Confidence is essential in building lasting relationships and is the foundation required in achieving success. But where does it really come from? What is the root of confidence?
There are many people who feel good about themselves as a result of the large support group they have surrounding them. There are people who feel good because of their status or the level of success that they have achieved. You could argue that this is a perfect example of confidence. But what would happen if that foundation on which their confidence was built suddenly disappeared? What if they were to suddenly lose that support system? Or become bankrupt? It’s a no-brainer. Their confidence would crumble. If your confidence is a result of how others perceive you, your status in life, your wealth or any other external factors, you may find that it often wavers. You have days when you feel confident and days when you don’t. True confidence comes from within, from knowing who you are and living life according to your values and principles.
With that in mind, here are three things you can use to dramatically improve your confidence levels.
Let’s take a look at the three pillars that make up true confidence:
- Knowing where you stand. You may think that arrogance and a complete lack of self-esteem stand on extreme opposite ends of the confidence spectrum in relation to each other when in reality they’re on the same side. The difference being that arrogance is just a cover up for a lack of confidence. If you need to verbally express your superiority to others, then you do not truly believe that you are superior because if you did, you wouldn’t need to say it. Now confidence does not come from believing that you are above everyone else. It comes from knowing that you are equal. Neither superior nor inferior. Truly confident people empathise with others, build others up, don’t make comparisons and know their strengths without having to put others down. Now, getting to the stage where you are completely secure in yourself to view everyone as perfectly equal is difficult. It may involve having to re-evaluate yourself and accept others even when their values don’t mesh with yours. Being stubborn myself, I know firsthand how hard it can be to try to view certain situations from other people’s perspective when it doesn’t benefit me. But it is a path worth taking and will significantly improve your confidence as well as your relationships with others.
- Living by your principles. We all have a set of principles and values that make us who we are. But how often do we truly live by them? How often do we break them, act out and go against our nature? Mistakes are important. They shape us and help us discover who we really are, as well as help to teach us what not to do. But constantly acting out and going against our own better judgements can lead us into a vicious cycle filled with anger and self-hatred. In order to become more at peace with ourselves, we need to let little things go and focus on the important things, we need to act according to our values and principles. As we continue to do that, our faith in ourselves will be restored and our confidence will soar.
- Accepting who you are. This ties together with values and principles and I’ve said this before: confidence comes from knowing who you are and being okay with it. Sure, there are things you could improve about yourself and you should strive to constantly better yourself but learn to love yourself for being you. Know your values, what you stand for and never stray from them. Know your likes and dislikes. Do things to promote self-discovery such as going on holiday to discover new places and people. It’s only by having new experiences that you’ll learn who you are. You don’t need to be perfect and you don’t need to follow the crowd. Be proud of your individuality and accept the uniqueness of others too. Celebrate all the things you do have in common and remember that we’re all human. We love and hurt the same way.
These three things are at the core of confidence and if you spend time on each one of those steps, your sense of self-worth will greatly improve.