Lack of confidence can affect anybody, and at one point or another, it affects everybody. Self-doubt is a problem for both men and women; it spans all ages, and those who suffer from it come from any number of backgrounds and groups. Confidence in yourself is an important key, perhaps the most important key, to your success in life, in terms of both your personal relationships and your professional goals. Though you may lack confidence for a number of reasons, there are simple steps to boost your confidence and overcome those powerful and damaging feelings of self-doubt.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
In today’s world, your identity is not only real and literal, but also digital, thanks to social media’s grip on most people’s lives. The availability of everyone’s private life makes it easy to focus on what you don’t have, and what others do. Your access to things like Facebook and Twitter can be a huge contributor to your lack of confidence. This generation is obsessed with sharing information instantly, often of a personal nature. This leads to a nearly universal complex in which we all believe that the grass is greener on the other side. It’s important to remember that when it comes to social media, or even real life interactions, others are usually only going to allow you to see the parts of their lives that seem great and flawless. Very few people are going to talk about their personal feelings of self-doubt on Facebook if they get fired or go through a difficult breakup. For the most part, what you see online is not entirely what you get, especially in terms of personal confidence. Remember this when you’re eagerly looking through the photos of some girl you went to high school with, envying her job, or the vacation she just took, or the relationship she’s in, or the cool place where she lives. Convincing yourself that other people are better off than you are without knowing the whole story is both self-destructive and a waste of your time, and won’t do anything for your confidence. Try to focus on yourself, and your own goals, rather than the way everyone else’s life seems to be going.
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
A lot of confidence problems stem from convincing yourself that you won’t be able to accomplish something, or sometimes a number of things. This is not a productive way to spend your life. When you’re trying to conquer a goal of yours, no matter what it is, remember to take it one step at a time, otherwise you’ll doom yourself to unnecessary anxiety and self-doubt. If you have a huge project to finish, don’t waste time convincing yourself that you won’t be able to get it done, or that you won’t do it well enough. Just focus on completing one baby step after another. This goes for small tasks as well. If you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by how impossible something seems, it will eventually become impossible. Focus less on your self-doubt and more on the positive, and things will seem easier.
Remain Realistic About the Worst-Case Scenario
Sometimes, though, certain things will be impossible. And that has to be okay with you in order to maintain your confidence. If some aspect your life looks like it’s about to fall apart, do not fall apart along with it; this only makes things worse, and makes you feel awful. Instead of blaming yourself and your own perceived flaws, do your best to confront the disaster head-on. Think to yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” and prepare for that. Often you’ll find that exploring the possibility of everything going wrong will make you feel better and more prepared, which increases the likelihood that everything will go right.
Believe That You’re Worth What You Want
Most of the time, confidence issues are the result of your own negative thought process, and very little else. Denying yourself happiness or success by beating yourself up is a huge waste of time. Life is far too short to sit around believing that you aren’t good enough for anything. No matter what the situation is, no matter what aspect of your life is troubling you, you are never making it better by not believing in your own worth. And think about it: if you don’t think you’re good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, successful enough, anything enough, who is going to think any of those things about you? You can get through plenty of every day situations by psyching yourself up and forgetting your confidence issues for an hour or two, but you can eradicate the problem entirely if you begin to examine why you lack confidence. Is it because of someone else’s opinion of you? Is it because you once failed at something that was very important to you? Or is it just as simple as everyone else’s goals seeming much more achievable than your own? Getting to the root of these issues will help you so much in the long run, and gain you the confidence that everybody deserves. You have plenty to offer, but nobody will realize that if you don’t realize it first.
When in Doubt, Fake It
On a practical note, sometimes you’re just facing something that you’re afraid you won’t do well enough. This could be a big presentation at work, an audition, a blind date, or anything that requires you making a great impression on someone you’ve deemed important. When this happens and all the other steps haven’t worked enough, professionals say you should act like you know exactly what you’re doing, and like you’re doing it incredibly well. Sometimes the only thing you can do is fake some confidence and hope for the best outcome. Usually this will result in a very real confidence boost, at least for long enough to get you through the task, or date, or audition, or meeting. This practice should not become a frequent substitute for actual preparation or hard work, however. But it is a very useful last resort when you just aren’t feeling ready for something.
Relax and Reassure Yourself
Finally, one of the worst ways to deal with a lack of confidence is to overthink the issue. Staying up all night worrying about your perceived flaws pretty much never contributes to a healthy solution. Try not to psyche yourself out or work yourself into a breakdown. By doing this you’ll only make yourself feel worse, and you should never participate in making yourself feel less than great. Do whatever you can to improve the situation, and then let it go and do something positive for yourself. Do whatever makes you happiest to take your mind off your problems for a while. Along with doing something that makes you happy, doing something you’re really good at will help to reassure you. Reminding yourself what your strengths and passions are will always boost your confidence, even if it’s a temporary respite from your stress.
Everyone struggles with self-doubt at one time or another. Some people can experience this much more powerfully than others, and it can cause all kinds of problems, in a short term sense as well as in the long run. When this happens to you, do your best to remember that you have control over your own life, your own image, and your own estimation of what you’re worth. Keeping that in mind can make any bad situation a little more manageable, and remembering these pieces of advice can re-build any confidence you’ve lost by doubting yourself.