This classic quote from Henry Ford (of Ford Motor Cards) is a perfect lead into today’s blog. The topic is self-confidence and self-belief, two ingredients to a healthy and happy life. According to Ford, your belief in yourself is a determining factor in your success. Do you agree?
Self-confidence can be defined as:
“Our trust in our abilities, capacities, and judgments; the belief that we can meet the demands of a task.” To be self-confident is to trust in our own abilities and believe that we can do what we set our minds to."
As you can see from the definition, self-belief is a necessary—but not complete —component of self-confidence. You must have at least some degree of self-belief to have self-confidence, but simply self-belief does not necessarily guarantee you self-confidence.
To be truly self-confident is to exude confidence in your words and actions in addition to believing in yourself and feeling capable. Not only does it simply feel good to believe in yourself, self-confidence and self-belief also bring about other desirable benefits.
Research has shown that those with high self-confidence enjoy:
- Better overall health, because people with high self-confidence deal with stress and difficult emotions better.
- More time for their families and friends, since they tend to set healthy boundaries and leave work at work.
- Better relationships thanks to healthy-boundary setting and ability to focus on improving relationships.
- Improved performance at work through better ability to concentrate and greater commitment to tasks
On the flip-side, when your self-confidence is low, you generally get the opposite of the benefits listed above: you struggle in your relationships and at work, you don’t feel very happy, you don’t cope well with stress, and you probably lack energy and motivation.
So now you know the benefits of growing your self-belief and self-confidence, how can you do it? Thinking about what you say to yourself (self-talk) is a great place to start.
Self-talk is what we say to ourselves about ourselves. It’s like the little monkey on your shoulder - and instead of encouraging us to do something, it can often be our biggest critic. Negative thoughts are so often a drain on our self-confidence, and we may not even realise it. Negative thoughts can be sneaky, so we need to be extra-vigilant in identifying and addressing them.
Practice ‘listening’ to your own thoughts; notice the automatic thoughts that pop into your head and pay attention to the way you talk to yourself. When you notice a negative thought, grab onto it and either write it down or just sit and think about it for a moment.
Don’t spend long thinking about the thought in its current form though. Instead, spend your time thinking about how it can be reframed and changed to become a positive (or at least neutral) thought.
By replacing challenging or negative thoughts with something neutral or positive, not only offers yourself a bit of compassion, it will also help you boost your belief in your ability to succeed in the future. Give it a try and see if it works for you!
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I look forward to hearing from you!