Self-confidence: consider in detail

The top 5 sources of self-confidence

“Mom, you’re a psychologist. You probably know a way for me to become more confident,” 16-year-old Andrew said one evening, sitting next to me on the couch. “What exactly do you want to know?” – I asked. “Well, when I talk to a girl I like, I don’t know what to say at all. “

We throw around the word “confidence” all the time, rarely even thinking about what meaning we put into it. Is it confidence in social situations? Or is it confidence in one’s abilities? Or are we talking about confidence in others and belief in the future? Or is it about the ability to perform in front of an audience?

It’s funny that psychologists rarely talk about confidence, preferring other concepts such as self-efficacy. It refers to a person’s belief in their ability to achieve their goals and in their ability to bring any situation to a positive outcome. If such definitions don’t make you feel clearer, here’s an example from the children’s book “The Steam Train That Could” by Watty Piper about a blue train that tried to go up a slide.

“Chug, chug, chug, chug, chug,” panted Little Blue Train. – I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” “Hooray, hooray!” – shouted the funny little clown, followed by all the other dolls and toys. And Little Blue Steam Train smiled.”

Confidence is not just a feeling that everything will be okay, but a conviction that you can succeed

The repetitive phrase “I think I can” conveys well the attitude of a confident person. It is important to note that there is no such thing as a “confidence skill,” confidence is a person’s belief that they can successfully apply their skills under certain conditions. If you are confident that you can do something, it does not mean that you will actually do it (it is more about “can” than “will”).

Confidence is not the expectation of a desired result, but the feeling that you are capable of taking the action that should bring that result. It is important to note that confidence is not a personality trait and is generally a narrower concept than self-esteem. It is limited to specific situations and context. It makes sense-your teenage son may be confident in his ability to solve complex math problems, but completely unconfident when dealing with girls (just like mine).

To summarize, confidence is not just a feeling that you will do well, but a conviction that you can succeed in some area if you really try. In other words, it is the ability to be yourself, to try your hand at anything without fear of embarrassing yourself in front of others and keeping a positive attitude.

It is important to understand that your teenager’s motivation, emotional state and actions depend more on what he or she believes in than on objective reality (but, of course, belief in oneself should not be taken to an unrealistic level). If teens think they are confident, they will act, think, and feel differently than if they don’t think they are. You could say that they are not predicting their future, but creating it.

Confidence plays an important role when it comes to different aspects of life. These include:

  • decision making
  • our motivation to make an effort
  • our sense of self, attitudes toward others, and attitudes toward doing things
  • Ability not to give up when faced with obstacles (especially in the face of failure)
  • successful functioning
  • Resilience
  • (un)vulnerability to stress and depression
  • Healthy habits and lifestyles, including physical activity, diet, stress control, safe sex, quitting smoking, dealing with alcohol problems, following medical prescriptions, and so on.

Research shows that confidence can be drawn from five sources. Let’s look at each of them, in descending order of importance.

1. Direct experience.

Essentially, these are goals we have already achieved. For example, if we get good grades in math, we begin to believe that we are capable of doing well in that subject. If we performed well in a soccer game, scoring a couple of goals, we begin to believe that we are good at soccer.

2. role models

These are the people we admire. They have the qualities and skills that we want to have. Their success motivates us, we usually try to acquire the same skills, knowledge, and attitude that they have. It is noteworthy that the more these people are like us (in such parameters as age, gender, background, career), the more likely their successes can add to our confidence as well.

3. Support and Approval

It is important for others to believe in us and support us in our endeavors, it especially helps when we ourselves have respect for them. However, the support and approval of others gives a much smaller boost of confidence than personal experiences and role models.

4. Emotions and Experiences

Moods and reactions to stress play a big role. If we get too stressed trying something new, we will start avoiding it or do it poorly. By learning how to handle stress better, we can also add to our confidence.

5. Imagining .

By imagining how we will cope with future challenges (for example, if we have an oral exam or a driving test), we can add to our confidence, and although this is much less effective than actual experience, it can still come in handy.

By now you probably realize that if we simply try to instill confidence in a teenager (“Honey, the girls will definitely like you”), the effect will be very small compared to the effect of actual achievement. Confidence does not precede achievement, but rather follows it. Therefore, the best thing parents can do is to let their child overcome difficulties to the best of his or her ability.

Perhaps your son or daughter will be very nervous at a school disco, but even one dance can give them much more confidence than all the parental words of encouragement. But what if there are no achievements to build on yet? In that case, you can turn to your imagination (the fifth source of confidence). One way is to imagine the best possible version of yourself in the future.

Invite your teenager to describe his or her own future, giving the following instruction: “Imagine that everything you hoped for has come true, you have achieved everything you wished for, and you have been able to realize your full potential. Try to picture yourself as vividly as possible, describe that image in writing, and continue to develop it over the next few weeks.

In a study with a control group, a similar exercise helped participants increase their confidence and optimism and better understand their goals and priorities, resulting in a better quality of life. If your teenager doesn’t like to write, help them express their image visually – by drawing it on paper or in photoshop. The main thing is to make this image look as lively and tangible as possible and motivate them to take concrete actions to make it a reality.

A confident person: the characteristics and differences from others

We often admire those people who are fully responsible for their words and actions. Such individuals can easily stand up for themselves and their loved ones. In addition, they can easily cope with a difficult task that comes their way. However, any of us can become such an attractive person. To do this, you only need to work on yourself. Before we start the exercise, we need to consider the character traits inherent in self-sufficient people.

What does it look like?

A confident person stands out from the crowd. Such a person can be identified by gait, gaze, gestures and behavior. There are other signs of confidence that people who do not have the fortitude of character, but want to get rid of it, need to know about. So, to become a person who can easily and confidently go through life, you should study the characteristics of a strong personality.

  • Such individuals are characterized by poise.
  • They are responsible for their actions, and their thoughts are focused on making sure that all the events in life are for the good.
  • Confident people know exactly what they are doing is right.
  • They are in control.
  • Strong people are in deep conviction that it was their thoughts and actions that led to certain life events.
  • The aforementioned individuals easily defend their point of view and do not show aggression.
  • Such people have a positive attitude, and can conduct an internal dialogue, which helps them always get out of difficult situations.
  • They do not lend themselves well to control from the outside. They can not be ordered to perform anything against their will.
  • They like to always draw conclusions from past mistakes, so they do not repeat them.
  • First weigh up their strengths, and then make a decision.
  • Always express their position clearly and distinctly.
  • They conduct a dialogue based on knowledge.
  • They are persistent and easily get what they want.
  • Their behavior is characterized by complete serenity.
  • They know what they want.
  • Express their thoughts openly and take into account other people’s opinions.
  • They are characterized by complete dedication. This can be seen in their body postures.
  • They make decisions boldly and act strictly according to the rules of life.
  • Not afraid of life changes and enjoy them.
  • Can easily influence the situation.

In addition, strong people are always proud of their achievements and willing to tell about them. They do not expect approval from others, but they thank supporters and have a good sense of humour.

Inner qualities

It is the inner qualities of the person that speak most about his character, not the outer ones. You can define the signs of self-confidence on your own. If you find the strength to admit your shortcomings and mistakes, and try to correct them, you can consider that your character is characterized by strength and integrity. And this shows your inner calmness and confidence.

In addition, the individual who is distinguished by such behavior, give away the following qualities.

  • Self-esteem. A person sincerely believes in his virtues and tries to rely on them when making decisions.
  • A complete understanding of himself. He is in control of his actions and deeds. For him, the main thing always and everywhere is motivation.
  • He monitors his emotional state. Never allows himself hysterical outbursts. Does not reproach himself or others for any blunders and mistakes.
  • Accepts his shortcomings. Does not blame himself for them.
  • Overcomes all obstacles.
  • Sets goals for the distant future and takes some responsibility.
  • Thinks about himself, takes care of his health. Therefore, he is in full harmony with his body and thoughts.
  • He is not shy to ask for help from neighbors, not considering such actions humiliating.
  • He tries not to shift any decisions to other people.

Man is a social creature. Therefore, he is in contact with other people and, notice, does it either correctly or not at all. A strong person is distinguished from the reserved and timid people by a number of actions that originate from the inner qualities of the individual.

  • A confident person will never allow himself to humiliate a weaker person. He treats his opponents with respect and does not assert himself at the expense of the weak.
  • He is natural in his actions and conversations.
  • He is always open to dialogue and seeks to communicate informally.
  • In a dispute he can easily compromise, as he always reasoned soberly and fairly.
  • He always considers the needs and interests of other people when making decisions that will bring him personal benefit.
  • He is attentive to people.
  • Does not criticize others or judge others for misdeeds.

Is it possible to learn to be confident?

Of course it is possible. The main thing – a very strong desire. And to succeed, you need to solve several problems.

  • Significantly increase your knowledge base. Read more literature. There you will find many interesting moments from real life. And also learn how to communicate properly and gain knowledge.
  • Refine your appearance. Buy presentable clothes, go to the hairdresser.
  • Work on your speech. Stand in front of a mirror and try to talk to yourself on any topic. Use more clever words. If you do such exercises regularly, you will soon realize that you got used to speak correctly and correctly. And this speech will become the norm.
  • Be sure to watch your hygiene and health. Remember that a confident person radiates positivity through a healthy state of mind and flawless appearance.
  • A successful person has a very good posture. If an individual is bent “in three bends”, no matter how hard he tries, he will not be able to appear before people in a proper form. So try not to be hunched over and always hold your head up high.
  • Always look your interlocutor straight in the eye when talking. Remember that your eyes can say much more than words. Smile more and radiate positivity. Open-minded people always inspire confidence in interlocutors. Openness is a big plus for building confidence. It will also help if you want to convince a person of something.
  • Never sit in the corner if you’re at a cultural or themed event. You don’t need to sit with your head on your phone. It speaks more about your insularity and lack of self-confidence than about your independence.
  • Do not abuse the closed poses. For example, do not put your bag in front of you, cross your legs or arms. Stay open and confident, then people will reach out to you.

There is no need to worry about your gestures. For example, some people even become the soul of the company through gestures.

In addition, the confident person has a mindset of a certain orientation. Therefore he is in perfect harmony with himself. And this means that he thinks in a special way.

  • He knows his positive qualities and traits. He tries to praise himself internally for any achievements. Always remembers the strengths of his character and applies them in practice.
  • Never gives in to sadness.
  • Proud of his appearance. Likes compliments, as they allow him to look at his positive features from a different angle – more conscious.
  • He is happy with his achievements. Even the smallest of them cause him respect for himself. For example, today you have shown ingenuity, which helped your colleagues to get out of a difficult and rather confusing situation. For this you were all thanked and praised. Modesty is good, but if you deserve praise, accept it with gratitude.
  • Write down his achievements and successful actions in a special notebook. When such a person loses faith in himself, he can reread his “victories”, thereby raising his morale.
  • A person will always find something to improve or develop in him/herself. Even a quite confident person is always on the move in terms of thinking activity.

That is why such a person is always working on himself: engaged in self-education and acquiring new skills.

In addition, if you want to develop self-confidence, the following recommendations will be useful.

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