Confidence shares a few key traits with happiness. You can’t get either of them through direct means but need to acquire them through different kinds of discipline and eliminate traits that are eating away at your self-esteem and confidence. Handy believes that if you can properly identify those traits you would be pleasantly surprised to find confidence sneak up on you. Here are a few things confident people don’t do.
- Being stuck in the past – If you tend to constantly evaluate your past mistakes and poor performance or negative events in your life, you’ll be surprised to know this thought process has a name, rumination. It brings you no tangible benefits, but it feels too impelling. One of the reasons behind this may be rumination’s close link to analysis and problem-solving.
They are a thinking process that can bring you positive benefits and outcome and you may subconsciously associate that with rumination due to the few shared traits. However, you need to make a major distinction. “Yes, it is true, but thinking about it isn’t going to help”. You need to break this cycle of helplessness and free yourself from the shackles of the prison of the past.
- Begging for reassurance – Fear and worry are few of the major instigators that makes you beg for reassurance.
- You may text your son repeatedly to know if he’s okay when he’s on a vacation with his friends
- You ask your partner what’s wrong since you are worried about her being upset at you
- The interview tomorrow is really important, and you ask everyone you know for reassurances and tips
This brings momentary relief since you cured the symptoms, but not the disease. You can even get trapped in a vicious cycle where more reassurance gives you momentary relief and you get more anxious the next time and more reassurance follows.
Instead, you need to teach your brain that being anxious may not be comfortable but doesn’t put you in danger. Your brain is always going to push you towards begging for reassurances if it isn’t trained to believe that you can handle the anxiety.
- Worrying about things you can’t control – Like rumination, worrying is just another side of the same coin. The former leads to unproductive thinking about past mistakes while the latter deals with unproductive things about unpredictable dangers in the future. You know what makes you worry about things out of your control since you have done it a thousand times before. So, how do you stop it?
Instead, you have to accept that you are only human. Everything isn’t under your control and it’s ok. Being ok with this fundamental reality can really go a long way to build up your confidence. You can do what you can, and other people and the future will play their part. If something goes wrong, you can try again.
According to Handy, if you can avoid these few things then it can really help to build your confidence and clears out unnecessary confusion and anxiety out of the way.