Finding confidence at university

It’s time for me to take a post from the blogosphere about a different subject and put the university focus on to it.

Today, I’m looking at a recent post from Life Coaches Blog, called “How to Boost Your Confidence at Work“.  It highlights 5 ways for those in employment to get out there and feel good about what they do.

But the 5 tips can be used in the context of university life.  Either through your study, or when socialising:

How to Boost Your Confidence at University

photo by Snap(R)

1. Fake it till you make it

  • Study

A new module can prove daunting for the best of us.  Remember you’re in the same boat as everyone else.  There’s no reason why you shouldn’t just crack on with the work without fear.

Taking on a positive persona as you work can work wonders.  There’s nothing wrong in seeking further advice when you feel stuck.  If anything, it shows greater confidence and forward thinking.  A winning situation.

  • Social

This doesn’t mean you should lie.  The main thing is to realise that you don’t know everything.  Doing something new can feel uncomfortable, but it’s part of life.  And at uni, everyone is doing new stuff all the time.  Rather than cautiously dip your toe in the water, jump in with both feet and enjoy the ride.

…er, so long as it’s not something potentially life-threatening or expensive…! 

2. Soak up knowledge and don’t be afraid to ask questions

  •  Study

When you ask questions, you want answers.  But in university terms, when you ask questions, you usually get into a great debate.

Never fear.  Debate helps you soak up information and it points you in the right direction for taking in even more useful facts.

If you feel confident on a particular topic, try to find different opinions and viewpoints.

If your confidence lacks the scope to go that far, at least ask questions in seminars, tutorials, and one-to-one meetings with tutors.  They’ll probably be happy to talk things through with you.  In no time, you’ll be taking on the world!

  • Social

University isn’t going to find you.  You have to find university.  That means finding out what clubs and societies are around.  That means checking the uni Intranet, student magazines and leaflets, and all the posters up around campus.

If you’re uncertain about something, speak to whoever arranges things.  They’ll probably be happy to hear you’re interested.  If you show enough interest, you may be introduced to even more goodies.

3. Delete negative self talk

Even the brightest of students can’t ace everything.

When you put yourself down and think the work is all too much, you’re denting that positivity within.  Get out of that hole and stop talking yourself down.

Admit that the work’s hard and accept that you have to put in a lot of work.  But the problem doesn’t lie with you if you’re willing to put the time and effort in to getting it done.

If you start convincing yourself, “Everyone else can do it, so why can’t I?  I’m such an idiot, I’m so rubbish”, then you need to turn this all around.

Why not use this exaggeration for positive gain?  Convince yourself of this…”Everyone else can do it, so why can’t I?  I’ve got the passion and the drive, so I’ll give it my all.  I can do this just as much as anyone.”

4. Avoid saying “I can’t”

Saying “I can’t” is usually a way of getting out of something.  It’s a bit of a comfort blanket.

I’m confused by those two simple words, “I can’t”.  How does anyone know that they can’t do something if they haven’t tried?  And if they’ve tried and failed, why does that mean all hope is lost from now on?

I’d be amazed if there was 100% certainty that you genuinely couldn’t do something, especially if it’s linked in with an assignment you’ve been asked to complete.

Give yourself that push and tell yourself that you can.  It doesn’t matter what the task is, so long as you have that drive…As the Adidas slogan says, “Impossible is nothing“.

5. Look the part

Instead of sitting about in the communal areas of your halls, why not set out a proper plan, listing your aims for the day/week/semester?  When other students moan that they’re bogged down with their study/reading/life, why not think twice before agreeing wholeheartedly with them?

People don’t always want to be fed advice if they’re not looking for it, but there’s no harm in positive encouragement of others.  So don’t automatically agree that life sucks, because you’ll end up believing it too.

At uni, it’s not about what you wear, how you look, or the visual presentation of yourself.  It may help in certain circumstances, but it’s not the answer.  You need a sturdy attitude that’s ready for anything.  With a positive attitude and confidence shining through, others will pick you up further and appreciate your outlook.  This, in turn, will boost you even more.  The cycle continues until you truly believe in yourself and know that you look the part because you’re firmly IN that part.

Confidence is not showing off.  Confidence is about positivity, drive, passion, and striving to reach a particular destination.  Showing off is telling people how wonderful you are.  There’s a difference!

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Have you discovered anything great that gave your confidence a boost in the past?

Do you regularly use a tried and tested method of letting confidence flow effortlessly through you?