In this series on self-confidence, we’ve learned that not only is it a multifaceted, sometimes elusive quality we aspire to have in the perfect amount, but that it’s also a key element to living our best lives and accomplishing the things we set out to do. With that in mind, one final area to explore when discussing self-confidence is our self-assurance; what it means and how to improve it.
I’ve got this
Self-assurance means knowing that we can and will succeed. Being able to say to ourselves (or others) during a difficult or stressful time “It’s OK. I’ve got this” is so very powerful, and…reassuring! It’s important to assure ourselves that whatever is going on or is about to happen it’s going to be all right, because we have what it takes to get through it – at least at this moment in time. This opens the door to taking calculated risks in life. A self-assured person is willing and ready to take on a challenge or see the opportunity in something, knowing they can manage what comes their way. It’s also fitting for those times when we volunteer to do a job at home or work, not because we’re excited at the prospect, but because we know we can do it, in a good amount of time, and with little difficulty. It needs to get done, and we’re the person to do it. That’s self-assurance.
Self-assurance is also a key aspect of resilience. We don’t tend to give up when we’re assured that we can make it in the end, and if we don’t, that’s ok too because we know that new opportunities will be available and that we’ve learned from our experiences. We continue to pick ourselves up when life’s situations knock us down because we have faith in our strengths, whatever they may be. We also don’t feel diminished or threatened by asking for help; it’s not a sign of weakness. We simply have things we aspire to, and asking for advice, guidance or a helping hand might be just what we need to get there.
Validated – by us
Being self-assured also means we validate ourselves; we don’t rely on others to endorse or support our feelings, thoughts, or experiences. We’re our own judge and jury! In today’s world of social-media influences, this has never been more critical. We can have thousands of followers for example, and get more ‘likes’ than anyone else, but there’s zero correlation between that and our self-confidence. There’s a very informative article on social media and self-validation which sheds more light on the pressures we face to be more – more active, attractive, funny, and successful … particularly for young people. For decades we blamed magazines and advertising for “upholding dangerously unrealistic standards of success and beauty”, but now it’s far more prevalent because of social media. It’s up to us to have and nurture our self-acceptance so that these external, superficial influences don’t chip away at our self-assurance.
Becoming more self-assured is a very achievable goal, and quite worth the effort. Here are a few simple ways to start:
- Accomplishing small tasks to start, doing them well and on time – no excuses. As our faith in ourselves grows, so too will the challenge of the tasks.
- Observe the behaviours of other self-assured people, to see if there’s something they do – or don’t do – that we can pay attention to.
- Promote what’s good about us as individuals such as our character and values, not our looks, money, vacations or possessions.
- Regularly self-affirm and continue to build ourselves up.
- Care for ourselves. When we don’t eat well, get enough rest, or drink too much for example, we know we aren’t at our best, and we won’t have the self-assurance to tackle those things that will make us feel better about ourselves.
To have success in our jobs, our relationships, our communities, as parents, or other goals we set for ourselves, we need to recognize that these things take time, energy and commitment, and a solid dose of self-assurance in our abilities. We know we’ll likely make mistakes or be judged by others along the way but that’s part of the adventure. It all starts with a little bit of faith; our deep down, very own, I’ve-got-this…faith.
“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” – W.C. Fields