At certain points of life, we might wish to try some new experiences while some may be afraid of making changes. Self-confidence might play a role in this difference. Self-confidence is about the personal perception of our abilities and our perceived impression on how we come across to others. It is closely related to our daily lives, including facing challenges, interacting with people, etc. If we want to improve self-confidence and stretch our potentials, here are some little tips:
Develop our strengths
- Acknowledge both our strengths and weaknesses objectively.
- Develop our potential and seek for gradual improvements.
- While comparing ourselves with others might be our natural tendency, let’s recognise and appreciate our strengths and uniqueness.
Acknowledge our efforts
- Reinforce our experiences of success by writing them down and reminding ourselves that we are gradually making progress.
- Appreciate not only the outcome, but also the efforts we put in from time to time. Reward ourselves with little gifts and positive self-talk. For example: I took the initiative to talk to my classmates today. I shall treat myself to an ice-cream!
Learn from past mistakes and limit self-blame
- There are ups and downs in life. We might be taught at an early age to think that failure and mistake is bad. Some might get trapped in the past, blaming themselves or others without doing anything. In fact, we all make mistakes. As encouraged in a popular self-help book Managing Your Mind: ‘what matters is not doing something “wrong”… but whether one can recognise the mistakes and use them to set ourselves on a better path next time. Samuel Beckett said it for us “No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”.’
- Listen attentively to constructive comments and try to approach with openness for our improvements.
Be kind to ourselves
- We might sometimes defeat ourselves with too many self-criticisms, resulting in excessive self-blame. For example, we might say to ourselves, “I am really a stupid person, I can never succeed in doing anything.”
- Maybe we can try to appreciate ourselves by appreciating our strengths and acknowledging our efforts as mentioned above.
- Set short-term and long-term goals for self-improvement.
- Set specific, achievable and measurable goals which can be accomplished within a reasonable period of time.
- Write down the concrete steps and actions to help us attain our goals. For example: I would like to be more outgoing. I take the initiative to greet a new classmate.
- Refine our steps and actions from time to time that they are relevant to the ultimate goals we want to achieve.
Each of us is unique and worthy but imperfect. Learn to appreciate our uniqueness and seek for gradual improvements. Please remember that it’s always OK to seek professional help if necessary. Counsellors from Wellness and Counselling Centre (WACC) are also ready to accompany you as you overcome hurdles and brave stormy weather. You can make an appointment with a WACC Counsellor, you can CLICK HERE or call 3943 3493 / 3943 7208 during office hour. If you need counselling service during non-office hours, please call the CUHK 24-hour Emotional Support Hotline at 5400 2055, or seek help from other Counselling Hotlines / Online Counselling Services.