“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller
Confidence is not the same thing as arrogance. We all know at least one of those annoying people who love to show off, and compare themselves to everyone else. Many times this kind of behavior actually points to underlying feelings of insecurity, or a search for significance.
On the other hand, we are all inspired by confident people. They carry with them an air of calm reassurance, a kind of aura that makes us feel that anything is possible, and no challenge is too great. Simply being around them makes us feel better about ourselves. Why is that?
You could read a hundred books on the subject, and know everything there is to know about the psychology and theory of confidence, and still be timid, shy and fearful. In other words, Confidence is not an academic achievement. It comes from deep within, through practice, and real life experience. When you know who you are, you know what to do!
A healthy self-esteem, combined with a confident, positive attitude, is one of the best investments in your life and your future.
Research has shown that people pay more attention to confident advice than to facts. Employers prefer confident candidates over nervous ones, even if their credentials are less impressive, and we all know the confident guy is the one who gets the girl.
So how does one become more confident?
Ways to improve your confidence levels
Be Authentic. Build your confidence on solid foundations by being congruent. Start with your natural strengths, and remain true to yourself. If you’re dishonest with yourself about your weaknesses, others will pick up on it.
Take action. Sitting around thinking about things is not the way to go. Get out into the real world and work on your skills, educate yourself, follow a method, and do something. Don’t be afraid to fail. Fail fast, fail forward, fail often, and then pivot!
Learn to challenge that nagging inner voice. Part of learning the art of confidence is mastering your own mental habits. Challenge your negative inner dialogue, and don’t believe half of what you tell yourself. Don’t let the automatic negative thoughts (ANTS) live rent free in your head.
Find a friend (or a peak performance coach) to inspire you. Bring your fears out into the light, and start overcoming them. Talk to someone who inspires confidence in you, or hire a peak performance coach who knows the subject.
Dress well. Improving your image might seem superficial, but the truth is that a good suit changes the way you feel about yourself, and the way others treat you.
Eat well, and get into shape. There is nothing more effective in combatting low self-esteem than getting on the treadmill and working up a sweat. Besides releasing natural endorphins, you gain self-respect, and feel more capable of dealing with problems. Make sure your diet is balanced.
Cultivate a positive attitude. The sense that life is worth living, and that you’re good enough to get through it will do wonders for your self-assurance.
Make Eye Contact. Use the power of your eyes to convince others of your sincerity and ability. Shifty eyes or staring off into the distance sends the wrong message.
Study your posture. Physiology is the key to an empowering state of mind. Body language tells people more about you than your words do. Use a full-length mirror to study the way you stand, walk and sit. Straighten the back, pull the shoulders back, and project confidence.
Compliment and help others. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, a good way to feel better about yourself is to change your focus to thinking about ways to help others instead. Simple compliments go a long way. You may have heard that the secret to living is giving.
Gratitude. Express thanks to all who have contributed to your life and even to those who may have harmed you. The lesson in life comes from challenges and trials produce patience; what a gift! Be grateful for those things, which you are hopeful for, can’t see yet, but you are calling them into existence. What you prepare for you will receive!
I sincerely hope that these thoughts will benefit you as they have helped me in my own life. Remember though, studying the facts will only take you part of the way to the solution. It will be up to you as an individual to use this knowledge to your advantage. Sometimes we all need a nudge in the right direction, and knowing when to ask for help is a sign of strength, rather than weakness. Remember, knowledge is not power, only experienced knowledge is the fuel of life!
Feel free to browse the resources available on this site, and don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.