How to gain confidence

There will always be somebody better than you.

How to gain confidence

In what ever we do, there will always be somebody better than us. Whether it's at school or at work, sometimes, we feel inferior to the people who outperform us. So how do we gain confidence?

Where does inferiority come from?

Inferiority arises from both internal and external factors. These two factors are opposite but closely related—when someone is superior to you, you may begin to feel inferior and lose confidence:

"That person is so good, it made me feel bad about myself."

It's on your mind

To have better self-confidence, you need to shift your mindset. Try to see things from different angles. For example, when you see someone better than you:

"She's so good. I can learn from her."

I know it sounds like generic advice to shift your mindset. But as generic as it is, your mind controls your feelings. Everything has pros and cons; choosing which aspects to focus on is up to you.

It's not just you

At some point in life, most people have felt this way. So don't worry too much — this is normal. By knowing that you are not good enough, you know well that you should improve yourself. That, my friend, is already a good start.

"She's so good. But initially, she was also a beginner like I am now. I should learn from her."

How to free your mind

In the beginning, it may be just a slight feeling of inferiority. But over time, it snowballs and swallows your confidence whole. One way to lighten your burden is to talk about it.

Tell your closest people

If you can share it with other people, that's great! Tell them how you feel and console yourself in them. Some people might start giving you unsolicited advice, so be upfront: tell them you need to vent; they can help by listening to you. 

Write a journal

If you are uncomfortable sharing this with others, write a journal about how you feel. Some people, like me, prefer to type rather than talk. It's easier than a real conversation because I can delete, edit, and think before saying something.

You can use tools like Twitter or Medium to dump your thoughts. Don't worry too much about being seen by other people—you can even create an alternate account just for your thoughts.

Ps. Initially, The Tiny Wisdom was a place where I could dump my thoughts.

Start small

Now that you know how to free your mind, it's time to start gaining confidence. Try to remember the things you succeeded in. They don't have to be massive—there are successes in what you do every day. Simple things like doing your laundry, washing the dishes, or cooking are examples of small achievements. I personally think waking up in the morning is a small win because I rarely do it.

Every day, at the end of the day, try to remember the small successes you did. By doing so, you are reminding yourself that you can achieve success, no matter how little it is. Small things like this help you grow your confidence little by little.

Plan your day

Most of the time, people don't get anything done, not because they need to figure out what to do. They get overwhelmed and overthink their tasks because they have a lot to do. Are you familiar with this situation?

Start the day by planning at most three things you want to complete today. Doing so will help you tailor your day more positively. Do this; at least by the end of the day, you'll have three things crossed on your checklist. 

Also, if you cannot do this, you can plan to do three things in a week instead. I plan to do at most two things in a week, and one of them is publishing this newsletter.

Avoid negative influences

Avoid everything that triggers your inferiority. Don't get me wrong, if you feel small because you need more programming skills, don't avoid programming. Avoid the people and the things that made you feel that way. After all, you are the most important person for yourself.

Social Media Detox

You can start by muting or unfollowing people who make you uncomfortable on social media. It does not matter whether they know about it or not because what matters the most is your well-being. 

People only show what they want to display on social media. Nobody shares their hardship because it's just not "instagrammable." Social media can be a plague that makes you keep comparing yourself to other people, and comparison is the thief of joy.

"Wow, he's on a trip across Europe, and I'm here working 9-5... What am I doing with my life?"

If you don't want to unfollow or mute people online, take yourself offline. Uninstall your social media apps for a month or two. You'll be surprised that at the end of the detox, only those who care about you will realize you are gone. 

And to be honest, if they genuinely care about you, you'd keep in touch anyway, so don't be afraid of missing out.

Keep it positive

If you can't help but use social media, mute the people who made you feel miserable and start following more positive accounts. Or create a new account just for this purpose!

Fun fact: Out of all the accounts I follow on Instagram, 50% are about memes and cats. They make me happy.

Unfriend your friends

This is one of the hardest things to do, but it should still be addressed. Are you sure your friends are supportive? Or do they make you feel like shit? Only you can judge them.

Sometimes, our closest friends don't realize that their actions might make us feel down. You may let it slide for a couple of times, but you shouldn't keep it up if they have done so for a long time. You don't have to stop being friends. You can simply pull yourself out for a while.

If they are indeed your friends, just be honest that whatever they do has made you lose your confidence. Communicating your problems is not easy, but you can only solve the problem if you communicate.

Take care of yourself

Yes, it sounds cliché, but it is essential and very hard to do. You beat yourself up over other people's achievements and forget that you also need appreciation, care, or just a simple pat on the back.

Remember, this is normal, and everyone has gone through (or will be going through) the same thing. Let out your thoughts, free your mind, remember your small successes, and pull yourself out of negative influences.

Remember to do this for yourself, not to fulfil other people's expectations. Don't let other people control your happiness.

I hope you find this insightful. Remember:

It’s not going to be easy,
But it’s not impossible

Your friend,