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Train self-confidence: 12 tips and exercises
Many people would like to be more confident. More confident in appearance, more independent in thinking, mentally stronger, less shy - in short: you would like to have more self-confidence. In psychology, self-awareness has two meanings: The awareness of one's own existence. And: the certainty of your own self-worth. But HOW can self-confidence be strengthened? In fact, there are some means, ways, and tips for doing this. We'll tell you here ...
➠ Content: This is what awaits you
➠ Content: This is what awaits you
What is self-esteem?
According to the definition, self-confidence describes the “deep conviction of one's own abilities”, trust in one's ability to act and one's own worth. Its relatives and synonyms - "self-confidence" and "self-esteem" - are thus expressions of mental strength. Those who own them not only deal more calmly with conflicts and confrontations. Self-confident people also have more confidence in themselves and are often more successful as a result.
Boost self-confidence: is it possible?
Self-confidence develops. Not just passively. It can also be actively promoted, learned and strengthened. To do this, however, we must first understand how self-confidence or self-confidence is created and how it is composed. The foundation for this is formed by three questions of self-analysis:
- Who am I?
- What can I?
- What am i worth
When answering these questions, two processes are set in motion:
- The self-awareness. The awareness of what one is, feels, can ("I play the piano well and speak French fluently.").
- The self-assessment. Recognition of one's own talents and abilities (“I'm proud of that.”).
This is how self-confidence reveals itself
Together, this creates different expressions and facets of self-confidence:
All of these characteristics condition, influence and strengthen each other: Those who trust their abilities, are aware of their strengths and qualities, and consider themselves valuable, lose inhibitions and fears and in return steadily gain self-confidence and intellectual independence.
It is the way to mental and emotional freedom.
If you know how important you are, you no longer need to make yourself important. (Ernst Ferstl)
Are Self Confidence and Confidence the Same?
Both terms are used synonymously and are also closely related. But there is a difference:
- Confidence looks to the present and knows his own strengths, weaknesses and limits - is “aware” of them.
- Confidence looks ahead and enables us to overcome these limits. Through confidence and faith in ourselves.
When does self-confidence arise?
How self-confident a person is and how much self-esteem he or she has depends in part on genes. For some people this is just a natural thing to do. But the environment and the child's character have an even stronger influence.
Parents play a particularly important role in developing healthy self-esteem: They are the first to convey to you that you are a precious, loved one. This early appreciation and social acceptance are required especially for healthy self-confidence.
In the further course of life we meet numerous people who look at us through their own glasses and evaluate us: teachers, friends, partners, bosses, colleagues ... They have all told us or shown us (through compliments) how they see, appreciate or evaluate us would like to have, so that we fit into their (positive) image.
Self-image and feedback build self-confidence
This is how our self-confidence and self-confidence develop in the intersection of our own self-image and the feedback from our social environment (see graphic):
You can only influence the right side indirectly - for example by choosing your friends wisely and avoiding toxic people.
But you can do all the more on the left: An important step towards more self-confidence is to get to know yourself better. Gain more confidence in your own perception. Who you are, what you can (create). That you are worth it and that no one can take away your self-worth. Nobody!
Only on the basis of this self-knowledge, self-acceptance and self-acceptance can the second step take place: strengthening your self-confidence.
How do you show strong self-confidence?
It's easy to admire or even envy others for having a strong sense of self. It is more difficult to identify what is showing her confident demeanor.
Often it is a combination of different signals that convey a strong sense of self, with some being consciously perceived, while others are more inconspicuous but just as effective.
What makes a confident person:
- She has a confident charisma.
This is especially noticeable in body language: open posture, direct and sustained eye contact, no nervous gestures. Those who act so confidently are treated better - a positive spiral develops.
- She believes in her own skills.
A confident person knows their strengths and talents. And she is convinced of it. Behind this is the attitude: "I can do something special and I can - and rightly - be proud of it."
- She believes in achieving her own goals.
Confidence in one's own abilities strengthens one's belief in success. In other words, achieving goals that you have set yourself and being able to make a career.
- She stands up for herself.
A self-confident person is able to represent their interests and to protect them from others. She is not afraid to speak her mind openly, but she can also admit mistakes and take responsibility for them.
- She can approach other people.
It is not difficult for a self-confident person to approach strangers openly and sympathetically and to make contacts. She quickly gets into conversation.
Self-confidence does not come from always being right, but from not being afraid of going wrong.
Why did I lose my confidence?
However, there are just as many people who suffer from a lack of self-confidence and struggle in everyday life not to let themselves get down. Often there are two fears behind it:
Behind both fears is a negative self-image. In contrast to self-confident people, those affected are not convinced of their abilities, but are plagued by constant doubts.
This leads to an inner insecurity in which challenges are ultimately perceived as a threat.
This uncertainty also shapes behavior and relationships with other people. Often times, insecure people need continued reassurance, approval and approval from the outside. This makes them and their self-image enormously unstable and susceptible to manipulation.
Before we get to the tips on how to strengthen your self-confidence, please ask yourself these (uncomfortable) questions. They represent a kind of "self-confidence test". This is often where the roots of insecurity lie:
- Do I often feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar situations?
- Am I Afraid of Making Mistakes?
- Do I rarely dare to express my opinion?
- Do I like to swallow problems?
- Is it difficult for me to say “no”?
- Am I particularly in need of harmony?
- Am I afraid of criticism from others?
- Do I often wonder how I will be received by others?
- Do I avoid conflicts?
- Do I find it hard to complain about injustices?
- Am I trying to please others?
- Can I enforce my demands badly?
- Can I refuse wishes badly?
- Do I think a lot and often brood?
- Do I often feel guilty or ashamed?
- Is it difficult for me to keep eye contact?
- Do I compare myself a lot with other people?
- Do I prefer to wait instead of doing something?
- Do I often feel like I am inferior to others?
If you were able to agree to more than 30 percent of the questions, your self-confidence is still weak and could use a boost.
Another cause of self-esteem is excessive self-criticism. Lots of insecure people tend to judge themselves way too harshly. They weight their weaknesses more than their strengths. As a result, you mainly see your own deficits and flaws instead of appreciating your strengths and positive aspects.
The biggest mistake one can make in life is always to be afraid of making a mistake. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
Strengthening self-confidence: 12 tips and exercises
Self-confidence can be learned. But it's not easy. You will have to jump over your shadow and be patient. Boosting self-esteem is a process that doesn't work overnight.
However, this should not discourage you, but rather help you to work on your own self-confidence with the right attitude - and ultimately to be successful.
The following exercises and tips can help you train your self-confidence:
1. Face your fears
The American motivational speaker Dale Carnegie put his strategy like this: "You gain confidence by doing exactly what you are afraid of, and thereby having a number of successful experiences." So you need to get out of your comfort zone and get out of your fears to increase self-confidence.
Often our fears are exaggerated: in anticipation of what “could” happen, we anticipate the possible answers of others and act in a kind of anticipatory obedience. The more often you realize that it's not as bad as you thought and that you can achieve a lot more than you thought you could, the greater your self-confidence
2. Allow yourself to make mistakes
Do not mang yourself for mistakes you make. In doing so, you are constantly shaking your ego and fueling self-doubt.
Try to change your attitude towards mistakes and see them as an opportunity to develop yourself. If you look around your team, you will find that your colleagues are making mistakes too. It is normal for mistakes to happen. The key is to find out how it came about and learn from it.
One mistake does not determine your worth as a person. There is no reason to be afraid of it. Have more confidence in yourself and be ready to go wrong every now and then. This attitude helps a lot in your own self-confidence.
3. Make yourself comfortable
The more comfortable you feel and the more satisfied you are with yourself, the stronger your self-esteem will be. Even if it sounds like a rush: make sure that you feel comfortable - both inside and out. Do things that make you happy and that give you strength.
This also applies to clothing, by the way: Dress in such a way that you feel comfortable and confident in it. Are you dissatisfied with the way you look? Then think about what you can change: your clothing style, hairstyle or a better figure - make sure that you are completely satisfied with yourself.
4. Laugh at yourself
Don't take yourself so seriously and try not to make an impeccable impression. A relaxed posture will make it easier for you to face your fears. What's going to happen big? You speak up in the meeting, are nervous and make promises. Take it with humor and the others will too.
Those who can laugh at themselves not only show great self-confidence, but also come across as personable, human and open.
5. Compliment yourself
Sit in front of a mirror, look at yourself and in the eyes. Then say your name and yourself: “You are a wonderful and valuable person. You look great. You have many strengths. You have already achieved a lot. I like you!"
Yes, it seems strange at first, even embarrassing. But the more difficult it is for you, the more insecure you are and obviously cannot (yet) accept yourself. Nevertheless, overcome yourself and repeat this exercise. It will get better and easier with time. Such positive affirmations, beliefs, and thoughts are more powerful than many think.
6. Accept compliments
The other way around applies: If someone compliments you, allow it and accept it. If there is a lack of self-confidence, positive comments are often played down and made badly. Motto: "He definitely didn't mean that!" Or: "That's not true at all!"
Nonsense! Get rid of these thoughts and stop questioning and analyzing compliments. Just be happy about it. A sincere compliment from another person can boost self-esteem tremendously.
7. Improve your body language
It's not just what you say that matters, but how you act. Insecurity is not only reflected in our body language. The effect also works the other way around: this is called biofeedback in technical terms. By not making yourself small in front of others, but literally straightening up, you gain self-confidence and inner security. The whole thing is even reinforced because those around you react positively to your self-confident demeanor.
Try to get used to nervous gestures like stroking your hair or chewing your upper lip while you speak. Stand firmly with your legs apart and do not hide your face behind your hands.
8. Stand by your wishes and expectations
Is something bothering you or do you have the feeling that something could go better? Then address these points. You can and should make such demands. In the first moment you will have to overcome it. In doing so, you stand up for yourself and show that you have your own interests that are important to you.
To see that these are respected and implemented is a great boost for your own self-confidence. You have successfully campaigned for your own needs and can be proud of yourself.
9. Stop comparing yourself
Quite a few see life as permanent competition. They constantly compare themselves with others: who has the happier relationship? Who has the smarter children? Who deserves more salary? Who owns the bigger house, car, cell phone? Fatal! The constant comparisons with others cause enormous emotional damage. They are a challenge to our self-confidence and stir up feelings of inferiority.
Instead, learn to be more grateful. Learn to appreciate the milestones you've already reached. Be grateful for special friendships or your health. Unfortunately, most people tend not to appreciate successes and achievements long enough. Instead, we strive straight to the next. The antidote to this is constant appreciation, mindfulness and gratitude.
10. Don't take criticism personally
It will happen again and again that someone contradicts you, criticizes you or criticizes you for deficits. This is uncomfortable and can scratch the ego. But you should never take it personally. Criticizing your performance is not an assessment of your worth as a person. Accordingly, your self-esteem should not be affected.
Do not see criticism as an attack on yourself and your personality, but as an opportunity for improvement and personal growth.
11. Surround yourself with the right people
Those who have people in their environment whom they can trust, who support and encourage one, are strengthened from within. You have the good feeling that you are not alone. Because you know that these people value you, they also strengthen your self-confidence.
But that means the other way round: Keep your distance from negative people who pull you down and constantly make you bad. In such an environment, self-confidence cannot grow.
12. Celebrate your successes
Any success, no matter how big or small, is proof that you can overcome difficulties and achieve whatever you set out to do. You should celebrate that and be proud of your accomplishments.
At the same time, you treat yourself well when you celebrate or treat yourself to a small reward - a framework for strong self-esteem that can only develop when you like yourself.
Healthy vs. unhealthy self-esteem
As with anything, the dose makes the poison when it comes to self-confidence. Healthy self-confidence liberates and gives inner and outer strength as well as mental freedom. It is an essential part of a happy and fulfilling life. Private and professional.
But as soon as someone has to prove their oh-so-great self-confidence to others, the whole thing quickly tips in the direction of arrogance and complacency. The level is then exceeded. The self-confidence only seems bloated. Like the ego.
But please don't let that fool you. Those who act like this are generally anything but self-confident. He or she just pretends to play over or overcompensate for strong feelings of inferiority.
In truth, behind the high-gloss facade there is often a deeply injured and insecure character or a veritable narcissistic personality disorder and profile neurosis.
Gain more self-confidence - it's worth it
It is always worth working on your self-confidence. In the end, such people radiate unshakable sovereignty and deep satisfaction with themselves and their lives, which is enormously attractive to others.
This way, self-confident people not only gain a lot of sympathy, they also attract professional and private success. And mostly effortlessly.
You are braver than you think, stronger than you seem, and more intelligent than you think. (Alan Alexander Milne)
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