We all experience wavering self-confidence at time. We might have a big task ahead of us and feel uncertain about the outcome, or we may receive some criticism by others that lead us to question our self-worth. When fearful and uncertain situations arise, we need to be mentally prepared and have a built up positive and enduring self-concept that gives us direction, confidence, and resilience in order to persevere and move forward. Gaining self-confidence can come in many different ways. It might be changing how we think, how we act, who we associate with, and what we believe, but regardless of how it’s done confidence is a key to success. Below are some suggestions on how to boost your confidence.
1. Visual the person you want to be
How do you view yourself now? What about in the next 5 years? One of the best ways to boost confidence is to change your perception and image of who you expect to be. Most people underestimate their true potential and put themselves in a hypothetical box that can’t be expanded. It takes true courage to move beyond these personal limitations we give ourselves. One particular technique to start expanding your self-image is to use visualization. Spend 30 minutes every day imagining the person you desire to become. If you want to be a speaker, visualize yourself facilitating seminars. If you want to be a bestselling author visualize yourself signing hundreds of books to fans.
2. Have integrity
Confidence is about feeling good about who you are. If you’re a cheater and a liar will you feel good about yourself? Making sure our conscious is clean and we’re living an ethical life is crucial to having a sense of inner-harmony and peace. A strong moral fabric leads to a strong character, and sets us up to consistently do the right thing, and have the faith that we’ll make the right decisions based on moral principles and virtues.
3. Improve your skills and practice
Being better at some things versus other is just a part of life, but it doesn’t mean we can’t learn, practice, and improve our skills. If there’s an area you lack confidence in, see what skills you can develop and start improving. Its immense hours of practice that separates a professional from a novice. Stick with it, keep practicing, and little by little you will begin pushing past plateaus and grow in your confidence and abilities.
4. Let go of the past and move forward
It’s very difficult to feel positive about who we are when we’re always brooding about our past mistakes and failures. We can’t hold on to negative baggage from the past if we’re to move forward and progress in life. Let go of past mistakes, resentment, and regret, that is holding you back. We all make mistakes, so use these as learning experiences to grow and mature. If you’re going to focus on the past, focus on past achievements. What are you proud of? When did you really impress yourself?
5. Educate yourself and become an expert
Anyone can become an expert in their chosen field with enough dedication to learning and expanding knowledge. Become a student of your field or industry. There is no reason we can’t learn everything we need to know on a topic in this day and age. We have an endless supply of information we can research from the internet, attend lectures, reading books, or taking classes. By expanding your knowledge and understanding of a topic you can learn to trust and recognize yourself as an industry expert.
6. Set small achievable goals
A great way to boost confidence and self-trust is to see success and accomplishments in your life. Set small milestones that you’ll be able to achieve. Little by little, as you accomplish new goals, you’ll feel more hopeful and optimistic about the future. Your confidence will build as you see success in different areas and you’ll realize you’re capable of achieving much more than you previously believed. From here you can start to expand and set bigger and more significant goals.
7. Stay healthy
When I’m sick and under the weather, I’m not at my best mentally and emotionally. This really has a big impact on my confidence in everything I do. Work to maintain your health by getting adequate sleep, exercising, and making sure to focus on a healthy diet. A major part of this is not to consume excessive amounts of alcohol or caffeine, and not getting overwhelmed with stress and anxiety.
8. Act confident
Many people don’t realize how important non-verbal behavior is to the way we feel. If you start to act confident you will feel more confident. Make sure to stand tall, put a smile on your face, dress in a way that you feel good about, and speak and introduce yourself to people with a confident tone of voice.
9. Don’t expect to be perfect
We’ve all known people who are unwilling to be wrong and admit they messed up. This type of obsessive focus on being perfect only leads to crooked thinking and dysfunctional relationships. The only way to become fully human and find self-acceptance is to accept your imperfections. Once you can embrace your flaws, a world of opportunity emerges as you’re willing to try new things and interact more authentically with others.
10. Develop supportive relationships
There are going to be times when people don’t understand the dreams and aspirations you have. Out of their own personal insecurities they’ll promise that you’ll fail and deplore you not to try. They’ll expect the worst and assume that embarrassment will follow. Fortunately they are not you. You have control over your level of self-confidence and your emotional outlook. Move beyond these pessimistic people in your life and find support and encouraging partners that are willing to cheer you on toward your dreams. Confidence is a state of mind. It allows us to have self-worth and believe we are capable and deserving of success. We are all unique people with goals and dreams that can be accomplished if we start to care about ourselves and let ourselves grow and develop. Everyone has an interior voice and feelings that directs them in life. Don’t let your self-imposed limitations prevent you from following this inner voice and reaching your true potential. Photo credit: the half-blood prince