“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”
Before we get started on our list, let’s be sure that we are on the same page. Confidence is not the same as arrogance! They are two totally different things. If you go through life thinking that they mean the same thing, then you are very likely to be an unhappy person with very few real friends. Arrogance is NOT a “quality” that we wish to nurture, and it won’t help you reach your goals any faster. This is the first of a two-part series.
A lack of confidence is what stops many people from getting and maintaining a tight focused on what they really want to achieve in life. That little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you that you can’t do something can be your their biggest UN-motivator. So, how to we build confidence and improve our self-esteem?”
1. Love Yourself. This will take a bit of practice and may feel strange in the beginning, but try it anyway. When you wake up, give yourself a great big hug. Do the same when it’s time for sleep. You have heard It said a million times, “How can you expect others to love you if you don’t really love yourself?” It’s true. Practice the morning and evening hugs for 2 weeks, maybe 3 weeks if you’re the stubborn type, and see how well it works.
2. Look in the mirror. Every time you pass by a mirror, look into it and flash your biggest, brightest and best smile at yourself. Again, this will feel strange at first few times, but eventually it will make you feel absolutely brilliant about yourself. Tell yourself “Looking good!” or “Wow, I love me!” or similar phrases often enough that you actually start believing it.
3. Do things that make you feel good. This can be anything from listening to music, trekking in the Andes, doing some volunteer work or even just taking a shower. Anything that gives you a positive feeling about yourself works for this one.
4. Listen to YOU. Face it. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself, no matter how many people try to tell you differently. So if your body, mind or gut are telling you something, then take notice of it, and don’t worry about what other people may have to say about it
5. Talk to YOU. In times of stress,, give yourself a time-out or a break. Wander into your own mind and have a conversation with yourself about anything at all. Tell yourself how lucky you are to be you, and give yourself credit for all of the good and positive thing you can attribute to yourself.
6. Remove negatives. If something feels like it’s dragging you down, work to get rid of it. If it’s clutter, tidy up. If it’s a friend full of negativity, explain as nicely as you can that you don’t really feel up to talking right now. If it’s your kids acting up, leave the room for a while and so on.
7. Surround yourself with positives. Surround yourself with things that bring out good feelings in you. Examples could be things such as happy, upbeat friends, a nice new picture, an old comfy blanket, candles, pictures of your family, your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, etc.
8. Rumors Die. Did you hear something about somebody who said something about somebody else? Drop it! Rumors are nasty, horrible things that will only bring you down. The best way to kill a rumor? Ignore it! There is an old adage that says, “those who gossip with you, will gossip about you.” Step away from the negative energy. Rumors die out eventually. Don’t let your integrity and credibility die with them.
9. Total Honesty. Be totally honest with yourself at all times. If there’s something you don’t like, admit it. If there’s something you don’t want to do “right now” and it isn’t necessary for health and safety reasons then just don’t do it until you feel like it.
The same thing applies to the positive aspects of your life. If there’s something you want to do, and it’s not hurting anyone else, then go ahead and do it. If you start feeling great about yourself for no apparent reason admit it and enjoy the feeling.
10. Responsibility. Take full ownership and responsibility for all of your own actions. Don’t shove the blame for anything over onto someone or something else. You make choices all day long. You can move toward or away from your goals with the choices you consciously make. Once you begin to take full responsibility for those choices that you have made, you learn to choose better for yourself.
Once you start to choose better, you feel better and things start falling into place. But remember that we are talking about you and your responsibilities. Don’t assume or take on someone else’s responsibilities just because you feel “you have to”.
11. Pretend. If you feel unsafe, unsure or nervous then go inside yourself and pretend you’re a hot-shot lawyer, actor, actress, singer or whatever you need to be.
Make believe you’re presenting yourself as that person would until you feel better. Trust me, you WILL feel better, and eventually have no need to be anything but yourself.
12. Keep Trying. If you are trying to do something but don’t get it right first time around, then try again, and again, and again, constantly learning from your mistakes and mis-steps until you get it right. When you finally DO get it right, you’ll feel wonderful about it.
Have a restful and productive weekend. More to come…