I used to watch a lot of Ted Talks that were inspiring and that helped me become a better person. But I had not watched one for a while, reasons being unknown. Maybe I just got busy doing other stuff.
YouTube randomly recommended this Ted-Talk video to me the other day. It was a video related to self-confidence and the talk was given by Dr. Ivan Joseph. Apparently, I had already watched this talk a long time ago but I did not really remember what he says in the video.
In this 13-minute video, Dr. Joseph explains about self-confidence in a very simple, yet effective way. He talks about the easy steps to build self-confidence.
I was fascinated by his talk and resonated with some of the points that he explained in the video. I wanted to write this post after watching his talk so that it would help anyone who is struggling with self-confidence.
What is Self-Confidence?
In simple terms, self-confidence is to believe in yourself. It is to believe in your skills and abilities, your judgments, your decisions, your worthiness, and your capabilities.
Dr. Joseph defines self-confidence as;
…the ability to believe in yourself to accomplish any task, no matter the odds, no matter the difficulty, and no matter the adversity.
He refers to self-confidence as a “skill” because he says that it can be trained.
Self-confidence is important in all areas of our lives – school, work, and relationships. Many people fail to obtain self-confidence. Students who lack self-confidence face a lot of difficulties at school. As a result, they are unable to achieve success as easily as students who are self-confident. The same thing happens with adults at work and with relationships.
Self-confident people know that they have the capability to achieve their goals. They are willing to work hard for it. They are confident in their ability to learn and excel at anything. Self-confident people have a growth mindset.
The Importance of Self-Confidence
Like I said, self-confidence is important in all aspects of life. People with low self-confidence will have a hard time succeeding in life. They usually stay inside their comfort zone.
Conversely, people with high self-confidence are willing to try out different things. This gives them the advantage of having better skills and knowledge. They are not afraid to put themselves out there.
For example, if you are confident that you will get that job, you are likely to answer the interview questions precisely and get shortlisted among the selected candidates. On the other hand, if you lack self-confidence, you are likely to get nervous in the interview and as a result, you will not get selected as a shortlisted candidate.
How You Can Build Self-Confidence
There are many ways to build your self-confidence. Here are three simple ways to do so, according to Dr. Joseph.
1. Repetition! Repetition!! Repetition!!!
Suppose you have a big presentation at work in seven days. You are not confident that you can pull it off in such a small amount of time. What do you do to build your confidence?
Yes, you practice it over and over again, every day, for seven days. What do you think will happen then? You will not only know everything you want to say to the audience, but you will have more confidence because you have practiced it so many times.
Michael Jordan used to practice his shots over and over again until he was perfect. Do you think he lacked self-confidence during his games? If he did, he wouldn’t be one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 publishing houses. Yet, she didn’t give up. She kept on going because she had confidence in herself. If she wasn’t confident about her book, she would have given up after getting rejected by two or three publishers. She made millions off of her books later.
Practice and persistence help you build your skills and abilities, which in turn builds your self-confidence. You have to stay persistent in spite of the adversities.
How you talk to yourself can have a big impact on your self-confidence. If you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Why am I so ugly?”, how do you think it is going to affect your self-confidence?
Instead, if you say, “I look very sharp. I am confident.”, you will definitely feel more confident. The talk that goes inside your head will reflect your external circumstances. Negative self-talk is the enemy of self-confidence. Think positive thoughts and say positive things even if you don’t feel like it. If you say it over and over again, you will eventually feel better and the circumstances will start getting better as well.
There’s enough people that are telling us we can’t do it, that we are not good enough. Why do we want to tell ourselves that?
Thoughts influence actions. Choose your thoughts wisely. You may not have control over the external things, but you sure can control what you think about. So why choose negative thoughts?
Mohammad Ali used to say to himself, “I am the greatest.” and he became the greatest. But, you can’t just say it and do nothing. You have to say it, believe it, and take action to achieve it.
Never say, “I am not confident.”, ” or “I can’t do that.” Instead, say the opposite. Say, “I am confident.” and “I am going to succeed.” Start your self-talk with “I can” and “I will”.
If you don’t say it, if you don’t believe it, no one else will. It is those quiet, silent moments with yourself that can shift your confidence level depending upon what you choose to believe and say to yourself.
3. Get away from the people who will tear you down
Negative people should have no place in your life, especially those who want to see you fail. These people can, however, motivate you to strive for more. But they should not be the reason that you are not confident, that you stop believing in yourself.
There’s a famous quote that goes something like – “You become like the five people you spend the most time with.” Do you want these people to be the ones who lack self-confidence? Because if you do, eventually, you will also lack self-confidence.
Spend time with people who inspire you, who want to see you succeed, and who believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself.
Having a lot of friends does not mean that you will have a better life. If these friends do not support you, if they do not motivate you to do better, they are of no good. Instead, having a few good friends, who support you, who help you build your confidence, and who are there for you when you need them, is a lot better.
Be careful about who you spend most of your time with. Are they making a positive impact in your life? Are they helping you strive for better?
Believing in yourself is the most powerful tool that is going to help you achieve the things you want in your life. Before you take action, you must have a clear mindset and the confidence that you can and you will achieve your goals. Practice self-talk, practice practicing, and stay away from people who don’t believe in you.
No one will believe in you unless you do.
Here’s the Ted Talk by Dr. Ivan Joseph.