I get a lot of emails about boosting self-confidence and overcoming self-doubt. This is a topic that my wife, Hayley, is particularly passionate about so we decided that she would write this post. Please, let us know what you think or if you have any tips of your own to add by posting in the comments below!
1. Stop worrying about what other people think.
”Give yourself the permission and the means to be who you are” – Jen Sincero, You are a Badass.
This simple tip is probably the hardest issue to overcome, but equally the most important. It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people think about you.
You learn to consider other peoples judgments of you from a young age, it’s something you learn organically at school. Performance-based learning means that you're constantly awaiting a grade for your work, or recognition from your teacher for your work. You might be so proud of a painting you did in art class, but if the teacher gives you a C, it’s easy to let that overshadow your own opinion.
The reality is, in everyday life people probably aren’t looking at you, judging what you wear or what you do. They are too preoccupied with their own problems. So stop worrying, wear whatever you want, do whatever you want. Nobody else’s opinion should prevent you from being you.
2. Limit your social media.
”Having the Internet, Google, Facebook, YouTube means that all day, every day, we are flooded with the truly extraordinary. The best of the best. Nonstop. Yet the vast majority of life is unextraordinary, indeed quite average.” – Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
It’s so easy to compare yourself to celebrities, influencers or even people you went to high school with on social media. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have provided a platform for people to post snippets of their lives for everyone to see. But it’s so important to remember that people are posting their “highlight reel“. They aren’t posting a picture of themselves the minute they wake up, with bed hair, pimple cream on their chin and their 10-year-old holey t-shirt. Instead, pictures are posted after hours of makeup, 6 outfit changes and 32 photos to get the perfect lighting and angle.
If you find yourself looking at these people online, comparing yourself, and feeling inferior, then maybe it’s time to take a look at who you follow. Stop following anyone that makes you feel bad about yourself. There are plenty of people online who are more authentic and share the trials and tribulations of real-life online, try following someone who can be a real role model.
3. Do things outside of your comfort zone often.
Consider your confidence to be like a muscle, you need to use it regularly in order for it to get stronger. Whether it’s learning a new skill, joining a local club full of people you don’t know or asking a stranger for a coffee, get out there and try something new.
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”- Brian Tracy
In my personal experience, I’ve found that a great way to truly get outside of your comfort zone is to travel to an overseas country where they don’t speak your language. Couple that with jet-lag, a new currency, different types of transport and having to entirely rely on Google Maps to get around and you’ve got a whole new experience. Navigating these obstacles is only going to help you grow as a person and build up your self-confidence.”All growth ends at the end of your comfort zone.” - Tony RobbinsClick To Tweet
4. Manage your own expectations.
Accept that you are more than likely always going to be mediocre. And that’s OK. Just because your not the best at something, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. You can do anything you want to do.
“If everyone were extraordinary, then by definition, no one would be extraordinary.” – Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Learn to accept your own imperfections, these are inevitable and necessary for personal growth. Despite what you may think, everyone has imperfections and weaknesses. There’s not a human on earth that’s perfect.
“It’s just as easy to believe we’re awesome as it is to believe we’re sucking at things.” - Jen SinceroClick To Tweet
5. Be proud of yourself.
”Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt
You should always be proud of yourself. Not in an egotistical, arrogant way. But in a way that allows you to acknowledge your achievements and recognise your own skills. Getting the balance right and having a sense humble pride is an attractive quality.
Getting a pay rise, for example, is always something to celebrate. Enjoy the moment and be proud. Don’t dwell on the fact that you didn’t get as much as a fellow colleague, or that the jump wasn’t as big as last year. Just celebrate the win!
Sometimes you might not succeed at something you tried. And that’s OK, it doesn’t mean your confidence needs to take a hit. Celebrate the fact that you tried.