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Change your self-talk to become self-confident

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Change Your Self-Talk To Become Self-Confident. Self-confidence is knowing that we have the capacity to do something good and firmly decide not to...

As you keep at building your self-confidence, you will begin to build more and more trust in yourself. From negativity and doubt, you will begin to experience a new sense of empowerment

I feel inferior in every situation. My confidence level is very low. How can I improve myself?

- K Rajesh, Hyderabad.

"Self-confidence is knowing that we have the capacity to do something good and firmly decide not to give up." Dalai Lama

Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives and many people struggle to find it. Self-confidence is about how you feel about your abilities and can vary from situation to situation. Self-confidence is about balance. At one extreme, we have people with low self-confidence. At the other end, we have people who may be over-confident.

Lack of self-confidence can be made up of several different aspects like: guilt, anger turned inward, unrealistic expectations of perfection, false sense of humility, fear of change or making mistakes, depression etc. Depression can actually also be a result of a low self-confidence.

Five common signs that show you lack self confidence:

l Giving reasons, explanations for your actions very often

l Immediately replying to criticism

l Over compensating behaviours

l Defensive body language (arms folded etc.)

l Becoming perfectionist

Low self-confidence is experienced often by teenagers and adolescents who are in a stage where they are still learning about themselves and world around them. They may develop feeling of inadequacy and they may not place value on their achievements. This can cause them to feel anxious, stressed and they become helpless to handle life troubles. They enter in to a vicious circle where they believe that they are going to fail and don’t try to take the opportunities. They often feel inferior, inadequate and develop feelings of helplessness in situations, hopelessness about their future and worthlessness about self.

Building Self Confidence

There is no quick fix or shortcut for building self-confidence. It can be learnt. It is a skill that can be developed through realistic goal setting and planning.

Two main things contribute to self-confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem. Setting and achieving goals – thereby building competence is very important. Without this underlying competence, we can’t develop self-confidence. Shallow or over confidence always make our life journey difficult.

According to Arthur Ashe, a famous tennis player, important key to success is self-confidence, and important key to self-confidence is preparation.

Self-confidence can be built with affirmations and positive thinking. Accomplishments in life can be building blocks and boosters for our self - confidence.

Steps for building self confidence:

Recognise your insecurities.

Identify what is making you feel unworthy, ashamed or inferior. Give it a name, and write it down. You can also tear these written pieces to start feeling positive on those points.

Go to roots of the problem.

Wear it on your sleeve. There's no quick fix. Get to the root of the problem; focus on it and understand that you need to resolve each issue before you can move on. You need to learn to accept yourself, your past, and your circumstances as they are, without necessarily thinking of them as "bad".

Bounce back from your mistakes.

Remember that no one is perfect. Even the most confident people have insecurities. Learn that life is full of bumps down the road. And that often these insecure feelings come and go, depending on where we are, who we are with, the mood we're in, how we are feeling. In other words, they are not constant. Be resilient.

Identify your successes.

Discover the things at which you excel, then focus on your talents. Give yourself permission to take pride in them. Give yourself credit for your successes. Inferiority is a state of mind in which you've declared yourself a victim. Do not allow yourself to be victimised. Find something you enjoy. When you're following your passion, not only will it have a therapeutic effect, but you'll feel unique and accomplished, all of which can help build your self confidence.

Be thankful for what you have.

Often, the root of insecurity and lack of confidence is a feeling of not having enough of something, whether it's emotional validation, good luck, money, etc. By acknowledging and appreciating what you do have, you can combat the feeling of being incomplete and unsatisfied. Finding that inner peace will do wonders for your confidence.

Start thinking positively about yourself.

Make a list of all your positive traits. Speak positively about yourself, about your future and about your progress. Do not be afraid to project your strengths and qualities to others. By doing so, you reinforce those ideas in your mind and encourage your growth in a positive direction. Avoid self-pity, or the pity and sympathy of others. Never allow others to make you feel inferior--they can only do so if you let them.

Change your self-talk.

Your thought process is the main reason for your lack of confidence. Speak kindlier to yourself. Next time you start to self-criticise, think, ‘Would I be this critical of a friend in the same circumstances?’ The answer is likely to be ‘no’ every time!

Accept compliments gracefully.

Don't roll your eyes and say, ‘Yeah, right,’ or shrug it off. Take it to heart and respond positively (Thank you and a smile works well).

Help others.

When you know you're kind to the people around you, and are making a positive difference in other people's lives (even if it's just being kinder to the person who serves you coffee in the morning), you'll know that you are a positive force in the world--which will boost your self-confidence.

Avoid perfectionism:

Perfectionism paralyzes you and keeps you from accomplishing your goals.

Look at your strengths not your weaknesses. Every time you dwell on a weakness, think of something positive about yourself to counteract it.

Work on removing your fears. As you keep at building your self-confidence, you will begin to build more and more trust in yourself. From negativity and doubt, you will begin to experience a new sense of empowerment. Good luck.

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