Building self-confidence is important. Dr. Albert Bandura, a Stanford psychologist, discovered that people’s reactions to and perceptions of four specific life experiences have a direct impact on their level of self-confidence. Those four are:
- Actual Life Experiences: There are moments in which you choose to act, muster your courage to try something new or decide to overcome your fear and “go for it.” These actual life experiences are first-hand, direct and personal. They teach us how to use our strengths and abilities to cope, survive and grow. Actual experiences have the greatest impact and the strongest influence on changing your self-confidence. The next time you have an opportunity to test yourself, set your fear aside and choose to view it as a confidence-building opportunity.
- Vicarious Life Experiences: You don’t have to do all the heavy lifting yourself. The second most effective way to build self-confidence is by watching others try, succeed and fail. Through vicarious life experiences, you absorb and internalize the experiences of others. Witnessing other people’s experiences helps you understand what does and doesn’t work.
- Encouraging Life Experiences: Think about the people who’ve had the biggest impact on your life. What did they say that encouraged you? Encouraging comments have a direct impact on your self-confidence—as long as they come from someone you trust and respect.
- Emotional Life Experiences: Stop and think about what you’ve accomplished in your life. The simple act of reflecting on your achievements has a direct impact on your self-confidence. Too often, we focus on our “to-do” list rather than our “look what I did” list. Focusing on your successful experiences can energize you and impact the way you tackle what comes next.
Control what you tell yourself, and focus on your strengths and accomplishments. And learn to project confidence in your next business presentation through our Leadership Presence & Image Skills workshop.