How to improve self-confidence by building courage and resilience
Self-confidence means something different to everyone; there is no single view about what self-confidence is and no secret formula for achieving it.
When we lack self-confidence, it can be difficult for us to see our worth and challenging for us to believe we have something valuable to give. We look around and feel that everyone else is better, more experienced, or more knowledgeable than us.
A lack of self-confidence can be debilitating, especially when it starts to affect us more deeply, alters our decision-making, and stops us from trying new experiences. Our world begins to get smaller; we find ourselves comparing ourselves to others more and more, and we feel more stress and anxiety.
We are not being our authentic selves, and this results in us feeling drained of energy and exhausted.
At the root of our lack of self-confidence are our beliefs about what we are capable of, our beliefs about who we are as individuals, and what our limitations are.
These beliefs affect the meaning we give to things and how we behave. They affect every action and decision we make and determine what we believe we can and cannot do.
Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours align with this belief, creating further evidence that we are not a confident person.
The good news is that it is possible to change these beliefs, to change your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and build your self-confidence!
A little bit of courage and resilience
Instead of thinking about self-confidence as something you do or don’t have, try viewing it as a combination of courage and resilience. Is it fear holding you back, or the ability to bounce back when you face challenges? Is it letting go of the familiar or overcoming problems?
Growing our courage and resilience is key to building self-confidence. Firstly, we need to recognise it has become a problem for us, accept that it is something we can alter, and work towards the changes we want to achieve… it won’t happen by itself, but it can happen.
Once you know which one you are lacking you can begin to work towards building more of what you need.
How to grow your courage
Here are two ways you can grow your courage:
1. Face your fears
Rather than pushing your fears to one side and resigning yourself to the fact that you can’t do something, tune in to those fears.
- What are you afraid of?
- What do you think might happen?
- What is your belief about your capability to achieve what you want?
Allow yourself to define your fears fully; bringing them to your consciousness will enable you to let them go.
2. Focus on the first step
Define what would be the first step for what you want to achieve rather than the whole thing. What is the very first step you need to take? It could be as simple as sending an email to get more information, setting up a call with someone, or doing some research. The first step often takes less courage and so our fear is lower. Take that first step. Achieving it will give you a little more courage and enable you to take the next step. Keep going, one step at a time.
How to build your resilience
Here are two steps for building resilience:
1. Stop comparing yourself to others
We all make comparisons. It’s a natural human trait, and with constant access to other peoples’ lives through social media, it’s becoming harder to avoid.
Making comparisons makes us feel inferior, less self-confident, and leaves us constantly striving for something that just isn’t possible or authentic. The only person worth comparing yourself to is you. Our worth is not just about our experience or knowledge; we all have a unique set of skills and strengths, and we all have something different to offer. This is our value.
Decide what you want to be, do, and have in your life, and what changes you want to make. Decide what you need to commit to doing to achieve your goals. Measure your own progress towards your goals, ensuring you celebrate your success along the way, however big or small.
2. See setbacks as part of your road to success
If you find yourself giving up as soon as you hit a challenge, notice that you are doing it, tune in to what you are telling yourself and ask this question; "have I failed, or have I just not achieved it yet?" "What other ways can I try to achieve this goal or outcome?"
Challenges and setbacks are an inevitable part of success; they enable us to learn, alter our approach, and go on to achieve something even better than we first thought was possible. Once you see challenges as being an important part of the journey, they become something to be curious about rather than something to stop us in our tracks.
Life is too short to stay small, and we all have something incredibly valuable to offer. Go after your dreams, be bold and brave, and don’t stand in the way of your own success! Get started today on building the courage and resilience you need to be, do, and have more of what you want in your life now.