How to Build Confidence
Have you ever been to an event where everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, (meeting new people, networking, or just socializing) and you can hardly wait to go home?
Have you felt drained by all of the small talk and chatter, and wonder just what was the matter with you?
Did you feel you just didn’t have confidence in yourself to enter into the conversations?
Well, you’re not alone in this situation. Those of us who are more of the introverted type prefer to be alone in our own space, away from all of the hubbub.
First, let’s acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with that at all. This world has all sorts of different types of people. Some are inspired with lots of people around while others prefer to contemplate in a more solitary environment. This gives the latter type of person more ideas to deal with challenges as well as inspiration for creating a more ideal life for themselves.
There are no two people who are alike, and this makes life interesting! Some could recategorized as imply being more introverted in comparison to others, who are more extroverted.
In fact, there aren’t just two types of people – the extroverted and the introverted. In reality, there is a wide spectrum of many types, with some being more along the introverted type and some being more extroverted.
What is the Introvert?
When we think of an introvert, we think of someone who feels more comfortable being by themselves, focusing on their inner thoughts and ideas. They are not as interested in what’s happening externally. Going to a party might not excite this type of person as much as a quiet walk along some stream. Meeting with a lot of people just tires them out.
Some people might think of the introvert as someone who is shy, but this is not necessarily so. Introverts can be quite sociable and confident in themselves, and successful as well.
Let’s also look at what is meant by an extrovert.
What is the Extrovert?
An extrovert is someone who attracts others to them with their outgoing, vibrant nature. In fact, they thrive on the interaction they get from others around them.
You will recognize them as they tend to be the life of the party. They would rather hang around a group of people than be alone. In fact, many are uncomfortable when they don’t have others to interact with. This is what gives them inspiration.
They love social gatherings and would rather attend a party than sit at home alone.
It may also seem that the extrovert is more successful in life than the introvert. This is only because they are outspoken, and people notice them more.
Are There Successful Introverts?
In fact, there are many successful people who are introverts. For example, look at these famous, successful people who are well known to be introverts:
- Actors: Audrey Hepburn, Meg Ryan, Harrison Ford, and Clint Eastwood
- Writers: J.K. Rowling (author of Harry Potter), Dr. Seuss
- Comedian: Steve Martin
- Former Presidents: Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama
- Civil Rights heroine: Rosa Parks
- Classical composer: Frederic Chopin
- Albert Einstein
- Warren Buffet
- Elon Musk
- And many others.
How can you bring about changes in your life and build your own confidence?
If you see yourself as an introvert but also feel you lack confidence in yourself, there are confidence-building exercises you can do. You can cause the changes in your life if you want to. But first, here are a few things to remember as you seek to bring about those changes:
- No person is the same as another person. We are all different individuals. It is not a good idea to compare yourself with another person. It is far better to compare yourself with how you were in the past to how you are now, and how you want to be in the future. You can take qualities that you like of others, but don’t ever seek to be those individuals.
- We all have strong points and weak points. Even the extroverted person will confess that s/he has areas in his or her life that are lacking in strength.
- People can change things in their lives and about themselves if they wants to. The key thing here is that only those things can be changed solely by the willingness and desire of the individual. You must want to change before any positive change can occur.
Confidence Building Activities You Can Do
- Find out more about yourself. Write down a list of your strong points.Are you a good dancer? Cook? Mother? Friend? Worker? Artist? There are so many areas where a person can be good at something. What are yours?Validate and acknowledge those strong points about yourself. This helps to build your self-confidence, and you will be able to proudly say, “I have confidence” with regard to those activities and qualities.
- Write a list of your weak points, especially those you would like to change. Be realistic and write only those that you feel are possible to change.There’s no point in writing down that you want to be a 6’-6”, 285 pound football linebacker when you’re not so inclined to ever become that. or be an opera singer when you can’t hold a tune.Better examples might be:
- Learn to appreciate others more
- Be more on schedule for events or meetings
- Dress better
- Understand others better
- Be able to speak your mind, etc.
There are a lot more things you can add here. Just be sure they are traits that YOU want to change and not what other people say you should change.
- Avoid people who want to stick you into some category they see you as. You are not what they fancy you are. That is their problem, not yours.Better to steer the conversation away from talk about yourself to either something neutral such as the environment or weather. Or say something about them such as, “I like your dress. Where did you get it?” This will get them looking at themselves rather than criticize you. You do not need to defend yourself. You are fine the way you are.On things you feel you need to change, you can do so. But first you need to love yourself, as this will give you the self-confidence you need to survive better and be happier in life. It’s important to have confidence in yourself.
- Also, avoid those people who try to change you into someone you are not. Sometimes this is difficult because family members will do this to their kids or siblings. In this case, you will need to be able to keep your cool, let them know you’ve heard them, and let the advice fly away. You do not need to heed such advice, as this will prevent any changes you want to make.
- Accept yourself as you are right now. Validate those strong points and ignore the weak points—at least for starters.Love who you are. Remember that as a child, you loved yourself as you were. It was only after some negative thoughts or actions entered your universe that you began to feel negative about yourself.
If negative thoughts about yourself come into your mind, ignore them at best, or replace them with positive thoughts. What you validate will become stronger and help to build your confidence.
- Try some new things. Don’t be afraid of failing. Successful people have failed many times before they finally got it right. Just persist, and correct as needed until you succeed.If you are interested in art, take some art classes, try painting several pieces. If you are afraid to speak up in a gathering, meet with a friend and practice discussing some topic that has no emotion attached to it. Debate whether it should rain today or not. This can be a fun exercise to do and can afford some hilarity as well.
When you fail at something, learn from it. Be your own critic and see how you can do it better. Sometimes going for a walk while you evaluate the situation is helpful.
Don’t spend any time on the failure itself and how bad you are. That is negative. Look at the various aspects of what you failed at. Validate what you did right and see what you need to correct to make it better.
- Improve your self-image. Do you need a haircut or new hairstyle? Are your clothes becoming to you? Look in the mirror and take notes. You might be surprised as just how much changing your appearance can add to your self-esteem.
It is much easier to act more confident when you dress for success.
- Be interested in other people. Listen to them and learn more about them. This will often give you ideas of how you can bring about changes in your own life. You might even see how they have similar weaknesses as your own and you will not feel alone with yours.Others may begin to know you as someone who is kind, sincere, and interested in other people. It is an interesting fact that people will often value the friendship of another when they feel that other person is interested in them. They tend to avoid people who can only talk about themselves.
- When you have begun to see where you need to make changes, do so gradually. Make those little changes first, one at a time. Validate your success and take up the next one.
Remember that you are unique and wonderful just the way you are. Make changes where you see you or others can benefit from them. The most important trait to obtain is self-confidence and this will show up to others whether you are an introvert or not. Apply these confidence building activities and see the changes you will make.