From Self-Conscious to Confident
Everyone experiences moments of self-doubt. However, if you consistently lack confidence in your ability to make good decisions, if you look to others to make decisions for you, and if you make their opinions matter more than your own, then it’s time to overcome self-doubt, regain your self-confidence and start trusting yourself again. Here are nine ways to improve confidence.
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1. Don’t Overthink Things
Sure, a certain amount of thought should go into the decisions you have to make, but there’s such a thing as too much thought. It’s called overthinking and overthinking is detrimental to your self-confidence. If you’re constantly trapped by all the what-ifs and the thousands of outcomes and possibilities that could stem from a single decision, you have to realize you’re holding yourself back. Get out of your head and learn to be decisive instead. You can start will small decisions and build up to bigger ones. Decisiveness can improve confidence.
2. Make a Decision and Stick to It
Now that you are learning to make decisions, stick to them. Whether they turn out to be the right decisions or the wrong ones, don’t waiver. We all make bad decisions and you can’t expect to make the right decision every time you’re confronted with a choice. You don’t need anyone else’s input either. Save yourself the time, anxiety, and confusion too. Just make a decision on your own.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
You’re a different person with your own needs, desires, and priorities too. You can admire someone without comparing your accomplishments to theirs. Your life is a unique story, so how about just loving who you are? If you practice self-acceptance you’ll certainly improve confidence.
4. Remember the Good Decisions You’ve Already Made
You have already made several good decisions in your life thus far. If you’re full of self-doubt now, remind yourself of those good decisions you’ve already made. You certainly weren’t so full of self-doubt then. What’s changed for you?
5. Make Confidence a Behavior
According to Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D., people who feel down about themselves or lack self-confidence don’t just feel that way, they actually “…actively maintain these painful experiences and self-perceptions through the ways that [they] think.” The good news is that you’ve taught yourself to think this way, so you can also teach yourself to choose confident thinking instead. You can then eliminate self-doubt and replace it with self-confidence.
6. Build Confidence Like You Build Muscle
True, there’s no overnight fix to overcoming self-doubt. But just as you go to the gym every day to build body muscles, eliminating self-doubt will become easier over time with the help of some reinforcement. In a tinybuddha.com article, well-being coach, Sirena Bernal shares one of her tips for overcoming self-doubt: reading positive material, such as Don Ruiz’ book, “The Four Agreements.” You can hit the books to improve confidence over time just like you can hit the gym to build muscle over time.
7. Clear Your Mind
If you get caught up on the Ferris wheel of what-ifs and negative self-talk, do something to clear your head. Take a walk around the block or meditate too. Time away devoted to self-care will give you the answers you need, help you make decisions, devise your action plan, and ultimately improve confidence.
8. Get on With Your Day
Once you’ve made your choice, don’t leave time to second-guess yourself. Get on with your day. Get back to work or begin a new chore so your time and mind are busy. Put your choice out into the Universe and see what comes back to you.
9. Set Goals for Yourself
According to entrepreneur.com, setting long-term goals is a wise way to improve confidence. However, setting short-term goals for yourself will help you pile up the successes, which in turn can build your self-confidence.
Your Fate is in Your Hands
No one knows what’s best for you more than you do. When you learn how to overcome self-doubt, you’ll never want to leave your fate in the hands of others or worry that your decisions may be wrong. You have your own best interest at heart, so you’re the best person to make the decisions that shape your life. Take that first step and do it with confidence!
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