How To Be More Socially Confident

How To Be More Socially Confident

Do you find it hard to mingle and talk to people at parties? Do people ask you why you are so quiet? Then you probably want to know how to be more socially confident. It all starts with improving your overall self-confidence.

What Is Self-Confidence

What actually is confidence, or to be more exact, self-confidence?

The term confidence comes from the Latin word confidentia, which in turn comes from confidere. It simply means “have full trust”. So, confidence generally refers to the state of feeling that one can fully rely on someone or something. Thus,

“self-confidence” simply means the feeling that one can fully rely on him/herself. As a feeling, confidence is an abstract concept that can be difficult to define, and in most cases, there’s no in-between: either you are confident or you are not, that’s it.

A lack of self-confidence—a condition we call “self-doubt”— can really disrupt our social performance and can prohibit us from getting what we desire. On the other hand, a self-confident person is always ready to face new challenges, take responsibilities, and especially, seize opportunities, which can significantly help the said person in achieving their desires.

It’s important to understand that just how self-confidence helps in achieving success, successful social experiences can also boost confidence, creating a healthy cycle. Any successful experience will boost our confidence in performing the same experience, and thus, our overall self-confidence.

It is, however, quite possible to be very confident in a specific area you are good at (i.e. singing, cooking), but very anxious and shy in others (public speaking, facing an exam, etc.). So, as you can see,

Self-Confidence VS Courage

It’s quite easy to mix confidence with courage. However, courage actually exists when there’s a lack—or absence— of confidence. We can say that confidence is something we use when we face a known situation or experience. On the other, courage is something we use or access when we face unknown situations.

For example, if we haven’t experienced bungee jumping before, we can’t be confident in attempting the bungee jump, and in this case, we use 100% courage. On the other hand, if we are attempting something we are already familiar with (or already good at), we can use 100% confidence.

Self-Confidence VS Self-Esteem

Also, a very common misconception is to think that self-confidence is similar to self-esteem. Although both terms are often used interchangeably to refer to how you feel about yourself and there are indeed similarities between the two, they are actually two different things.

The word “esteem” originated from aestimare, and you might notice the similarity with the word “estimate”. Aestimare can mean “to appraise, weigh, estimate, and rate”, and so self-esteem is, in a nutshell, how we value, rate, or estimate yourself.

It’s actually possible for self-esteem and self-confidence to not go together: you can be a very confident person but have a (very) low self-esteem. For instance, there are many people who are really successful and are really confident in social interactions (for example, musicians and performers), but at the same time are highly addicted to drugs (a common symptom of low self-esteem) and even commit suicide.

On the other hand, there are also people that are shy in social situations (not having a lot of self-confidence) but value themselves higher. People with a healthy amount of self-esteem don’t need external stimuli or boosts like income, fame, sex conquests, or even alcohol and drugs, but are generally happy with themselves

To summarize, however, self-esteem is a more “overarching” way of how you view yourself, while selfconfidence can vary from situation to situation depending on your abilities (or how you perceive your abilities) on the specific situation/experience.

A healthy amount of self-esteem, however, can indeed make us more confident, while on the other hand when you are confident in more areas of your life, you can improve overall self-esteem.

Building Your Self-Confidence

It’s very important to note that both underconfidence and overconfidence can be harmful and on the other hand, you’d need to have a healthy amount of self-confidence that is based on reality.

With that being said, building self-confidence takes time and will require efforts, but as long as you are willing to invest in determination and focus, it is definitely doable. However, as mentioned above being selfconfident will also allow you to get successful experiences, which in turn can allow you to further build confidence from real successes.

Here are the three required steps in building self-confidence:

I.Preparation

The first, and arguably the most important step here is to prepare your mind in achieving change.This will involve self-contemplation and self-evaluation, and also the willingness to commit yourself to start and stay with the transformations.

Evaluate Your Past Achievements

Since, as established, self-confidence is closely related and should be based on your abilities and achievements, then evaluating what you’ve already achieved should be a crucial aspect in this preparation step. There are various ways you can do this, but the most common way is to simply list the top 10 or 20 best things you have achieved. They don’t have to be that big or world-changing, but simple achievements like

when you came first in an exam, helped a friend with something, or delivered on a significant project can count. Make this list in a way you can look at often in an enjoyable way (i.e. put it in a notebook or as a note in your smartphone/laptop), the idea of this list is to remind yourself that there are some successes you can enjoy.
 


Evaluate Your Strengths

We can always focus on threats in our lives and our weaknesses, but focusing on our strengths will help more in building our self-confidence and self-esteem. Look back at your achievements list, and evaluate yourself. If necessary, ask your family members or trustworthy friends of what they consider to be your strengths (and weaknesses).

Manage Your Mind

Managing your mind and especially your expectations should be a key aspect of confidence-building. The main idea is to recognize negative self-thoughts and defeat them. They can be the ultimate obstacles in building your confidence. Again, focus on your strengths, and go back to your achievement list to help in

creating strong mental images.

II. Execution

This step is where we actually start building our confidence and slowly but surely move towards our objective.


Reflect on Your Priorities and Define Your Objectives

Another important thing here is to reflect on what’s actually important to you, and what’s the actual objectives in improving your self-confidence. Defining objectives and achieving important milestones will be the key parts in building your selfconfidence. Define and set realistic goals that can be measured, so you can objectively assess your performance and evaluate your new achievements.

Start Small and Build Your Abilities

Go back to the objectives you’ve set above, and figure out the skills, knowledge, or abilities required to achieve this objective. Objectively assess how you can acquire these abilities confidently. For example, ifyour objective is to build your confidence in public speaking, then investing in a public speaking course is probably the right step in achieving this objective (according to your budget).

 

Achieving Milestones and Celebrate

Get in the habit of setting objectives, attempting to achieve them, and re-evaluate your successes. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements, or if the objective is too big, you can celebrate achieving the smaller milestones.

Actually, you should divide goals into smaller, more achievable milestones, and don’t make the goals too challenging. Remember that the main goal is to build confidence: get into the habit of getting achievements, and celebrate them.

Keep Managing Your Mind

Keep a positive mindset, celebrate your achievements, and enjoy yourself. This is how you build your selfesteem and self-confidence, slowly but surely. Also, you’ll face failures along the way, and managing how you handle these failures is just as important. Treat these failures as learning experiences, embrace them, and use these experiences to strengthen your abilities.

Tips in Building Self-Confidence

Here are some actionable tips you can use in building a healthy self-confidence:

1.Maintain Confident Posture

Sit and stand stall, don’t slouch, and maintain positive postures. Many studies have suggested the positive, real effects of confident postures on our minds and hormones.

2.Manage and Reframe Your Mind and Energy

A bit of stress and even anxiety can be useful in certain situations (i.e. live performance, public speech, etc. ) Reframe these feelings as excitement.

3.Visualize Confidence

Relax your body, close your eyes, and visualize any activity that can give you more confidence.

4.Take Care of Yourself: Physically and Mentally

Speak to yourself kindly. Encourage yourself, and don’t be too demanding. Remember that the relationship with yourself is the most important. Also, exercise regularly. Regular exercise can release endorphins, producing a comfortable feeling and can help in building self-esteem and confidence.

5.You Can Ask For Help (And Also, Help Others)

Remember that you don’t have to do it all alone. Ask for help from trustworthy friends and family, and don’t be afraid of rejection. On the other hand, help others when you can. Giving and helping others can allow us to know that we are actually valued by others, improving our confidence.

Conclusion

Building a healthy self-confidence is a process and not something we can achieve instantly. On the other hand, the process might be unique and different for everyone. Remember that high self-esteem, by itself, doesn’t really achieve anything. Sustainable self-confidence should come from positive experiences and real achievements.

No matter how confident you are, there will be moments when you will need to draw from your reserve of courage and self-esteem and face the challenge. So, be objective, evaluate yourself fairly, and continue to improve.

Please leave a comment and tell us, how do you build self-confidence?

8 thoughts on “How To Be More Socially Confident

  1. Awesome buddy,  it is so true that no matter how confident one can be, there will be some moments when one will need to draw from the reserved courage and self-esteem to face any challenge. What helps me most is prayers and studying the Word of God in the Bible as a christian. Reading different materials like the ones you mentioned in your article may help more as well. I will look into getting some as back ups. Thank you very much for the information.

    Cheers!

    Juma

    1. That is so correct Juma, we all have moments when we need currage and self-esteem, no matter how confident we are. Also you can be very confident in some ares in life and lack confidence in other areas. And doing courages things gives us confidence.  Thank you for your comment Juma.

      Cheers!  

  2. Hey John – This article is definitely fuel for thought.  As a child growing up, I had a low self-esteem and I didn’t have much self-confidence either.  As a result, I always thought the two were hand and hand.  But now I realize from your example that they can be separate. 

    Thanks for this opportunity

    1. Hey Nathaniel, yes confidence and self-esteem are totally different things. Being confident doesn’t mean that you have much self-esteem, but if you have lot of self-esteem, then you surely have some confidence too.

      Cheers!

  3. Thank you for your post John.

    A new thing has been learnt today for me ‘confidentia’. There were also a good comparison among confidence, courage and self-esteem.

    About 6-7 years ago, I always questioned myself how to improve my confidence. I had hard times doing public speaking and discussed with others about different topics. As of now, the question is changed to ‘How do I accept myself as I am?’. I can definitely improve; yet the idea is I am the best version of myself at this point and I accept my strengths as well as my flaws.

    I love the suggestion of confident postures. It is easy to implement; and it brings great impact at the same time.

    Regards,

    Tam.

    1. Thank you Tam for your comment, you definitely are on the right track. Accepting your self as you are is so important when building self-esteem. 

      Cheers!

  4. I’m an introvert. I’m one of those guys who, at high school dances,  would stand on one side of the gym while the girls stood on the other side and never ask one to dance.

    You can learn to overcome your introversion. If you are going to be a success in business you are going to have to learn to network. I taught wildland fire behavior to groups of 50 all over my state. In high school, public speaking was my worst class. You learn to overcome your shyness through practice.

    I’ve never been good at party talk. I’ve been taught to be a good listener. I let other people talk and I don’t interrupt. When I have something to say I wait for a gap in the conversation. If people are busy talking, they are not going to be listening to what you have to say anyway.

    Lately, I”ve been more in touch with my subconscious. As you say, relax and pay attention. Subconscious thoughts pop-up at the strangest times. Write them down before you forget them. I use a journalling program called Day 1. When a random thought comes to me I grab my phone, dial-up day 1 and record my thoughts.  I also carry a small notebook and a pen. Some times it is faster and less distracting to use old fashioned pen and paper. You have to grab your subconscious thought quickly because they disappear as quickly as they come.

    Summary

    You can train your mind to be more extroverted when it is necessary.

    Get in touch with your subconscious. Sometimes ideas come to you when you dream. You have to catch those ideas quickly when you first wake up. Have you ever found the solution to a problem after a good night’s sleep? That is your subconscious working for you.

    1. Awesome comment Bill, Being introvert is part of who you are and you should not change that, just adapt to situations where extroverted traits are needed. We all are social beings, even the most introverted ones. We need to overcome shyness and meet people, mingle and be good at team work. But we also need tome for ourselves. Thank you for your tips about being in touch with your subconscious. good stuff pal. 

      Cheers!

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