To all my readers,
Today I’m going to discuss a subject I love talking about. Why? Throughout my coaching experience I have noticed this is usually the commonality skill that is lacking in aspiring successful people. Have you guessed it yet? I’ll give you a little tip, answer the following questions:
Have you ever been afraid to ask for that raise you very much deserve and have worked hard for?
Have you ever wanted to speak up about something important but bit your tongue instead because of lack of self confidence?
Have you ever seen someone you fancied but didn’t ask her/him out for a date?
Got it now? I am sure you have, yes it is CONFIDENCE!
“Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.” ~ Brian Tracy
As you will already know the majority of successful people have incredible levels of confidence. They’ve accomplished great amounts of success and happiness in their lives and seem to be unstoppable in everything they do.
But, what about you?
I am sure you will agree that everybody could do with a bit more confidence in one or more aspects of their lives, whether it’s at school, at work, in a relationship or with meeting new people. If you want complete and well-rounded success, you have to have boatloads of confidence.
What does it mean to be confident?
To start with, we need to understand what we mean by confidence as it will allow us to verify whether we are confident people. The dictionary.com defines it as “beliefs in oneself and one’s power and abilities”…
Confidence is the difference between feeling unstoppable and scared out of our comfort zone.
Ok it is clear there are many benefits, how exactly can we become more confident?
Many of the factors that affect confidence are actually beyond our control. What I have covered in this article are some of the key methods that we can consciously employ to build our confidence. In doing this we can get the mental edge we need to reach our full potential.
“Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.” ~ Stan Smith
Even if we’re reasonably assured most of the time, it is beneficial to do a little mental strengthening check up every now and then. It feels good to be confident, which in turn perpetuates further confidence, impresses people and brings you success.
How can we learn to be more confident?
You may be familiar with what confident friends may say to us: ‘Well, just be confident, man!’. However, to a person that doesn’t feel that confident, this piece of advice may not be very helpful at all. You know what I am talking about, don’t you?
Fortunately there are some tried and tested methods, some of which I will explore upon in this article.
I hold the subject of confidence particularly close to my heart as it is something I have always struggled with. People that may know me will find this statement very bizarre as I look like a very confident person, the reality is that I have learned to manage my feelings very well. The following methods have certainly worked for me so here you go!
1. Get to know who we are and what we want out of life.
“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.” ~ Napoleon Hill
“Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.” ~ Douglas Bader
I think by now, you are familiar with this concept from my other articles. I have always stressed the importance of knowing who you are and what you really want out of our life as it will boost your confidence level. If you have not done so yet, please complete your SWOT analysis and concentrate your efforts on your strengths to maximise your talents.
When you know more about whom we are and what we want out of life, other people will see us as a confident person. This in turn will develop greater confidence in ourselves and what we can achieve.
What other people say or think will have less of an impact than it used to because we know who we are better than they do. Since we have taken time to really get to know and stretch ourselves, we will trust our own opinion and ability more than anything outside of us. We will become stable and centred in ourselves only! This will of course take time. It may be something that never really ends. So we might as well get started now.
2. Face your fears
“The way to develop confidence is to do the thing you fear.” ~ William Jennings Bryan
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Frankly speaking, if we don’t face our fears we won’t experience any boost in our level of confidence. Sorry guys, there is no way around it.
Are there ways that we can face our fear without too much shaking of our knees?
Guess? Yes, there are. It is all about our mindset, the way that we think, our thought process! If we change this, we can face fears in a more positive way. For example, when we are stuck in fear we are in a closed up mindset. We tend to create division in our world and mind. We create barriers between us and other things such as people. When we shift to being curious our perceptions go SWOOSH! and the world just opens up. Curiosity is filled with anticipation and enthusiasm. It opens us up. When we are open and enthusiastic then we have more fun things to think about than focusing on our fears.
How do we become more curious?
One way is to remember how life has become more fun in the past thanks to our curiosity and to remember all the cool things it helped us to discover and experience.
Another helpful way to face fear is to realise that fear is often based on unsupportive interpretation. As humans we like to look for patterns. The problem is that we often find negative and not so helpful patterns in our lives based on just one or two experiences. When we get too involved with these thoughts we’ll believe anything they tell us. A more supportive practise may be to not take our thoughts too seriously. A lot of the time they and our memory can very much be inaccurate.
What’s really funny about this emotion is that after having done whatever we fear a few to a dozen times we usually think: “Is that it?” We almost feel disappointed of how anticlimactic it has become. We may even get a bit angry with ourselves and wonder why we avoided doing it for so long.
Face some of your fears. Fail over and over and understand that it isn’t really that big of a deal. Grow stronger through such experiences and also become more internally relaxed.
Are you ready to “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”? ~ Susan Jeffers
Now that you have read this you know how you can become an unstoppable force. Furthermore you also have two very powerful methods of improving your confidence levels. Please take the time to go over these techniques and look at where you can apply them in your life. I am certain you will see noticeable benefits in the weeks to come. In next week’s article I will be revealing an additional set of methods that will add further clout to your self-development journey.
One last message I would like to end on is that as much as we want to believe it the world doesn’t revolve around us. No one really cares what we are doing, so whether we succeed or fail we are probably the only person to know. So what if you fell off your bike 10 years ago right? The point is you now have the confidence to ride every day, if you so desired. Think of this example when facing challenges in your life, who cares if we fail now just keep going till it works.
To building your confidence,