Confidence comes from caring less about what others think of you, and caring more about what you think of yourself. The question is, do you know yourself well enough to have an informed opinion of yourself? When we rely on others for more than just feedback and instead allow them to validate who we are, we essentially give them the power to define how we feel about ourselves.
Listening to what others think of you must be done with one single focus in mind. It must be with the objective of determining whether or not the message that you intended was in fact the message that they received. But that means that you must know what your message is. What is your unique contribution? Self awareness shifts your focus from being aware of how others see you, to being aware of how you want to be. Once you improve your awareness of the way you want others to see you, within the context of your unique contribution, you’ll begin to accept input from others as feedback on that path that you’ve chosen for yourself, instead of using their input to define your path in the first place.
It’s a subtle but critical difference, and the difference could be sanity and peace, versus going crazy looking for validation from people who themselves have yet to accept who they are. Choose wisely.