We have all seen them: the snappy dressers who walk into the room, displaying themselves for all to see.
They walk – no, stride forward with a clear goal in mind.
At first you stare, thinking, “who do they think they are?’.
Part of you is annoyed at the arrogance, the confidence; while another part wishes it were you.
It is ok to want to develop confidence, even if you feel like don’t have much to be confident about.
The question is: how do you develop confidence without feeling like a jerk?
First, confidence is not arrogance.
Confidence is the belief you can achieve a goal, even through adversity.
Someone who is confident believes they have the tools needed to solve problems.
A confident person does not worry much about what others think.
Develop confidence, not arrogance
Arrogance, by contrast, is the belief you are better than others and do not need them to succeed.
Someone who is arrogant believes they have learned all they have needed to learn.
Thus, they do not need to spend time and work to grow.
Arrogance stops learning, especially from others.
Someone who is arrogant does not believe they need other people and will feel superior to them.
As such, arrogance is dangerous; as someone who was once at the top may not be after some time, but refuse to see it.
4 ways to develop confidence when you have nothing to be confident about
It is clear confidence is what you want.
But how can you learn to be confident, if you have had few successes?
1. Believe in yourself.
Our beliefs influence our actions.
If we believe we are overall a good person, who tries to do the right thing and have the ability to succeed, then probably, we will.
Such thoughts make us less likely to second guess ourselves; thereby helping us take more risks.
However, the inverse is also true.
If we believe we are terrible, unproductive people, then we will not put in the time and effort to succeed.
Our belief in ourselves is key to developing confidence.
If our beliefs are negative, we need to change them.
We need to stop believing we are failures.
Changing a belief is not easy.
It takes time and effort to transform how we view ourselves.
One way to begin is to choose an area of your life, and then make a goal to think positively about it.
For example: if I want to feel more confident in my job, then I need to start thinking constructive things about my job performance.
I need to acknowledge the times I do well at work and feel good about them.
Pride in your accomplishments is NOT arrogance.
It is a healthy reward for a job well done.
2. Reframe negative thoughts.
There will be times when we will experience negative thoughts about ourselves.
This is normal.
The question is: will we take them as the truth?
If we focus on the negative and exclude the positive, it’ll be hard to develop confidence indeed.
When a negative thought comes, you need to change it into something positive.
This is called reframing.
For example: turning in a project at work, the boss discussed three good points and one bad point.
For a perfectionist, that one negative point might take the entire focus.
Negative thoughts such as, “see, I messed up. My boss must think I am such an idiot!” needs to be changed.
One way to do this is to focus on the good points.
Often, we filter out positive information and focus on the negative.
By thinking, “I did well on two of the sections. Once I fix the third it will be done. That’s not so bad!” is much better – and healthier – than beating yourself up.
Reframing thoughts is not an easy task.
There are numerous chances to think negatively: from predicting the future, to magnifying bad events.
It will be a lifelong battle.
Having negative thoughts is NOT the problem – it is how we respond to them.
3. Think of confidence as an attitude.
If you want to develop confidence, especially in social situations, then act as you would on a job interview.
First, wear something nice.
By dressing up, you’ll get a commanding presence.
You will feel more confident and have more faith in your abilities.
While it takes work (and maybe a bit of money) to look good, the results are drastic.
Over time, your job performance will most likely improve as you will begin to feel better about yourself; thus, changing your beliefs.
Confidence as an attitude works.
By walking into a building dressed up and with a purpose, you will feel more powerful.
Even if you do not feel confident on the inside, if you can project it, others will believe it.
Eventually, after seeing others’ responses, your thoughts about yourself will change.
Next, building confidence when speaking to others is key.
Look everyone in the eye when you’re talking.
Do not stare as if you want to see inside their skull, but do look them in the eye.
This shows you are not afraid and have respect enough to listen.
With practice, it’ll become easier.
You will be taken more seriously if you make eye contact and can hold it in conversation.
4. Learn from others.
Confident people understand they don’t know everything.
No one in life has all the answers.
That’s why they’re not afraid to ask for help and do so often.
They seek out advice from colleagues, hear different viewpoints, and make changes based on the information they learn.
A confident person has learned the art of mastering pride.
Prideful, arrogant people, feel they do not need anything from anyone and will attempt to do things themselves.
While this might work out at times, eventually, they’ll hit their limit.
As asking for help is painful for someone prideful, they will choose to go at it alone.
In the end, they will hit a plateau.
Confident people understand they are limited and have weaknesses.
They have accepted these facts as a part of life.
Think of any successful leaders you know.
What do they all have in common?
They have a team of people who are good at what they do.
A confident person trusts those around him to lend a hand.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Talk to successful, influential individuals.
Ask them how they did well and take notes.
Learning from others is a powerful way to grow, and in turn, develop confidence.
Put it all together and develop confidence
Building confidence won’t be quick or easy.
It will take time to change how you view yourself.
But by working to change your beliefs, you can begin to see you have worth, and even realize that your mistakes have value.
Change your negative thoughts into something more positive to see the world in a better light.
By dressing and acting as if you were confident, over time, you will begin to feel better, too.
Give yourself time to change.
Be patient, and don’t expect results overnight.
People who are confident spent years working and honing their skills.
Take small steps and notice the results.
Even if things do not go well, there’s still something to be learned from it.
Ask advice from others and do not be afraid to ask questions.
Confident people understand they do not have all the answers, but will find them, even if it means asking for help.
You can develop confidence and succeed – but only if you have the belief and the actions to back it up.
Feel free to share any tips you have to help develop confidence in the comment section below!
What worked for you?
What advice would you give others seeking to build themselves up and live the life they deserve?