You’ve Got This!
/ Author: Lisa Helder
/ Categories: Guide magazine /
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You’ve Got This!

Assertiveness is the holy grail of human interaction. Those who practice it are respected and their opinions are heard. One of the keys to assertiveness is having self-confidence. Many people lack self-confidence, and some are afraid to be confident, mistakenly viewing it as a form of pride.

But there is a difference between being confident and being puffed up. Being confident is essential to improving your mental health, happiness, and relationships.


Underconfident

  • Try to cover up mistakes
  • Focus only on their weaknesses
  • Don’t like who they are
  • Too busy focussing on their own problems to build others up
  • Afraid to take risks
  • Brush off compliments

Confident

  • Willing to learn and
  • accept advice and help
  • Self-aware—know their strengths and weaknesses
  • Are comfortable in their own skin
  • Are empathetic and build others up
  • Willing to take risks to achieve a goal
  • Graciously accept compliments

Overconfident

  • Refuse to learn or accept advice
  • Over-estimate their abilities and refuse help
  • Think only of themselves and put others down
  • Take large risks
  • Crave public attention to validate themselves

4 Steps to Self-Confidence

1. Be aware of your self-talk.

  • Do you put yourself down? The more you do so, the less likely you will be able to solve problems or cope under pressure. You think you can’t do something, so you don’t even try. This is known as confirmation bias, where you confirm your own bias against yourself.
  • Monitor your internal conversations. For each positive one, give yourself one point. For each negative one, take a point away. Do this for a few days to understand if your thinking is helpful or hurtful.

2. Think positive.

  • Stop negative self-talk. For example, if something didn’t go the way you planned, don’t say, “I’m a failure.” Focus on what went well and how to improve in the future.
  • Think about the good things in your life—family, friends, job, and accomplishments.

3. Be aware of your skills and your weaknesses.

  • Focussing only on your strengths makes you overconfident. Focussing only on your weaknesses makes you underconfident.
  • Be realistic so you can take calculated risks, learn, and grow.

4. Set goals and work to reach them.

  • Nothing boosts confidence like competence, so strive to be better. Start with small goals, develop a plan to achieve them, and work toward them. Then build on those successes.
  • Accept that mistakes happen and learn from them. Also, accept advice.
  • Evaluate your victories and your setbacks.

Sources: Globe and Mail, benreed.net, mindtools.com


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