A Guide To Building Confidence

Hiker on a mountain top at sunset. Woman admiring mountain landscape in High Tatra Mountains, Poland.

Becoming confident can be much harder than saying, “I think I can, I think I can,” every morning, especially for women. To learn more about the complexities of “Building Confidence,” I hope you will read my article on the topic. Below I have outlined a few important concepts to remember on your journey to believing in yourself and seeing the glorious person you truly are.

Move On

The greatest obstacles to female success may, in fact, be our propensity to dwell on mistakes and inability to shut out the outside world. Women sometimes let small missteps define them. It’s important to realize that inside every perceived failure is a learning experience.

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The greatest players in professional sports have the ability to bounce back from failures, not letting a poor performance effect their overall mind-set and confidence in their ability. They can shrug off a bad game without it becoming a profound indication of their overall talent.

Some of the most successful people in the world experienced devastating failures before realizing their greatest success. The ultimate come back kid, Steve Jobs, was unceremoniously
ousted from the company he created before returning years later to build it into the most valuable company in the world. What often appears to be a major setback, can actually be a valuable detour that leads you in a vibrant new direction. Accept when one door closes, pivot and step into the next one waiting for you just ahead.

Dare to be Different

A critical element of confidence is a willingness to be different, to break free of the mold society deems appropriate.

Caroline Miller, an author and psychologist who specializes in confidence and optimism, says, “Confidence comes from stepping out of your comfort zone and working towards goals that come from our own values and needs, goals that aren’t determined by society.” It is not only the ability to risk failure, but the willingness to stand out from the crowd that fuels confidence.

Stop Over Thinking

One of the most debilitating habits responsible for women’s lack of confidence is over thinking. We spend far too much time beating ourselves up and replaying scenarios in our heads. Women spend far more time ruminating than men. Studies show that women dwell on problems far more than thinking about solutions.

One of the main complaints that women have about men is their inability to listen without trying to problem solve. But, maybe we should take a play out of the man’s handbook on this one. Men don’t want to talk and talk about the problem; they look for a solution. Women often become frustrated because they feel the man is not interested in how it makes us feel. We want to talk about it, revisit it over and over. This leads to unnecessary stress, confusion and self-doubt. Find a solution and take action or decide to let it be, but regardless what direction you choose, stop over thinking.

Turn Me into We

Studies show that women respond to we more than me. OSU psychologist, Jenny Crocker found that young college students who have tenuous confidence get a significant boost by thinking of their achievement as a benefit for others or an enterprise. By focusing outside of themselves they become empowered to achieve. Take this concept to heart by focusing on the greater good that will benefit your family and colleagues when you succeed.

Positivity

It goes without saying that women are much harder on themselves than anyone else ever would be. If anyone spoke to us the way we talk to ourselves, we would probably punch him or her.

“Wow, you are fat. Gosh you’re lookin’ old today. Did I really say that- I’m such an idiot. My butt probably looks like a Mack truck in this skirt. He’s looking at me funny, he hates me.”  These are the types of common outrageously negative comments that swim around in women’s heads everyday.

To succeed we need to stop punishing ourselves and reverse negative thoughts into positive reinforcement. It will take some time to retrain your brain but, the results can be life changing. When a negative thought pops into your head, turn it around and put a positive spin on it. Talk to yourself like you would your child or beloved friend. Be your own best friend.

Instead of thinking the world is against you- imagine the world is conspiring to bring you everything you wish. Hundreds of books have been written on the power of suggestion and visualizing your way into happiness. All theories basically boil down to one concept— you become the stories you tell yourself. So, make your story a good one.Screenshot 2016-02-25 12.30.15     

Read Building Confidence

By Jules Lewis Gibson,
Founder & President GRAVITAS Magazine

Read more articles by Jules

This article is feautred in our GRAVITAS Winter 2016 Issue
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