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If there’s one thing almost everyone would like to have more of in their lives, it’s confidence. But did you know, there are an awful lot of myths out there, and believing them can actually hurt your confidence? If you truly want to strengthen your self-esteem, then it’s important to recognize the myths about confidence that it’s time to stop believing.
If you were to check out the amazing array of books on the topic in your local bookstore (or on Amazon, if you still can’t get out in the world), you’d see that it seems everyone and their little brother wants to share their secrets to self-confidence. And much of the advice is the same – people are born confident; only extraverts are confident; confident people crave attention. These statements are commonly believed, but they are simply NOT TRUE!
Confidence is a SKILL that anyone can develop, at any time in their lives. Believe that, but don’t believe these common myths.
Six Myths About Confidence to Stop Believing Today
Myth 1: Success is Necessary Before You Can Be Confident
Although success can certainly give your confidence a boost, you do not need to be successful before you can be confident.
Psychology Today defines confidence as “a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life’s challenges and to succeed—and the willingness to act accordingly. Being confident requires a realistic sense of one’s capabilities and feeling secure in that knowledge.”
Confidence is more about understanding and feeling secure in who you are as a person than in having achieved a standard definition of “success”.
It’s important to notice both large and small accomplishments. Even simple things like making your bed every day or listening to a friend’s troubles have value – because these things demonstrate your ability to meet life’s challenges. As you act on these small challenges, you learn to grow and take on greater challenges.
Experts share that in order for you reach the highest levels of success, you need to have confidence first. You can start small and watch your confidence grow over time as you reach each goal you set.
“Successful people often exude confidence – it’s obvious that they believe in themselves and what they’re doing. It isn’t their success that makes them confident, however. The confidence was there first.”Travis Bradberry
Myth 2: Only Extroverts can be Confident
There are plenty of extroverts who aren’t confident, and introverts who are.
Confidence is not a personality trait.
Many people interpret extroverted people, who are outgoing and like the spotlight, as being confident and they judge introverted people, who are quieter and more reserved, as not being confident. The truth is that there are many seemingly outgoing people who have very low levels of confidence and many reserved people with extremely high levels of confidence.
Being an extrovert or an introvert isn’t the reason why you have or lack confidence. There are other factors involved.
Confidence is internal and depends on your belief in your own abilities.
Myth 3: Confidence People are Always Confident
The truth is that confidence levels can go up and down.
It’s very rare for someone to be truly confident every hour of every day, in every situation, and facing every event.
Self-esteem changes and fluctuates over time. People tend to be more confident about things that are familiar to them. It’s normal to feel a little less assured when facing a brand new situation. According to experts, this is normal and not something to be concerned about.
You may have fears that cripple your confidence on occasion. The key is to work through them and keep going. Feelings of uncertainty and insecurity will happen. But facing these challenges and experiences will help build your overall sense of confidence and competence.
Have faith in your ability to learn. Failure is nothing more than a learning experience, and it is impossible to grow as a person if you don’t have these failures to teach you. Confident people get scared and fail all the time, they just don’t let that stop them.
“I taught myself confidence. When I’d walk into a room and feel scared to death, I’d tell myself, ‘I’m not afraid of anybody.’ And people believed me. You’ve got to teach yourself to take over the world.”Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Myth 4: Confident People Love Being the Center of Attention
This is just another common myth. Just as you don’t have to be an extrovert to be confident, you don’t have to be in the center ring all of the time, either.
It’s normal for confident people to want to avoid the spotlight sometimes, or even all of the time. Confidence isn’t tied to how others react to you. Rather, it is your internal belief in yourself.
Confident people know that being true to themselves is much more effective than trying to prove that they are “important”. They have an internal, not external, motivation, and do not need other people to provide that attention in order for them to feel confident.
Myth 5: Confidence is Something People are Born With (or Without)
Although some people seem to naturally have more confidence, the truth is it is an acquired skill, not an inherent trait.
Confidence isn’t built into your DNA like eye color or hair color.
Confidence is a skill—one that can be developed and strengthened like a muscle.
The key to gaining confidence is the willingness to try new things combined with trust that you are capable and will learn as you go.
The more you work at things that develop confidence, and learn to master those things, the more confidence you will gain in your own abilities.
Myth 6: Comparing Yourself to Others will Increase Your Confidence
Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you compare yourself to people who are “ahead” of you or those who are “behind” you, this is the wrong way to attempt tp increase self-esteem and confidence.
Research shows that comparing yourself to others actually hurts your confidence levels.
If you just focus on the success of others, then you’re not growing yourself. You’re not working on your own issues and challenges to reach higher.
By looking at other lives and contrasting them with yours, you’re feeding your insecurities. Consider all of those apparently “perfect” lives on Instagram and other social media. The reality is, you are shown only the things each influencer wants you to see. You cannot possibly know or understand the full details of another person’s existence.
Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes footage with someone else’s highlight reel!
Confident people don’t pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other people down a notch in order to feel good about themselves.
Confident people don’t waste time sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up to everyone they meet. They see that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and they focus on their own abilities.
“With the realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”Dalai Lama
- How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure
- How Do You Learn to be Yourself?
- The Secret of Getting Ahead is Getting Started
- How to Regain Motivation and Feel Inspired
Final Thoughts on Myths About Confidence It’s Time to Stop Believing
Want to boost your confidence? Focus on yourself, your abilities, and your successes. Try new things, and consider every failure a learning opportunity. Celebrate each success, no matter how small. Realize that the more you flex your self-confidence muscle, the stronger it will become.
Leave these damaging myths behind and start building greater confidence today!
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