Self-Confidence And How Critical It Is For Personal Growth.
There is a friend each one of us knows that radiates with self-confidence. You look at a group and can single them out because they stand out and steam with the magic of self believe. The funniest thing about this whole scenario is that that guy may not be competent. He/she could only be rich in self-assurance. At times, the individual may be competent and super confident at the same time. I tend to think that this whole thing to do with self-confidence stops with personal esteem.
I have introduced two critical concepts. One is competence which means whether an individual has the required skills to achieve something. Then there is the concept of self-assurance which deals with the capacity whether one believes or not that they have the ability to do something. It becomes satisfactory when one possesses competence and self-assurance at the same time. It is the guys that rock our worlds.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines self-confidence as a feeling of satisfaction that someone has in himself or herself and his or her own abilities. In his publication Personal Confidence and Motivation, Sean McPheat defines self-confidence as the belief that a person has it in their ability to succeed at a task, based on whether or not they have been able to perform the task in the past. It is interesting that in matters to do with self-confidence it doesn’t matter whether we are endowed with uniqueness or not. Whatever abilities and talents we have is what we work with it.
To improve personal confidence we have to really work hard in improving our self-esteem. Self-esteem has more to do with how positive we think of ourselves, talents and abilities. It is the respect we give ourselves, the joy of appreciation of our individuality that enables us to have personal confidence irrespective of our skills, education levels or even how much we have or know.
David Burns, an adjunct professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Health defines Self-esteem as “the capacity to experience maximal self-love and joy whether or not we are successful at any point in our life.” This satisfaction experienced when an individual has high levels of self-esteem help to a great deal in developing the aspect of personal assurance which is very important irrespective of mastery in our levels of self-confidence.
Our personal confidence is often affected when we face setbacks or failure in our quests. And some stories are better said by personal experiences. I will give two stories from my life on self-confidence and how I have been working to improve it to this far.
When I was in college, I beamed with a lot of self-confidence. My classmates believed I spoke my mind and I could go for anything that life could dare put on my way. I was all at easy around my seniors including lectures and could do presentations without a second thought. It happened that I once went to sell some medical products for a business I owned back in the day and I received a series of rejections as I wrote here last year that ended up affecting my self-confidence. The biggest mistake I did was to allow doubt to enter in me and at that moment I couldn’t trust that I could really do it. Doubt in your self worth is killer of self-confidence.
A few years later, I with a friend of mine opened a small manufacturing firm for making chalks, candles and dish paste. I remember us going to sell our candles for the first time and we couldn’t make a sale. I haven’t shared this with him but it really affected my confidence until I believed for truth that I wasn’t born to win or succeed. It affected me in big way and almost made me lose the huge confidence I had all along that I was destined to conquer. However, I didn’t let it at that this time round. I have been growing my confidence since them. How am I doing it?
First I started by conquering small challenges every day. I started reading a lot to gather as much knowledge and information about whatever I do so that I could have the mastery of them. It is one of the means I have discovered that greatly improves my interactions. If I master it, then I won’t fear to talk about it. Self-confidence is affected a great deal when presented with a topic one has no knowledge about. Mastery is critical for self-confidence.
Secondly is the aspect of social influence. I decided to start learning from mentors both in person and through reading. I study people most often when I realize they really belief in themselves. I read a lot of autobiographies in person any time I get interested in learning how somebody does get to successfully do their things. I have realized through a lot of interaction with many people that everybody has their own wars going on in them and ours are never unique in their own. A case is in building of great companies. Most founders failed a lot before they could build the great companies we see today. If I can’t read the person, I read the enterprise.
Finally it is important that we set our emotional states in check at all times. Emotional balance is very important in helping us appreciate our states. Being a lot more positive, always seeing the good in people, forgiving more, accepting mistakes, loving yourself completely and most importantly focusing on the moment rather than the environment (the people/masses) is a sure bet for being a lot more self-confident.
I love what Naveen Jain remarked, “You are never successful if there is any iota of arrogance in you.” Self-confidence is humble. It should not be mistaken for arrogance. I have always believed that humility is the secret to self-confidence. Let go the past. Forgive yourself for past mistakes. Accept your weaknesses. Appreciate yourself completely. Maximize on strengths. Be optimistic and belief you are the best there will be. Only then can we have super personal confidence.
Self-confidence is like a muscle. It grows with time. The more you exercise in becoming confident, the more it grows in you. Start exercising now and see things change because you will realize more people are willing to accept you the way you are than you think. Again you will realize that everybody else is struggling with their own self confidence. You are not alone, keep going.
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