Social confidence is something that I like to call a gateway emotion.
With social confidence, the world looks like a meadow of possibilities. Every networking event is just an opportunity to meet someone amazing, and even the chance to improve your career. You are excited as opposed to anxious.
Without social confidence? The world is a bleak and unforgiving place. Everything is a chance to screw up, feel stupid, and turn red from judgment. Feelings of despair and hopelessness are never far away, and sometimes you just stay in your room to avoid it all.
For those that have come from that side of the spectrum, you’ll know it’s a true-and-not-exaggerated description. It can feel like a mountain to even just give a waiter at a restaurant your order.
Here are four powerful methods of increasing your daily social confidence.
Quell Negative Self-Talk
Negative self-talk is when you evaluate yourself negatively, harshly, and almost always in an inaccurate manner.
It focuses on the emotional power of a negative occurrence, and turns that into a judgment of your value as a human being instead of what it was – just one occurrence.
It’s a subconscious internal monologue that can quickly get out of hand if left unchecked. As in, you’ll start to believe what you’re saying, and you’ll stop believing in yourself.
Focus on the hard facts and evidence, not emotions.
Stop Making Comparisons
Comparisons are almost always toxic. Either they make you feel terrible about yourself, or they give you a misplaced sense of superiority.
When you compare yourself to others, you are almost always comparing your worst moments to someone else’s best moments. Neither are representative of reality. It’s like comparing someone’s Instagram pictures to pictures you took of yourself right after you woke up – it’s apples to oranges.
We fabricate fictionalized social supermen that are myths.
Judge yourself fairly, give yourself some credit, and resist putting others on a pedestal that by definition, you can never reach.
Self-acceptance is a matter of definition.
What is your definition of success? It’s almost certainly perfection. Even if you are capable of 99 tasks, if you can’t complete that 100, you have just defined yourself out of happiness.
It’s reminiscent of when a female refuses to believe that she’s thin enough, despite her being barely 100 pounds heavy. But who is she complaining for?
A lack of self-acceptance is almost always about the fear of not being accepted by others. But others will never expect perfection, or even want it, because seeing perfection will make them uneasy and self-conscious.
Expand Your Comfort Zone
Confidence at the root is just the knowledge or belief that everything will be okay – that you can handle it no matter the situation.
We don’t have to have all the answers, but we feel flexible and adaptable enough to feel comfortable.
We all have areas of our lives where we feel like that, don’t we? Whether it’s in front of a piano, or reciting facts about a comic book character. We all have comfort zones where we have confidence.
Think about how you feel when you’re in that zone. Are you afraid of judgment? No.
What’s the worst that will happen? Awkwardness.
Would it really bother you? No. Because you know the boundaries.