Lack of self-confidence prevents your personality from blossoming. ## **KEY NOTE #1: WHAT IS SELF-CONFIDENCE?** Self-confidence means having complete trust on yourself and your strengths and abilities. This means you know yourself completely and you accept yourself with your good points and weaknesses. Self-confidence provides you control in your life and develops a positive attitude towards life. Blake Lively says, _“The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence.”_ **Self-Confidence is necessary for your:** 1. Personal Relationships 2. Professional Relationships 3. Social Relationships 4. Personality Development ## **KEY NOTE #2: IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CONFIDENCE** Now, let’s go over some points which will explain the importance of self-confidence in your life: #### **1. Less fear and anxiety** The more confident you are, the better you will be able to quieten that negative inner voice that sometimes fills your mind with negative thoughts and tells you, “I can’t do it.” This is your internal fear that surfaces due to a lack of self-confidence. It stops you from doing any work successfully. With self-confidence, you will be able to eliminate such negative thoughts and focus on the right, positive path. **For Example:** If you have to give a presentation in front of a huge crowd, you may be very nervous. Calm yourself and remind yourself that your research on the topic you are speaking on is thorough. Tell yourself, “I can do it.” You will be able to gather yourself together and deliver your talk with self-confidence. #### **2. Greater Motivation** This will help you take those small steps that will take you towards your goal and give you a sense of self-accomplishment. **For example:** If you have achieved something like a fitness target, learned a language, built a skill, or turned a negative into a positive after encountering a setback, you will realise that you nevertheless achieved success through hard work and self-confidence. In conclusion, you realise that you have to put in: - Hard work - Believe in yourself - Motivate yourself by thinking of past achievements #### **3. Face Failures with Grace** Self-confidence helps you overcome setbacks and face failures. But this doesn’t mean that you will never face failures if you have self-confidence. Every person has to face such a situation sometime in their life. **For Example:** Suppose you are a fresher and lose your first job within the first month of working. This is a setback and it is natural to feel depressed. But let it not affect your self-confidence. Use this setback as an opportunity to self-reflect to find out where you went wrong. Use this example to motivate yourself to do better the next time. Start applying again and let it not stop you from moving forward. This one setback will help you scale greater heights. #### **4. Improve Relationships** With self-confidence, you will never allow negative thoughts to enter your mind. **For example:** When you face a crowd, you might think that people are thinking that you are not well-dressed or not speaking sense. But the truth is, most people are so preoccupied with themselves and their own thoughts that they are probably thinking of something else and not about you. **When you get out of your own head, you will find that you are:** - Mixing with people in a better way - Enjoy conversations with people - Stop thinking about the impression you are creating on others - Don’t compare yourself with others - Feel comfortable with others #### **5. Better Understanding of Yourself** If you have self-confidence then you will have a better understanding of yourself. Your actions will be able to reflect your principles and you will have a prime purpose for your life. In other words, if you have self-confidence, you will be able to present the best version of yourself before others when you begin to understand yourself and are filled with self-confidence. ## **KEY NOTE #3: ADDRESSING SELF-DOUBT** Think of the last time when due to nervousness and self-doubt, you were unable to communicate your thoughts to others. Maybe you had self-doubts and thought you had nothing important to say in a meeting at the office. Self-doubt stops you from moving forward and prevents you from recognizing opportunities at the right time. **Self-doubt leads to:** - Anxiety - Depression - Lack of motivation - Low self-esteem - Low self-confidence - Difficulty making decisions - Feeling as if one has little control over one’s life ## **KEY NOTE #4: EXERCISES TO BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE** #### **1. Pen down your favourite confidence quote and pin it up somewhere** Write down your favourite confidence quote on a paper and place this confidence quote in a prominent place on your door or wall, so that you can see it all the time and read it daily. By doing this, you will see how gradually the quote will fix into your mind and end your self-doubt and fill you with self-confidence. Read this quote whenever you feel a lack of motivation. This will encourage you to bounce back with positive thoughts by getting back your self-confidence. #### **2. A photograph of a successful achievement** This is motivating and increases your self-confidence. Stick a picture of a successful achievement onto your fridge, bathroom wall, or mirror where you can see it daily. You can put a picture of graduating or a childhood photo of you learning to ride a scooty after innumerable falls. See this picture whenever you are feeling down and demotivated. Recall how you got success after overcoming several challenges in the past by looking at this picture. #### **3. Say STOP** Whenever your mind tells you something negative, recognise this, and do not move forward. Talk to this self-doubt feeling that comes to your mind. For filling yourself with self-confidence at this point, you can tell yourself things like, “No, we are not going down that road again,” or “Stop self-doubting yourself.” When you do this, you can get rid of such thoughts in that moment and fill yourself with self-confidence in that moment itself. #### **4. Talk to someone about it** When you suppress thoughts in your mind, particularly those which force you to question yourself, then sometimes you take yourself far away from the truth or the reality. That is why, it is very necessary to not hide your self-doubts. Rather, - Speak to close friends, or - Speak to an expert When you do this, you will be able to listen to yourself and see and feel how far you have gone from the actual situation. Talking to another person, helps you to see a new perspective about this situation. This can help increase your self-confidence. #### **5. Break the comparison trap** This is a very important tip. Never compare yourself with others’ achievements or their life, especially as you watch posts on social media. This only increases your self-doubts. It is better to compare yourself with you only. This will help you to know how far ahead you have reached and how you have overcome so many difficulties and achieved success compared to earlier occasions. #### **6. People don’t care about what you do or say** Don’t think of what others are going to say about you. This fills you with self-doubt and may prevent you from achieving your goals. When you feel this way, tell yourself that this does not matter to others. People are so occupied with their own work, personal life, and situations or in fulfilling their own desires that they don’t have so much time to think about what you are lacking. #### **7. The Mind-Body connection is real** _“Walk with confidence and use power poses.”_ Jamie Pfeffer, a successful motivation speaker said This means that even if you don’t feel so self-confident, you should learn to walk, talk, and sit like a confident person. Practise walking with your head held high, your shoulders pulled back and by making eye contact with people. According to research, when you walk this way, your brain gives you a signal that you should feel as if you are full of self-confidence. Even if you are not feeling confident immediately, but by acting as if you are, you will develop confidence in the long run! #### **8. Positive Inspiration** Fill yourself with a positive inspiration. You must be thinking about how his words and thinking fill you with a sense of positive energy. In your life, find some inspiring people, who are the proof of inspiration, so that you learn to adapt their enthusiasm, positive energy. This will give you encouragement. In addition, read: - Motivational books - Listen to their motivational quotes - Listen to their thoughts This way, you will fill yourself with positive energy and self-confidence and be able to overcome any hindrances, difficult situations, and achieve success. #### **9. Sharpen Your Skills** Work on your weaknesses. **For example:** If you have to give a presentation and you feel self-doubt, then work on your presentation skills. You can read some good books by good writers, who will help you to refine your presentation skills. After that, practise speaking your presentation by standing in front of a mirror or a friend. By doing this, you will be able to build your self-confidence and overcome or win over your own feelings of self-doubt! #### **10. Celebrate your small achievements** Go ahead and celebrate those small achievements or a small win. This will encourage you to do better things. **For example:** Suppose you were ill for some months and could not go out for jogging as you always do. Your doctor told you to rest on the bed. Finally, when you get well, you begin jogging after six months and are able to jog for 10 minutes. This is a big win for you. You have overcome your own illness and are able to jog once again. Celebrate your own success. Eat something special or buy a ‘gift’ for yourself. You will feel encouraged and it will motivate you forwards towards much bigger wins. _There is no one like you and that is what makes you special. Let no one ever make you feel anything less than that._ Don’t give anyone the right to make you feel less than what you are and erode your confidence. Everyone is special and unique. If you take this saying to heart, then you will never lose your self-confidence.