Today is one of those days when your group has to make a presentation to a client. This is an important occasion because it is an opportunity to get your boss' attention. It could mean a raise or a promotion if you could just muster the courage to stand there in front of these people and present your proposal. The problem is, your shyness gets the better of you, and you are relegated to the background.
You sat there mesmerized, as your colleague Elena made a winning presentation of your proposal. She stood there, dressed in a simple gray suit that spelled confidence! "Why can't I gather enough courage to present my work to these people when I know this project like the back of my hand," you ask yourself.
Self confidence. This is what you lack, and this is what your colleague Elena has. But what is self confidence? Is it the ability to speak in a loud voice so you can get people's attention? Is it about power dressing?
Self confidence is an attitude that is characterized by a positive belief that one can take control of one's life and of one's plans.
People who are self confident are those who acknowledge their capacity to do something and then proceed to do these things. They do not rely on the approval of other people in order to affirm their existence. It is enough that they know they have the capacity and the potential to do something, and the guts to do it no matter what others may say. People who are self confident take advantage of the opportunities that comes their way.
Factors in gaining self confidence
While the process of attaining self confidence starts from childhood, an adult can still gain self confidence through his determination and through the support of his family and friends.
Parental support and acceptance
People begin to develop confidence while growing up. The role of parents in instilling self confidence in their children is very important. Parents who are always critical of their children without acknowledging the latter's strengths unknowingly dampen the development of their self confidence.
On the other hand, parents who are always willing to give support while encouraging their children to take a step forward will most likely rear self confident children. Parents who make their children feel loved and accepted despite their imperfections will most likely encourage self confidence.
Lack of self confidence is not proportional to a person's abilities. In fact, there are people who are extremely talented and able but they lack self confidence to show these abilities.
If you are wanting in self confidence, then you must continuously do things that will help you gain confidence.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses and capitalize on that. Make full use of your strength and gather positive points. This will help you gain self confidence. Do not expect everything to be perfect because you are bound to do something wrong along the way. Nobody is perfect and everyone is culpable of making mistakes.
Acknowledge your abilities and talent and take stock of them. Do not under estimate yourself. Try to recognize every little thing you have done which has become successful. Try to learn a new skill, and try to learn new things as this will make you a better person.
Look for things that make you feel good about yourself. It can be photos of past achievements like when you won a race or won a debate; it can be a poem you wrote which was published in a book. Concentrate on things that you have achieved and take it from there. This will give you more confidence to do other things in life.
Developing self confidence is not easy especially if you do not think highly of yourself. If you want to be self confident, avoid things that will discourage you from gaining confidence. Do not dwell on past mistakes or failures because it will make you feel insignificant. Being a defeatist will not give your confidence a boost.
Better yet, concentrate on the positive things that you have done and accomplished and make them your inspiration. In time, you will have more faith in yourself, and hopefully, more confidence.
In the upcoming chapter we will narrow our focus, look at the specifics and come up with definitive ideas and suggestions that you can put to work in your life to achieve increased confidence in all you do.