Having established what confidence and self-esteem means, their similarities, and differences, and how to grow a healthy self-esteem, I thought it worthy to conclude this month’s blog posts on how to gain good confidence.

In the previous posts, we did recognize confidence as being about your believe in your abilities. Because of this definition for confidence, we can see how related to skill sets it actually is.

This means that any improvement in the display of your skills, or abilities can have a direct proportionate increase in your level of confidence, all things being equal.

Having a low confidence of self can be devastating to one’s career, relationships, or anything else. The reason being in how it can make you shortchange yourself in matters of negotiations by the way it causes you to underrate yourself.

There is this popular belief about confidence being everything. While I do not agree with it being totally everything, I do accept in parts to its very important role in one’s success in life.

There are many people who have the skills and abilities for many things but become unsuccessful due to their own self doubts. Still, some without so much ability believe much more in how good they can perform, and in that belief, they keep going out there and making things happen. These eventually get the wins.

Since my three decades on earth, I have realized that life triumphs aren’t always about being the best, neither the medals to the strongest. It is rather for the one who is courageous about what he can do and sets out in that conviction. Those are the ones who come out to do. And in their consistent and courageous pursuit, eventually get the trophy.

Personally, I know how much opportunities I did lose to a poor confidence of myself, in retrospect. I can tell by now that life is more about confidence than many other things, and how a lack of confidence could make even the most talented lot seem unfortunate.

Surprisingly though, it appears the stupid ones appears more confident than the highly cerebral folks. This is some thoughts I have been musing about for a while now..? Social media, politics, and our experiences in the offices is filled with the boldness of the not so intelligent who with time became more prominent.

They are unusually loud about the little they know and relentless in their efforts to achieve results. The good part is how they do it confidently. All of us can emulate that; especially if you are among the privileged multi talented souls.

So how can you have confidence, if you lack it, or gain even more, if you already have some bits of it?

-Practice your craft

Like we already established, confidence has a lot more to do with how good your abilities are. It is the distinguishing difference between self-esteem and self confidence. While self-esteem is more about your cognitive value of self, precisely in the way you love yourself, confidence is more about your show of competence in your abilities.

For someone who already has the skill to sing for instance, but not confident enough about his singing artistry, it will do well for this one to practice more with familiar faces at home, around closed religious ties, social groups, or within a comfortable zone as many times as possible, first, then move gradually to fewer faces not so familiar with, before finally coming out in full public glare. It’s a process.

Like everything else with growth, confidence is a process. Allow it.

It is the same way with almost all other things. Even for speakers. If you have not been doing it privately in the presence of well-known faces where you can feel less embarrassed with a poor performance, going out publicly is not advised, yet. The abrupt rush you seek at the public show of your not yet practiced skill may be the major reason it doesn’t turn out well as you might have wished it would in the end. Keep practicing in as many places you can. With every opportunity comes a boost to your confidence level.

-Do something you love and enjoy doing.

Getting involved with what you love can help the one suffering from a low confidence of self. Especially if you have had a break down somewhere in your life and felt low about your personal evaluation of self. You can use the performance of what you love to help yourself rise up again.

This works because when you do what you love, and just enjoy doing, there’s hardly any need for comparison with someone else’s similar ability. For this case, it is not so much about who’s doing it better than you, as it is about how you enjoy doing it. This way, it can bring to life your down spirit, and revive your morale to try out things again.

There are moments we feel too down to do anything, especially if you are coming out of a depressive mood, or just suffered some terrible losses. The practice of doing what you love can help you survive those phases. But you shouldn’t stop there. As soon as you see yourself being up again by doing what you love, then you can gradually start to introduce what you need to do in other areas of your life.

It may be that you need the confidence to go out there and get a new job, start a new relationship, or some new businesses, whatever it is, you should move from the phase of just using what you love to bring yourself to life after the low ebbs, to doing what needs to be done, again.

-Know yourself

In my December blog editions, I did emphasize on the importance of self-acceptance. I talked about how pertinent it is for you to study yourself through awareness, accept your person, and the one you are becoming, in order to fully become. Self-awareness and the acceptance of self is very key in your bid to truly know who you are.

Part of the reasons many people feel bad about themselves, which eventually reflect in their confidence level is because they do not consider themselves good enough. Far more people have terrible narrative about who they are than good opinions. The reasons are sometimes absurd.

It is quite disturbing to me that some people still find it a humbling pleasure to demean themselves. Such persons would rather talk low about their lives than what true worth they really have.

Why? They are afraid of sounding pompous! Would you rather be low, and seeming humble, than high up there and assumed proud? For Pete sake, you need not have to bring yourself down in order to be humble enough. Take pride in yourself. That’s not being arrogant.

We must learn to have the correct evaluation of our skills and capabilities. These would help with knowing ourselves better. That way, one is better able to know where one can work best, and some other areas one isn’t so good at. So one can focus on one’s strength while working to improve areas where growth is urgently required.

Knowing yourself can help you discover your purpose and the niche where your personality fits in, thus improving on your confidence.

You mustn’t master the habit of waiting for people’s validation of your skills and abilities before you can also believe in them, yourself. While this can be sometimes good, especially when you are still struggling to find yourself, it could also turn out detrimental in the poor management of your skills by those who seek to take advantage of the doubts in your own abilities.

We’ve seen this  happened to many African footballers and musicians in the past in the way they had shortchanged themselves through poor contracts when they didn’t think much of their own skills. By the time they were confident enough to defend their own dexterities, it became too late to change the contract they already had.

-Have positive thoughts and beliefs about yourself

The emotions we feel about ourselves is the main reason we may be entertaining some terrible thoughts about who we are. For one, no matter how good you are practically at something, if you hold the wrong belief about yourself, especially negative stance at that, it will always turn your good works to a bad outcome. It is first about what you think of yourself.

For this reason, we must do what we can to always keep our emotions under control. The basis you may be having poor confidence about yourself may not be because you do not have the required skills, or that you do not do it well enough. It could just be in the way you think badly about yourself. Our thought is the primary influencer of the emotions we feel. So when you think you cannot, regardless if you can, you won’t be able to deliver well. Why? You do not have the positive, or right beliefs about your abilities.

To improve on your level of confidence, I’d advise that you also learn to manage the emotions, and beliefs that you hold of yourself. I understand how difficult this can be sometimes, especially with the eccentricities of life itself. However, by all means, work on taking charge of your emotions to hold positive beliefs about you. It’s worth it.

Limitless is the one who thinks himself able, and is able. The combination of your skills and the right positive belief about same, makes for a powerful outcome. Please remember that.

-Be presentable in your dressing

Be presentable in your outlooks. Spend time to look good. Dress in the manner you’d love to be addressed. Never think it too much work to put on good clothes. I was once a victim of this. There was a time in my life when I’d do anything to improve on my mind, buy books, and go to paid conferences, but rarely bought clothes for myself. It was the last thing I usually think of doing. I held the belief of how the outward part never really mattered as long as the inner man was made right. How wrong I was!

Now I know better. The outside of a being should eventually reflect what is on the inside. It should. It is the reason I had to add this in the conclusive part of this discourse.

Looking good can really boost your confidence in so many psychological ways than time would have me mention. It’s been proven to help with how you are also perceived in terms of competence, just by the way you look. Please do not overlook this; especially if your work entails being more with people face to face whether as a speaker, singer, or whatever acts you do. Look good.

Take time to dress well, without being unnecessarily flamboyant. Your dressing shouldn’t take the attention away from what you have to offer though otherwise it may become too loud.

Looking good doesn’t have to be that expensive. It is trying to show off that is. There are so many good and affordable outfits you can put on to look smart, and still be confident about yourself.

In conclusion, I would that you have a confidence that is rooted in the right esteem of self, by virtue of your being; not for what you have, alone. Because all things do eventually fail us here on earth, at some point, regardless of how we might have prepared. If you’re a singer, your voice may crack when you need it the most, your oratory skills may be affected when you forget the most prepared speech after so much time spent on it, and you become blank. Life does happen.

It is for moments like these having the right confidence can help you successfully go through the awfulness without losing your mind. Then, you know you are more than even your possessions.

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To your evolving life.


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