Building up the Confidence
You have come to the most crucial part of this book. After understanding yourself, knowing what you need to change and some general ways that you can manage them, it is time to put what you know into practice. Pay special attention to the following sections as they discuss ways that you can easily build up the confidence you want. They will help you become more assertive, allow you to accept changes easily and encourage you to have a more optimistic perspective of life.
The following lists the techniques you should acquire when building up your self-esteem:
- Using Positive Talk
- Making Time for Yourself
- Developing a Sense of Self-Worth
- Accepting Change
- Maximizing Your Potential
- Improving Relationships
- Having Good Role Models
- Being Physically and Mentally Fit
1. Using Positive Talk
What is positive talk? It refers to self-talk that involves giving yourself optimistic and encouraging words that make you feel good about yourself.
The words we use everyday greatly affect our perspective on life. We have to be careful of the words we use as they can affect us both positively and negatively. They directly affect our moods, feelings and level of confidence. Used well, they can motivate us to work harder, but lower our morale when used badly.
To boost your level of confidence, always think and give yourself positive talk. Instead of using phrases like:
- - I will never be able to…
- - I do not want to…
- - I cannot…
- - I will try…
Use positive phrases that will motivate and push you instead:
- - I will be able to…
- - I want to…
- - I can…
- - I will…
- All of which requires work in other areas to compensate for not being able to achieve something. Such self-talk will provide positive reinforcement to you, something very valuable in times of stress and low morale. Sending positive messages to yourself will improve your mood and boost your confidence. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder when you have done something good and constantly remind yourself how capable you are. Do not deny yourself when you have done something well, instead, say to yourself “I did a real good job there! I am proud of myself.” Review your strengths and accomplishments and push yourself to go further. Expect the best in yourself!
Get rid of your inner critic and stop nagging yourself. Forget past experiences that have been haunting you to believe that you are of a particular nature. For example, how your Father criticized you in the past would not still apply to when you have matured. Stop yourself from saying negative things and phrase them in a more positive way instead. Also, empower yourself by using more positive words that allow you to achieve previously impossible goals.
Work for positive statements that remind you of our abilities, motivate you and reaffirm your qualities. This would help to improve your confidence as you feel good about yourself. Accept compliments that people offer you by thanking them. Avoid feeling uncomfortable when people praise you for something well done because you deserve it! This is common in many cases as compliments run counter to the poor self-talk and pessimistic view one has about him or herself. The person receiving them would therefore resist them and insist that they cannot be true. This causes the person to constantly develop a sense of low self worth for himself as nothing will then seem good enough. Avoid developing such traits and lose them if you have a tendency to do so. Embrace the compliments and feel good as your efforts have indeed paid off.
As such, it is important that you accept positive talk and believe in yourself. Be careful of the words you use and replace them into more encouraging ones that will help transform you into a more confident person. You must remember to use phrases and terms that recognizes your abilities and gives you a good sense of self worth.
2. Making Time for Yourself
The older you get the more responsibilities you will have, and the more you will feel a need to accomplish them all. But, you must understand that there will hardly be an end to all your work, so you must be able to find a balance between enjoying your life and spending the rest of it working and meeting demands.
The term “People Pleaser” has been discussed above to describe people who constantly put others before them and they try to satisfy everyone’s needs except their own. Failing to do so cause them to feel disappointed which leads to a fall in the level of their confidence.
However, in trying to balance your time and energy to satisfy people’s wants, you have to meet your own needs first. Although you have your obligations to meet and responsibilities to fulfill, you should redistribute your time so that you have time to rest, even if it is just for a couple of minutes.
If you are a parent, it is understandable that your children will take up most of your time every day as you give them full attention and all the love you can afford. Nonetheless, it is important that you are still able to lead a healthy personal life. If possible, seek help from your partner, relatives or friends to help care for your children so that you can take a breather. Communicate with others that you need time or are unable to manage your children. Being honest to yourself and others is the key to making time for yourself, allowing you to feel better and happier. This would be in no way a form of weakness, but strength in being able to be in control. Also, it would be good to share the burden with someone who is available. This means reducing your individual responsibilities as demands of others can be met in another way.
Other than your immediate family, your friends, neighbors and colleagues may also demand a lot from you. In this case, you have to learn to fairly manage and accommodate all of them. Begin by prioritizing your needs against their demands, and assess how much time and effort they are worth, if any at all. Since time is limited, you have to be selfish in some cases and see which requests are worth accomplishing and which can be ignored. Make sure that you do not let your friends or colleagues take advantage of you by weighing the pros and cons of helping them with their requests. For instance, some people, unfortunately, are only “takers” and never “givers”. They demand a lot from you but never seem to give as much back. This would be unfair to you as you are not able to receive the same kind of effort and treatment from others. In addition, energy expended in fulfilling their requests leaves you with little time for other obligations and less time for yourself. Identify these cases and take steps to reduce the occurrence of such events in the future. Politely turn down their requests if you are not able to meet their demands and let them know that you have other obligations that are just as important. Do not let them crawl all over you and never let failures to accomplish your obligations undermine your confidence. Cut down the amount of time spent on others and leave more for yourself instead!
Also, avoid letting external events control your life and your level of confidence, as how much you can deliver to others does not make you who you are. Re-arrange your life so that your confidence is based on your inner sense of self worth instead. Give yourself time, space and think of “ME” more, also do not forget to be generous!
3. Developing a Sense of Self-Worth
Believe that you are good enough and be generous when you rate yourself. Hold yourself in high regard and you will naturally display an external look of confidence as well.
Your family greatly affects the way you judge and value yourself. Having been loved by them gives you the feeling of being wanted and important. Yet, being unable to feel so makes you feel otherwise. The same applies
to your external environment- your neighborhood and workplace etc. As such, it is important for you to judge what is worth determining your true character. Do not let past experiences hold you back from doing what you want and let it instead be a lesson for you to learn mistakes from. Overcoming them would indicate that you have grown and become better than before. Thus, being able to develop a high level of self-worth enables you to feel good on the inside, and it directly affects how you are on the outside. This is critical in helping you develop an overall high level of confidence.
4. Accepting Change
Everything in life changes constantly. Some changes come about unexpectedly and some are foreseeable. The way we react to these changes is affected by the level of self worth we have. You have to feel confident and be open to change in order to increase your level of confidence. Do not fear but welcome it instead as it may bring about better opportunities for you in the future. Also, work to cope with it rather than avoid it completely as these are your experiences.
They may take the form of having an additional member in your family or a new boss at work. Both of them pose new challenges that you have to face and manage. The trick would then be dealing with them up front whereby you accept and take control of the situation. For example, you need to re-organize your priorities to give yourself more time for a baby and communicate with your partner because knowing that someone is there for you, gives you support and encouragement to get through the new turning point of your life. Similarly, take control of the work issues that go on in the workplace. Be matured and respectful when facing issues that are tricky. Being able to cope with this change is an indication of how confident you are with yourself.
You need to have a positive mindset and believe that your change will be one that gives you the opportunity to improve. Additionally, be aware of your surroundings and aim to change for the better as doing so enables you to feel good and more certain about yourself. This thus gradually builds up your self-esteem and faith. Lastly, take change as an opportunity to improve your abilities and seek opinions of others to see how you can better cope with the changes and ways in which you can initiate new ones that suit you. Remember never to fear it but work towards responding well to it as it is an opportunity for you to gain greater faith in yourself and your abilities!
5. Maximizing Your Potential
Think of each day as an opportunity to outdo yourself. Always be eager to learn new things and gain new experiences as it would enhance your abilities as well as make you more aware of things. Taking up new challenges gives you a chance to grow and top your personal records. Thus, you need to push yourself and maximize your potential to accomplish tasks you never knew you could. By keeping this optimistic view, you will be able to become more certain of yourself- your abilities and self worth, thereby boosting your level of confidence.
In order to be successful, you need to be able to stretch yourself. So, you need to plan and organize how you can do that:
- Ask yourself: How can I maximize my potential? What are my abilities? What are the approaches I can take that will help in developing my abilities? What do I want to achieve at the end of it all?
- Gather feedback from those around you. Ask them what you should do to improve yourself and focus on those areas. Discover more areas you could work on and how you should do that.
- Constantly review your own progress to ensure that you are making the best use of your time and effort.
Remember, maximizing your potential involves you pushing limits and doing better than your personal best, so, do not be afraid to make new changes and take up that challenge now!
The most common thing that limits our potential is the psychological barrier that we have inside us. Even if our physical selves permit us to do things that we know we should, what stops us are our minds. That said, it is clear that we need to stretch ourselves and do things that are beyond what we are comfortable with. Understanding that you need to expand your comfort zone is fundamental to you maximizing your potential. This is also because living a sheltered and protected life would not give you much perspective to the ever changing demands present in this world today.
For example, if you have a fear of speaking in front of a large crowd, invest time and energy to overcome it by practicing with a group of friends, participating in a Toastmasters Club or simply rehearsing every night in a front of a mirror. Getting more and more practice gives you confidence in your abilities, so it is up to you to put in that effort. In other words, you need to be able to recognize and face your fears or events that prevent you from being the confident self you want. Overcoming the psychological barrier inside of you and working outside your comfort zone allows you to feel more assertive of yourself. It is also evident that being able to overcome one barrier gives you more time to manage others. So, gradual steps taken will greatly enhance your lifestyle as you become more in control of your life.
You also need to be able to feel good about yourself in order to gain that confidence. Understanding your purpose in life and believing in your abilities drives you to success. Thus, do not limit yourself and constantly re-evaluate how the current situation can be done better and faster. So, you need to overcome that barrier of yours and exercise your mind immediately.
6. Improving Relationships
You need to keep all your relationships healthy and balanced, as this will affect your view in life and your level of confidence. Constantly working and reviewing them will help them flourish in the future. This refers to those between family members, friends or even colleagues who play a part in your life. As such, you need to work on your roles and evaluate how they can be improved.
Relationships with your family greatly affect the way you see and manage your life. The way you have been nurtured suggests how you value yourself and your relationships. Thus, the role you play in the family needs to be re-assessed constantly as time passes, since your priorities and mindset also changes. List out what you want the end to be and ways in which both parties can cooperate. Avoid blaming anyone for things that go bad and instead decide how it can be improved thereon. Also, your partner plays an integral part of your life if you have children. So you need to be honest and communicate what you feel the other party should be like or do. This is so as keeping things to yourself will only compound your unhappiness instead of resolving them. As such, it is crucial that you share and lighten the burden on your shoulders so that you will have more time for yourself and feel better about the relationships you have.
There are also many others outside whom you form relationships with- your friends, neighbors and colleagues etc, all of which demand time and effort to maintain and flourish. As such, you need to control and manage your life better by offering more time to those worth the investment and less time to those who are not. Never let anyone take advantage of you and deny the opportunity to spend time with others as a result. You need to take control by prioritizing and politely rejecting them when you are not able to meet their expectations. Consequently, you will find less strain in the existing relationship as both parties respect each other’s needs. Also, this frees up more time for you to spend with others now. Commit to memory that talking is a means of communication and conflict resolution, so you should always use this tool effectively to help your relationship progress.
So now when your demanding neighbor across the road request a favor from you the hundredth time, you need to stay in control. Assess your
ability to fulfill his or her needs, whether or not it will put a strain on your existing workload and how it will affect your relationships in the future. Ask yourself: Is this worth it? Will this make me more stressed than I already am? Will this be a strain on my other priorities?
Thus, you have to be aware of yourself and how you can improve your relationships by communicating and making time for yourself and others. Work on them and never deny problems that exist because it is crucial that you identify them and find solutions. By having good relationships, you will feel better about yourself and develop a sense of certainty in the things you do as are in greater control of your life.
7. Having Good Role Models
Who are your role models? Are they really the type of people you want to see yourself become? Unknown to many, all if not most of us have acquired a set of role models whom we try to emulate subconsciously. Be it supermodels on the cover of a magazine or a tennis champion winning the title, we all lead our lives based on how those that we model after do. In some cases it is good but for others it may be bad.
Many times in our lives we turn to others for guidance and direction, especially when we are lost. These figures can come from the past and present: Family, friends, colleagues, celebrities and world leaders etc. As a result, you need to be able to identify which are the good ones that deserve to be emulated and have qualities that are applicable to your goals in the end.
Do not pick role models simply because they are popular, rich or famous. Instead, choose those that have qualities that are good and suitable in assisting you towards your goals- people who have lifestyles that are worth picking up, a set of beliefs you can identify with and characteristics that are worthy of respect. Most importantly, someone whom you are comfortable with.
Some women, for instance, adore supermodels they see strutting along the runway as they have figures that are amazing. This causes them to feel bad about themselves as they take those models as the standard that one should reach. However, in reality, not all can achieve that due to each person’s bodily ability, so those women constantly blame themselves for their failure. Obviously, it is very important to identify a role model in a realistic manner that will motivate you to go forward, rather than lower your self esteem. Find one that is a good representative of the kind of life you want to lead instead.
Therefore, you need to find good role models that adopt beliefs, values and a way of life that you are comfortable with and useful in developing your self worth. Subconsciously, they influence the way we respond to others and how we think about ourselves. As such, it is important to be able to find a guide that we can look up to in times of need, since being able to do so give us a sense of support and encouragement to do the same.
8. Being Physically Fit
Many of us neglect our physical health when we are working and do not realize how it affects our overall well being and confidence. Ask yourself: Do you wake up every morning feeling energetic and all ready to take on the challenges that await you? Or do you feel lethargic and sick of having to each day the way it is? If the former best describes you, then you have to give yourself a pat on the shoulder for doing a great job in maintaining a good health. However, if you fall into the latter category, it is time for you to take some action now! Get your blood pumping and feel the goodness within you!
Do exercises regularly to keep in shape and maintain a clear mind. You could participate in sports to keep yourself active or even conduct sessions of cardio exercises in your own living room. Also remember to include mental exercises to keep your mind alert and fresh. If you find sports boring and a waste of time, you should try getting friends together to have weekly sessions of yoga for example. This way, you will be able to have fun while keeping yourself in good shape. This means that you do not necessarily need to engage in extremely vigorous sports to stay fit, and in doing so, you will be able to enjoy a good body and feel confident about yourself. Also, try to think of exercise as a way to release stress and an opportunity to control your body.
We commonly hear the phrase, “You are what you eat”, in other words, the type of diet you have affects your physical well being. It is essential that you examine your diet to ensure that you do not eat anything excessively or get too little of what is required. Also, consult a nutritionist to get better advice on your exact personal intake requirements so that you will be in full control of your body.
Some general tips include:
- - Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day
- - Use less oil in your food
- - Choose more greens
- - Pick healthier substitutes in your cooking
- - Eat in moderation- avoid excessive intake of all foods
Eating healthy is a natural and safe way of staying in the pink of health, so you should take measures to ensure that your daily consumptions are what you really need.
There is a natural connection between your mind and body. As such, if you are able to feel good about your body, you will naturally feel good about your entire self. Therefore, you need to be able to believe in your health and push yourself to develop a fitter body. Having a physically fit body will also lead you to feel confident on the inside as well.
This post discusses some useful techniques you can learn to build up the confidence in you. So, by practicing them everyday, you will be able to increase your inner and external confidence. On a lighter note, do explore other methods or approaches to increase your confidence if the above suggestions do not work for you. Remember, YOU are in full control of your mind and soul. So, if you want to peak and achieve a high level of confidence, you need to invest all the effort and energy you can afford to get what you want.
The Skill of Self Confidence (Video)
To finish off this post I’d like you to watch this amazing TEDx talk by Dr. Ivan Joseph and remember that confidence is something learned and earned.
So, having read this post in its entirety, you should know by now that in order for one to build confidence, you must first understand yourself. You must be aware of what you lack before you can improve on the aspects of your personality that are hindering you from becoming confident.
The one important factor that should be at the forefront of your mind in all endeavors is that only YOU can determine your self-worth. If you see yourself in a negative light then you will never achieve the kind of confidence you need to get ahead in life. No one else has the right to judge your worth.
This post has shared with you what confidence is all about, the ways you can boost the level of self-esteem inside of you, and what you can do to become more confident. Remember that building confidence from the ground up requires time and effort put in by YOU. So stop hesitating and start taking steps to transform your life today!