Self-confidence: The Key to Unlock Your Potential

Do you ever just look at someone and say, “Damn! Look at that confidence!”

Confidence is one of those rarest human qualities that can leave you in awe of someone. Some are born uber-confident while others build self-confidence over the course of their lives. Whatever be the case, there is a certain charisma around people who exhale confidence with every breath. So much so that we aspire to act, speak, walk and be like them — this is the power of confidence!

How self-confidence shaped me as a person

I have been a victim of low self-esteem during my teenage years. I never liked the way I looked. I was constantly compared with my siblings, friends, cousins, classmates, and at times, complete strangers. No matter how hard I tried, confidence never came naturally to me.

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However, it was in my high-school when I realized how important it is to be confident and self-assured in order to achieve something in life. I realized that confidence isn’t restricted to acting tough but is also how you see yourself as an individual.

Today, if I’m able to lead my company called ProofHub, it’s only because I trusted my dream and decided to pursue it with full confidence. It gives you the hope and optimism to go after difficult things with a belief that you can achieve them.

What is self-confidence?

Self-confidence is the quality of being assured about your abilities, personal judgment, and power. A confident person exhibits competence in a natural and effortless way.

Believe it or not, confidence can impact all aspects of your life in a big way — from school to college, home to work, personal to social relationships. It can open doors to new opportunities and determine success in your life.

This being said, confidence can take different shapes in different situations. At times, it can be assertive and sometimes, it’s silent. Figure out the kind of confidence you’d like to develop and get moving.

Why is self-confidence so important?

Self-confidence can improve the quality of your life by leaps and bounds and can also help you become wildly successful in school, office, relationships, and life. A famous psychologist John M. Grohol explained, “People with a good and healthy self-esteem are able to feel good about themselves for who they are, appreciate their own worth, and take pride in their abilities and accomplishments. They also acknowledge that while they’re not perfect and have faults, those faults don’t play an overwhelming or irrationally large role in their lives or their own self-image.”

Here are some benefits that come along with being self-confident:

  1. Greater self-esteem
  2. No stress and unnecessary drama
  3. More energy and motivation
  4. Drive to grow
  5. Living life to the fullest

How to practice self-confidence?

So far we have talked about the definition and importance of self-confidence. Thus, it makes sense to discuss how anyone who is struggling with low confidence can develop it in real life.

Here are some ways to boost your confidence and start a new life:

  1. Photoshop your self-image

Our self-image has a much deeper effect on us than it has on others. You might not realize but the way you see or think of yourself is what you become in reality.

If your mental picture visualizes you as a confident person then sooner or later, that’s exactly what you would become. If you don’t have a great self-image of yourself, it’s in your hands to change that image.

Photoshop your self-image to strengthen your mind. Change the way you see yourself first and the world will automatically change their perception of yours.

2. Discard negative thoughts

It goes hand-in-hand with the above point but it deserves to be discussed separately. Negative thoughts are one of the reasons that might restrict your growth in life. Get rid of them as early as possible.

Oftentimes, these negative thoughts spread like a wildfire that becomes hard to tame. Be mindful and act tough to discard these negative thoughts which are constantly plaguing your life.

Mindfulness is a great way to control your thoughts and give them a new direction. It helps you to strengthen thoughts that make you feel confident and discard the ones that don’t.

3. Stand tall

What’s the one thing that catches your attention as soon as you see someone?

Posture.

Every confident person stands tall and straight. Many studies have shown that improving posture can boost your brain’s functioning, better your mood and memory levels. It is also observed when you try ‘power posing’, your posture and decision-making are positively affected.

When you pull your shoulders back and outwards with hands on your hips, your brain sends a signal that makes you think confident, powerful, and in-charge of the situation. As a result, you make better choices wherever you are.

4. Dress for success

Confident folks like to dress smart, crisp, and to-the-point because they know that the way you dress makes a lot of difference in how confident you feel. Wearing nice clothes can help you leave a long-lasting impression on others.

This said, feeling and appearing confident has less to do what you’re wearing but more how you’re feeling inside those clothes. Go for dark colors such as Black, Grey, Navy Blue and others as they make you look more authoritative and confident.

Don’t forget what you wear can make you more confident. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to dress for success and feel super-confident.

5. Empower yourself with knowledge

One of the essential things that automatically sparks confidence is knowledge and expertise in a niche. It’s easy to sense confidence when you hear someone speaking about something they know. Empowering yourself with knowledge is a sure-shot way to build self-confidence.

If you hesitate to speak with your colleagues due to the fear of saying something stupid and staining your reputation, then self-educate yourself on topics they like to talk about. There are so many ways to gather knowledge — books, libraries, internet, online courses. I’m sure that you would experience a steep rise in your confidence levels when you back yourself with adequate knowledge.

6. Fake it till you make it

Confidence is an enviable quality that gives you the courage to take risks and accomplish great things. However, it’s easier said than done as confidence doesn’t always come easy but the good news is that you can fake it. I know it sounds cliche but is absolutely true.

If you are going for an interview or an important presentation, it’s natural to be anxious and feel the butterflies. To come out of such situations, start acting like someone who you think is super-confident. Chest out, body straight, eye-contact on point and start acting confident and see things how things unfold.

Remember, it’s a process….

Confidence is a state of mind more than anything else. It’s one of those useful qualities that gives you the ability to try new things, take more risks, and achieve more.

It’s a long-term process, not a one time gig. If you combine it with other essential traits like hard work, patience, resilience, and problem-solving skills, you can easily achieve anything in life.

Do you have something to share on how you became self-confident? Or, why is it an important life-changing skill? Let us know in the comments.

Author Bio:

Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, “Let’s go!” instead of “Go!” many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.


This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 322,555+ people.

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