Confidence is a leading soft skill that is valuable throughout your entire life. Building confidence should start early to give children the ability to become successful adults. Other “soft skills.” include, but are not limited to, the following:
Although these skills are very important, they are hard to teach. No book can teach creativity and no parent can teach confidence. It is not like learning to throw a ball or ride a bike, yet, learning to throw a ball or ride a bike does build confidence.
5 ways confidence improves your life
Confidence helps develop a strong character and can set you up for success in life. Here are some of the ways confidence can impact your performance in life:
1. Being a self-starter
Confident people get things done. They do not wait for direction before acting. And, they have no problem with taking control of a situation when needed.
This means they are not afraid to assume and take risks. A self-starting, confident person is well aware of the possibility of failure. But they have the inner strength not to let that prospect stop them. They are aware of the consequences and will often push through these obstacles.
A confident person is also not afraid to volunteer for difficult tasks when they present themselves. More confidence allows for fewer missed opportunities and puts a confident person in stronger positions for promotion as an adult.
Leaders see them as capable of acting and accepting the consequences of their decisions rather than taking the most accessible path. A confident person will shoot for the best possible outcome rather than the safest outcome.
2. Standing up to bullies
Confidence can keep you from being pushed around by others. A confident person will speak up for themselves. And, they will speak up for others when necessary.
When you lack confidence, you do not speak up when others try to take credit for your work. You also allow others to seek opportunities from you without a fight.
Of course, this does not mean physical violence, but a confident person will not let another take an opportunity away from them.
A lack of confidence invites bullying and overreach. A stronger and more sure person will not tolerate such behavior in others whether it is directed at them or other people.
3. Being honest
Confident people are more willing to speak their mind. A more confident person is not afraid to say no when they feel it is best. They will not take on too much or too little due to a lack of assertiveness.
Also, it is hard to go wrong by being honest and stating what is best rather than what people want to hear.
4. Achieving success
Both adults and children who have more confidence do better in life. Studies have shown that for both adults and children, confidence leads to better grades in school and more promotions and higher pay in the workplace later in life.
5. Maintaining higher standards
Believing in yourself means you tend to think more pragmatically and more positively. Someone who thinks positive will have higher standards than others.
Confident individuals set a higher bar for themselves and work harder to reach them. A stronger person will not only be more aware of his limits but will have no qualms about testing those limits to improve.
In fact, studies show just telling someone to have higher standards leads to higher standards.
In contrast to the benefits of plenty of confidence, the lack of confidence leads people to be more cautious and overall less successful in life. It can cause people to have weak goals, to not take advantage of opportunities and to be more accepting of less achievement.
What can you do to improve confidence?
While you can not learn to be confident in the same way you would learn a hard skill such as math or plumbing, there are ways you can strengthen your mindset.
-Fake it till you make it
The first thing to do is to look at the traits of confident people and try to apply them. The favorite phrase these days is “fake it till you make it.”
Even if you lack confidence on the inside, do your best to project confidence on the outside.
One way to do this is to dress for the job you want rather than the job you have. This is because,
- How you dress affects confidence.
- It helps you take pride in your appearance.
So get up, shower, and fix your hair, and (men) shave every day. Then, dress as nicely as you can.
I am self-employed. I have neither a boss who I have to dress for nor customers to please with what I choose to wear. However, every day I get up, shower and shave, put on a nice button up and tie and get ready for work.
I could work in my pajamas if I wanted to, but I dress for success, and that alone helps me succeed.
-Take The 100 Days Of Rejection Challenge
A significant cause of low confidence is lack of exercising your self-esteem muscles. Fear of rejection lowers confidence. The 100 days of rejection challenge is like working out your confidence muscles every day.
Jia Jiang created this challenge. It is simple. It helps you overcome fear and build confidence by coming up with a list of absolutely crazy requests. Then you set out to ask for them. Rejection over and over is not easy. But to not fear rejection, you have to learn to accept it.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that are very beneficial for improving happiness. You also gain a feeling of accomplishment when you finish your routine.
When you keep it up long enough, you start to see victory in your results. Working out is a great confidence builder because the only person who can tell you no is yourself.
-Surround Yourself With Positive, Encouraging People
Who you surround yourself with makes a difference. You don’t want to be around people who blindly tell you that you are great at everything without question. This builds false confidence.
At the same time, you do not want to surround yourself with people who are negative and put you down to prop themselves up. That can be just as toxic.
Remove people from your life who put you down and replace them with people who believe in you. You will be amazed at the result.
Related content: Perseverance: Being Knocked Down Four Times, But Rising Up Five
Confidence is awesome
Confidence is awesome. Trying to gain it can be terrifying. But once you have it, it is among one of the greatest feelings you can have.
As an adult, it is never too late to build confidence in yourself. And, if you have children, it is crucial to help your children develop self-confidence.
It will take you far in life, and nobody can take that away from you.
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Brian Baxter, M.A.
As an athlete, coach, parent, and sports psychology consultant with over 20 years experience in youth sports, I created Baxter Sports camps to continue my work and provide a great environment for athletes to learn and grow in all aspects of life. From my early days of coaching, I envisioned an organization whose coaching included not only skill-building and learning the game, but also stressed the importance of nutrition, proper stretching, positive thinking, and the mental game.