The way you feel about yourself, how you see yourself and believe others see you is a key issue in how you live your life. It is the foundation upon which you build your personal and professional successes and the shaky ground on which your failures occur. By developing your self-confidence and belief in your own abilities you will be able to recognize and take advantage of opportunities you may currently pass over. You will also have the strength and inner belief that is essential in overcoming the inevitable pitfalls and obstacles that life throws at you. By developing this aspect of your personality you can achieve, what may appear now to be, impossible goals. For each time you put your new found confidence to the test and discover that you are a winner, you will strengthen it immeasurably and move forward in your development.
But it takes some work. Here are some ways to boost your self-confidence.
1. Stop berating yourself! There are plenty of people in the world who will jump at the chance to do that for you. Instead, be kinder to yourself and recognize that your mistakes are merely learning opportunities. Keep in mind that your words have power. They direct your thinking. When you speak in a certain way you begin to formulate ideas and beliefs which are in harmony with the words you are using. These beliefs in turn have a major impact on the action you take and the way you conduct yourself. So choose words that uplift you, encourage you and strengthen you and go easy on yourself when you make a mistake. Recognize what you have to learn from it and move on.
2. Seek out the company of people you want to emulate. Look for self-confident people to mirror. Watch the way they walk and how they talk. Put yourself in positive environments as much as you can. Your environment and the people around you dramatically affect your level of confidence whether you realize it or not. Positive individuals will show you where you can improve while also reinforcing that you already have great abilities. They can help you work on your faults while praising you with each step forward you make. Negative people only pull you down and should be avoided when possible. If someone tells you often enough that you can’t do something you will begin to believe them and form a negative belief about yourself.
3. Be a person who is true to their word. Follow through on your plans even if it initially looks like there is no way forward. That doesn’t mean being inflexible. Of course there will be times when you need to compromise and alter your goals and plans, but always stay true to your vision. If you give up you will seriously damage your confidence! A key point to remember is that there is no such thing as failure – you only fail when you give up! If you keep trying different approaches and staying steadfast to your ideal, you will eventually succeed. It just may look a little differently than originally intended.
4. Feel the fear and face it head on! If you stand up and face what you are most afraid of and do it anyway, very often the fear disappears. If it doesn’t initially disappear, keep trying. Doing this will prove to your subconscious mind that nothing bad occurred from taking action. For example, you will find that talking to that person didn’t make you stop breathing or giving a lecture didn’t make you die, or walking across the bridge wasn’t life-threatening etc.! As dramatic as our fears can be, in many instances they are not based in reality.
5. Keep a journal of all your achievements no matter how small. You know what your fear is! Many times in life we fail to acknowledge the progress we are making simply because we can’t see the forest for the trees. We get caught up in the big picture and don’t see the smaller gains that are actually getting us closer to our goal. Think of a time when you met someone you hadn’t seen in years. Do you remember noticing how much they had changed? You could see it yet to their family, close friends and people who seen them everyday the changes would have been almost imperceptible! Take the time to write down every little gain you make. Soon you will be able to read back over it and really see just how far you have come. Write down the fears you faced, how you faced them and obstacles you overcame. Explain how you felt before and how you felt after. This will help keep you motivated in times of internal struggle and show you just how far you have come in your journey to more self confidence.
6. Finally, when you go to bed at night let your mind think of all the achievements you had during the day and week and month. No matter how small these achievements may seem give yourself credit for all of them. When you get up in the morning, visualize yourself for 5 or 10 minutes beaming confidence as the day unfolds. This new found confidence will transcend into both your personal and professional lives. You will literally set yourself up for a successful day and incredible life!
REMEMBER: A state of inner confidence is only achieved through a balanced mixture of high self-esteem, realistic belief in yourself, a good measure of self-respect and an accurate positive self-image.