I have mentioned several times in previous blog posts that I believe focusing on your strengths is a great way to build your self-confidence. Challenges with self-confidence can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to ruin your ability to go after great opportunities. In fact, by embracing your primary strengths, you can develop the self-belief you've always yearned for.
Use these strategies for embracing your strengths and put your confidence issues behind you:
Highlight your positives. Regardless of your challenge with self-confidence, you can always find things you like about yourself. Take the time to make note of those things. Highlighting your greatness is a wonderful way to help boost confidence.
- Your likes could be physical things. They could also be character traits you possess. Whatever they are, highlight them. Embrace them and remind yourself that you're a beautiful person inside and out.
- Set aside time each day to celebrate yourself. Treat yourself to something nice just because you're happy with the person you are. Treats can range from 30 minutes to read a book by your favorite author. Taking time to meditate. Taking a walk by yourself or with a close friend. Enjoying a cup of your favorite coffee or tea before bed. The treats don’t have to cost money for you to enjoy them. It might actually be better if your treat does not have a daily cost so you don’t have to worry about it impacting your finances, especially if finances are tight.
- Take note when others compliment you. You're probably inclined to brush the compliment aside. This is something that I still struggle with today. I do try to remember to just say thank you and accept it at face value. It means that others are seeing positive qualities that you might be overlooking!
Turn challenges into a celebration. Use your strong suits to help turn challenges around. You can lean on your other skill sets to provide reinforcement during difficult times.
- For example, let's say you need to make a presentation to an audience. You're a nervous wreck because you feel inadequate. Why not lean on your sense of humor to break the ice? This has worked wonders for me. I am a complete wreck when I have to speak in front of a crowd, but the sooner I can get the crowd to laugh, the sooner I can relax (even though it’s only slight) and not feel like my nerves have completely taken over.
- There are many different ways to use personality and character strengths to your advantage. Be creative and avoid looking at obstacles as insurmountable. Find a way to conquer.
Sharpen your strengths. There's always room for you to grow! Growing also involves improving on existing strengths. As you work towards sharpening strengths you already have, you'll find that your self-confidence increases naturally.
- Perhaps you're a quick thinker. You can find ways around challenges easily. But does that mean you've mastered the art?
- Next time you feel like shying away from a tough challenge, dive in headfirst. Test yourself to see just how quick on your feet you are.
Set goals that utilize your strong points. There's a way around your self-confidence issues. Take a break from setting goals that require self-confidence. Instead, set goals that use your strong points. As you experience success regularly, it will bring out a new confidence in you.
- Setting goals that are "easier" to accomplish isn’t cheating your way to self-confidence. Instead, it's a stepping stone towards achieving that goal. It's a way to continually prove to yourself that you're formidable.
- You deserve to enjoy the feeling of achieving a goal. It really does a lot for your pride and self-esteem. It helps you believe that tougher goals, though intimidating, are achievable.
- As you get used to achieving those easier goals, start looking for ways to include your strengths in your other goals. Back to my example of public speaking. If you are great at getting people to laugh, why not start your speech with a joke? It will break the ice and you will start your speech with confidence.
As you work towards developing self-confidence, remember that you are your only hindrance. There isn’t an external factor that can prevent you from becoming the person you want to be.
Challenge yourself. Push yourself to feel uncomfortable if that's what it takes to prove your strength. In time, you'll start to feel your confidence building. And soon, there won't be a door you feel intimidated to open!