Confidence is a feeling of trust in your abilities, qualities, and judgment. The American Psychological Association defines self-confidence as “a belief that one is capable of successfully meeting the demands of a task.”
It can refer to a general sense of trust in your ability to control your life, or it might be more situation specific. For example, you might have high self-confidence in a particular area of expertise but feel less confident in other areas. Research suggests that confidence is important to health and psychological well-being.
Having a healthy level of self-confidence can help you become more successful in your personal and professional life. Research has found, for example, that more confident people tend to achieve more academically. Your level of confidence even affects how you present yourself to others.
Stop comparing yourself to others to get more confidence
Do you compare how you look to people you follow on Instagram? Or maybe you compare your salary to what your friend earns. Social comparison theory explains that making comparisons is natural. But it isn’t likely to help boost your self-confidence. It may even have the opposite effect.
A 2018 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found a direct link between envy and the way we feel about ourselves. Specifically, researchers noted that when people compare themselves to others, they experience envy. And the more envy they have, the worse they feel about themselves.
How do you build self-confidence when you notice that you are drawing comparisons? First, remind yourself that doing so isn’t helpful. Everyone is running their own race and life isn’t a competition.
If you’re feeling envious of someone else’s life, it’s also helpful to remember your own strengths and successes. Keep a gratitude journal to better recall the areas in life where you are blessed. This can help you focus on your own life versus focusing on the lives of others.
Set some goals
Set some goals and set out the steps you need to take to achieve them. They don’t have to be big goals; they can even be things like baking a cake or planning a night out with friends. Just aim for some small achievements that you can tick off a list to help you gain confidence in your ability to get stuff done.
Talk yourself up
You’re never going to feel confident if you have negative commentary running through your mind telling you that you’re no good. Think about your self-talk and how that might be affecting your self-confidence. Treat yourself like you would your best friend and cheer yourself on.
Get a hobby
Try to find something that you’re really passionate about. It could be photography, sport, knitting or anything else! When you’ve worked out your passion, commit yourself to giving it a go. Chances are, if you’re interested or passionate about a certain activity, you’re more likely to be motivated and you’ll build skills more quickly.
Self-confidence is infectious. It makes those around you feel more confident and comfortable when communicating with you.
Self-confidence is about appreciating and trusting yourself. When you know and accept your strengths and weaknesses, you can better appreciate and support the people around you.
While confidence is great for loving others, it also helps you show love to yourself. Your confidence could encourage you to leave a toxic relationship that hurts your well-being or to take up a new hobby that’s just for you. In the end, you’re improving your wellness and practicing self-care.