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What is self-confidence? And how can you find it?

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What is self-confidence? And how can you find it?

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By François THIBAULT - 18 February 2020 / 07H51 - Updated 18 February 2020

Self-confidence is believing in yourself and knowing that you are able to face whatever might come at you. It is the capacity to do something even if you have doubts.

Many well-known leaders often say, “if you want to have self-confidence, you have to be sure of yourself.” Yet it is quite the opposite, and once you have understood this, it will change your life. Self-confidence is facing whatever comes in your path without knowing what the result will be.

In which situations are you ever really sure of the outcome? Only the ones in your comfort zone. Society encourages us to control everything, whether it be in relationships or at work. A person who waits until they are ready or until they have mastered everything before starting something new, will never start anything new. They will never speak up in a meeting and regret it. They look for excuses in order to accept their choices and who they are.

Self-confidence is overcoming these fears and doubts and going forward anyway. Self-confidence is different than self-esteem. Self- esteem is the value that you have in yourself and the amount of love you have for yourself. This is a different topic. How do you make yourself want to love yourself if you don’t? It’s possible to have self-confidence without self-esteem and vice versa.

How can you build self-confidence?

Inside yourself

The best version of yourself is revealed when doing things aligned with your values and passions, not those of someone else. This is where you are at your fullest potential.

You must accept your doubts and be aware of your fears because you can’t control everything. What scares you in life? Being late? Paying your rent? If you are reading this article you are living in luxury, you aren’t in need of anything.

What you need to do is accept that you have doubts and stop wanting to always be ready have everything perfect before starting something new. Trust in yourself and in your intuition, who hasn’t misled you often. Tell yourself to do it, no matter what the end result.

“You won’t be a failure. You will just be experienced.”

Confidence comes from others

How much confidence does a child have who is loved, encouraged, and surrounded by family? And what about a child who is criticised? The level of self-confidence also depends on who you are surrounded by.

It is the same as an adult. This is why there is an exterior dimension for developing self-confidence. You have to know how to surround yourself with real friends who want the best for you. Stay away from toxic people and open yourself to kind people. You will learn from them and they will give you confidence. “I will teach you how to jump and then you will be able to do it on your own.”

To know if the people in your life are toxic or good for you, ask yourself a simple question. How do I feel when I am with them and after being with them? If every time you don’t feel good, you know what you have to do.

Make goals

When you know exactly where you are going, you won’t let yourself be influenced by what is going on around you and what people think. You are confident in yourself. The clearer your goals are, the quicker you will reach them and the more your self-confidence will develop. A clear goal means being precise.

Most people don’t achieve what they want for two reasons: they don’t know what they want, or they don’t know why they want these things. Without a clear goal and without a strong reason to achieve it, we quit at the first hardship, just like the resolutions that we strive for at the beginning of the year and we end up repeating every year. 

Know-how, skills, and repetition

If I questioned you about a subject that you have expert knowledge of, how high would your self-confidence be? Pretty high I would assume.

Skills will obviously bring you self-confidence. To pass an exam or have a successful interview you have to be prepared. 

To build self-confidence, invest in what allows you to progress (books, courses, getting inspired from other people’s success stories) rather than investing in what the philosopher Spinoza calls “pleasure,” which is short-lived.

“The more you repeat something, the more skills you develop.”

Action

Without action, there is stagnancy and if you don’t swim, you sink. Doing things outside of your comfort zone, or what you already know what to do, allows you to develop self-confidence. The quicker you fail, the quicker you learn. And time is ticking; we often wait to be motivated or inspired in order to do something.

“Do something right now, inspiration and motivation will follow, just like your appetite comes when you start eating.”

Self-confidence requires boldness

How bold are you when you feel good? How confident are you in yourself? Everything seems possible when you are feeling good. It’s the opposite when you are upset, tired, or stressed. Your confidence and boldness decline.

When you find what provokes feelings of well-being (which is different from happiness), the more confidence you will have in yourself. Remind yourself of the moments when you felt good and figure out what it was that you were doing, with who, and why you felt good.

François Thibault is the founder of the “FT Conseil” agency and specialises in advice and personal development. He is the author of two published books: Créez le parfait profil en ligne (Creating the perfect online profile).

By

François THIBAULT

18 February 2020 / 07H51
Updated 18 February 2020
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