How to Raise Self Confidence: Look at People Living Abroad

how to raise self confidence

We have seen that there are many ways to address how to raise self confidence. A lot of this stuff has to do with expanding your comfort zone, and acting with courage. It’s not a case we are dealing with this in our self confidence challenge (subscribe at the bottom).

We have already seen that your self confidence comes from you (see my post on “Where Does Self Confidence Comes From?”).

Of course a lasting self confidence requires deep inner stability. Stability about knowing yourself, knowing who you are.

A recent sociological research focused on the “self-concept clarity” notion. This is the stability over time of clear and confident beliefs about themselves. It’s easy to see that the more self-concept clarity you have, the more robust and resilient self confidence you have.

So, what’s the best way to rise your self-concept clarity?

How to raise self confidence by living abroad

The recent study from social scientists at Rice University, Columbia University and the University of North Carolina has examined almost 2000 students. They’ve found that who lives abroad, is forced to confront himself with his home culture and the new hosting culture. By this confront, people understand what doesn’t define them and what of them is just inherited by their original culture. Then they understand what core values define them and who they are.

This is the best way to rise your self-concept clarity.

This study shows also that living for more time in a single country abroad leads to a much greater self confidence than having many short experiences in different countries.

How to raise self confidence even if you don’t live abroad

My personal understanding for this is clear: many small experiences will develop your ability to quick orientate in a new context and manage things, but a deep long experience, will gradually challenge your references, and let you see who you are behind them.

How do we exploit this for your long term self confidence?

Well, supposing we can’t just leave everything and simply transfer abroad, to approximate this kind of experience my suggestion is to engage in a long term experience that is very different from you typical cultural setup. Not necessarily something so outside your comfort zone to be frightening. It’s more important is something many people are doing but is very different from your studies, or your family, or where you live, or your job, and so on. Of course this is a challenge per-se even if not a frightening one.

For example a very different hobby. Or a second very different part time job. Or long term volunteering.

It’s something you must live with for some time. If this approach is too much for you, targeting a big goal on an unfamiliar topic could be a perfect match. A goal can be usually broken in smaller milestones and each milestone will be a stepping stone towards your self confidence. For example starting a work at home business in your free time.

Taking the challenge and make it work

To be effective, you must ensure continuous exposure to the culturally different situation. When you live abroad, this is automatic (at least if you don’t leave everything too soon and come back home….).

When you do it in your usual living context, there are serious risks that you will leave the challenge too early. To compensate for this, the “almost abroad” approach requires that in the meanwhile you exercise at the same time on another couple of success skills:

  • self discipline, to stay on track;
  • and persistence, to stay there until you win.

How to raise self confidence by challenging your habits

If a long-term goal is too demanding for you, you can try also a different approach: develop the habit of doing something different each and every day. For example wake up sooner, have a different breakfast, change the path to go to work, change your priorities, and whatever you could try doing differently. You don’t have to mess up your day, just do something different every day.

Do these little experiments for a whole year (but of course start by trying just for one week and find your own “habits challenging” style), then see how it goes.

Your experience

And you, what do you think? Did you have experiences abroad? Could you plan one? What is the experience most different from your culture that helped you discover more who you really are? How this affected your experience and your life from that point on?

Let us know, and don’t forget to subscribe for my 30 Days Self Confidence Challenge with the form below to discover more ways on how to raise your self confidence!


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