Building self-confidence isn’t easy, but it’s essential if you want to have a fruitful career. Below, you’ll find out what self-confidence really means, why exactly it’s so important, and how to start building your self-confidence today.
What is self-confidence?
Self-confidence can be difficult to explain. In many ways, self-confidence overlaps with self-esteem, defined as your evaluation of yourself—how much you appreciate, support, and love yourself. And building self-confidence is not so much a single concept as an approach of how you think about yourself, and function through challenges and indecisiveness. In other words, self-confidence guides your inner world as well as the outer world around you.
Why is self-confidence so important?
Typically, an increase in self-confidence increases your ability to take risks to pursue your personal and professional goals. It also typically increases your willingness to face your fears, no matter how insurmountable they may seem. In addition, multiple studies have shown a directly correlation between confidence and overall satisfaction, physical and mental health, and success. All of which means that building self-confidence is essential if you want to achieve your career goals.
How can you build self-confidence?
1. Be intentional
The first step of building your self-confidence is being intentional about building it. Being intentional means arranging your focus and concentration on something meaningful to you. If you want to be intentional, you need to know what you want to achieve and then take action to achieve it. In the case of confidence, it means committing to working on building it daily. Understanding how to be confident isn't something that reaches you overnight. Instead, self-confidence must be worked on, and that demands intention.
2. Welcome mistakes as part of growth
The second step is welcoming your mistakes. Of course, everyone makes mistakes. It's part of being human. However, many people see mistakes as precursors to failure—and sometimes as a reflection of their lack of ability or talent. Nonetheless, a large body of research suggests quite the opposite: making mistakes and failing are very positive things. Making wrong guesses or mistakes ultimately helps you narrow down to find the correct solution. That is, trial and error is part of getting it right. So, try to embrace your mistakes until you realize that mistakes and failures are merely paths to growth and prosperity.
3. Surround yourself with positive people
Third, it’s important to be mindful of whom you surround yourself with. People with poor self-image tend to surround themselves with others with little to offer. This allows them to feel accepted and, perhaps, a little superior. Humans are social creatures, and one of the main ways they check their progress is by measuring against their closest friends and colleagues. So, look for positive people you admire and who share your dreams and values. Then surround yourself with them. Doing so will impact every aspect of your personal and professional life.
4. Celebrate small wins
Lastly, it’s incredibly important to acknowledge wins both big and small. In fact, small victories are among the most overlooked ways to progress, motivate yourself, and continue to build your confidence. So, make sure to identify and celebrate every accomplishment in your life. For example, one way to celebrate small wins is to tell friends and family about them. And a few ways to celebrate those extra-satisfying larger victories include treating yourself to a day off, fancy dinner, or vacation. Remember, it’s not how you celebrate that matters but that you do it.
Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com, an iGaming organization that donates 100 percent of its profits to environmental charities. In addition to running a successful online affiliate business, Erik hosts the Becoming Great podcast, shares entrepreneurship tips with his more than 1 million social media followers, and contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.
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