How to build Self Confidence
"Self-confidence gives you courage and extends your reach. It lets you take greater risks and achieve far more than you ever thought possible."
~ Jack Welch
There is a common element in all individuals that get things done. That element is self-confidence. It enhances all our abilities to take greater risks and achieve more. Self-confidence extends your reach and makes you perform miracles.
Self-confidence is our attitude which gives us a positive views about ourselves. It helps us to trust our abilities and believe that we can achieve what we want.
Self-confident people have realistic expectations of themselves and others. Even if sometimes some of these expectations are not met we remain positive, accept ourselves and look optimistically to conquer obstacles.
We feel good about ourselves even when others don't appreciate and acknowledge our efforts. We don't long for the approval of others, although getting approval still makes us feel good when it comes.
Self-confidence is contagious. Self-confident people instill similar confidence in others and at the same time gain the confidence of others.
Our self confidence is expressed in our behaviour, body language, the way we dress, talk, look, walk, what we say and think. Being self confident we are able to overcome out fears, accept the truth and live happy lives. That's not to say bad things don't happen, they do, but being self confident we know that we can overcome, survive and thrive.
The signs of low self confidence are feeling of guilt, skepticism, pride, fear, pretension, laziness, depression, pessimism, procrastination, doubt, and jealousy. A lack of self confidence will also come through our behaviour, for everyone to see.
Thankfully, there are ways to build our self confidence.
1. Have faith in yourself
Our self confidence increases when we believe in our abilities to perform. When we start a new endeveour, a new business or a new job, or in times of crisis there is always a concern about our abilities to perform. At those times we seem to forget our innumerable talents.
So how do you get faith? Faith is another way to describe unshakeable belief. The first step in gaining that unwavering belief in your abilities is to identify what our abilities are. So list them out - all of them. When I ask others to do this, they draw a blank, or write two or three things down. So I've developed a memory jogger list to help.
What are the things you enjoy doing?
What are the things other people tell you you are good at?
What are you good at doing?
List at least 5 natural talents that you possess.
List your qualifications.
List 5 things that you've done in the past that have surprised you.
What do you think is your greatest curse?
List the 5 biggest challenges in your life and how you overcame them (or continue to).
When you were half your current age, what did you enjoy doing?
When you were half your current age, what did other people say you were good at?
This list will help you re-discover your skills and abilities. Understand that every single item on this list has at least 3 other skills and abilities that are either a critical part, or associated with it. This list, every time you review or add to it builds faith in your present abilities and will boost your self confidence.
2. Proclaim your achievements
We can successfully do so many things. We too are great achievers. But part of the society we live in teaches us to brood over our failures and make our lives miserable. If we proclaim our success to everyone we meet, we are branded egotistical, self centered, or worse. Unfortunately this means we don't proclaim our achievements, even to ourselves.
Society has also taught us that our failures are pointed out much more than success. When we were back in school, if we spelt a word correctly, we might have a tick. If we spelt it wrong we always got a cross. At work, if we do what is required we might receive a thankyou, if we don't we get told about it every time.
Both of these reasons are why we need to support ourselves by focusing on our achievements much more than our failures.
And the easiest and most effective way to do this is every time we do something positive, good or worthwhile is to give ourselves encouragement. This doesn't have to be at the end of a long achievement either. Sincerely congratulating yourself for starting to do your tax helps, for example. This positive re-enforcement when you make positive gains towards your goals works wonders and builds, little by little, our self confidence.
3. Feel good about yourself
No one can make us feel inferior without our permission. To boost our self-confidence first of all we must feel good about ourselves. To believe that we are a worthwhile being. The secret of all successful and happy living is to love oneself first.
When I am unhappy with myself I see unhappiness everywhere and I make all those around me unhappy. I must accept myself and feel good about the way I am, the way I look, my size, my shape, and my abilities.
So how do we feel good about ourselves? Through doing another exercise. When I offer the exercise to clients they laugh and say that would never work for them. Yet every time they have done the exercise, vast improvement has been made. Are you skeptical enough to do the exercise every day for a week? The exercise is very simple. Give yourself 5 compliments a day. They might be all in the morning, all 5 at night before bed, or spread through the day. It doesn't matter about the type of compliment, or what it's about. They do have to be about you, and sincere. Do the exercise and I promise your self-confidence will grow.
4. Find challenging goals
I'm a big believer in goals. Goals can do miracles in our lives. Greater the goals greater is our self-confidence. We should have both small goals and big goals. The achievement of small goals will give us enthusiasm and self-confidence to keep moving towards bigger and more challenging goals.
If we pick a goal that is too far outside our comfort zone, not only will we be unlikely to achieve the goal, but our self-confidence is disrupted. If the goal we set is too easy, while we are likely to achieve the goal, our self-confidence doesn't improve.
Every time you achieve a small or large goal, congratulate yourself. Positive re-enforcement works much better than negative re-enforcement. I've talked about goals before here.
5. Add in commitment and passion
Our self-confidence depends on the degree of our commitment to a goal. If we are mediocre and half-hearted the result will be the same. Being able to commit ourselves to success and become passionate about what we do, helps us dramatically. This passion and commitment also builds our self-confidence. When we have commitment and passion, backed up by knowledge and skills we become more self-confident. This in turn supports our commitment and passion.
So the bottom line, use these skills to improve your self confidence and you will indeed do miracles.