plan will sadly sit in the bottom of your drawer, if you don’t act on it. Create a habit of doing something, even a little thing, every single day, that takes you closer to your goal. Check back on your progress and if you slow down find and assess the reasons, and work out solutions.

Difficulties, challenges will always come into your way. Some people will be helpful, others may have priorities conflicting yours. Keep up a positive attitude and build and rely on helpful relationships. If you would like to learn more about building and maintaining helpful relationships click here.

Enjoy and celebrate the progress and small successes even

I am not saying you should throw a party every time when you could raise your workout time by 5 minutes, but remind yourself of the good job you are doing and use the achievement as a building block to the next one. Learn from professionals to make decisions easier.

Cover photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash