• How Self-Confident Are You?


    Confidence | Birmingham Counselling Services Do you have self-confidence or would you like more?  This is an issue that is raised by many people who get in touch with Birmingham Counselling Services. Your answer to the question might well be: No, I’m not very confident, but I would like to be. This is a very general response. It helps if you can be more specific, to set yourself a particular target to concentrate on.

    How to be self confident

    If you are a student you might lack the courage to speak up and ask questions in class.  A manager might dread having to present a report to the Board of Directors.  You might have a brilliant idea and the opportunity to travel in an exciting new direction in your work, but it would mean leaving your secure paid employment and trusting yourself to become a freelance.  You might want to get in touch with your child’s school to ask questions about their policies, their procedures, or your child’s treatment by a particular teacher.  In any of these circumstances and in many more you might think of you need a certain level of confidence to start you off and carry you along the path.

    Perhaps there is something particular coming up which you know will be a challenge, and you are doubting whether you will be able to meet it.

    Test yourself. Look at the following questions, answering them with a simple Yes or No:

    1. Do you find it difficult to make a decision on your own, and find yourself constantly hoping for support from a colleague, a friend or a family member?
    2. Do you need to know that there is a support system in place for you all the time?
    3. At meetings do you sit quietly, thinking and responding in your own head but never drawing attention to yourself by speaking out?
    4. Do you find it almost impossible to instigate a conversation with your boss, even if you have had a good idea which could benefit the company if you shared it?
    5. Does the prospect of meeting new people intimidate you?
    6. Do you dread having to speak in public?
    7. Are you quite unable to refuse to take on extra work, even though you are already overloaded – the “girl who can’t say no”?
    8. Do you worry constantly about what other people think of you, your appearance, your opinions, your very existence?
    9. Are you afraid of taking risks?
    10. 10.Are you obsessively concerned about what you look like?
    11. 11.Is the idea of going to a party more of a punishment than a treat?

    Everyone will answer yes to a few of these, but if you find you have more Yesses than Noes it could be that your lack of confidence is hampering your personal, professional and/or social life. And there are ways to tackle this, one of which is by asking yourself a few more questions:

    1. What have I succeeded at in the last week/month/year?
    2. When the ice needs to be broken at a professional or social meeting, are you able to step in and say something?  Anything – it rarely matters what.
    3. Do you believe that you have the respect of your friends/colleagues?
    4. Do you believe that you could succeed, given the right circumstances?
    5. Are you able to give and accept love and affection?
    6. When you consider your working life so far, are you able to feel pleased with yourself about how some parts of it have developed?
    7. Do you value your skills and qualifications?  Can you what a contribution they have made to your life?
    8. Do you have control over some aspects of your life?
    9. When you imagine yourself five years from now do you see your life/relationships/work getting better?
    10. 10.Do you believe in yourself?
    11. 11.How do other people see you?

    Everyone will have negative responses to a few of these – if you have some positives that is a very good sign, and the more positives the better.

    Remember that no response is ever final. We can improve how we feel about ourselves without becoming unrealistic or unattractively self-important and future articles will look at some of the possible ways to achieve greater self-esteem.

    We hope that you have found this article helpful, and we would welcome feedback. If you feel that you need external support in getting to grips with this very sensitive issue please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Birmingham Counselling Services, on 0121 314 9903. Alternatively you can send us a message through the contact page on this website, where you found the article: www.BirminghamCounsellingServices.co.uk

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