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Improve Self-Confidence and Become More Confident!

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Self-confidence is a belief or feeling in your own abilities and talents. The way you feel or believe in yourself will impact your reactions i.e. make you either confident or not confident.

There are two ways in which you can believe in yourself:

  • Underestimating yourself: In spite of your excellent abilities, you might fall short of exploiting your full potential if you underestimate your abilities or talents. This will make you lack confidence.
  • Overestimating yourself: On the other hand, confidence not backed by real ability is just arrogance and can create resentment.

Self confidence can be achieved through balancing your beliefs or feelings according to your abilities or talents. Therefore, a realistic assessment of your abilities is the key to achieve self confidence.

Here are some tips that can improve your self–confidence:

  • Get Prepared: Prepare yourself well in advance for future responsibilities. This could perhaps be the most powerful step you can take to gain self-confidence. This step can prevent you from being anxious and deal effectively with any inevitable surprises.
  • Know your Desires and Goals: Analyze your goals by knowing where you are going and how you are going. The definition of success varies from individual to individual. So, by defining success, you can achieve just what you want. This will prevent you from being disappointed by comparing other people’s goals and brooding on those goals that you do not want to attain.
  • Emphasize on your Body Posture: Never underestimate the power of body posture. Consciously or unconsciously, people read into other people’s nature just by absorbing the way they carry themselves. Good posture will not only make you feel better but can influence the way people treat you.
  • Overcome your Fear: Fear of failure is the cause of a lack of confidence for many.
  • Be Happy: Teach yourself to be happy. You can do this by listing your positive qualities and strengths. This will remind you of just how special and unique you are.
  • Watch Out: Try to attend a seminar or listen to a public speaker to find out how he handles himself while addressing crowds. This will help you incorporate some essential tips while you address a gathering.
  • Believe in your Abilities: If you want to do something important and new, believe in your abilities.
  • Examine your Past Failures: Let bygones be bygones, because by brooding on past failures, your path ahead will be obstructed. So, look at the past to gain experience to overcome future problems.

In summary, improving one’s self-confidence levels seems to be hard to achieve, but in reality if you follow the above tips with some degree of determination, you can achieve it easily. The root cause of a lack of self-confidence is negative thinking which can be solved by changing the way one thinks. One should think positively so that he conquers his weakness and converts it to strength. Thus, by the power of his thoughts, one can improve his self-confidence.

Do share your thoughts on the same.

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  • Deb Smith

    This is a great article, Asma. Ayeesha Habeeb Omer asked me to post something I added to a discussion on this topic. I think confidence comes as the result of being aware of your own strengths and abilities, and being able to see your own past successes and believe that you’ll be able to repeat them (successfully apply your strengths to future situations). You’ve mentioned several good techniques that might help people build self-confidence; in addition, I’d suggest building positive self-talk, setting small goals to establish a pattern of success, and finding a mentor. Sometimes someone else’s confidence in you (especially if it’s someone you admire and respect) can really change the way you think of yourself!

  • Debora King

    Set the employee up for success. Assign small projects which they are competent to perform but which push them just a little beyond their current comfort zone. Make sure you are there as a sounding board to bounce ideas off of, or gently direct them back if they start going off track, but don’t tell them what to do.

    Don’t forget to acknowledge success and thank them for their assistance! It should not be simply saying good job it should be “thank you for performing x, it has resulted in y and I would love to have you work on other projects in the future”.

    Thank you Ayesha for directing me to this blog, the content is excellent!

    Regards,
    Debora King

  • John Haran

    Employee self confidence can increase by allowing them to apply their passions to their work. Optimally, people should pursue their passions in earning a living. This is because people are happier and motivated to live life to the fullest. Work is included because people are performing at a level that does not require outside motivators to reinvigorate their enthusiasm for job tasks. They are just happy doing the job because it is aligned with their passions, thus their self confidence in performing the work is self evident. A win/win solution is obtained at no cost to the employer because employees are applying what inside them and makes them happy each day.

  • I train 911 dispatchers in an on-the-job format and a huge part of what they have to learn to become successful is the confidence that they can do the job without killing anyone (and I do mean that literally). I’ve found that the best way to gain that self- confidence is by putting them into a real world situation and letting them practice, practice, practice. They have to “see” themselves do it…first with lots of help from the trainer, then by taking over the duties themselves.

    I think this would work in any type of enviroment — by creating scenarios or simulations where the person gets to practice anything that they didn’t know they could do. Confidence is built when you see the results of accomplishment.

  • e been training people and managing training programs for 16 years, and the #1 key to motivating people, is IDENTIFYING with them. You’re essentially a salesman (salesperson), and part of that job is determing the best way to identify with your students.

    Obviously, training a group of mechanics will be entirely different that training a group of IT specialists. Their profession is different, their interests are different (including personal), and their overall “demeanor” is different. Assuming that you can motivate these two groups in the exact same manner would be…. well…. foolish. You have to adapt.

    I think you’ll find that it isn’t as difficult to motivate people to “perform” nearly as much as it is to motivate them to “learn”. The “learning” aspect falls hand-in-hand with how they interpret “you”.

    As far as teaching self confidence is concerned… a specific example of what you are training would be helpful, but there are numerous tricks and tips that work in almost any scenario.

    For one, you need to “stage” your training. Determine teaching steps based upon ease of learning, not necessarily “importance”. Although this may be difficult or even awkward, if your feedback is telling you that you have self confidence issues, perhaps you need to re-evaluate the manner in which you train.

    Secondly – Group people together. People will feed off one another, and although one person may excel in one aspect of the job, another person may excel in a different aspect that the first lacks. “Together” as a group they will have worked toward a goal together, but the “success” will be interalized individually.

    I hope this helps :)

    –Matt

  • Hey Asma,

    Great piece! There are two interesting things about confidence – 1) it is perhaps the most important ingredient for any learning or change. No confidence, no learning. David Rock has created a fascinating model (SCARF) – things that need be in place for the prefrontal cortex of the brain to be functioning. For me those things boil down to a sense of confidence.

    2) The confidence of the facilitator or learning leader (or role model) is as crucial. An intriguing example is that many of Milton Erixon’s patients had so much confidence in his confidence that they would spontaniously go into a hypnotised state even before he started his induction. So, confidence is contagious… and unfortunately a lack of confidence is too. As long as the leader’s confidence is authentic and realistic, the group will perform steadily. When the leader is overconfident and the group becomes unrealistically confident, at some point some serious disillusionment waits for them.

    Looking forward to more of you blog postings – they really make me think.

  • Alaa Qassab

    I believe that self-confidence is related to the experience and skills. As much Experience a person has as much skills will be built as much confident the person will be.

    Usually when a fresh graduate is first enrolled to a new job, he\she will feel unsecured and not confident as he\she will have no experience, limited knowledge and skills. With time, the confident of this person will gradually raise as he\she took bad or good judgments which formed experience and more knowledge\skills.

    to conclude, i believe that there are no ways to teach or deliver self-confidence to people, yet the best way to lead people to that path is by allowing them to take risk and take more responsibilities. In this way, they will get more experience from their judgments in addition to building more skills, this will give them more confidence.

    I hope what i wrote is clear.

  • Samantha Biron

    I have been invited to post this comment by Ayesha. Interestingly I just developed a one day workshop entitled Pumping Up Your Self-Confidence for a client. I am a big proponent of BE-DO-HAVE – it is how you can find me on Twitter for instance (though I admittedly rarely post).

    Most people believe in the opposite notion; that is that they need to have in order to do in order to be. When it comes to self-confidence, people often believe that if they only had more money, a better job, better looks etc. that they would be able to do the things that would lead them to become more confident. The key is to convince them otherwise.

    If you begin to believe that you are indeed self-confident you will ultimately start to do the things that a self-confident person would do which will enable you to have what you want. When people don’t believe that they are confident and able to accomplish anything, they feed their minds with negative notions such as “I can’t and I shouldn’t” and in essence never do anything therefore never have what they want.

    I passionately articulate this change in mindset with students and then lead them on a journey of self-discovery where they must admit this negative self-talk and change it in order to believe that they truly are capable of extraordinary things. I then build them up during the workshop, outlying their strengths and achievements, working on their assertive behaviour ultimately leading them to establish realistic goals.

  • Dennis James Deegan CTM

    First, most worthwhile things are not easy; so I recommend people who want to build self-confidence ‘roll up their sleeves’ and understand you have to work at it. A great venue to grow self-confidence is Toastmasters International; a worldwide nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting your growth in speaking and leadership skills. There are small local clubs virutally in every city.

    Google Toastmasters International and find a club near you and call the number listed there. Find out where and when they meet. You can visit as long as you like and see if it appeals to you. I guarantee you, your self-confidence will grow in leaps and bounds; through giving speeches and learning from the experiences.

    The beauty of Toastmasters is that the format is supportive, but educational. In other words you receive feedback on how people perceived your speech. The positive reinforcement you receive lifts your ego and empowers you to continue and grow in your confidence and abilities. You progress at your own pace. There is a structure to the meetings that makes it interesting but productive. Since the organization is non-profit, the membership dues are modest.

    I am happy to answer any questions. All the best to everyone seeking to grow greater confidence.

    Sincerely,

    Dennis J. Deegan CTM
    Principal
    Achieve & Grow, LLC

  • One of the things that I train is Living Above the Line/Accountability & Responsibility.

    When making decisions with the view of win/win/win – win for them, win for the other person & win for the greater good (whatever that may be at the time) they increase their confidence in what they’re doing.

    Also having a very tight and clear Vision Statement about what their values are and why they are doing what they’re doing is also a big factor.

    These things should help to increase confidence around what they’re doing and the decisions they are making.

  • Ramesh K Shetty

    Self confidence is a Mantra of Impression Management,it reflects your mental and emotional stability and also confirms your reliability.
    One should be guarded against arrogance and accept certain self limitation and let the learning curve continue as everyone has got something to Say or Share, what matters is how you build upon this process and you facilitate it to strengthen your self confidence. Embarresement should not be the detorant it should be your Encouragement.

  • Self-confidence is one component of personality. Too much (or an over supply) of self-confidence can be limiting in the same way that too little self-confidence can.

    As Ramesh mentions above “one should guard against arrogance”. Too much self-confidence can appear smug and arrogant with the individual being unaware of their own limitations and unrealistic about what they can and can’t do.

    Combined with high levels of assertiveness and optimism with low levels of empathy and social skills and you have someone who is aggressive, takes charge and can be domineering / overbearing with unrealistic expectations, and they just don’t care about upsetting others.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, a person should aim for about 7 or 8. This gives self appraisal of one’s worth with a realistic level of confidence.

  • I’m a Presentation Skills coach/trainer at Turpin Communication. We often work with people suffering from low self-confidence and nervousness. What we’ve discovered is that the first step to building confidence is for the person to take control of his/her racing mind. This is accomplished by pausing to think as they talk off the cuff about something related to their job.

    Once they experience what it feels like to be in control of their thoughts, most people can begin the hard work of applying other skills & techniques to build their confidence.

  • Quynh Nguyen

    I agree with the comments from Alaa Qassab, Ramesh Shetty, and Robin Hills above.

    While respect has to be earned, and one simply cannot demand or expect it, confidence is generated from your past accomplishments, especially when coupled/enhanced with recognitions. However, over-confidence is the result of arrogance. It often leads to negative surprises when failing to sustain and progress while others have passed to rise above.

  • I agree with all the comments about practice, and practicing skills on the job is a must. But with practice has to come feedback, and feedback will help people build self-confidence. I am working with someone who lacks confidence, I encourage them to seek out people they trust who will provide specific, timely and balanced feedback. Specific feedback helps people repeat behaviors to get positive results, and positive results build self-confidence.

  • Dr Danya Davis

    I was invited by Dr. Ayesha Habeeb to share this post. Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts in this regard.

    I, too, am enjoying this discussion and agree with the thoughts and opinions shared thus far. I believe the level of one’s emotional intelligence (EI/EQ), which is a multi-dimensional skill/ability to understand emotions and emotional cues in oneself and others, is beneficially helpful to all organizational stakeholders. EI/EQ naturally promotes self-reflection and conscious thought thereby strengthens self-awareness as well as an awareness of others’ feelings and emotions. Additionally, the purposeful adoption and practice of critical thinking within a professional environment further assists with self-reflection and awareness. As we become more aware of ourselves and others, we become more informed and confident. I am a firm believer in the awesome power of multiple intelligences and the interconnectedness of our multiple intelligences. Emotional intelligence has an impact on attitudinal and behavioral decisions, which may directly and indirectly impact our sense of self-regard and confidence.

  • After training many recruiters of all different skill levels, I know that there are a few things for sure that help develop self confidence
    1. Baby Steps – Have them do a few “warm calls” – with a experienced person on the line within ear shot, of them making the call. Helping them if needed.
    2. Give them a script to follow in case they get lost on the all.
    3. Coach them as to how to call by calling a more experienced recruiter and role play. Give them feedback on how to be more conversational, and less “scripted”.
    4. Try and have a new recruiter overcome some tough objections BEFORE going live. This will help them build confidence.

    I used to have 3X5 cards that I had in a metal flip card thing that I could just flip to when I got a certain objection. I had one side for cold calls to candidates, and one side for cold calls to Customers. I learned to overcome objections very well this way, and it built up my confidence so I could make cold calls all day long. I had a quota of 150-200 Cold calls a day. From the Yellow Pages. (those were the days!)

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  • I have been blessed with a positive attitude because my father and maternal grandparents always kindly pushed me toward success. I was fortunate to be a Boy Scout and later a state officer in the Order of DeMolay. Always supported by adults and my peers. However, my daughter inspired me the most after suffering a traumatic brain injury 8 years ago. She had to learn to walk and think at age 22. She started collecting positive quotes as she gradually improved. She is now in her second year at New York Chiropractic College. God is good.

  • Youre so right. Im there with you. Your blog is undoubtedly worth a read if anyone comes throughout it. Im lucky I did because now Ive obtained a whole new view of this. I didnt realise that this issue was so important and so universal. You surely put it in perspective for me.