“When someone tells me no, it doesn’t mean I can’t do it. It simply means I can’t do it with them.” ― Karen E. Quinones Miller
Are you as confident as you’d like to be? Most of us would answer ‘no’ to this question — even those of us who feel pretty sure of ourselves. After all, who wouldn’t want to feel a little more self-assured? A high level of confidence is needed for us to live up to our potential; however, most of us fall short. When it comes to confidence, two important facts to keep in mind are: 1) it’s not something most of us are born with but something we develop and 2) it’s a skill we can drastically improve upon with a little effort.
There are 2 types of confidence, inner and outer. Psychotherapist and expert Dr. Gael Lindenfield points out that “inner confidence gives us self-belief, self-esteem and a positive approach to life, while outer confidence enables us to use our inner confidence to become successful in the outside world.” When we’re outwardly confident, we recognize we have the social and emotional skills to communicate well, to be assertive and to maintain healthy relationships. When we have both inner and outer confidence we are what’s known as super confident, an upgraded version of ourselves.
Many of us have 2 lives: the life we actually live and the life we would like to live. Anxiety and self-doubt are two major culprits that prevent us from living our dream lives because they paralyze us from developing courage; so instead of taking even baby steps toward what we want, we immediately settle for less. By making some small but conscious changes, we can grow our confidence and profoundly increase our ability to be happy and successful. Take your confidence to the next level with these quick tips.
6 Steps To Upgrade Your Confidence:
1/ Stop comparing yourself to others. Recognize your strengths and your uniqueness. Authenticity is essential to being the best you you can be. Look inward at what you have to offer as an individual and really acknowledge this. Taking this a step further, trust that where you are in life is where you are supposed to be right now — even if you’re going through a difficult time — and that brighter days lie ahead. Embrace your journey and know that it’s not meant to be compared with those of others.
2/ Remember that your thoughts are just thoughts. Having negative thoughts just makes you human; however, these thoughts are only as important as we allow them to be. Most of us spend too much focusing on our fears and worries and not nearly enough time focusing on our goals and dreams. As author and Fortune 500 executive Becky Blalock reminds us, ‘thoughts are just thoughts’. Acknowledging that having negative thoughts is just part of how our brains work helps us put them into perspective and lessen their importance.
“Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to success.”
― Charles F. Glassman
3/ Practice Gratitude Every Day. Most of us are only deeply aware of our blessings when we stop to really think about it — or when something is taken away from us that wakes us up to the realization that we’ve been so lucky all along. Make a conscious habit of feeling and expressing gratitude on a daily basis and you’ll naturally shift your whole mind and heart-set in a positive direction. If structure is helpful in making this a regular habit for you, check out our 5-10 minute meditation tips.
4/ Keep Learning. As a general rule, increasing our knowledge in any area makes us feel better about ourselves. The more skills you develop the more confident you’ll become, especially when your new skills relate to your life. However, challenging yourself and learning anything new has been proven to increase self-confidence. Stay open to new possibilities and listen to others with an open heart and mind.
5/ Do You. Take #1 a step further and truly own and embrace who you are. Take this simple hypothetical example: there’s a shirt you have and love that everyone else dislikes; you continue to wear it and feel confident in it because you personally love it and it just feels like ‘you’. Meanwhile, you have another shirt that everyone loves except for you; you’ll never feel confident or comfortable wearing this shirt because you’d only be wearing it to please others and not yourself. Whether it’s as simple as selecting a piece of clothing or pursuing a personal interest or career, it’s important you hold on to what you genuinely value and appreciate regardless of what others think. Pleasing your subconscious self is essential to feeling confident.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” – Brené Brown
6/ Leave Your Comfort Zone (Regularly). The ‘comfort zone’ is one of the greatest enemies of human potential. And as humans, it is frighteningly easy and natural for us to stay in this safe place without challenging ourselves. The issue here is that life passes by while we stay in a ‘rut’. To increase your confidence, you need to challenge yourself and intentionally put yourself in awkward situations that force you to adapt and grow. For instance: take that job that you think you can do but perhaps you feel a bit under-qualified to accept. Don’t sell yourself short. You’ll be amazed how much you can do and how much confidence you’ll gain by taking on a little more than you’re 100% sure you can handle.
* Song For This Moment: “Nobody’s Perfect”, acoustic version by Jessie J.
“If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that. I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” ― John Lennon
Sources & Related Links:
“10 Ways To Become a More Confident Person”, article in Entrepreneur.com: http://goo.gl/dhpPiu
“5 Ways To Become Super Confident Around Anyone”, article: http://goo.gl/U8Ck8c
“13 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence”, article in Inc.: http://goo.gl/SZYyPR
“Seven Secrets For Learning Unstoppable Confidence”, article in Inc.: http://goo.gl/bm0Jwr
“Building the Courage To Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone”, article: http://goo.gl/dlcBkO