Without confidence, any situation can feel threatening, says psychologist Marci Fox, Ph.D., in her PsychologyToday.com article, "The Key to Confidence." In fact, those who lack confidence are more likely to sabotage their own successes. Not only does an unconfident attitude limit your work abilities and personal life, it leaves you open to the consequences of stress and anxiety. Adopt several strategies to increase your self-confidence and open up a world filled with potential.
Don't Fear Imperfections
Accept your imperfections, suggests psychologist Leslie Sokol, Ph.D., in her PsychologyToday.com article, "Six Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem." You won't always be right, and you won't always come in first place so learn to be OK with these facts. Don't spend so much time dwelling on your imperfections that you disregard your other, more positive, traits, Sokol advises. Each time you have a negative thought about yourself, counter it with a positive one. For example, if you catch yourself thinking about how bad you are at giving speeches, praise yourself for being a good listener. Understand that some traits you can improve while others you can only accept.
Focus on Concerns, Not Worries
Worry is the enemy of self-confidence. Battle your worrisome thoughts by recognizing worrying as a needless distraction, says Fox in her PsychologyToday.com article, "Give up Worry by Recognizing It as a Bad Habit." When you worry, you focus on negative 'what-if' statements. In many cases, you cannot even confirm or address these sometimes imaginary problems. On the other hand, a feeling of concern denotes realistic problems, Fox explains. If you feel concern about a situation, take action to prevent or reduce it. Focus only on concerns in your life, and cast aside baseless worries.
Take on new challenges. Whether these challenges come in the form of a new workout routine or learning to play an instrument, always congratulate yourself when you reach goals, even small ones, Sokol explains. Practice congratulating yourself and avoid worrying about certain outcomes as you work your way through challenges. Live in the present and focus on your tasks at hand. View any failures as learning opportunities. And remember: Nobody is perfect.
People often mistake arrogance for confidence and vice versa, but key differences exist. Arrogant people insist on bragging or showing off to earn the praise of others, explains clinical psychologist Leisa Bailey, Ph.D., on her blog post, "The Difference Between Confidence and Arrogance." Arrogant people tend to compare themselves with those around them, whether financially, intellectually or physically. This is because arrogance relies on a sense of external superiority, such as high cash flow or constant praise -- all of which can easily vanish. On the other hand, confident people find happiness even while being aware of their shortcomings. After all, confidence comes from within.
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