The 7 Secrets of Unwavering Self-ConfidenceNone By Homaira Kabir
We’ve all had confidence-eroding events in our lives. Not getting the job we wanted, overhearing a snide remark, or getting negative feedback can all create a momentary dip in the way we feel about ourselves. If we're not careful, these transient negative states can linger on and sap us of the energy we need to take actions that lead to competence and confidence.
Our minds work in wonderful feedback loops that can build us up or bring us down. Renowned psychologist Albert Bandura said that our beliefs about ourselves shape us and lead to how we think, behave and feel. Our self-concept becomes the secret driver of our lives. The more stable and positive this self-concept, the less likely we are to yo-yo with every setback—and the more confident we'll feel to engage in behaviors that lead to upward spirals of growth, resilience, and confidence.
Our emotions in the moment thus have a profound impact on who we become. Luckily, the science of happiness shows that positive emotions are under our control far more than previously thought. A naturally cheery outlook on life may be inherited, but a positive one can be built through voluntary activities. If you need to boost levels of happiness to overcome a yo-yoing confidence, come join the ride! Here's how to fight the voice that questions your abilities, overlooks your achievements, and beats you down for your apparent failings.
Be Your Compassionate Voice
Setbacks and failures are a part of life. And yet, there's a voice in our heads that reserves its most negative commentary for ourselves. Professor Paul Gilbert says that being our own staunch supporter and kindly voice provides us with the space to analyze our actions without judgment, hold ourselves in acceptance and thus develop the courage to go out and do the right thing. If you find it hard to be there for yourself, imagine what you would say to a friend who messed up. Now, can you offer yourself the same understanding?
Learn to Turn off Your Thoughts
Although it's important to listen to our thoughts, it's equally important to know how to let them go. The human mind can be a personal tormentor. Replaying negative thoughts over and over in our minds pulls us down into a pit of pessimism that distorts reality. And given human nature and the social worlds we live in, most of these thoughts judge ourselves against someone else. Allowing the achievements and appearances of others to determine our confidence is the most self-sabotaging of behaviors. If you find yourself constantly measuring yourself against "perfect" others,