Self-confidence is an attitude about your skills and abilities. It means you accept and trust yourself and have a sense of control in your life. You know your strengths and weakness well and have a positive view of yourself. You set realistic expectations and goals, communicate assertively, and can handle criticism.
On the other hand, low self-confidence might make you feel full of self-doubt, be passive or submissive, or have difficulty trusting others. You may feel inferior, unloved, or be sensitive to criticism. Feeling confident in yourself might depend on the situation. For instance, you can feel very confident in some areas, such as academics, but lack confidence in others, like relationships.
Having high or low self-confidence is rarely related to your actual abilities, and mostly based on your perceptions. Perceptions are the way your think about yourself, and these thoughts can be flawed.
Low self-confidence might stem from different experiences, such as growing up in an unsupportive and critical environment, being separated from your friends or family for the first time, judging yourself too harshly, or being afraid of failure. People with low self-confidence often have errors in their thinking.
How To Increase Your Self-Confidence
- Recognize and emphasize your strengths. Reward and praise yourself for your efforts and progress.
- When you stumble on an obstacle, treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Don’t dwell on failure.
- Set realistic and achievable goals. Do not expect perfection; it is impossible to be perfect in every aspect of life.
- Slow down when you are feeling intense emotions and think logically about the situation.
- Challenge making assumptions about yourself, people and situations.
- Recognize that past negative life experiences do not dictate your future.
- Express your feelings, beliefs and needs directly and respectfully
- Learn to say no to unreasonable requests.
Individual counselling can also help increase your self-confidence if you need more help.