How to Gain Confidence
Gaining Self-Confidence: How to Find It
Confidence isn’t something anyone else can give you — you have to earn it for yourself. People from all walks of life — regardless of their age, race, socioeconomic background or gender identity — have struggled to gain self-confidence for generations. The harsh truth is that in the age of social media, the bar is even higher.
Self-esteem is one of the many aspects of child development. Our environment and hereditary traits help shape who we become, and our environments, interests and outlook on life will change as we grow.
The experiences we have as a child inevitably influence the decisions we make later in life. If we have a bike accident, we may be more hesitant to get back on. If we score a goal for the opposing team, we may be hesitant to play the sport again. Those are the moments that suddenly affect the role our self-confidence plays in our day-to-day life.
For various reasons, we tell ourselves we can’t control our self-confidence, but that’s completely untrue. Think of it like watching television. You sit down on the couch, grab the remote and begin to browse what is playing. You know your interests and your favorite channels, and you have control over whether you’ll watch the nightly news or the latest reality show.
Just like tuning to a channel, you can fine-tune the mindset in your head. You can be in a situation where you don’t know the outcome (what will be on television), but you know your preferences. Everything is in your hands, and so is your self-confidence. It says it right in the word: self. This is for you, and you only, to control.
Finding the confidence you need also involves both self-love and acceptance, even though pressure from society may try to tell you otherwise. Scrolling through the internet and seeing people you may know — or worse, complete strangers — and assuming they’re brimming with self-confidence can only destroy your own.
Just because someone may be putting an idealized image of themselves out there or is highly skilled at something does not mean they are fully confident in everything and anything. Without being fully secure in your body and who you are, you won’t have the self-confidence that will have you walking with your chin held high and blinders on to the negative influences.
Self-worth or self-esteem is a trait behind overall self-confidence. These are the thoughts we have about ourselves — whether they concern our abilities or our appearance. If you have low self-esteem, it can not only set you up for failing at a nonexistent perfection, but can cause your mood to decrease significantly due to depression or self-abuse, whether that be physical or mental.
Numerous factors play a role in our self-confidence, including:
All these things carry weight in our minds. We create an idealized image of ourselves in our heads, and if we don’t achieve to a specific level or develop a certain trait, we develop bad habits like negative self-talk. There is a major difference between wanting to give that 1 percent more every day and become a better person and harming ourselves if we don’t achieve it.
The self-confidence we want is to be able to be ourselves, be secure in our thoughts and ideas and enjoy the gifts life gives us. We are all capable of feeling and expressing those things, whether internally or to others. However, in the perfect life we created in our mind, we set deadlines, and if we don’t meet them, our self-confidence lowers even more. We begin to feel worthless, shy and unable to fully live in the moment.
Every person gains confidence differently. Some may gain it with big, life-changing experiences, while others may only attain it after surrounding themselves with people who make them whole. Either way, it can take time to build the confidence you want and deserve, so don’t think you’re behind schedule at 35 — or even older. There’s always room for mistakes, but having confidence means you’re comfortable enough to expect and welcome them.
How Do You Stop Being So Timid?
You can be the most outgoing people-pleaser in the room, but we’ve all had those moments when our shyness takes over. Some tend to be shyer than others, but that’s normal and OK. Imagine if everyone in the world was extroverted to the same degree — it’s impossible! There’s always someone whose personality will be stronger than everyone else’s in the group.
Although it’s completely normal to be timid, you don’t want it to take over how you live your life.
The main objective is to give yourself the love you need and deserve. Self-love is one of the first steps you should take to not only master your confidence, but those over-timid bones in your body. If you take those moments for yourself every day, it will help your overall attitude and outlook on life.
Do you like reading? Read a book.
Do you like playing basketball? Go shoot those hoops.
Do you like movies? I’ve heard there are hundreds available on Netflix.
You must take advantage of the things you enjoy in life. They are there for a reason, and I am here to tell you: You are not alone.
Feeling self-doubt can happen anywhere and at any point in your life — embrace it! These shy thoughts are exactly that: thoughts. You can talk to anyone. You can do anything. Stop putting pressure on yourself that you have to do everything a certain way. Dr. Kristen Neff stated it perfectly: “Don’t beat yourself up for beating yourself up.”
These are when the moments of self-love really come into play. Without being fully in love with yourself, you won’t be able to enjoy the other things in life. Look at it from this standpoint: Some people practically make a hobby out of interacting with other people. They love it, so they do it. However, because they go out of their way to talk to strangers, it’s easy to assume these extroverts have all the confidence in the world and aren’t shy one bit. Wrong. Ask them to talk to the person they admire most or strike up a conversation with a world leader. Do you think they won’t be timid then?
Let me clarify something — shyness doesn’t have to be just about talking to people. It can appear in every aspect of life. The great thing about that? Conquering it requires the same process: loving who you are and embracing it.