If you look at the most successful people in the world, one thing they all have in common is confidence. The power of confidence allows you to have faith in yourself and your abilities. If you’ve been struggling with executive functioning most of your life, you might also be struggling to be confident. When your brain doesn’t work like other people’s and you don’t function the way they do, it’s easy to feel like a failure. We’re going to define confidence and its benefits, as well as how it differs from self-esteem. Then, we’ll focus on strategies for building confidence.
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What is Confidence?
Confidence is the belief in your abilities, qualities, and judgments. You trust in your own capabilities, which allows you to take action and reach your goals. The power of confidence is having an internal sense of security that enables you to overcome obstacles.
Confidence vs self-esteem
Most people use these terms interchangeably, but they are not the same. Self-esteem is the evaluation of your self-worth. It’s an internal opinion of yourself that is formed over time. Confidence, however, is the belief in your abilities; it’s the belief that you can succeed in any situation.
Confidence focuses on the here and now, while self-esteem is formed over time, and focuses more on the past. Confidence tells us we have the skills to succeed right now, while self-esteem is based on past successes and failures.
As you can see, while confidence and self-esteem are different, there is a fine line between them. It will be more difficult to have confidence if you have low self-esteem. After all, if you look at your past and focus on failures, how can you possibly be successful now?
On the other hand, you can have high self-esteem and not be confident if you don’t trust in your abilities. People who have high self-esteem but low confidence tend to diminish their successes and focus on failures. They can believe they are good, but not trust they are capable.
The benefits of confidence
People who are confident tend to be more successful and have higher self-esteem. They are able to handle difficult situations and make decisions. Confident people also tend to forge stronger relationships which makes them happier.
Confidence makes you more likely to take risks, experiment, and reach your goals. It helps you stay motivated while working toward goals. Confident people tend to have higher self-esteem and feel good about themselves.
Confidence helps you face adversity calmly and give you the courage to face your fears. Being confident makes it easier to cope with stress and anxiety.
Recognizing factors that affect confidence
I’ve already mentioned the link between self-esteem and confidence. Additional factors are our environment and beliefs.
As noted, if you have low self-esteem, you’re more likely to suffer from low confidence as well. Your self-esteem is partly rooted in your belief system. If you believe you are incapable of accomplishing something, you won’t be able to do it.
Likewise, if you surround yourself with people who are negative, it will be more difficult to be confident.
If you want to increase your confidence to be able to experience the benefits of the power of confidence, it’s important to recognize these factors in your life. Look for patterns or triggers in your behaviors. Reflect on situations where you struggled. Ask yourself why you might’ve felt less confident.
Consider your past experiences and reflect on how they impact your current state of confidence. Then, set a plan of action to modify or change those factors. Try practicing positive self-talk or affirmations to improve your self-esteem. Evaluate your beliefs (especially about yourself) and think about how they might be limiting beliefs that hold you back.
Strategies for building confidence
Building confidence takes time and dedication. You have to implement a variety of strategies to combat years of negativity and low self-esteem. You have to consistently practice these strategies so they take effect and increase your confidence.
Practice positive self-talk
The strategy behind positive self-talk is being aware of the language we use toward ourselves and making sure we remain positive. Often, we use negative words and attitudes toward ourselves and don’t even realize it.
The first step is to be mindful of the language you use to talk to yourself. Avoid negative words and focus on being positive. At first, this might be really hard and even feel weird. Focus on your successes and achievements.
If doing that feels boastful, you might want to start with positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are statements you make to make you feel more confident and empowered. You might not feel it right away, but it’s through repetition that affirmations take hold. It’s almost a “fake it till you make it” scenario. You need to keep hearing good things in order to believe the good things.
Over time, positive self-talk will improve your self-esteem and make you feel empowered, which will help you build confidence.
Develop a growth mindset
I’ve talked about having a growth mindset before. A growth mindset is having the belief that we can grow and change and accomplish anything that we set out to do. Our intelligence and abilities are not “fixed” from birth.
A growth mindset allows us to recognize strengths and weaknesses and discover ways to improve our skills.
Without a growth mindset, it will be harder to build confidence. If you don’t believe that you can grow and improve, how can you build confidence, which is a belief in your abilities?
Developing a growth mindset will also require you to use positive thinking. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and focus on the process of learning as you work toward a goal. Don’t dwell on mistakes or failures but instead see them as a means to grow and learn more.
When negative, limiting beliefs creep in, you need to challenge them and turn them around. Instead of thinking about how you screwed up, consider what you learned from the experience and how you can change the steps you take next time.
While the end goal is important, you can’t neglect he journey. It’s through the journey that you will learn about yourself and the best ways for you to grow and succeed.
Face your fears
As humans, we like to be comfortable. We don’t like to step outside our comfort zone because it’s scary and we might fail.
But here’s the thing: you can’t learn or grow without being uncomfortable.
Ain’t that a kick in the pants?
You also can’t build confidence without facing your fears and actually doing something. Confidence is built through taking action (even when it’s scary).
Start by making a list of the things that make you uncomfortable or that scare you. Consider why they make you feel that way. Then, create a plan to face them. What small steps can you take?
Always start small. You want an easy win because as soon as you get that little taste of success, your confidence starts to build. As soon as you accomplish one of those steps, celebrate. Acknowledge your progress, allow yourself to feel proud, and then go onto the next step.
Before you know it, you’ll have faced down your fear.
Confidence isn’t something you just build and leave. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it aspect of life. It needs to be nurtured and celebrated.
Part of maintaining your confidence lies in self-care. You need to do things that make you feel good. Surround yourself with positive people who won’t feed into negative or limiting beliefs. The other part of maintaining your confidence is practice.
Here are some tips for practicing confidence:
- Set regular reminders to practice building confidence.
- Track your progress and celebrate your successes.
- Find a support system of people who can help keep you motivated.
- Make time for activities that make you feel confident and empowered.
- Take breaks and give yourself time to rest and relax.
- Practice self-care and nurture yourself.
The power of confidence gives us faith in ourselves and our abilities, which will help us reach our goals and achieve success. Remember that building lasting confidence will take time, but it’s worth the effort. With confidence, you can unlock your full potential and achieve anything you go after.