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1. Self-Confidence- Introduction
Self-Confidence is the one’s ability to judge his own social and personal standing with the respect to his environment and be able to derive satisfaction out of it. Self-Confidence is influenced by factors like upbringing, work environment, and levels of dedication towards pursuing a cause. High Self-Confidence is an important factor in improving businesses ties and balancing personal life.
This tutorial is designed primarily for the students and professionals who lack confidence in expressing their opinions. It will benefit all those readers who suffer from low levels of motivation towards achieving their goals.
Before proceeding with this tutorial, you are expected to have a calm mindset and be open to exploring the suggestions.
There is a famous saying that when you start the journey of your professional’s life, have confidence in your abilities. Because you have not proven your abilities yet.
Right from the early times through the evolution of the human society, this saying couldn’t be truer in the context of the present. These are extremely competitive times that we are living in, and Self-Confidence is one of the biggest pillars of strength and self-sustenance for a human being, more so now than ever.
Being confident about your strength helps you draw courage and resolution when the going gets tough in life. It helps you to keep things in perspective and back yourself when everyone else says that the task ahead in nearly impossible to complete in the stipulated time.
A confident person has enough ability to understand his limitations and knows how to make up for that with his resolve and strengths.
2. Self-Confidence Vs. Self-Esteem
The word esteem comes from the word estimate which means to grade yourself on a standard. Self-Esteem means to evaluate your own value and contribution in your professionals and personal life.
If you think that you are important to the people around you, are contributing to the development of your surroundings, and are a valuable asset in other people’s lives, then you could say that you have a high self-esteem.
In other words, a person with high self-esteem thinks that he is worthy of the world he is in and understand his significance. While self-esteem is dependent of the perception of self, Self-Confidence is completely different.
Self-Confidence, on the other hand, is related to action and is more domain-specific. It’s not an absolute observation as self-esteem, in the way that self-esteem is thinking of your worth in relation to the world. On the contrary, self-confidence is your positive self-assessment in performing a task.
A person who is confident of his abilities is one task might not be so when given another one. Hence, Self-Confidence depends on the task given to perform and on your own ability to do an action.
3. Dynamic of Self-Confidence
Now that we have understood how Self-Confidence depends on your perceived ability to manage an action, lets discuss the actions that help cultivating a sense of Self-Confidence. Self-Confidence thrives in an atmosphere where the person is provided constructive feedback and the focus is always on the positive. In such a working environment, a confident person will be able to practice his skills and talent beyond expectations, as he will get an opportunity to setting goals, forget his own past mistake, and learn new things.
On the other hand, a person’s Self-Confidence can be seriously hampered in an environment where there is constant comparison with others and where expectations are unrealistic. People are pitted against each other as per their performance in the numbers game.
In these conditions, a person will be forced to nurture an unhealthy competitive mentality by resorting to unfair means for success, listening to unworthy role models, being too harsh in judging his own performance, and underestimating his own capabilities.
Such an environment breeds an unhealthy workplace where the stress is more on beating one another performances, as opposed to coming together as a team in helping one another. Such companies might peek for some time, but they ultimately crash.
4. Traits of Self-Confidence People
People with high Self-Confidence approach their problems differently as compared to others. They know the importance of building relationships and hence, they love meeting new people to get and share new ideas. It is this quality of their that makes them likeable, as they are always willing to be in a conversation that gives equal importance and respect to all those who have participated in it.
Confident people love expressing their ideas in front of others, as they are emotionally secure enough to take constructive criticisms and reject emotional ones. That doesn’t mean that they are arrogant; on the contrary, they give everyone the opportunity to put their points forth. However, they have the courage to sick to their decision in spite of a lot of opposition to their ideas, if they are convinced what they are doing is right.
There are two outcomes to nay decision taken- either it turns out to be the correct one, or you fail. However, what sets a confident person apart is that he doesn’t boss around on detractors and he succeeds.
In addition, a Self-Confidence person has the humility to acknowledge his mistakes and learn from them when he fails. This objective approach towards both success and failure is what makes a confident person a lovable and responsible personality.
5. Traits of Under-Confident People
When compared to people with high self-confidence, people with low self-confidence have a very harsh and critical view of themselves. They are prone to taking emotional decisions, as opposed to thinking rationally. They tend to be in their caves instead of meeting new people. They try to shun new company and avoid meeting new people.
A under-confident person tend to feel that he has nothing consequential or constructive to add to any process. This feeling of low-worth, combined with a complete denial towards any change, makes an under-confident person extremely susceptive to mistreatment and undervaluation.
People with low confidence hesitate in sharing their thoughts and opinion, as they think their views will be ridiculed in public. In addition to this, their past experience and interactions with people have not done anything to enhance their self-worth and change their views about their productivity and importance.
This is where a productive atmosphere comes in play. Every person learns from his surroundings and your self-confidence depends directly on the kind of people you meet and the type of discussions you have with them. While Self-Confidence people interact with people whom they have something to learn from, under-confident people convinced that they cannot change and are going to be undervalued is spite of what they do.
6. Effects of Low Self-Confidence
Every person needs someone who he can idolize and follow so that he gauges his own talent, achievements, and progress in comparison to that person and constantly improves. This is exactly what Self-Confidence people do. While interacting with others, reading about others, and putting their ideas in public to gain perspective, they constantly improve their skills and knowledge.
But what happens when people stop doing that? They tend to lose focus, as they don’t have any anchor left in their life who can stabilize them when they are getting adrift. When interaction with society is stopped, a person tends to think about himself and that reflects in the way he accepts criticism. Even constructive criticism for his work will appear personal criticism for him, as his approach would have become extremely Self-Confidence by then.
People with low Self-Confidence tend to think they have no talent or skill to complete a given task and be appreciated. In fact, genuine praise for a good effort comes to them as a surprise and they perceive that as fake appreciation.
People need some positive image about themselves so that they can identify their strengths and weakness. People with low confidence often lapse into a mental state where everything becomes a weakness and every observation appears personal. This leads to further self-degradation.
7. Criticism of the Inner Voice
Its often observed that small children especially those who have working parents, tend to channel their loneliness in the from of an imaginary friend. They talk to his “friend”, ask opinions of him and generally are comfortable with the idea of an invisible but constantly present friend.
Most of them grow out of his phase in life when they start going to school and start making actual friends, but the voice always stays with them. Many people tend to give themselves either positive self-talk in the time of seeking motivation, or negative self-talk in the time of handling failure and subsequent criticism.
This inner voice is what psychiatrists call the inner critic. It is a voice inside you that constantly talks to you, informs you, reminds you, and most often than not, instructs you, you must trust this voice because it is familiar and most of the times, it speaks what you would like to hear.
When this voice speaks well of you, motivates you, and asks you to aspire for higher success in life, it is doing the job of a conscious observer. However, there are times when this voice, inspired by the surroundings you work and live in, berates you, criticizes you, constantly compares your achievement to that of others, causing you to chase impossible targets that you end up setting for yourself.
• Handling Criticism of the Inner Voice
Just like any unreasonable person who is hell-bent on proving you wrong, the solution to tackling and eventually silencing the inner critic is also in having a calm, logical, and resolution-oriented talk with it. Try to enter a calm discussion with it as that will help you identify areas where your approach is not what others expect out of you. It will help you realize where you are doing directionless so that things can be brought back to track.
This is where you have to invoke what we had discussed in the beginning- sometimes you have to believe in yourself, simply because nobody else will. This inner voice, or self-critic, is nothing but your voice fighting for a lack of confidence with your ability. The best way to silence is to prove that you have the skills needed to bring a particular task.
8. Cultivating Comparison
There is nothing wrong in having a few imperfections. Given a wish to change a few things about us, many would wish they could change or modify something or the other about themselves. However, that doesn’t mean that we will continue hounding ourselves with an extremely critical view of things. For the same reasons, we must be compassionate in assessing others on their performance and work.
Compassion is a winning quality, in the sense that people with inspirational personalities often are compassionate towards fellow co-workers and other people in general. It’s a quality that prevents us from being too critical and demanding of others and ourselves and allows scope to understand issues on a practical basis.
Compassionate people use sacrifice and pleasant language while interacting with people around them. They feel comfortable with explaining their ideas and taking suggestions from others, irrespective of the professional’s hierarchy they share with their colleagues. They forgive mistakes and learn from them, have an acute awareness of their strengths and know how to use them to their advantage.
It has been found that when someone empathizes with the people he is talking to; the other person tends to feel more comfortable in sharing personal issues that are influencing his professional’s life and performance. Compassion makes it possible for people to step into other person shoes and understand the situation from that perspective, which is the hallmark of brilliant communicators.
9. Defining Resilience