At the bakery the Vorrängler times quite clearly the opinion violin. Dare to combine the bang top with the red lipstick. Simply honestly decline the party invitation because you would rather relax on the couch. All this is unthinkable for you? Well, it is for about 44 percent of German women! We prefer to swallow our frustration, dress appropriately, go to the party so as not to attract negative attention.
Often we even go on a date, although it is already clear beforehand that the guy is Mister Never-Ever.
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What many women lack is a large portion of self-confidence and trust in themselves and their own strengths. Don’t you secretly admire these women who are absolutely at peace with themselves and have a charisma that blows everyone away? They show courage, stand up for their rights and wishes and are respected for it.
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If you too have so far preferred to hide behind others or in grey sweaters: self-confidence is learnable. We spoke to one of the most successful personality trainers in the German-speaking world: Christian Bischoff (live seminar The Art of Doing Your Thing). We wanted to know about him: How can you train your self-confidence?
What does self-confidence have to do with fear?
Self-confidence means first of all to trust oneself in as many life situations as possible. Whoever has self-confidence has the inner security to find a way to be able to cope with all kinds of things. That is why self-confident people tend to have the courage to try out new things. The opposite of self-confidence is usually fear. For a better understanding: There is fear as a condition and as a characteristic. The one mobilizes, the other paralyzes.
The state of fear is a good thing: a survival technique that lets us flee from real threatening situations. However, fear as a permanent feature is rather bad, because it paralyses us. People who are afraid assess situations as dangerous, even though there is no acute threat at all – for example, when they have to make a speech.
How to master every crisis Those who are self-confident are less afraid and more likely to have the courage to try something new. © Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com
This fear is just an illusion in your head. And it grows the more you feed it with thoughts of possible negative consequences. The solution: courage! Being brave does not mean not being afraid. It means to act in spite of fear and thus to defeat it. Just like jumping from the 10 meter tower in the swimming pool: If you fall, the worst is already over. Through new experiences, you will overcome your fears over time and build up a healthy self-confidence.
Because now you know that you can do it, that you don’t have to be afraid anymore – or that you have rarely felt so free as in the seconds after the jump from the 10-meter tower.
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What effect does too little self-confidence have?
Self-confidence is something different from self-confidence. It means being aware of yourself. To know yourself. For example, self-confidence means having answers to questions: Who am I? What makes me what I am? What do I want in and from life? What do I stand for? What are my strengths and weaknesses? What values do I base my life on? Bischoff: “The one who has no self-confidence, that is, who does not know himself, cannot align his life according to his own needs.
He often does not recognize the true causes for problems in his life – or the possibilities that are in himself. Self-confidence is therefore also a building block for more self-confidence.
How can I become more confident?
Of course, this does not happen overnight. You won’t be brimming over with confidence as soon as you reach a goal. Just because you get a compliment doesn’t mean your self-esteem will go through the roof. But: The following 5 steps can help you to gradually build up more self-confidence:
1. Take your life into your own hands
You alone are responsible for the way your life goes. Do not let others determine your life, but make your own decisions. Once you have internalized this, you can strive for your goals and strengthen your self-confidence. This is the most important basic requirement.
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2. make it clear what your strengths are
Write a list and answer the following question: What are my strengths? Find out what you are particularly good at. Expert book tip: “Discover your strengths now: The Gallup Principle for Individual Development and Successful Leadership” (Campus Verlag).
To be self-confident means to know yourself, your own strengths and weaknesses well, in other words to be aware of yourself. © Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com
3. find out what you are burning for
In which activity do you forget the time and are fully in your element? This answer is also central to a happy and contented life, because it helps you find the activity that is ideal for you. Because if you enjoy your work, you usually do it well. And good work increases self-confidence and self-esteem. This may, but does not necessarily have to be the main job: If you have a secure job that is okay for you, then find a hobby you are passionate about.
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4. improve your posture
Why? Because posture actually has two different effects: One, it affects your inner confidence. And secondly, the right posture radiates self-confidence. Stretch your back, your gaze should be directed forward, your shoulders backward and your chest out. And: Smile! People who smile have a more positive and attractive effect on their fellow human beings. Plus: “When you smile, your brain recognizes which muscles are being used.
This ensures that it releases more happiness hormones,” says Bischoff. Consciously adopt this posture as often as possible and try to keep it. You will notice: The world feels completely different. Conquer it with a smile.
5. think positively
You’re not good-looking enough, not smart enough, not athletic enough? You should not even allow such negative thoughts, because they can become self-fulfilling prophecy. Pessimism and negative thoughts are like black holes in the universe: They develop such a strong attraction that you yourself disappear into them. Everyone knows this one bitter person. Do you want to spend time with this person? I don’t think so. Positive thinking is the basis for a positive aura.
And your fellow human beings will notice it immediately. Instead, think of good times or something that cheers you up. And you will radiate more self-confidence.
This is how you learn to think about yourself Negative thoughts are like black holes: they can swallow you. Think positive and be brave! © Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com
Can one also have too much self-confidence?
Basically, self-confidence is of course a positive quality, but you can also overdo it. Too much self-confidence can quickly be perceived as arrogant, narcissistic or overbearing. People who think they are better than others may be respected for their achievements, but they may not really like them.
With these 5 tips for more self-confidence you will soon have the courage to refuse the party invitation honestly, to cancel the boring date with Mister Never-Ever directly and to give the impertinent person in front of the door a piece of your mind.