Some people just have confidence. It flows from them naturally and they are always right there at the front when something big happens. They take charge seemingly leading the situation with an enviable ease. Meanwhile there are other people who just don’t have have that natural ease. They seem content to stand at the back and let the world pass them by.
Don’t be fooled — at least eight out of the ten “back-standers” wish they were that person at the front. The person in charge. The one who is respected; the one who is popular.
How come some people are so easily and naturally confident while there are others terrified to even open their mouth? Well, you see, that is where the problem starts: too often people think that every outgoing person they see is naturally confident. Some of these take-charge leaders were, in fact, once shy back-standers but decided they wanted more. They worked on their confidence, and so can you.
The 10 Steps to Confidence That No One Told You About
Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.
– T. Harv Eker
In my book 50 Things To Know To Have A Better Life, I explain that confidence is the belief that you are worthy and capable of doing something. It also has to do with being able to respect and appreciate yourself. When you appreciate yourself, you will find that confidence follows soon after.
Who am I? Am I good enough? Am I capable? The basis of true confidence is rooted in childhood. If children learn they are loved and valued they’ll be able to grow up believing that. Sadly even the most loving homes can produce children with low self-esteem if they are bullied at school or if their teachers put them down.
Recently a study revealed that girls start to see themselves as less innately talented than boys do when they are only six years old, because they start internalizing stereotypes at an early age. These attitudes rob people of choosing the chance of taking on a challenging study, applying for a job they’d be perfect for, and even of love. In short: learning how to build confidence — at any age — is essential for a better life.
Here are ten top tips to becoming the confident person you want to be.
1. Just press “send”
Do you feel yourself shriveling up when people you feel are “superior” to you have to judge your work? Usually this means you step away from a chance and just don’t let people see anything, right? Or you spent so long agonizing over a letter you miss the date. Don’t. Write what you want to say, spellcheck it and just press “send”. This might seem difficult, but it is the only way to stop self doubt in it’s tracks.
2. To-don’t instead of to-do
Surprisingly, it has been found that a “To Do” list actually hampers your productivity. Instead of a gentle reminder, it has been found to be a source of pressure. A lot of people feel anxious when looking at their list halfway through the day and can only tick of one or two finished tasks.
The failure often either causes them to give up on the list altogether or to try to get everything done quickly — neither of which brings you happiness.
This is because people make the wrong kind of list: if you write down everything you want to do in one go you’ll start feeling trapped. Instead, write down two things you really want to get done before going to bed and focus on those two only. Don’t write down two massive projects, but one big goal and one small. If you do this every day you’ll find that within a month all your projects are running along smoothly.
3. Don’t scrutinize
Women especially are hormonally plagued by “bad days”; feeling bloated, sad hair, looking pale or swollen. Usually those are the days we feel we have the world against us and lack confidence. This is because we’ve scrutinized ourselves in the mirror in the morning and convinced ourselves that we look and feel “like crap,” so it’s a bad day.
Try to override this by “pampering” yourself those mornings as much as time will allow: take a shower with luxurious products, scrub yourself, and have an extra delicious breakfast. Think: “I’m feeling great, I’m rested and I’m ready,” and make it a mantra. You’ll feel better and energized.
4. Rebuild your self-image
Try to see yourself differently: list all the things you dislike about yourself and change them around. If you don’t like aspects of your character, try not to change them immediately, but re-direct them. If you feel you are too aggressive, try using up your aggression by joining a gym and working out. Here you’ll also learn how to calm down when you feel a bout of anger coming on. If you feel you are too direct or bitchy, redirect this to do good: standing up to a boss, or setting up your own company. You’ll learn to be direct but polite.
If it’s aspects of your body you dislike, it’s harder but not impossible to change it around. Of course you can tone yourself in the gym, but this takes time. Learning to love your body is key: find celebrities that have succeeded and are thought of as beautiful with the body problems you have. A big bum? Kim Karadashian and Jennifer Lopez are loved for that! Big thighs? Beyonce has them and she’s fab! The thing you think makes you ugly might be the thing that makes you more beautiful.
Nothing will make you more positive about yourself than learning about something new. And now this is more easy than ever. There are dozens of free highly accredited classes online you could take on to learn your new skill.
6. Fake it till you make it
Confidence builds confidence: as long as you don’t feel confident, act as if you are. If you feel scared or are in doubt, think, “What would the confident me do?” and then do it. If you keep acting as if you already are the positive you, you will find yourself being the positive you soon enough.
7. Does it bring you joy?
Look at your life, the people, the things you collected, and scrutinize: does it bring you joy? How do you feel after talking to a person? Energized? Good! Happy? Good! Drained? Wrong! Deflated? Wrong! If you feel upset, exhausted or low after talking to someone, cut them from your life — no one has the right to make you feel that way. The same for the items around you: do they remind you of good things? If not, redecorate a bit or de-clutter. You could even restyle some items to save money. It’ll give you a positive rush.
8. What the hell
So you messed up on that occasion. Think about it: does it really matter? In as week or so you are the only one it still hurts. Think “what the hell” and leave it behind you.
You’re scared to go somewhere because you feel you’re not up to it, will stick out or be laughed at? Are you sure about that? What if you’ve just talked yourself out of the best thing that could happen? Think “what the hell” and do it anyway.
9. Stop it
If your insecurities sneak up to you, stop them in their tracks. Think or say “STOP IT!” loudly and try to refocus on something stupid. Train your brain into thinking up the lyrics of a weird children’s song when you start thinking badly about yourself or something you want to do, and soon you’ll be distracted.
10. Find “the lion within”
If all else fails, roar! If you find yourself low on confidence, stand in front of the mirror and start seeing yourself as a lion. Strong, powerful and king or queen of the jungle. Imagine yourself growing stronger and more confident, then ROAR!! The rush of energy this releases will leave you feeling energized and strong.