Self-confidence an introduction
By Ellen Prue
Having poor self-confidence or low self-esteem can make many things really difficult. Conversely, when you have self confidence that is solid and reliable, most things become easy and fun as well!
Good self-confidence allows you to achieve the real goals in your life whether they are to do with work, relationships or just being comfortable with yourself. Without self-confidence it’s difficult to fulfil your potential in any area.
If you’re giving a presentation and you’re constantly worrying about how you’re coming across, that’s a waste of brain power! How much more compelling, exciting or persuasive would you be if all of your attention was focused powerfully on the job in hand?
If you’re talking to someone you’d like to get to know better, how will you come across if you’re always thinking ‘Am I saying the right thing?’, ‘Do they like me?’. If you’re going out socially, you need to be able to enjoy it! That’s what socialising is about! People need other people, but without self-confidence, you miss out on the joy that good relationships bring.
Think about it now. When are you at your most relaxed, happy, funny, or chatty? It probably is when you’re with people you’re most comfortable with. Maybe old friends or family.
Now, what if you could feel that good meeting new people, in a meeting at work or doing public speaking? What if you could really feel ‘I am what I am, take it or leave it!’?
How would things be if you could go into any situation with curiosity and a sense of fun, with the thought ‘Whatever happens here, I’ll be fine’?
What will it mean to you to be 100% confident? Not arrogant, not loud and annoying, just easily, calmly confident about who you are and what you can do. It’s essential for your motivation that you do this. Think a little about it now. What will those old difficult situations be like once you are self-confident? How will you feel with that person that currently causes you problems?
The three biggest myths of self confidence
These are the most common things we hear with regards to having confidence:
• “You have to be born with it.”
Not true, self-confidence is a set of skills that can be learned, just like learning to drive or play a game.
• “If you’ve had your confidence destroyed, it’s gone for good.”
Wrong. It may take a greater leap of faith to start building it back up, but once you’re there you’ll be much harder than you were before and less likely to have your confidence shaken again.
• “I’ll know I’m confident when I can be sure I’ll succeed at something new.”
How can you know you’ll succeed when you’ve never done something before? Confidence is much more about tolerating uncertainty: being cool with not knowing what is going to happen.
There are six exercises which use various techniques from psychology and are designed to increase your confidence.
Work through them in order with a notebook or scrap paper.
Next – Exercise One – What does self-confidence mean to you >
These articles on Self-confidence can be found on the Barts Heath NHS Trust website >