Our sense of worth is not static. It's dynamic and can go up or down based on events and our choices and responses to what happens.
Self-confidence is made up of self-efficacy (feeling capable), and self-esteem (a general sense of being able to cope with things, compete when necessary, and having a right to be happy).
If we have a high sense of self-confidence, we will do what we think is right, even if we are criticized for it. We will take healthy risks, and go the extra mile to achieve something. People with healthy amounts of self-confidence and humility will admit mistakes and learn from them. They will accept compliments with a 'thank you'.
Individuals with a low sense of self-confidence will modify their behavior based on what others think. They will stay in comfort zones and avoid risking. They may cover up mistakes or extoll their own virtues to others, or dismiss compliments altogether.
Getting experience helps boost confidence, which is why it can take thousands of hours in a newly launched career or business to feel that way. It is normal to feel insecure at anything when you are just starting out. Preparing well for things, like business meetings and presentations, will help increase confidence.
Continuing in adulthood to learn new things and master new skills is important to aging well and staying mentally active. Some highly self-confident seniors I know have learned lots of things after retiring, like yoga, sailing, Pilates, foreign languages, meditation, advanced degrees, and serving others through volunteering.
Being assertive is another key component of self-confidence. You need to be able to effectively say 'no', and set boundaries and limits with others. You need to be able to speak up on your own behalf, and not let anyone mistreat you.
Confident people seek out others to spend time with who inspire, uplift, and encourage them. If you are trying to strengthen your confidence, spend less time with others who are negative and critical.
In building confidence, it's important to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses and your accomplishments so far in life. What are your ten most meaningful accomplishments so far? What are the ten next things you'd feel good about accomplishing? How can you take some baby steps to address your own weaknesses so that would make you feel more confident? Discuss this question with someone close to you who can offer suggestions.
Create intergenerational friendships, so that you have friends of all ages. It can help your confidence to have emotional support, and others to ask for wisdom who have been where you are.
Confidence is different from arrogance. Arrogance hurts relationships, because it assumes you know everything or know better than others. Being confident should have some humility mixed in it, so you know you don't know everything, aren't afraid to ask questions, ask others for their input or perceptions, and readily admit mistakes and learn from them. Confidence doesn't require perfection.
Extreme self care helps build confidence. Exercising, being active, and doing things you enjoy all help promote confidence. Getting enough sleep, changing unhealthy habits, eating well and taking care with your grooming all strengthen it.
Take on projects you might have been procrastinating on. Clear your desk. Organize and beautify your surroundings at work and at home.
Acting with confidence will help, too. Stand tall. Smile more. Reach out to extend a handshake or greet or acknowledge others.
Manage your negative self-talk by watching how you talk to yourself. Be grateful, and express it. Don't whine or complain. Speak more slowly. Focus on solutions, not problems. Acting confident can help build confidence. Don't ever tell yourself you can't have or be what you really want. Don't limit yourself. Make a list of things you've been tolerating and make plans to get past them.
Living in a kind and generous way can build confidence as well. Volunteering and doing things to help others makes a person less self-conscious and more confident, too. Say 'yes' to invitations from others whenever you can to make your world larger.
Raising capable, confident children is also easier if you reflect same qualities.
Self-confidence can always be strengthened. As author Mark Victor Hansen wrote, "Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful".