Confidence. Idiots have too much of it and genuinely awesome people have too little of it.
To many, the stereotypical confident person is an extroverted individual who possesses a natural magnetism. Charismatic extroverts seemingly ooze confidence, while timid introverts tip-toe their way through life without it.
Interestingly, some of the most extroverted people I’ve ever known were also the most insecure, myself included. I’m a textbook extrovert. I draw energy from interacting with others and being around people. I come across as confident and driven, like I have it all together.
However, I am one of the most insecure individuals on planet Earth. I find it extremely fitting, or ironic, that I write for a site called the Hot Mess Press. Behind my illusion of confidence lies a hot mess.
My wife, who knows me better than anyone (bless her heart), can attest to this. She, on the other hand, is more introverted but very secure and confident. They say opposites attract, and that couldn’t be more true in our case. We balance each other out.
So back to the confidence thing. Is confidence something we are born with? Confidence is often thought of as a personality trait, we either have it or we don’t.
Contrary to popular belief, confidence is a skill. In fact, it’s the greatest skill a person can cultivate. In order to build confidence, we must first eliminate something that we are all familiar with.
Confidence comes from within. As you think so shall you be.
This is why negative self-talk is so detrimental. Our external reality is a direct reflection of our internal state, so an inner voice of constant doubt and criticism can be very damaging. Habitual self-criticism causes us to exist in a constant state of pessimism and negativity, which in turn affects every aspect of our lives.
We spend so much time telling ourselves that we’re not good enough or not smart enough that we begin to believe these lies. This negativity only facilitates worry and anxiety, causing stress levels to rise and throwing hormones out of whack.
Conversely, a positive inner monologue fuels optimism and ambition, leading to happiness, passion, success and a better life experience.
How to Eliminate Negative Self-talk
Eliminating negative self-talk involves becoming aware of it and consciously working to replace negatives with positives.
For many people, the internal voice of negativity has been playing on repeat for so long that they’re not even aware of its existence and just accept that’s “just how life is”.
The good news: YOU are in control of your thoughts.
Yeah life isn’t all good, but life isn’t all bad either. What we focus on we create more of, so why not focus on the good? Believe me when I say I know just how difficult this can be.
A pessimist by nature, I am the world’s worst for negative self-talk. I beat myself up constantly. I have to make a conscious effort every day to silence my self-deprecating inner critic and flip my thoughts to something more positive. This subject is one in which I have tons of experience.
Simple Tricks to Build Confidence
One thing that I’ve used to overcome my habit of self-sabotage and change my life is gratitude. Gratitude is the ultimate equalizer.
When I catch myself thinking negatively, I immediately find something to be thankful for. It is a proven fact that negativity and gratitude cannot exist in the same place at the same time.
For me, an attitude of gratitude is the best way to eliminate negativity altogether. For more on how to use gratitude to change your life, click here.
Another trick that can help build confidence is to think of things that you’ve accomplished in your life.
When you feel doubt creeping in, think of an accomplishment that made you feel proud, something that was worthy of celebration. While you’re thinking of that accomplishment, also think of your abilities that made this accomplishment possible.
This will immediately flip your negative thoughts to positive thoughts and instantly improve your mood and self-esteem.
Exercise may be the best way to build self-confidence. Regular exercise has a myriad of benefits such as weight loss, better sleep, improved mental clarity and increased energy levels.
Any fairly vigorous physical activity will produce endorphins and elevate serotonin levels, which are the brain chemicals responsible for happiness and positive feelings. The “runner’s high” that runners nauseatingly gush about comes from a flood of endorphins in the brain produced by prolonged exercise.
For me, exercise is a necessity. Running plays a huge role in my life. It’s my medicine for so many things. A lifestyle of regular exercise has helped me overcome anxiety, depression and many of my insecurities.
Confidence is something that can be created and also something that must be cultivated. Confidence and self-esteem will lead to success and fulfillment. When you silence negative self-talk and make positivity a priority, improved self-confidence becomes a natural byproduct.
Every person is unique. You may not be able to see it right now, but you are awesome and you are here for a specific purpose. The world needs you. Have the confidence to allow your awesomeness to shine through.