We all know what an advantage it is to be confident and how having self-confidence can make a huge difference in your professional, social, and personal life. Most of us have heard of some easy practices to help increase confidence, but it’s equally important to make sure you’re not unknowingly doing things that undermine your confidence.
Here are 5 behaviors that could be killing your confidence and how you can avoid them.
Seeking Approval From Everyone
Truly confident people have no interest in pleasing everyone they meet. They understand that not everyone is going to agree with them, and that’s okay. Instead, they focus more on building quality relationships with the people they respect and value, rather than focusing on winning over every person they meet.
Don’t let the opinions of the masses (or those whom you don’t value) define who you are or what you can and can’t do in life. It may outrage some of the people around you, but by letting go of the need to impress everyone, you will begin to truly impress those who actually matter to your future. When the important people in your life truly have your back, you’ll feel way more confident where it counts.
Focusing More On the Obstacle Than the Solution
Life is full of obstacles, with everything from learning to ride a bike to building your first company. Every obstacle is an opportunity to grow as a person. Personal growth on a consistent basis is what generates the kind of confidence that lasts. However, challenges can often send us spiraling into doubts and worries, as you imagine all the worst possible outcomes and become paralyzed. For instance, when a relationship is challenged, some people will often immediately assume that their partner is losing interest in them. Sadly, this often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You have a choice. You can choose to focus all of your attention on the problem, which gets you nowhere, or you can choose to acknowledge the problem and then quickly move to finding a solution.
Confident people spend the majority of their time focused on finding a solution. They don’t spend time torturing themselves with the thought that their partner is withdrawing and their relationship is over. Instead, they take action in the direction in which they wish to go, even if they can’t see all the pieces falling into place yet.
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Getting Caught Up in Needless Drama
We all love a bit of drama. That’s why movies and reality TV shows can be so captivating. They catch our attention and allow us to clarify our values. However, some people really love drama, so much so that they create it in their lives for the sake of non-stop excitement. Don’t buy into their propaganda that sustains it. Unnecessary and ongoing drama in your life leads to more stress, and stress kills confidence. Stay out of other people’s drama and don’t needlessly create your own.
Imagine if you spent all of your time each day directing your energy towards your most positive possibilities and solutions to real problems. How much happier would you feel? Instead of getting angry, get curious. Instead of getting annoyed, be amused. Replace envy with admiration. Don’t spend your precious time caught up in negativity.
Instead, count your blessings, value the people who matter most in your life, bless and release the haters, and rise above the petty drama with your head held high and your focus on how to create a better life for you and for others.
Interpreting Failure as a Reflection of Your Worth
One thing is certain: successful and unsuccessful people differ in the way that they view failure.
Successful people understand that failure is simply part of the learning process. Every time they figure out a wrong way to do something, they get one step closer to discovering the right way of doing it. It’s a matter of perception. On the other hand, unsuccessful people tend to take failure personally. They see failure as a reflection of their worth. Furthermore, they think that when they fail it also proves that they are a “failure” in life.
Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times while inventing the light bulb before he got it to work. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team and is quoted as saying, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”
So, the next time you fail at something before you start beating yourself up about it, take a moment and remember that failure is simply part of the growth process. Persistence and positivity pay off.
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Hiding From New Life Experiences
It’s so easy to get stuck in a weekly routine, doing the same things, watching the same shows, eating the same foods. This may keep you feeling comfortable, but it could be killing your confidence.
Just as in nature, if you’re not growing you’re dying. Get out into the world and explore. Meet new people and travel. Do something that kind of scares you. New positive experiences in life will keep you feeling on fire and excited about your future,
Because you will feel alive in new ways (as well as feeling that you are expanding your resources, your experiences, and your wisdom), you will fuel your self-confidence every day of your life.
This piece was published in Life Hacks.