Self-confidence is an inside job. Here are three ways to rob yourself of self-confidence.
- Compare yourself to others
When you do this, you will always pale by comparison. It’s a guarantee that you will feel diminished or envious. Ask yourself: How much do you really know about the other person? What criteria are you judging the comparison to? It is perfectly fine to admire others for what they have accomplished. However, what about digging deep into what you have accomplished along your journey of life? Accomplishments are not just about your successes. It’s about surviving through failures and celebrating the lessons learned along the way.
- Make assumptions about how others perceive you
You are a unique person and it does not serve you to second guess what someone else thinks of you. First, you can never put your head on their shoulders to know the exact perceptions they have of you. Unless they specifically share, it is a guessing game and you may be perceiving totally wrong.
At the very beginning of my career, I was a very poor presenter. I invested in courses and coaches to help me to become better. This liberated me from worrying about perceptions and helped me to focus more on making a difference to others. Increase your self-worth by investing in yourself. Take courses to be your best and become a student of lifelong learning. The more you learn, the less you will worry about others’ perceptions.
- Strive for perfection
Taken overboard, perfectionism leads to excessively high standards, often impossible to achieve. It can be driven by a fear of failure or of disappointing others. If you strive for things to be perfect all the time, you may feel like you have better order, but this is simply an illusion. It also makes you more anxious, stressed out and can lead to low self-esteem. Perfectionism holds you back from seeking high positions if you believe your skill-sets are not good enough. As a healthy alternative, focus on “excellence” not “perfection, whether it’s for the period you have to complete something or for seeking out a promotion.
In summary, challenge yourself to be your “best” self. Raise your own bar to stretch yourself. Celebrate even the tiny steps you take that feel uncomfortable. Stop measuring yourself by other people’s yardsticks. Remember that the only comparison that matters is who you were yesterday to who you are today!