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CORPORATE | 03.01.2022

Achieving Goals Has One Path: Self-confidence

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Steven Spielberg’s films have grossed more than 10 billion worldwide, making the US director the biggest box office success of all time by far over his competitors. And it’s not surprising, since there are true works of art such as E.T., Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, and Jurassic Park, just to name a few.

Well, Spielberg was rejected on up to three occasions at the University of Southern California Film School. That could have been a blow to the future creator of Saving Private Ryan, but there’s no doubt that he had sufficient self-confidence to find another way and give movie fans some of the best films ever.

Examples like Steven Spielberg are very illustrative of what self-confidence can bring to each individual, both personally and at work. And in turn they make us think about how insecurity is capable of affecting human beings to the point of incapacitating them when they have to make a decision.

Lack of confidence: A matter of vulnerability and instability

Most psychologists agree that insecurities are born of feelings of vulnerability and instability, which cause discomfort, nervousness and even anxiety that ends up affecting self-esteem. And as can be inferred, this generates a lack of confidence that affects the individual in their day-to-day activities.

Therefore, confidence—or self-confidence—could be defined as the opposite of insecurities, that is, it is the feeling of security in what is being done and in the way in which one acts. And it is so important, that two people doing the same work will do it more efficiently and effectively depending on their confidence in knowing whether or not they are performing well. “True confidence requires you to identify the source of your insecurities, as no one knows how to scare you but you yourself,” says Dafne Cataluña, founder of the European Institute for Positive Psychology. This psychologist points out that “to have confidence in oneself means to know that, whatever comes, you can deal with it; to be convinced that your strengths will always be greater than your difficulties.”

Recognition, a vital necessity

Delving into the need for people to have self-confidence, we can refer to the Maslow pyramid, a theory in which American psychologist Abraham Maslow elaborated a hierarchy of the needs of the human being, from the most basic to the highest desires.

And precisely in the fourth step, just before the highest area corresponding to self-realization, there is the need for recognition. In it, Maslow points to two needs of self-esteem: a high one, which is related to

self-respect and where trust, competence, independence, and freedom are found; and a low one, where we find the need for attention, recognition, reputation, dignity, fame, etc.

Lacking them translates into low self-esteem, and Maslow considers that this is necessary precisely for human beings to achieve a balance that brings meaning to their life. This idea is linked to the one we point out here: self-confidence is key to achieving the goals that people set for themselves.

How to build confidence

Self-confidence is not something you acquire overnight. It is a process that must be nurtured from childhood, so it is the parents and guardians who must instill self-confidence in their children. To do this, they can provide them with the tools they will use throughout their lives almost without realizing it. Otherwise, they will fall into low self-esteem and the ghosts of insecurities will emerge.

However, these tools can be trained and recalled at any time in life. In fact, it is in one’s best interest to do so, because only with self-confidence can one develop all the inner potential that leads us as individuals to reach our own goals. And it happens not only in the personal field, but it is also applicable to work; that is, our professional careers, since, at the end of the day, they are linked to our own beings.

Keys to improving self-confidence

So, if you want to improve self-confidence and work on it, some of the recommendations that psychologists’ associations provide are the following:

Do not compare yourself to others. The qualities of each person are unique because no two human beings are alike, so comparing the achievements made with those of others can only produce a feeling of negativity, as individuals tend to look at the ones who shine the brightest.

Remember past triumphs. Anyone will have victories in their past that lead to success. So, if obstacles were overcome then, why not in what is to come?

Accept failures and learn from them. Another unmistakable sign of self-confidence is to be aware of mistakes and failures, accept them, and learn from that experience. If that step is not achieved, self-esteem will eventually vanish and any decision made will be littered with doubts. Likewise, when learning, we must also look at others, specifically the best, those who shine in one discipline or another, since they can serve as inspiration. And of course, that does not mean that we are weak, but quite the opposite.

Make changes and don’t stand still. There is no doubt that if there is something that needs to be changed to improve the personal situation and if we are to work on improving self-confidence, we must take control and make changes. If a person stands still and does not evolve; if they do not make decisions and do not move towards their goals, they will lose self-confidence and enter a cycle of negativity.

Look after yourself. An essential point to gain self-confidence is to spend time on personal care, dedicating appropriate time to well-being. If that foundation has not been achieved (as Maslow pointed out), the building may crumble and lose the self-confidence earned. And related to the requirement of time for oneself is the preparation to achieve the goals set. Such preparation should be based on the identification of talents and skills.

Ultimately, self-confidence is one of the pillars on which to build the path to personal goals, but that pillar must be well entrenched through constant work on the part of each person.