How to increase your confidence in VCE

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Confidence is important for achieving some level of success in any goal or project that you may have. Increasing confidence is no exception – it is important to have confidence in your ability as a student throughout the VCE. Confidence is important because it says a lot about your self-image. If you are questioning your capabilities as a student it usually shows that you don’t have faith in your ability. If you don’t have faith in your own capabilities it will be difficult to achieve your dreams.

Have faith in yourself

Forget about other people believing in your potential! Although it is nice to feel accepted and supported it is fundamental that you believe in yourself first. Your parents, friends and teachers may believe in your capabilities and potential wholeheartedly but this is empty if you don’t believe in yourself!

This doesn’t mean that you have to become “cocky” and “full of yourself” – this is often a sign of low confidence where people need to paint a fake picture of who they are because they don’t like their real, authentic self. Know that you have the power and capability to change anything in your life – however you have to feel empowered to make a change. You must believe in your own self power and ability to make a difference in your life.

You don’t have to be perfect, you can just do your best

There is no need to achieve perfection. What happens when you want to write the most perfect English essay? You spend an incredibly long time writing the essay – because you need to come up with the most “perfect argument” etc. Often the perfection mindset blocks you from achieving a great mark because it blocks creativity due to micro-managing every small detail. Being perfect is not the goal, however doing your absolute best is important. By knowing you are working hard and really trying to do your best it takes away pressure. Now your priority isn’t becoming “flawless” it is doing the best with what you have. How can this increase confidence? By doing your best you don’t have to feel bad about your imperfections and weaknesses – ultimately you make the most with what you have!

Set yourself goals – and achieve them!

By setting yourself goals and accomplishing them – it can help your confidence levels. Why? Because when you set goals and achieve them, you begin to believe yourself more. How many times within your life have you said that you will do something only to find that you haven’t? For example you have decided to stick to a healthy eating plan only to find yourself eating a huge slab of chocolate cake 4 hours later? Most of deceive our own selves – we say one thing and then do the opposite. This causes confusion and mistrust in our own ability – we become powerless and sabotage our own potential. Rather, try to gain trust in yourself. Start of by setting small study goals – and achieve them. Slowly throughout time, your words will not be empty promises! If you say to yourself “I will get an A on my next Methods test” you will believe it! Because you have a great track record of sticking to your word – this will increase your confidence in your ability.

Change your posture and breathing!

Your posture can affect your physiology and therefore affect your mood! If you look at the body posture of depressed people, it is clear that they have similar characteristics. Their eyes are pointing downwards, they are hunched, breathing rate is slow and requires effort and they are frowning or have an upset expression. On the other hand happy people usually look forward, have a relaxed posture, deeper breathing and have a smile. Now you could argue that first a person gets depressed and then their posture changes – however the two are related. The state of your mentality affects your body and the body can affect mentality. One of the fastest ways to change how you feel is to change your body posture. Feeling tired? Sit up straighter and take deeper breaths. This is the quickest way to feel more energetic and cheaper than Red Bull! If you want higher confidence is what you want, find out what confident people do – for example how they walk, stand, sit and behave. Then mirror this physiology and watch your confidence grow!

Don’t give up!

You have unlimited potential – the only limitations that you have are the definitions that you made about yourself. You have decided who you are and defined what you can or cannot achieve. Perhaps family, teachers and friends contributed to defining who you are – but ultimately you accepted or rejected the definitions. Realise that these definitions can be changed – nothing is permanent! Who you think you are can be adjusted through correct awareness. So be sure to reflect on the definitions that you have accepted and change the ones that don’t help! If you think that “I am a weak maths student” ask yourself where this came from. Was it a low grade, insensitive comment or yourself being critical that caused such a definition? Does the definition help you achieve personal greatness? If not, why keep it? So re-evaluate your self-definitions and eliminate the ones that are not worthwhile.