For anyone looking to strengthen their self-confidence, it’s important to have an answer to the following question: What actually matters when it comes to believing in yourself? What makes a difference in keeping you focused on solutions rather than problems? How can you expand your self-confidence TODAY?
Well, look no further. Here are the four, essential factors involving in feeling and acting more self-confident.
Dimension #1: Mastery Awareness
This area is about having an awareness of your successes and strengths. This means having an understanding of your personal strengths and pain points, as well as the achievements you’ve reached in the past.
Why does Mastery Awareness matter?
Research shows that increased awareness of character strengths leads to higher levels of resilience, better problem-solving skills and increased overall wellbeing. Seeing solutions, as opposed to problems, is creative and energizing! So, as an example, if you know that social intelligence is a strong trait of yours, you will be able to lean on it as a problem-solving strategy. Let’s say you wanted to lose 10 pounds. If you invoked the power of social intelligence to help you get there, you could quickly put together a small exercise group or running club in your area, and then motivate a few, key members to help coordinate and keep things moving. But, if you had no awareness of your personal strengths, you might simply try to barrel through, fueled by pure willpower. A recipe for frustration! So, awareness of your own mastery means leaning into your personal strengths and staying focused on achievements, not failures.
How to Develop Mastery Awareness
- See the list of VIA Character Strengths
- Learn more about the power of character strengths
- Take the VIA Character Strengths survey (10 minutes)
- For each accomplishment in your resume, make a note of which strengths were needed to be successful in that area. Did you use your curiosity? Perseverance? Humility? Leadership?
- Keep a Victory Log. What did you accomplish today, this week, this month?
Dimension #2: Motivators (Your Wolf Pack)
Anyone on a mission needs other humans on their team. This could come in the form of role models, friends, family, colleagues, mentors… anyone in your life who supports you and stands for your BIGNESS.
Why do Motivators matter?
We all know the feeling of burning out on something, of hitting a wall where our willpower is no longer sufficient and our energy plummets. Game over! Right? Well, highly motivated people also surround themselves with a constructive social circle that helps them create momentum and stay in action. TEAMWORK STATISTIC. Having an empowering circle of people in your life — both personal contacts and inspiring figures — provides a source of energy that’s impossible to generate on your own.
How to Assemble Your Work Pack
- Make a list with three columns: 1. The support I need; 2. Who do I know?; 3. Action step. The clearer that you are about what you’re looking for, the easier it is for someone to say “yes” or “no” to supporting you in that area. Are you looking for technical knowledge? Motivation? A shoulder to cry on? A buddy running the same race as you? Identify what you’re looking for, then have a conversation and make a direct request.
- Print out pictures and quotes from your heroes and put them in a binder or on your wall. For instance, John O’Donohue, an Irish poet and philosopher, is a huge hero of mine. When I need to draw on a deeper source of energy and hope, even just looking at a picture of his face LINK helps me restore some balance.
- Create regular meeting times. Is there someone who always helps you get in the right headspace, but you only see sporadically? Do you wish you could get a bigger dose of whatever they’re putting out there? It may be helpful to set a regular schedule. If you know this individual personally, you could schedule a regular lunch or coffee date or a Mastermind call. If this is someone you know indirectly (I.e. a speaker, author, or public figure), go ahead and schedule a time in your calendar to listen to their audiobook or watch an inspiring speech.
- Get involved in your community. Take a class, join a club, or dive into a new Meetup group. People love people-watching because it’s energizing and spontaneous.
Dimension #3: Mindset
You’ve heard of the idea of a “Growth Mindset.” But how much do you actually check your own, internal language? How often do you hear the words “can’t” and “won’t” in your inner monologue? Do you intentionally look for solutions, as opposed to problems?
Self-confidence and mindset are almost synonymous. What’s the difference between someone who’s nervous to start a new business and does it anyway, versus someone who’s nervous and just dreams about it? Mindset (and, subsequently, action).
Why does Mindset matter?
Mindset affects your ability to solve problems and to manage stress levels when facing challenges. Research has shown that solution-focused mindsets result in lower levels of stress than problem-focused ones.
Explanatory styles are one example of how mindset is reflected in language (and how both language and mindset can be transformed, with a little effort). Optimistic explanatory styles — i.e. when we describe a problem as temporary (not permanent), external (not internal) and specific to the situation (not global) — allow us to find solutions and keep our stress levels low. Pessimistic explanatory styles, on the other hand, “create more stress in life and can make our stressors feel more threatening” (Very Well Mind). This means that a solution-focused mindset is not only more effective for solving problems, but also keeps your bodily stress response lower than a pessimistic mindset.
How to Develop a Growth Mindset
- Understand Cognitive Distortions and how they warp our thinking.
- Take a test to understand your current explanatory style. (This helps you get a sense of whether you primarily see solutions or problems in a given situation)
- Read books on using your character strengths, resilience and mindset.
- Quick tips for becoming more optimistic
- Find the silver lining in each of your character traits
Dimension #4: Managing Your Emotions and Wellbeing
Emotion and wellbeing management is essential in a world that seems to be unraveling! There are hundreds of ways of managing your wellness, from nutrition and exercise to setting a balanced schedule and exploring spirituality.
Self-confidence, in particular, requires stability when the world around you is shaky. It means having resilience and staying focused on a vision, even when other people are skeptical, when there are arguments against you, and when self-doubt is sneaking in the back door (and the front!). Remaining confident, despite setbacks, is a true emotional labor.
So, it’s important to take action steps.
How to Manage Your Emotional and Overall Wellbeing.
- Set a holistic schedule for your time.
- Follow wellness blogs
- Improve your relationship with eating.
- Build some stillness into your life.
Conclusion: Tapping Into the Four Dimensions of Self-Confidence
Anyone seriously interested in developing their self-confidence should take a look at each of these four dimensions and create an action plan for growing in each area. Remember, willpower is a limited resource. And expecting yourself to generate all the energy and resilience you need out of thin air is a recipe for frustration.
So, consider these areas: Mastery Awareness, Mindset, Motivational People, and Management of Emotions and Wellbeing. What could you do today to boost your self confidence?
Now, what are you waiting for?!
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