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HIGHLIGHTS: Living out loud; How to develop lasting confidence Part Three

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we examined the difference between confidence and arrogance and looked at how to develop external confidence. This week we get to the juicy bit – how to develop lasting internal confidence.

 

How to develop lasting internal confidence

 

Developing lasting inner confidence takes time and consistent effort but it is well worth putting in the work. When I developed inner confidence it happened so gradually that I didn’t notice but looking back I can see what a profound difference it has made to my life.

 

Developing lasting inner confidence doesn’t mean you will always feel confident in all situations – you are human after all – but rather that the majority of the time you will feel able to deal with whatever may come your way. In my self-compassion article this is referred to as unconditional confidence.

 

Stop comparing yourself to others

 

Comparing ourselves to others is counterproductive and destructive on so many levels. It leads to either pride and arrogance, envy (a horrible emotion to experience) or insecurity which in itself is a lack of confidence.

 

Recognise that we all have different life experiences and abilities which have contributed to both our strengths and weaknesses. We are not better or worse, simply different.

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HIGHLIGHTS: Living out loud; How to develop lasting confidence Part Two

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we examined the difference between self-esteem and confidence, why introverts can be just as confident as extroverts, the benefits of confidence, we dispelled the stereotypes of what it is to be truly confident and explored what genuine confidence looks like. This week we examine the difference between confidence and arrogance and explore how to develop external confidence as a means to encourage internal confidence in the long term.

 

Difference between confidence and arrogance

 

Often confidence and arrogance are thought to be close relatives however there are several key differences.

 

Whilst confident people acknowledge that there are those more capable and gifted than themselves, they also realize that this doesn’t diminish what they can offer. In contrast, arrogant people believe that they are superior in their abilities to almost everyone, with any indication to the contrary considered very threatening.

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HIGHLIGHTS: Living out loud; How to develop lasting confidence Part One

Confidence

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Confidence – that quality so many of us admire. During my younger years I was plagued by insecurity, often colouring how I interacted with those around me. As I grew older I naturally developed more confidence as I actively worked on my self-esteem but I still sometimes have my moments when I become a little insecure.

 

I remember talking to my boyfriend for the first time on the phone. I was feeling anything but confident in the lead up to the call. To help the conversation along I Googled ‘fun dating questions’ so that I wouldn’t run out of things to say. It seems funny to me now, but at the time it did wonders to improve my confidence, even although my nerves didn’t go completely. There have also been times when I have experienced inner confidence, when my insecurities faded and I felt truly comfortable with myself and my surroundings.

 

After having experienced this I realised here are two types of confidence, internal and external. In this series I shall briefly discuss how fostering external confidence (with internal confidence somewhat absent) can help us to develop internal confidence in the long-term. That said, we can also work on developing internal confidence, whereby external confidence naturally manifests itself. With this in mind I shall explore how to develop internal confidence in-depth, as this is by far the most powerful form of confidence because it has many deep rooted psychological benefits. Having lacked confidence in the past I definitely believe it is something we can all develop with patience and  practise.

 

The difference between self-esteem and confidence

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HIGHLIGHTS: How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part Four

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

4)  Be diplomatically honest

 

Become mindful of when you tell white lies and start practising being diplomatically honest. Being totally honest honours our authenticity by showing our genuine nature and consequently allows us to retain a high level of integrity. For guidance on how to be diplomatically honest, see part two of this series under ‘Blocks to Authenticity’ – Kind vs. Honest.

 

This also means not editing or tailoring what you say to suit the type of persona you want to portray to certain groups of friends and choosing to rather be your same self to everyone you know!

 

5)  Express your true thoughts, opinions, beliefs and feelings

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HIGHLIGHTS: How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part Three

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Benefits of Living an Authentic Life:

 

Authenticity offers many benefits. There is a feeling of fulfilment that comes from being genuine and being accepted for who you truly are. When you are authentic your self-awareness increases and you develop a strong identity. You have a high level of integrity due to your honesty and your self-esteem increases as a result. Decisions are easier to make because you know what your core values are and what fits in line with them. You take your own needs seriously and consequently do what really matters to you, living in tune with your goals and dreams. All of these advantages translate into a happier more contented life, a life with an abundance of meaning and passion.

 

6 Steps to Living an Authentic Life:

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HIGHLIGHTS: How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Blocks to Authenticity:

 

There are several blocks to living an authentic life. The top three are worrying about what others think of us, an inability to say no due to the desire to people-please and the common concern that honesty is sometimes hurtful and unkind. But let’s break them down further and see how we can overcome these obstacles to authenticity.

 

1)  Worrying about what people think of you (and how to stop it)

 

Being worried about what other people will think of us and whether we will face rejection as a result of honestly expressing ourselves, is a very natural concern. Although this is a possibility, it is worth remembering that when we honestly and diplomatically express a difference of opinion, it can actually lead others to respect us more as a result of the integrity we have displayed. Furthermore, I would argue that those who reject us because we have a different opinion to them are quite controlling and narcissistic by nature, whereby their approval is conditional upon us conforming to their worldview – certainly not the type of friend I would want to seek out! Once you come to this realisation you too are likely to be much less worried about what people may or may not think about you when you express yourself honestly.

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HIGHLIGHTS: How to Stop Worrying What People Think And Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

I am quite an authentic person; I am open about my faith and I express my opinions in a diplomatic fashion, even when they differ to my friends. I am honest about my feelings.  I am open about my breakdown back in 2009. I am honest about the fact that I see a therapist and am actively working on being my best self.

 

In spite of this, when I sat down to write this article I asked myself some confronting questions. Questions like ‘Do I tell white lies?’ and ‘Do I sometimes keep quiet rather than disagreeing?’ Once I realised that I do sometimes tell white lies, and that occasionally I do keep quiet rather than entering into a debate, I discovered that there was still some work to do when it came to my being completely authentic.

 

But wait, I had skipped the most important question of all! What constitutes an authentic person? The psychologists Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis define authenticity as “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise.” True authenticity involves complete honesty but contrary to popular belief that doesn’t have to mean being hurtful, there is always a way to be diplomatically honest and sensitive to others feelings.

 

Authentic people are also honest with themselves and are very aware of what their strong points and weak spots are.

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HIGHLIGHTS: How to Master the Number 1 Skill That All Successful People Share In 6 Simple Steps Part Four

So far we’ve looked at the first five steps to fostering more self-discipline, these being:

 

  1. Know your goals and where you are headed
  2. Don’t pay any attention to enablers
  3. Set yourself up for success
  4. Make a commitment
  5. Breaks and rewards

 

This week we look at the sixth critical step in developing more self-discipline – measuring our progress.

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HIGHLIGHTS: How to Master the Number 1 Skill That All Successful People Share In 6 Simple Steps Part Three

So far we’ve talked through the first three steps of fostering more self-discipline:

 

  1. Know your goals and where you are headed
  2. Don’t pay any attention to enablers
  3. Set yourself up for success

 

This week we look at arguably one of the most important steps – making a commitment.

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HIGHLIGHTS: How to Master the Number 1 Skill That All Successful People Share In 6 Simple Steps Part Two

 

Last week we discussed the value of knowing your goals and having a crystal clear picture of where you are headed, this week we look at steps two and three which help us foster greater levels of self discipline.

 

Step Two: Don’t Pay Any Attention to Enablers

 

The first stumbling block I came upon when trying to instil more self-discipline in my life was with my enablers. You probably know them, the friends who will do anything to encourage you to come out for ‘one drink’ or ‘go to the cinema’ at a moments notice.

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