Develop Confidence

We were not born with confidence, but this trait can be taught, nurtured and built over the years. With self confidence comes better self esteem. Self confidence and self esteem are essential for any person seeking a new job or starting a new business. At any stage in life, confidence is something that can be learned.  Dr. Karl Menninger once wrote,
“Fears are educated into us, and they can, be educated out.” Confidence can be educated into us too.

Consider using these steps as the building blocks for greater confidence and self esteem.

1. Start writing a journal.
One way to do an effective self-analysis is to start with a personal journal or diary. Write down your perceptions about self-confidence. Write any thoughts that come to mind. Also, try to ask yourself what stops you from getting to a point in your life that you want to achieve.  This practice does not work for everyone, so if, after experimenting with a journal, it does not increase your self-confidence, try another technique.

2. Do a self-evaluation.

Learn to assess yourself objectively. Doing so allows you to prevent the constant state of confusion that comes from dependence on other people’s views. Concentrating internally on how you think and feel about your own behavior, lifestyle, work, etc. will provide you a stronger sense of self awareness.
3. Accept and love yourself. 

With a self-assessment comes the realization of your weak points. Do not be dissuaded by this discovery. Learn to embrace and accept yourself for who you are as a person. Everyone has his own distinctive abilities, qualities, and characteristics. We are all unique. Never compare yourself to others.

In your journal, make an inventory of things that make you unique. For example, you can make a list under the title, “What Makes Me Unique.” Write down interests and preferences that make you distinct.

Be proud of your achievements and revel in your uniqueness. You must learn to accept and be proud of who you are. Only then will you feel your self-confidence shoot up to the skies!

4.  Concentrate on your strengths rather than on your weaknesses.

Confidence comes from within. Concentrate on positive things about yourself.Remember the past is over; you can only change the future. Write down ten positive things about yourself. Go through your journal and look at all the positive things about yourself. 

Concentrate on your potentials. These are the reasons why you love and believe in yourself. Give yourself credit for every positive thing you have written about yourself. Remember, you are somebody special.

5. Overcome fears and doubts. 

Some people feel insecure, thinking they can never be successful in anything they do. Such insecurity will only lead to lack of confidence in yourself and in everything you do in your life.

Keep in mind: If you haven’t tried something, you can’t say that you will fail in it. Just because you never started your own business when you were younger, does not mean that you can never do it.

6. Motivate yourself.            

Whether it is for a presentation, an interview, or anything at all, remind yourself that you can do it. Motivate yourself every day; and soon, you will find your confidence level increasing. 

A helpful way to motivate yourself is by keeping a list of at least five things that you did well for that day. This activity reaffirms your strong belief that you can achieve what you set your mind to accomplish.

7. Engage in positive self-talk.

Use positive self-talk as a chance to displace destructive thoughts crowding your mind. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, remind yourself to “stop” and replace them with positive thoughts.

One good way to crowd out negative thoughts is by reading and listening to positive things. Reading and listening to positive and affirming materials will enrich your abilities and talents to develop your self-confidence.

Read and listen to inspiring stories of successful individuals. You will discover that a lot of them underwent tough circumstances, had many difficulties and challenges in life, yet they overcame these difficulties and became successful in their endeavors. Many did not find success until they were well past age 50.

8. Visualize your future success.

Regularly imagine yourself enjoying success! Feel the excitement, anticipation, exhilaration, and thrill of victory. In order to become more confident, you must picture yourself as a person with high self-esteem. Picture your self tackling a tough challenge and overcoming it with poise and confidence.

Use your five senses to make the picture in your mind vivid and seem real. Let us say that as part of the application process to teach at a music school, you will have to give a piano recital to the school’s faculty.  You are having trouble relaxing. Imagine your self entering the room and confidently striding towards the piano. Visualize yourself performing with confidence and joy. Imagine your audience clapping their hands and shouting, “Excellent!” Take in the sight, smell and taste of success. Isn’t it exhilarating?

9. Acknowledge your success.

Give yourself credit for everything you try. Emphasize the process of achieving, those brave and simple efforts exerted, instead of focusing on success itself as the end product.

Congratulate and reward yourself each time you do something that makes you feel satisfied. Treat yourself, you deserve it.

Nurture this feeling by reminding yourself of past successes. In your journal, write the instances where you feel the happiest.  It may be an incident or performance where you felt appreciation and a deep sense of accomplishment. 

Bask on these memories and draw strength from these. Say this aloud, “If I was able to achieve these in the past, I can achieve more today and in the future.”

10. Accept and reframe failures.

It is an indication of a healthy mind if you are able to accept negative aspects of yourself. If you are always crying over the errors that you made in the past, you will never get anywhere.

Always remember that past mistakes and failures cannot be reversed; what is done is done. Accept that mistakes do happen. Understand that every mistake or failure you make is a step towards success. When you recognize mistakes as an opportunity to learn, you minimize fear of failure and boost your confidence.

11. Take risks.

Try doing things that you have never tried before. It is always a challenge to do new things. The mere act of accepting these challenges, whether you become successful or not, adds a tremendous boost in your self-confidence.

Shrinking from challenges prevents us from learning new skills, discourages us from testing our limits, and forces us to live unexciting lives within our comfort zones.

People with high level of self-confidence are not afraid of going out and doing things. They may have limited talent or capability; but going out and doing “it” is no problem for them because they feel confident that they will succeed. They are less afraid of committing mistakes and they utilize more opportunities to succeed.

Self-confident people probably commit more mistakes than those who are not self-confident, but they are most likely to have far more enriching successes because of their confidence in themselves.

12. Act confidently.

Your success at nearly every endeavor you undertake is largely affected by your self-image. People who have confidence in their self-worth seem to be magnets for success and happiness. Think confident and act confident.

13. Attend seminars.

It is good to attend seminars with professional and motivational speakers offering suggestions and guidance on building confidence. During the lecture, you can pick up tips on public speaking by observing the speaker’s body language and the manner he projects himself.

14. Recharge regularly.

Arrange to spend time alone to recharge yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. Take some time off to relax by yourself in a quiet place

15.  Build a network of supportive relationships.

One of the most certain ways to increase confidence is to ensure you have love in your life.  Love and self-confidence increase when you serve other people and when you nurture your relationships with those who help you grow. A person gets a boost of self-confidence from knowing that the Universe/Source/God supports him/her as he/she pursues his/her purpose in life.

These strategies can help you strengthen and build your self-confidence and self esteem in every stage of your life. Self-confidence can help you in all aspects of your work life: job search, interviewing, getting promotions, handling unemployment, and starting a home-based or small business.  Make use of these strategies and see positive changes in yourself.

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