Improve Your Productivity by Self -Confidence.

Great Lessons You Can Learn From Self Confidence.

What is Self- Confidence?

Self-confidence is the belief in oneself and abilities, it describes an internal state made up of what we think and feel about ourselves. This state is changeable according to the situation we are currently in and our responses to events going on around us. It is not unusual to feel quite confident in some circumstances and less confident in others. It is also influenced by past events and how we remember them; recalling a former success has a very different outcome in terms of our confidence levels than thinking about an occasion when we failed.

Confidence and self-esteem are terms which are often used interchangeably, but although it is over-lap perhaps there are also subtle differences. Self-confidence can refer to how we feel about ourselves and our abilities whereas self-esteem refers directly to whether or not we appreciate and value ourselves. We may have been discouraged from being boastful but a healthy amount of self-liking and self-approval is necessary if we are to have the confidence to meet life’s challenges and participate as fully as we wish to in whatever makes life enjoyable and rewarding for us. In a sense, we could say that having healthy self-esteem leads to being self-confident.

Self-confidence also brings about more happiness. Typically, when you are confident in your abilities you are happier due to your successes. Also, when you are feeling better about your capabilities, the more energized and motivated you are to take action and achieve your goals. 

Self-confidence, then, is similar to self-efficacy in that it tends to focus on the individual’s future performance; however, it seems to be based on prior performance, so in a sense, it also focuses on the past. 

Many psychologists tend to refer to self-efficacy when considering an individual’s beliefs about their abilities concerning a specific task or set of tasks, while self-confidence is more often referred to as a broader and more stable trait concerning an individual’s perceptions of overall capability.

Although many of the factors affecting self-confidence are beyond your control, there are a number of things you can consciously do to build self-confidence. You could do certain things that are listed below to boost up your self-confidence. You should dress sharp. Clothes don’t make you anything but it certainly helps you to feel better about yourself. You feel good and optimistic when you dress right. Also if you feel energetic it shows in your walk. So if you walk fast, it’s a good sign.

Things like maintaining a good posture when sitting also tells a story about the person. People with slumped shoulders and lethargic movements display a lack of self-confidence. They aren’t enthusiastic about what they’re doing and they don’t consider themselves important. By practising good posture, you’ll automatically feel more confident. Also, one of the best ways to build confidence is by listening to a motivational speech. Unfortunately, opportunities to listen to a great speaker are few and far between. You can fill this need by creating a personal commercial that is by writing some good things about yourself. You should also have gratitude. When you focus too much on what you want, the mind creates reasons why you can’t have it.

You must also compliment other people. When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling on to others in the form of insults and gossip. To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people. Try sitting in the front row of a class, group of people, offices or other places. Most people prefer the back because they’re afraid of being noticed. This reflects a lack of self-confidence. During group discussions, many people never speak up because they’re afraid that people will judge them for saying something stupid. This fear isn’t really justified. Self-confidence can be very well be developed.

Confidence and self-confidence. What is the difference between the two notions?

Confidence is a larger concept which involves having confidence in oneself and much more. It has other elements attached to it. But self-confidence is purely person-based. It tells the difference between feeling unstoppable and feeling scared out of your wits. Your perception of yourself has an enormous impact on how others perceive you. Perception is the reality, so the more self-confidence you have, the more likely it is that you will succeed in your life.

Popular Theories of Self-Confidence

With these definitions in hand, we can take a closer look at common beliefs and popular theories surrounding self-confidence and self-esteem.

As noted earlier, Branden’s theory of self-esteem became a widely referenced and understood theory, but there were also other theories and frameworks for understanding self-esteem in the psychological literature.

  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, an iconic although somewhat out-of-date framework in psychology, theorizes that there are several needs that humans must have met to be truly fulfilled, but, generally, the most basic needs must be met before more complex needs can be met (1943).  In his pyramid, self-esteem is the second highest level of need, just under self-actualization.

According to Maslow, humans must have their needs of physiological stability, safety, love and belonging met before they can develop a healthy self-esteem.  He also noted that there are two kinds of self-esteem, a “higher” and a “lower,” the lower self-esteem derived from the respect of others, while the higher self-esteem comes from within.

In the years following his introduction of the hierarchy of needs, Maslow refined his theory to accommodate the instances of highly self-actualized people who are homeless or individuals who live in a dangerous area or war zone but are also high in self-esteem.  

This hierarchy is no longer considered as a strict theory of unidirectional growth, but a more general explanation of how basic needs being met allow individuals the freedom and ability to achieve their more complex ones.

  • Terror Management Theory

A darker theory that delves a bit deeper into the human experience to explain self-confidence is the Terror Management Theory.

Terror Management Theory (TMT) is based on the idea that humans hold great potential for responding with terror to the awareness of their own mortality, and that worldviews that emphasize peoples’ beliefs in their own significance as humans protect them against this terror (Greenberg & Arndt, 2011).  

TMT posits that self-esteem forms as a way to protect and buffer against anxiety, and subsequently people strive for self-confidence and react negatively to anyone or anything that could undermine their beliefs in their comforting worldview.

  • Sociometer Theory

Mark Leary, a social psychologist who researches self-esteem in the context of evolutionary psychology, also contributed a theory of self-esteem to the literature.

The Sociometer Theory suggests that self-esteem is an internal gauge of the degree to which one is included vs. excluded by others (Leary, 2006).  This theory rests on the conception of self-esteem as an internal individual perception of social acceptance and rejection.

There is some strong evidence for the accuracy and applicability of this theory. For example, studies have shown that the outcomes of events on people’s self-esteem generally match up with their assumptions about how the same events would cause other people to accept or reject them (Leary, Tambor, Terdal, & Downs, 1995).

 In addition, Leary and colleagues found that the ratings of participants in their study concerning how included they felt were paralleled by ratings of their self-esteem.  Finally, evidence shows that social exclusion based on personal characteristics decreases self-esteem (Leary et al., 1995).

What strategies could I use to improve my self-confidence?

1. Practising self-acceptance

We can improve our self-confidence in a number of ways. One of the most important ways is to become more accepting of ourselves. Look at your strengths and achievements and put a plan in place to address areas of weakness.

We can start by noticing situations which increase our self-confidence, and those which diminish it. By consistently taking notice of our fluctuating levels of self-confidence we may discover important information about ourselves.

We need to practice self-acceptance, feeling OK about ourselves and others regardless of the existing conditions. If we make mistakes, hurt or offend other people, it may be appropriate to make amends but it need not lead to low self-confidence. In this way, we may sometimes think it is reasonable to be critical of our behaviour and try to change it but without being critical of ourselves. This attitude helps maintain a healthy level of self-confidence.

2. Focus on your achievements

If you take time to think you will realise that you have achieved so many things in your life. It doesn’t matter what these achievements are only that they are important to you. List them and remember what they meant to you. It doesn’t matter what you think about your life at present if you are honest with yourself you will make a long list and that will make you feel good. Every small thing you are proud of should be added to your list. The fact that you are focusing on positives will also help you to increase your level of self-esteem.

3. Making personal changes

If, as a result of monitoring your self-esteem and confidence, you decide that you want to change, it is best to identify some specific goals. What can you change that will make you feel better about yourself? There are two kinds of changes you may wish to focus on. The first is changes in your life and how you live it. Ask yourself are you happy with your job? Is it satisfying? Is there something else you’d rather do? What about your relationships or your social life? If you would like to be more assertive for example then start working on that immediately.

Having done that, it is necessary to make sure that they are manageable; break it down into smaller steps or identify a less ambitious change to attempt first. For example, in order to be able to speak up in seminars, it may be easier to begin by expressing opinions more often with friends. Becoming comfortable with this can make the next step, contributing to a seminar, easier.

4. Seeking out positive experiences and people

We can give ourselves positive experiences as a way of increasing our self-confidence. Also, spending time with people who like us for who we are is helpful. Surround yourself with positive influences and avoid those who are constantly being negative. Being around critical people most of the time or withdrawing from genuine social contact can have a detrimental effect on how we feel about ourselves and our self-confidence.

5. Positive affirmations

Use positive self-talk and affirmations to reprogram your thinking. “I am a good and worthwhile person”. Way too often we are uncaring and unsupportive of ourselves. We can be very generous and loving towards others, but sometimes we forget to be loving and kind to ourselves. Monitor your self-talk and eliminate negative

6. Rewards and support

Give yourself rewards as you practice building your self-esteem. It doesn’t really matter what the reward is as long as it is something you value. It may be a night out, a bar of chocolate, or watching your favourite TV programme.

If you can, tell a good friend what you are doing; their encouragement and feedback on the changes you are making could be an invaluable support.

 

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