Table of contents:
- Take a piece of paper. Draw a straight line on it horizontally. Imagine that this is a scale, on the left edge of which there are people who are absolutely not confident in themselves, and on the right edge - the most confident in themselves. Where would you place yourself on the scale? Closer to the left pole (“unsure”) or closer to the right (“confident”)? If you have chosen a place, mark it, for example, with a dot
- 1. Hands on the sides
- 2. Engineering support
- 3. Inhale-exhale
- 4. Dispute with yourself
Video: How To Build Confidence - Self-development
Take a piece of paper. Draw a straight line on it horizontally. Imagine that this is a scale, on the left edge of which there are people who are absolutely not confident in themselves, and on the right edge - the most confident in themselves. Where would you place yourself on the scale? Closer to the left pole (“unsure”) or closer to the right (“confident”)? If you have chosen a place, mark it, for example, with a dot
Surely among your friends you can find people who are distinguished by extraordinary self-confidence. They have powerful penetrating abilities, they are persistent, the saying “Impudence is the second happiness” perfectly fits them. But if you think carefully, then you will remember the directly opposite characters - timid, shy, always doubting and showing uncertainty even in the smallest everyday affairs.
In comparison with these acquaintances of yours, do you look more like a “confident” person, or is it still an “insecure” person? Would you like to correct your mark on the scale by moving it left or right?
If you haven't moved your mark - congratulations! You have just successfully passed the mini confidence test. You made a decision and, despite my attempt to make you doubt this decision, you overcame that doubt. It is clear that this test is not serious, but this is precisely how confidence manifests itself in our daily life - as the ability to "bend our line", openly express our opinion and desires, adhere to previously adopted decisions.
I remember very well my first training in confident behavior skills, which I conducted when I was still quite “green”, a novice psychologist. Only women aged 18 to 55 signed up for the training. I was at a loss: will I, as a man, be able to understand the specifics of women's insecurity?
Еще больше меня смущало то, что почти все участницы были педагогами и работали в школе. Мне всегда казалось, что школьный учитель сродни укротителю тигров, который входит в класс, как в клетку с хищниками. Уж у этих-то людей решительности должно быть хоть отбавляй. А тут вдруг они пришли на тренинг уверенного поведения…
The first discovery I made for myself during this training was that everyone understands confidence / uncertainty differently. Someone thinks that confidence is primarily a demeanor: a direct look into the eyes of the interlocutor, a strong handshake, a loud voice and even speech, wide shoulders and a straight back, a high head, etc. Other people associate insecurity not so much with behavior, how much with the peculiarities of the activity. An insecure person sets goals poorly, painfully makes any decisions, is not able to show persistence, gives in to even minor difficulties.
For many, self-doubt is an exclusively internal state, which they describe in bodily sensations: the mouth is dry, the stomach is heavy, the palms are sweating, "the veins are shaking", the breath caught, etc. In general, the symptoms of self-doubt coincide with the symptoms increased anxiety (from mild anxiety to almost panic attacks). Curiously, feelings of insecurity based on awareness of bodily symptoms often do not correlate in any way with outward signs of insecurity. In other words, it seems to a person that his stiffness and tension are simply striking the eyes of others, but in fact from the outside it may be completely invisible.
Perhaps, most often, insecurity is understood as a negative attitude towards oneself, based on low self-esteem and a habit of criticizing oneself. Participants in the training very often talk about a kind of “inner voice” (or voices) that negatively comment on literally every step they take. Some voices come from childhood and are very reminiscent of our disgruntled parents. Other "inner voices" we create ourselves when we focus on past failures and emotional trauma.
Which of the four insecurities do you think are more typical for men and which for women? I don’t have exact statistics, but as a result of many years of experience in conducting confidence trainings, it seems that men more often understand confidence precisely as a demeanor, as well as perseverance and purposefulness, the ability to consistently achieve their own. In women, confidence is more often associated with inner comfort (the absence of anxiety symptoms, especially in socially significant situations) and with the elimination of the “inner critic”.
How can you get rid of shyness and finally find inner support? In short, "what is the symptom, so is the treatment."
1. Hands on the sides
If “insecurity” is the wrong behavior for you, then stand in front of a mirror and begin to correct your “body language”, consistently replacing unsure postures and gestures with more confident and strong ones. Which ones exactly?
In 2012, American sociologist Amy Cuddy published a study on the so-called "poses of strength" - bodily patterns of confidence, the demonstration of which helps to win negotiations and achieve success in business and in life. For example, part of the "pose of strength" is the hands resting on the sides; hands raised and folded behind the head; when we stand near the table, support with both palms on the tabletop, etc.
Do not be lazy, search the Internet for "power poses", rehearse them in front of a mirror and start using them in your daily life.
2. Engineering support
If "uncertainty" for you personally is primarily associated with inconsistency and low performance in achieving goals, then you need a system of self-organization (for example, time management), and even better - a personal coach. Uncertainty often arises from the inability to formulate achievable goals, due to the inability to adequately assess their capabilities and limitations (both personal and external).
Uncertainty in performance is often associated with motivational exhaustion and an inability to receive correct feedback on intermediate results on the way to the goal. In such a situation, the coach acts as an "engineer" who helps you choose the tools for self-realization that will allow you to achieve small and large results. The results are clear evidence of your success, which inevitably increases your self-confidence.
To overcome “insecurity” as a set of bodily symptoms that arise in socially significant situations, one should master the techniques of emotional self-regulation. There are many ways to reduce the symptoms of anxiety / insecurity, just to remind you of one of the simplest: reduce the symptoms of insecurity by breathing.
There are many breathing techniques, but the simplest breathing techniques, such as slow and controlled deep breathing, will suffice to overcome uncertainty. It is simple to perform: concentrate as much as possible on inhalation and exhalation; at the same time, try to stretch out a little, slow down the breathing and make it deeper.
Observe carefully how the inhaled air fills the entire volume of the lungs, and then easily and freely leaves the lungs on exhalation. Breathing should be slightly slowed down, but not strained. On the contrary, it is important to feel that with each exhalation, you are relieving some of the tension, anxiety and insecurity. Usually, it is enough to make 10-15 of such consciously relaxed in-and-out breaths to take control of your state and feel confident.
4. Dispute with yourself
If the reason for self-doubt is the "inner critic", then I am afraid that one cannot do without seeking qualified psychological help. Criticizing “voices in the head” usually appear as a result of psychological trauma experienced in distant childhood. The origins of this trauma can be deeply hidden in the abyss of the unconscious, and only working with a psychologist can help shed the light of awareness on them.
But this does not mean at all that while you are thinking about whether or not to seek help from a specialist, you should capitulate to the "inner critic".
There is a technique in cognitive behavioral therapy called “debating”. As soon as negative thoughts arise in your head that undermine your self-confidence - do not agree with them, challenge them! Make it a habit to actively challenge yourself in response to any thoughts that belittle or weaken you. Resist!
And by the way, this habit of (debating with your negative thoughts about yourself) in itself will make you a much more confident person.