When it comes to happiness I believe we need to make it a top priority. However, we also need to turn our attention to the things that lead to happiness. In a way, happiness is a byproduct of other things. One of those things is self-confidence.
Self-confidence is necessary for happiness in any area of life. For instance, to be happy in relationships, you have to feel good about your ability to relate to others, resolve conflicts, or believe you are the kind of person others like and want to be around.
If you want to be more confident, here are three keys to know and do:
Don’t compare yourself to others
Most of us, if not all, have been conditioned on some level to be competitive. That usually means comparing yourself to others to see how you measure up. I advise my clients to only compare themselves to someone else if doing so inspires them. If it inspires you to see someone “ahead” of you who motivates you to keep learning and growing, that’s useful.
However, if comparing yourself to someone else demotivates you, start a new habit: Only compare yourself to yourself. Notice the progress you’re making and don’t concern yourself with how others are doing. Use yourself as reference point for change and growth and your self-confidence will grow.
End every day with a list of your accomplishments
Because we’re living life at such a fast pace, it’s easy to end the day and begin the next without acknowledging our achievements. Every day you go to work and perform, but do you purposefully give yourself credit for all you’ve done? You have to take ownership of your life and your self-confidence. That means you can’t depend upon others to tell you what you’ve done well or what you’ve achieved for the day.
Yes, I know your boss, your co-workers and your family should be giving you positive feedback. I’m sure they do to some extent, but maybe not nearly as much as you need to grow your self-confidence. Be someone who recognizes what you do and what you achieve—and do it every day. You’ll find yourself becoming more self-confident.
Pay attention to your self-talk
We talk to ourselves continually; when we are thinking, we are talking to ourselves. The question is, “How much of your self-talk is subtle (or even overt) self- criticism?” Self-criticism destroys your self-confidence. Drop the “should’s,” “ought to’s” and “must’s” in your self-talk, because they are forms of subtle self-criticism. Most people try to motivate themselves with all their “should’s” in life, but it has the opposite affect and it lowers your self-confidence.
Learn to talk to yourself in a constructive and nurturing way. Our self-talk creates our emotions and moods, which leads to our actions and behaviors, which leads to our results. Talk to yourself like you would your best friend, someone you believe in and admire. If you find yourself doubting yourself and your capabilities, imagine a best friend dealing with your situation. What would you say to them? Say that to yourself and watch your self-confidence grow.