How would you like to know the secret to absolute and unwavering self-confidence?
Here it is: There is no secret! It’s impossible, and dangerous, to be completely self-confident 100 percent of the time.
Imagine someone who takes “fake it ‘till you make it” to the extreme. They decide to swim across a mile-wide river despite never having swum this distance. This person gets halfway through and can’t go any further.
I don’t want you to think you have superpowers, but I do want to teach you how to improve your self-confidence.
Most people have a lack of self-confidence because of their idealistic vision of what a self-confident person looks like. When we see a self-confident person, we assume they are confident in all aspects of their life.
The reality is everyone has their insecurities. We are all confident in some areas and insecure in others. You don’t have to be confident in everything you do. You just have to be confident in the things most relevant to your success and happiness.
I’m extremely self-confident when it comes to my business abilities. On the other hand, I’m extremely insecure when it comes to my mountain climbing abilities. The first step towards improving your self-confidence is grounding your concept of self-confidence in reality.
It’s easy to notice self-confidence in others, but much harder to notice it in ourselves. We are often under-confident in our strengths. Make a commitment to own your strengths.
The second key to understanding self-confidence is to embrace your faults. Own your weaknesses in the same way you own your strengths. I accept my weakness in mountain climbing because this skill is irrelevant to achieving my personal and business goals.
Accept the weaknesses you are unwilling to change. There is no point in stressing over a weakness if you aren’t willing to do the work necessary to make lasting change.
How to Improve Your Self-Confidence
No one is born great at something. It takes a conscious choice to put in a concerted effort in order to master a skill. Most people think I’m a great public speaker, but I was terrible the first time I spoke in front of people. It took a lot of hard work to turn public speaking into one of my strengths.
In regards to any weakness, you have two choices: embrace or change. You can’t dislike a quality but do nothing to change it. This is a recipe for low self-confidence. The exercise in the next section will help you stop being overly-critical of yourself.
An Exercise in Self-Confidence
Have you ever listened to a recording of your voice or watched yourself on video? If you have, you probably noticed every little verbal and nonverbal idiosyncrasy.
The exercise is to watch a video of someone else speaking, and watch with the same critical eye you would if it was a video of yourself. You will notice even professional speakers have the occasional odd twitch or change in the pitch of their voice.
We are hardwired to hold ourselves to a higher standard than we hold others. It has always been a great survival mechanism, but it causes low self-confidence if it runs unchecked. We notice our imperfection more than in others and forget everyone has imperfections. Self-confidence is ultimately about knowing yourself. It is about knowing who you are, what you’re good at, and what you want to change.
A life coach can help you strengthen your self-confidence. Schedule a life coaching consultation with Arman to find out how.