How do you obtain self-confidence?

How do you obtain self-confidence?

“How do you obtain self-confidence?” An acquaintance asked me. After completing his fourth year of university, he felt lost with no celebration for his accomplishment and job lined up. 

We had met at a conference a few months earlier where I had presented on my experience pursuing entrepreneurship. 

“You’re so confident and I want to feel that way about myself,” he said hopelessly.

“You have to understand what it is you respect about all the people you know, then be the product of all those qualities together. For instance, I respect my friend for being jacked but more importantly for consistently working on his physical well-being everyday. Now, I go for runs and respect myself just as much.

Woman With White Sunvisor Running
How Do You Obtain Self-Confidence?

I respect my other friend for being a genius and learning complex content like computer science. I went out of my comfort zone and made myself learn the most complex thing I could learn for my elective in university, Mandarin. I now respect myself as much as I do my friend because we both can learn complex things. You must do what you respect in others in a different way to fit your lifestyle. Then, you’ll be confident.” 

There was a moment of silence after I spoke. 

“Wow. That’s a really really good answer.” The boy finally said.

Parting from that interaction, I realized how deep and valuable of an answer I gave him on the spot. That is exactly it; that must be why I am confident. 

More often than not, if I wasn’t feeling too proud of myself, it was because I felt someone else was more worthy of respect. It is important to analyze and uncover the specific reason you respect another person more than you do yourself, then work towards achieving that quality.

It is good to surround yourself with people whom you respect because they can inspire and motivate you to make similar (or better) achievements. I am usually open to making new friendships because I know there is so much to learn from others. I wouldn’t be as knowledgeable today had I been antisocial most of my life. 

At a recent gathering, I introduced my childhood friend to my former classmates. The subject of how we all met was brought up and it came out that I had actually approached most of the people in my friend circle. 

I recall meeting one particular best friend of mine back in Grade 9. It was our first day of high school and my first class was Gym. I approached a girl that sat alone who seemed friendly in appearance with her little smile and arms hugging her knees. I introduced myself then talked to her most of the class. By the end, I asked if I could hangout with her at lunch and soon, I became close with her elementary school friends.

Woman Falling In Line Holding Each Other
How Do You Obtain Self-Confidence?

I was never shy to meet people growing up. Though I didn’t know whether or not we would get along, I was always willing to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Of course, throughout my life, I’ve approached many people I’m not too fond of now, however, I’ve also made many lasting friends and valuable connections.

I’ve learned a lot about what I want in life from my network by either catching up or simply observing their updates on social media. For example, I remember the student who received the highest academic award in my high school who was a year older than me, went to Schulich School of Business at York University. I also recall my brother praising an acquaintance of his that went to Schulich before then. 

Everyone who went to Schulich was recognized for their intelligence and perceived as likely to achieve all of their goals in life. This influenced my idea of what was worthy of respect. Soon, I wanted to go there so I worked as best as I could to attend that school and graduate which eventually happened. This achievement boosted my self-confidence because I did what I respected. 

Man in Black Suit Raising Both Hands
How Do You Obtain Self-Confidence?

So how do you obtain self-confidence?

Try to identify what you respect in others then aim to achieve it. If it seems unreasonable of a self-standard, then achieve what you can in your own way. For instance, if you respect NBA players the most for being so great at basketball and it is unlikely for you to get on the national team, then at least try to be the best basketball player among the people you know. The likelihood is you’ll respect yourself. Heck, you might even convince yourself you could’ve made it to the team had you practiced more during your youth. 

Thank you for reading and I hope this blog helps with your journey to obtaining self-confidence!

©Parting Stories

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