As a communications coach, I’ve noticed 5 habits that are killing your confidence. It’s important to recognize these habits because they can prevent you from living a full life or accomplishing goals. Self-confidence is a cornerstone of success in life, relationships, and business, because it encourages you to take healthy risks. It’s an attractive quality that many people desire and if you want to increase your confidence, read on.
1. “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
When you compare your life, marriage, body, job, or anything else, to others, you are most likely comparing it to a perception, which is not the same thing as the truth. I’m totally guilty of this. I’ve looked at another person’s life, and progress in their career, and wondered, “why I’m not in their position?” Can you relate?
No matter how desirable someone else’s situation may seem, it is NOT, and never will be as perfect as your perception. Constant comparison can leave you feeling like your personal milestones do not measure up to your peers, or those you admire. When thoughts of comparison creep into your mind, consciously replace them. If you feel jealous, when your friend gets the dream job you wanted, recall your past success. Personal achievement-centered thoughts will reaffirm your worth, rather than cause you to question it.
2. Social media stalking
Gathering information on your competitors, for the purpose of improving yourself or your business, is completely different than mindless social media stalking. Beware of the amount of time you spend browsing social media profiles; excessive social media use causes low self-esteem, depression and may just be what’s killing your confidence. You can combat these feelings by monitoring your use of online apps. Consuming too much content can result in unrealistic comparisons and diminished confidence.
When you log onto online apps, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I here because I’m bored?
- Am I here to connect with my community?
- Do my posts add value to my follower’s lives?
These simple questions are a wonderful way to check in with your intentions and ensure that you’re using social media with purpose.
There’s nothing wrong with evaluating your past “failures” in order to improve and achieve a new goal. But, the waters get a little murky when you allow yourself to wallow in them. One important difference between people who ooze confidence and those who lack it, is their opinion of “failure.”
Confident individuals understand that failure is temporary, if you refuse to give up; it is a lesson, rather than a loss. On the contrary, those who are failure-focused associate failure with self-worth. They receive each “no” or “try again next time” as an insult to their ego.
I personally don’t believe in failure; I see it as a set up for a come back. When I met “failure” year-after-year, through out my 7 year journey to the title of Miss Montana USA, I lost support of friends and family. This made me realize that my dreams are my own. That means that no one, but me, has to believe in them. Losing, multiple times, put my confidence at a crossroad. It forced me to choose between confidence that rests on belief in-self, or on the opinions of others. Fortunately, I chose self.
4. Dangerous assumptions
Many of my clients express fears to me. Acknowledging those fears helps you to understand why you have them and how to work past them. Many fears are rooted in assumptions. Here’s a common example.
“I’m worried that the judges won’t believe I’m ready to win because I’m younger than the other contestants.”
The statement you just read makes an assumption about the opinions of a room full of strangers. That’s a little crazy when you really think about it. The statement is rooted in fears of inadequacy, due to age, which is something you have no control over. These types of assumptions lead to self-doubt that is killing your confidence. A simple confidence hack, you can try next time you feel nervous before a social interaction or interview, is to assume people already like you.
5. Negative thoughts
You’ve probably heard the question, “do you see the cup as half full or half empty?” Although the amount poured into our imaginary glass, in this hypothetical question, remains the same, the two perspectives are quite different. Glass half full people, are optimistic or positive thinkers, while those who see the glass half empty are pessimistic or drawn to negative thoughts.
Consistent negative thoughts about yourself will take their toll on your confidence. There are plenty of outside influences that will tell you, directly or indirectly, that you are not “enough.” You don’t need to help them out, by telling yourself you’re not “enough.” Instead, reframe your self-talk to uplift and encourage. Follow this easy rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself.
Practicing positive affirmations is a proactive way to fight negative thoughts that are killing your confidence. Download a FREE list of my favorite affirmations. Repeat them daily, or use them as inspiration to create your own.
Enjoyed this post? Check out 7 Things I wish I knew before competing in pageants, for more life-lessons-learned.