How Dealing with Self-Doubt will Build your Self-Confidence
When things don’t work out, it’s natural to doubt yourself, perhaps even experience a dip in your confidence and self-esteem. There’s nothing unusual about that. It’s normal.
For me, that’s the first lesson about self-doubt….
Self-doubt affects us all.
The second lesson? Well, some people think you need to possess certain qualities to be confident. That’s simply not true.
Everyone can develop self-confidence. Confidence is a skill. You can learn it.
People with true self-confidence have found a way of quickly stamping out any self-doubt that arises. They don’t let it hold them back. It only affects them for a little while.
Don’t believe these lies about self-confidence
MYTH #1 – Self-confidence comes naturally to talented people
Sure … some people are naturally more talented at some things than others; some people are gifted at sport, some are gifted with high intelligence, others can sing well, others are good dancers, others are gifted with creativity and so on. This is often the reason you doubt yourself; you compare yourself to others, particularly ‘talented’ people.
It’s true that there are natural talents we’re born with. However it doesn’t automatically follow that naturally talented people have self-confidence (or don’t doubt themselves).
It’s easy to be fooled though. Some people do seem to exude self-confidence naturally. Think of people you see on television who are performing to an audience of millions. This would seem an absolutely impossible task to the majority of us. You’d probably think that someone who can do this couldn’t possibly have problems with self-confidence.
You’d be wrong.
In his biography write up by Dominic Wills, Micky Rourke is described as headstrong and opinionated but always lacking in self-confidence. Robbie Williams admitted having problems with self-confidence when he performed on X Factor. The truth is that even talented people suffer from a lack of confidence.
The key is to be satisfied in your own abilities and to know that you’re giving your best. The way to make this work is to accept that what’s important is what you think, not what others think about you.
So – Don’t doubt yourself if you think you lack talent! Try to harness the skills that you do have. We all have strengths. It’s what you think that matters, not what others think.
MYTH #2 – People with self-confidence can deal with challenging situations without even thinking about them.
This just isn’t true. Think of a friend you would describe as having self-confidence – try asking this person how it is that they manage to deal confidently with situations they find challenging. If you don’t have a confident friend you know well enough, just watch how people with self-confidence conduct themselves. You’ll come up with the same answer either way.
When they come up against an unexpected challenge, confident people prepare properly before they act. They tend not to just jump in and do or say something without thinking about it. In other words, they have the self-discipline to create time for themselves to think. This really helps when you’re trying to conquer self-doubt.
Truly confident people even tell you they need time. Sometimes all that’s available is a few seconds – that’s better than nothing. This gives them time to think about what they’re going to say before they say it. There’s pretty well always some time available to do this. Confident people create it and use it effectively. They don’t let people pressurise them into giving knee-jerk answers.
So don’t start doubting yourself because you think you’re slower than confident people when you have to think on your feet. No one has an in-built natural ability to deal with situations off the cuff. Prepare properly before you commit an answer, particularly when you’re under pressure. There’s always time available. You just need to have the presence of mind and self-confidence to grab it.
MYTH #3 – You need to be good looking or popular to be confident
You’ll need to get this out of your mind. Your looks should not interfere with your confidence levels. Think about people you know who you would describe as confident. I’ll bet the majority of them don’t look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Joli do they? In fact – would you describe any of them as good looking? Maybe one or two perhaps, but you’d expect that with the law of averages.
The key here is that it’s not what you look like physically that’s important. It’s your self-belief and how you feel on the inside that forms the nucleus of self-confidence. Overcoming self-doubt becomes a lot easier if you keep this firmly at the front of your mind.
MYTH #4 – Confidence is all about your physical presence
It’s true that presenting yourself well physically certainly helps if you want to come across confidently. However, you need more than just physical presence.
Think of physical presence and the assertive presentation of your thoughts as the last activity in a chain of events. For you to loo confident to people, every link in the chain needs to be strong. The strength of the chain and its ability to withstand stress is generated through your mindset.
Having the strength of character to believe in yourself and your abilities is a critical element of the process. This is an essential step if to conquering self-doubt.
MYTH #5 – Confident people don’t worry about how they look and sound
Confident people know exactly how they look and sound to other people. They have identified and eliminated any distracting habits they might have and they use their body language to portray confidence on the outside.
Understanding how you look and sound to others is essential to overcoming self-doubt. Confident people think about how they come across and adjust the way they look and sound when appropriate. Read more about why it’s important to know how people perceive you in our blog ‘How people perceive you and why it matters’.
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