Personal Development

6 Ways to Overcome Anxiety and Build Self-Confidence

Adam Rockman
Written by Adam Rockman

You may want to overcome anxiety when starting conversations and asserting yourself is difficult. Some people give up on change and developing confidence, but the truth is you can still learn to be confident.

All forms of anxiety come from a lack of belief in your ability to handle situations. Social anxiety comes from fear of being negatively evaluated and rejected by others. General anxiety often comes from negative beliefs and low self-esteem. When you lack self-confidence you don’t feel capable of communicating with others or facing any of the inevitable challenges life throws at you.

We need self-confidence to accomplish everything. When we approach tasks doubting our ability to succeed it can negatively impact our performance.  When you are confident it becomes much easier to make friends and succeed in your career.

If you are ready to build self-confidence, follow these tips:

Write Down Your Goals

I know this is common advice. But people should encounter this one tip until they eventually pull out a notebook and write down detailed plans for achieving all their goals.

You can start by writing all the goals you believe are achievable for you. Next, write some things you really want to accomplish but never had the courage to admit. Also be sure to write down skills you want to learn and fears you want to overcome.

As you start achieving your ambitions, you will start to feel more self-confident. You will be able to look back on your accomplishments and open your mind to even more potential.

Spend Time with Supportive People

Spending time with people who support you and encourage you to improve is very helpful. The right person will help you feel better about yourself even when others have been critical.

This shouldn’t be difficult. Most people naturally gravitate to people who confirm their own biases and share the same opinions. When they complain about their life you can offer them support and naturally expect the same favor in return.

Spend Time with Critical People

This is the opposite of the previous example. The truth is you can’t constantly surround yourself with only positive opinions all the time. You are only deluding yourself. Eventually, someone will say something negative to you and your positive image of yourself will be built on a weak foundation.

To build a strong foundation, you should be honest with yourself. This means considering the ideas of more pessimistic and critical opinion.  They might be wrong. But there is also the possibility that they have a point. Perhaps, they can share some insights that can help you improve.

Also, try to pay attention to the motivations of critical people. If they are just trying to insult you then maybe they suffer from low self-esteem and just want to tear down other people’s confidence.

Some people might just want to share their knowledge because they really want to see you improve. Just because they say something negative doesn’t mean you should ignore them.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

It would be strange to pick up a guitar for the first time, struggle to play, and complain that you aren’t an expert yet. But somehow people behave like this all the time. They constantly measure their progress against people who have dedicated years to cultivating some form of skill and inevitably give up before they’ve even tried.

No matter what skill you are trying to improve, don’t compare yourself to people who have spent a lot more time cultivating that skill. Instead, compare yourself to the you of yesterday. Are you more confident than last week? Are you starting more conversations than you did last month?

By focusing on improving yourself you can feel more confident in your capacity to improve yourself.

Accept and Learn from Mistakes

Failure is inevitable. Life isn’t about instantly succeeding at every endeavor. That would be boring. Sometimes you will make mistakes. Such as stuttering while speaking. But that doesn’t mean you need to be too scared to open your mouth to talk at the next opportunity.

Learn to find the humor in the situation. You don’t need to take yourself so seriously or always display a perfect image of yourself to the world. If you can accept your mistakes, it’s more likely other people will brush them off too.

Most importantly, mistakes are opportunities to learn. You either succeed or you learn something new to improve yourself next time.

Rephrase Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts are a habit you develop over time. They are triggered when you avoid any situation that makes you uncomfortable. For example, you might want to start a conversation with a cute coworker, but then you worry about rejection. Suddenly you start thinking thoughts like, “I shouldn’t talk to them. They wouldn’t like me anyway.”

Eventually negative thoughts are triggered instantly whenever you consider trying something new. Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, you can first tell yourself to “Stop!” or “Be positive!”

This helps you maintain an open mind. Instead of thinking it’s a bad idea to talk to your coworker, you can think, “I wonder what will happen if I talk to her.” Now that you are open to the possibility of positive results, they are much more likely to actually happen.

So pay attention to your negative thoughts and how they can become excuses for avoiding growth. Next, rephrase them more positively so that they help you open your mind to building more self-confidence.

These 6 tips can be helpful in boosting your self-confidence. They will help you honestly make the changes required to overcome anxiety and build self-confidence.

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About the author

Adam Rockman

Adam Rockman

Adam Rockman is a confidence coach and author of the best-selling book Social Confidence Mastery: How to Eliminate Social Anxiety, Insecurities, Shyness, And the Fear of Rejection. His site Evolve To Win is dedicated to mind and body optimization for winning at life