For those whose confidence is wavering, thankfully, there are a variety of ways to improve dwindling self-belief. Education equals knowledge; that in itself promotes confidence and to do this there are two options. Firstly, to educate oneself on how to build confidence or secondly, to be better educated on the subject that is causing this state of affairs.
Many might ask whether lack of confidence is a matter of inheritance. The answer is “no”. True, behavior as a whole has a genetic source by which our parents pass on a predisposition to either be more optimistic or pessimistic, but it does not dictate one’s destiny. Taking positive steps in one’s life such as meditation, healthy eating, positive thinking and so on, will most certainly modify a negative train of thought and lack of confidence; as long that is, as one is willing.
How someone views events in his life depends on how he judges or expects these events will affect his immediate or distant future. Keeping these appraisals (judgments or expectations) realistic is what will help one react in a constructive way to everyday events. For instance, if one makes an appraisal of how traffic will be upon setting off for work, one can probably avoid the heavy traffic. If a different route is not available, then one can choose to leave earlier. Such appraisals make for calmer living as such measures will result in avoiding confrontation with one’s superior about being late.
On the other hand, how those appraisals are formed depends on one’s system of thought and belief. In the case of unrealistic beliefs, then the appraisals are more than likely inappropriate for the situation. That is to say, in the above situation if the person believes that he can be late and not have to face the circumstances, then that appraisal of the situation is false and may lead to his being fired. Other such defeating beliefs may be the ‘I must’ or the ‘I’m not good enough’.
A first wise step, therefore, is to try to rewire the subconscious which is giving off these negative appraisals of oneself. Always remember that the future is dictated by one’s present. Thus, if today one feels a failure, one can condition (with lots of work) the brain to believe tomorrow that one is a success. The how is by looking at all the successes accomplished to this point. More often than not, people succeed more than they acknowledge.
By stepping backwards and taking a long hard look at one’s history, chances are one will find many positive and successful moments in one’s life. Focus on those and know that the word perfect exists only as a conception not a reality. Even nature, which seems flawless, has imperfections which give it its beauty.
Self-efficacy is a part of that success. In essence this is the drive behind one’s appraisals; it is the belief that one is equipped to handle life’s challenges in an affirmative manner. This develops through growing up and the experiences one has while being raised. Role models (parents, teachers, etc) are the ones who build this quality in you. For example, when you went home with a low mark on a Math test, if the parent’s comments made you feel useless and incapable of learning this helped to build a low self-efficacy level.
It is a natural consequence that after constant such ‘failures’ a person believes he is incapable of accomplishing much. The opposite type of reaction from mentor figures has the opposite effect. A low self-efficacy level can be reversed by setting realistic goals at what one would like to be successful.
One of the most difficult things to do is to lose weight, for instance. Many people who suffer from this cannot enjoy life unless they lose the 30, 50 or 100 pounds that burden them. They fall into vicious cycles of deprivation and failure. Setting a small but accomplishable goal, will not only distress such a person, but by reaching it, will boost confidence and will help to continue on the road to weight loss and building a better lifestyle; resulting in a higher level of self-efficacy.
Should one’s problem be achieving an academic goal, quantum steps should be taken here too. Find that school, college or university counselor and have a heart to heart talk about one’s goals. Counselors have the knowledge to help set you on a course to success. Always keep in mind that it is through failures that people have made the greatest successes.
Everyone wants to finish his/her education on time in order to start their career. However, the learning process is different for every individual. Through trial and error, seek the method which best helps you to learn. Keep the faith that you can learn anything as long as it is in a field that truly interests you and you have realistic expectations.
In conclusion, it is fair to say that everyone has their own share of failures which cause confidence to be shaken. The difference with the successful people is that they do not focus on the failures. They study what went awry and continue from there.