Some people are born with an innate sense of confidence. You probably know the type — the person who can improvise at a big work meeting with ease, the person who easily charms any new acquaintance they meet.
But not everyone feels comfortable and confident in every situation. For most people, learning to believe in yourself can be a lifelong process that begins when you’re young and carries well into your adult years.
Not everyone can so easily command the attention of a room or speak up for themselves in an uncomfortable situation. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. But when you lack the self-confidence, you may miss out on opportunities at home and at work.
They could be opportunities to climb the corporate ladder, to make new friends or just to discover your self-worth. Here are six ways to believe in yourself, even when you’re shrouded in self-doubt.
1. Consider Your Victories
Just as failure is an inevitable part of life, so is victory. Do you crumble when you suffer a setback at work or at home? Stop and remind yourself of all the ways you’ve already won.
Pat yourself on the back for the things you do well — maybe it’s asking your boss for a well-earned raise or finding the energy to meet friends for happy hour and really work on strengthening your relationships. Big or small, note each victory and use it to believe in yourself.
2. Surround Yourself with Optimists
Everyone has that one friend or co-worker who always has something negative to say. Even when you try to find the silver lining, they always manage to rain on your parade.
Start to distance yourself from people like these. Instead, create an inner circle full of positive people who build you up at every opportunity they get. You might find the constant encouragement slowly starts to change the way you see yourself.
3. Swap Self-Criticism for Compassion
If you’re a particularly conscientious person, you’re probably hard on yourself. You want to do everything correctly the first time, and you have little patience for failure.
But failure is a part of growing, and so is self-compassion. Instead of beating yourself up every time you make a mistake, treat yourself like you’d treat a friend. That is, cut yourself some slack and let yourself be human and make mistakes. Accept your weaknesses, while celebrating your strengths.
4. Build Yourself up With Affirming Quotes
Even wildly successful people endure failure. When you can’t muster up the grace to allow yourself a setback, let someone who understands build you back up. Here are a few uplifting quotes from famous folks to hang in your office or bedroom that will help you rebound after a misstep.
- “Friendship with oneself is all-important because without it, one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
- “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” — Oprah Winfrey
- “Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” — Lucille Ball
- “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” — Oscar Wilde
5. Stick up for Yourself
One of the fastest ways to lose your confidence is to let others walk all over you without saying a word. Although it’s uncomfortable to speak up for yourself in certain situations, learning how to do so will ultimately give a big boost to your self-esteem.
So don’t shy away from tough conversations, like asking for a raise or a promotion or taking credit for good work you’ve done, even when a colleague tries to steal the limelight. These are important conversations to have, though it may be tough.
6. Do Something That Scares You
If you’re so overcome by self-doubt you never try anything new, you’re missing out on opportunities to learn and grow. Don’t rob yourself of this precious chance. Instead, stick your neck out and try things that scare you, things that could potentially result in failure.
Go for that big promotion, take the next step in your relationship or stretch yourself in other ways. Even if you encounter failure, you’ll learn something about yourself along the way.
So, next time you feel yourself slipping into self-doubt, take a step back and try to see the situation with fresh eyes. Remember how many things you’ve accomplished. Lean on your positive-minded friends for encouragement.
Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. When you learn how to cut yourself some slack, you’ll find it’s much easier to leave self-doubt in the rearview mirror and move forward with confidence in every situation.
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