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Believing in yourself and having high levels of confidence has been linked to an increased sense of self-value, more success, positive thoughts, more motivation, and energy. However, according to recent statistics (2020), the rate of people suffering from depression has been around twenty-five to thirty percent of adults, young and old, with similar rates of people suffering from anxiety. Though the reasons behind such numbers can vary, most are linked to negative thoughts triggered by unrealistic views of oneself, and the inability to live up to their expectations, some of which are socially imposed while others are personal wishes and dreams.
Therefore, therapists have been prescribing alternative therapies instead of medication to people with mild symptoms or early signs. One such therapy is building greater confidence through various methods and steps. The approaches differ with slight variations as every individual is a story for itself. Yet, we’ll discuss six important and universal steps you can take to enhance your self-belief and confidence.
In a recent study, researchers have tested the effects of positive thinking and to what extent it can influence one’s decision-making. Surprisingly enough, just thinking positively made the contestants more confident in their final resolution. This resulted in making decisions that essentially contributed more to their mental well-being and happiness. With negative thoughts, psychologists explain how the overwhelming feeling of desperation causes distress and anxiety.
Yet, there is a huge difference between thinking of possible outcomes as means of securing yourself and thinking of all the outcomes in a negative context. The latter effectively indicates that no outcome from our decision is satisfactory and might backfire on us, causing us to postpone all decisions to some extent or possibly abandon them totally. Unfortunately, such a mindset can rip off outstanding opportunities in life, and push us further away from achieving our dreams. The first context, on the other hand, implies that the person is more calculated, suspicious to a healthy degree, and considers probable outcomes only for the sake of planning rather than giving up. Positive thinking, once again, is the turning point because it provides us the extra confidence we need to make the decision and ultimately believe in ourselves.
Therefore, a more positive approach is far from naive thinking, it rather sheds away the cloud of negativity blurring our vision and restricting us from making great decisions.
One problem related to a lack of success in our private life and lack of belief is ignorance of our strengths and how we can turn them to our advantage. The factors contributing to such a mindset are many, it can stem from our upbringing and lack of support from loved ones and friends since we were kids, or it can be linked to traumas endured during our formative years. Every individual has a unique set of skills and strengths, some are more talented, and others have a better understanding of things. No matter the case, knowing our strengths and potential can drastically influence how much confidence we have and whether we will believe in ourselves. Think of the things you love to do, are you good at them, take skill tests, and look at job prospects and the different descriptions- maybe some are more appealing to you than others which can indicate your inner potential.
Knowing one’s strengths is not only important for becoming successful, it also prevents you from making the wrong decisions. What we call “false confidence”, is one’s pompous belief in their versatility which often results in taking up tasks they are not able to perform. Therefore, knowing what you can do can prevent you from doing what you cannot, and spare you from any failure.
There is a saying by Goethe “ our wishes are presentiments of the abilities that lie in us, harbingers of what we will be able to accomplish.” In short, whatever fear we have, is completely irrational as we would not have a particular wish or desire if we did not possess the skills and knowledge, abilities, and chance to face it.
In a previous paragraph, we mentioned how the lack of self-belief and confidence can stem from our upbringing if we did not have the right support provided by loved ones, family, and friends. Similarly, we mentioned trauma- which essentially means bullying and being exposed to negative commentary. Unfortunately, we humans are prone to create our pictures according to the commentary of others. Therefore, we recommend surrounding yourself with people who are giving you constructive feedback and encouraging you to do the right thing as opposed to the ones projecting their failures onto you, by telling you what you cannot do.
Recent studies have also shown a shift in brain waves and function when people exhibit thankfulness and humility, which the Stoics referred to as a character attribute of the wise. Being grateful reminds you of where you were, and what you achieved, it gives you a feeling of self-belief and faith in a future far better than you could ever hope for.
Learning from your lessons means, making sure not to repeat them twice and go through the same desperation and failure. One old saying perfectly captures this “ do not let the snake bite you from the same hole twice”. This will give you more faith and make you believe more as you’ll know what steps to take in achieving your dreams.
We sincerely hope you’ll find this advice in good spirit and implement it in order to achieve your wishes and build up more confidence.