Self-confidence is the first requirement of any undertaking.
Like the story The Little Engine That Could teaches children, when you believe in your capabilities and put in the work, you can do more than you think.
However, if you believe that you are not very competent, not very smart, or not very talented, your results will reflect those beliefs. To be successful, you must have the confidence that you can do it.
Fortunately, if you believe or feel you’re not good enough for something, you can change it. You can develop the confidence, on an emotional level, to accomplish your desire… and more.
10 Ways to Increase Self-Confidence
Below, I outline ten concrete actions you can take to increase your self-confidence and step more boldly through life. While this list is not comprehensive, taking just a few of these actions will help to put you squarely on the path to a fuller and more rewarding life.
To get started, I suggest you choose a couple of items on the list that appeal to you and practice them for a week. Whatever you pick will make you feel better about yourself, some almost immediately.
Then, when you notice your confidence is building, take a few of the other actions to take it to an even higher level.
1. Clean up your self-image. We all have a mental picture of ourselves planted in our subconscious mind. And that image determines the results we get in every area of our life—we cannot outperform it.
However, over time, you can change this image. Each day, you can use visioneering, affirmations, journaling, life scripts or other tools to photoshop your self-image. The key is to practice seeing, thinking, and feeling yourself the way you want to become, and the new image will begin to take root.
2. Dress nicely. It’s amazing how much more confident you feel when you shower and put on nice clothes. You’ll feel successful and presentable and ready to greet and take on the world. It will turn your mood around, and you’ll carry yourself with more confidence. You’ll talk to people more positively and people will take notice of you.
3. Get to know yourself. Even though we might think we know ourselves well, psychological studies prove otherwise. They indicate that most of us are deluded about ourselves and our capabilities.
Much of that can be attributed to our beliefs. We have beliefs about ourselves that do not serve us well.
However, your beliefs are based on your evaluation of a situation. And frequently when you re-evaluate the situation, your belief about it will change completely.
The next time you feel insecure or like you’re incapable of accomplishing something, look at the situation from a new perspective. And recognize it’s not a beneficial belief to have. Do that a few times and you’ll see that many of your limitations are not actually limitations, but rather symptoms of negative beliefs.
Also, think about the good things about yourself—the things you can do well, the things you like, the things you’ve accomplished, the successes you’ve had.
Dig deep within yourself, and with time, you’ll emerge with greater self-confidence.
4. Pay attention to your verbiage. This one applies primarily to while you’re at work or in any situation where you want to convey confidence or persuade others. When you want to get a point across or express a big new idea, being mindful of your verbiage and tone can help you flourish or maybe even impress a tough boss, client, or prospect.
5. Increase your competence. Study and practice your craft to become better at it. Start with something small that you know you can do. For example, if you want to be a more competent writer, start by writing more. Also, set aside 15-30 minutes a day to read articles and books on writing. Your competence and confidence will grow day by day by implementing these practices.
6. Make sure your goals and values are in harmony. Do you know what your values are? When you take the time to think through your fundamental values, and then commit yourself to living your life consistent with them, you feel a surge of mental strength and determination. You feel more centered in the universe and better able to accomplish the goals you set for yourself.
7. Change a habit. It’s not easy to change a habit, so start with something small, like waking up 15 minutes earlier or meditating for 10 minutes a day. If you do it for a month, you’ll be eager to continue or improve the practice.
8. Get physical. Exercise is one of the most empowering things you can do for your self-esteem. It can make you look and feel better—physically, mentally and emotionally. It doesn’t take much. You’ll see benefits from just taking a walk a few times a week.
9. Learn about your potential. You can do this in many ways, but one of the surest ways to do it is through reading/studying books and attending seminars. You can also learn about your potential by watching, listening to and studying successful people around you. You will automatically become more confident as you discover who you really are.
10. Do something. If you change what you do, you change what you are. Taking action to accomplish something is almost always better than not doing anything. Of course, doing something could lead to mistakes. But mistakes are a natural and necessary part of life. It’s how we learn. Without mistakes, we’d never get better.
The backbone of success
If you want to be confident, find out who you are by always believing the best about yourself.
You do that by refusing to think or talk about the way you don’t want to be. You must see yourself the way you want to be—not in the future, but now. Today (and every day moving forward), you want to think, walk, talk and act like the person you want to become.
Believing the best about yourself is not Pollyanna thinking. After all, theology and science indicate that you are God’s highest form of creation.
Now that’s something you can believe in.
And when you do, you’ll open yourself to new ideas and possibilities like never before.
To more and better,
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