To achieve even the smallest of goals, and to get through life's daily duties and responsibilities, you have to have some self-confidence. The importance of developing a self-confident attitude allows you to wade through the push and pull of different voices and opinions telling you, "yes, no, maybe, do this, do that", etc. Relying on other people to guide you and following their opinions robs you of your individuality, makes you unsure of yourself and can lead to depression.
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Self-confidence is an attitude that you hold about yourself that allows you to move forward and achieve your goals. An article on self-confidence from the counseling center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign defines self-confidence as having a positive attitude, but with realistic views. They note that a self-confident person has a general sense of control of her own life, and can do what she wishes, plans and expects. Self-confidence means that even if things don't go your way, you still believe that eventually, somehow, some way, they will.
The University of Illinois article notes that your parents may have instilled self-confidence in you by encouraging self-reliance and giving you love even when you made mistakes. If you did not have your parents' help, you can accomplish this yourself. Anthony Robbins states in his book, "Awaken the Giant Within," that developing his confidence comes from mastering his ability to feel certain that he really could achieve something. His rule is, "If I decide to be confident, then I'll feel that way toward anything, and my confidence will help me succeed."
Sitting quietly with your eyes closed and mentally visualizing yourself in great detail as a confident person is a great way to start being confident. In his book, "Unleash the Champion," Denny Dicke says that visualizing is the most effective tool for building confidence and belief. After repeatedly visualizing yourself being and acting confident, and achieving what you wish by confidently going after it, Dicke notes that when it does come time to move with confidence, you will act confidently because your mind sees this as familiar ground.
Overcoming Negative Thoughts
There are several strategies to overcoming those negative thoughts that keep you trapped in lack of confidence. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign article cites four tips. First, emphasize strengths by giving yourself credit. Second, take risks by looking at new experiences as a chance to learn, not win or lose. Third, use self-talk by stopping in the middle of a negative thought, and reframing it with a positive thought or words. Fourth self-evaluation allows you to gain a stronger sense of self, and stop giving away your personal power to others.
Move Forward With Confidence
Becoming self-confident does not mean you are unrealistic about yourself and your situation. You understand that you are not Superman, but being confident means still moving forward toward your goal achievement and desires even when things don't seem to be going your way. Using positive self-talk such as that of 1992 Olympic gold medal winner in singles tennis, Jennifer Capriati who said to herself, "I can do this! I am the best!", can really help get you through times of doubt, and help you to maintain that feeling of self-confidence.