Even successful people want more self-confidence – did you know that? People who exude self-assurance easily influence others, get more promotions, earn more money, and seem to have more fun and success.
As a coach, it’s not unusual for my clients to confide they think they could do much more if only they had more self-confidence. They see others as having more confidence than they do and feel that their lack of confidence is hindering them, stopping them somehow from living up to their real potential. And guess what, most of the time it is.
We all know people who seem to be naturally put together, to have it all; perhaps they were born lucky. The truth is everyone has a baseline of confidence. Some people have unshakable confidence built upon strong foundations while others find their confidence level to be a bit shaky, and they aren’t alone.
Lack of self-confidence afflicts a lot of people, but it’s usually hidden and denied. In any case, knowing a few strategies for improving self-confidence will ensure that you can improve and reap the benefits of doing so.
But just how do you build up your self-confidence? If you don’t have it, it seems impossible to find, to hold onto. The good news is, it’s not only possible but essential for anyone who wants to live up to their potential. And it’s not a mystery. Social scientists have studied the components so that we now have a road map for developing confidence.
Two main qualities contribute to real self-confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem.
We gain a sense of self-efficacy when we see ourselves mastering skills and achieving goals that matter. This is the confidence that, if we learn and work hard in a particular area, we’ll succeed; and it’s this type of confidence that leads people to accept difficult challenges and persist in the face of setbacks.
This overlaps with the idea of self-esteem, which is a more general sense that we can cope with what’s going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy.
When working with coaching clients, we explore all the areas where they are already self-confident. Many times, people take the skills they’ve already mastered for granted. When you explore past achievements, you see your capabilities with a new set of eyes, and it reinforces your strengths. You build confidence realistically.
Which leads to how we create and build self-esteem, another building block for self-confidence. Remind yourself of all the things in your life you’ve done that have contributed to your belief in yourself.
Where do you feel you are on the self-confidence continuum? Not enough, just right, or way too much at some things, and not enough with others?