I always considered myself a low self-esteem person. There was time when I used to feel so bad for myself. But now I have come long way from it. In my 4 years of college, I never spoke to anyone except for very few of my friends. You can easily count them off. I was always afraid to talk to others. I found very difficult to express my thoughts. Because of the lack of confidence I struggled a lot when I stepped out from college.
During job interviews I hit rock bottom. I attended countless number of interviews all of which I got negative results in spite of good academic marks. All these are due to the lack of self-confidence. That’s when I realized the importance of it and started to work on it seriously. In that journey I learned many valuable lessons that saved my life. Let me share them with you.
Stop caring about what others think
Just stop caring. Period. Often we fear what others will think of us that will paralyse our mind and stop doing the things that we wish to do. This is one major reason I would attribute for lack of self-confidence. We cannot satisfy everyone. We just have to stop bothering about what others think of our situation.
Suppose say you want to give a speech to your team but extremely afraid that how are they going to react for this, then you need to change your way of thinking. Please stop thinking about it. Do your best and just don’t look others for acceptance.
Focus on one thing
Often we tend to improve many things together. Any failure in one area would disrupt the flow on others too. Take one step at a time and start small.
Say you want to improve your dressing skills, speaking skills, writing skills..etc, and you lack confidence in all these areas, then take the one you are most afraid to do and start small. Start with writing. Write one paragraph each day. Practice this few days. Once you gain confidence write a page every day. Once you make that as a habit, write it in public. Show your thoughts to others.
Remind yourself of your strengths
Once we lack something, our mind would keep pointing out that how useless we are. As it keeps putting you down, you will tend to think a lot more negative about yourself. You will even think you are not fit to do anything. But it is completely false. You are caught in your mind game. Take time and think about your strengths. Everyone will have something to be proud of. Remind yourself how successful you are in that area. Likewise if you try you can conquer the area on which you have failed now. Don’t get discouraged by failures.
Put it down on paper
Often we lack confidence mainly because of the fear of facing the dreadful situation. Suppose say you want to present your project in front of a group. Your immediate thoughts would be, how will I manage if they ask difficult questions, what will I do if I stammer in the middle of conversation. All these are natural and you can easily overcome it.
Write down in paper about all the possible situations you need to face. Then think logically and write down your ideal response. Suppose say someone asks you a question for which you have no answer, instead of paralyzing in fear, you can simply tell them that you will refer and get back to them. Remember that no one is perfect. Be calm and handle the situation with grace.
Always talk to yourself like how your friend would talk to you. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake. This will further lower down your confidence.
If you do something wrong, pat yourself and say let it go. Accept your situation and move on. There is always another day, another chance. If you don’t understand yourself and support you at hard times, don’t expect others to do the same to you.
Set a small goal and reward
Often you will be so daunted to even start. In such cases start a small task and reward yourself when you achieve it. This will keep you motivated and make you try more.
Suppose say you have set yourself to write one page each week and show it your friend, and then if you achieve this, go for a movie or do something you wish to do for a long time. Don’t even bother about your friend’s comment on your writing. Here the point is you have done the task and you deserve a treat from yourself.
Practice every day:
Like any other habit, self-confidence will ingrain in your mind only if you make consistent effort every day. If you write one page and wait for a month, sorry my friend, you will be paralyzed again. Do it every day even if it is just for few minutes.
Plan and prepare
Plan every day on what you are going to do to improve your confidence. Prepare yourself to do it. For instance you want to improve your dressing skills. Then how are you going to improve it?
You might want to check out few fashion websites/blogs that will suit your taste. Once you find your way of dressing, probably you want to shop and get apt clothes for you. Whatever be the case always plan ahead and prepare yourself for the tasks.
Motivation doesn’t last. If you want to make self-confidence as a lifelong skill, then you should surround yourself with like mined people who can pull you off whenever you run out of motivation. Join online forum, use Facebook groups, and connect to like-minded people at Instagram. Surround yourself with best people and it will make your journey to regain self-confidence easy.
Tackle negative people
Of course not everyone will support your choices. There will be plenty to discourage you and derail you. Please stay away from them. If someone mocks you, it only means they are jealous and couldn’t bring themselves to see the new YOU. Stop caring for those people. The world has many good hearts; you don’t have to waste time on people who degrade you.
Gaining self-confidence is not a tough task. It only takes a change of mind. After following above I am in a far better situation now. I worked successfully for 10 years on big corporate companies. Now I have taken break and started with my entrepreneurship. I hope this makes it easier for you to start working on your confidence. The trick I followed when I failed in everything above is to wake up next day and try once again. As simple as that.