I am sure everyone will agree that you cannot achieve much in life without a good deal of self confidence. A state of inner confidence is only achieved through a balanced mixture of high self-esteem, realistic belief in yourself, a good measure of self-respect and an accurate positive self-image.
The way you feel about yourself, how you see yourself and believe others see you, is a key issue in how you live your life. It is the foundation upon which you build your successes and the shaky ground on which your failures occur. By developing your self-confidence and belief in your own innate abilities you will be enable to recognise and take advantage of more of the opportunities that are presented to you but until now have gone unnoticed. You will also have the strength and inner belief that is essential in overcoming the inevitable pitfalls and obstacles that life throws at you. By developing this aspect of your personality you can achieve, what may appear now to be, impossible goals. For each time you put your new found confidence to the test and discover that you are a winner, you will strengthen it immeasurably and move forward in your own personal development a greater speed than you can imagine. Your belief in yourself will grow with each new challenge until you begin to see challenges, not only through the eyes of a person who believes in themselves but also, as someone who knows they can achieve anything – because you begin to see yourself as a person who has the confidence in their abilities to find a way to do it!
When Hannibal told his generals he wanted to cross the Alps, with about 38,000 infantry, 8,000 cavalry, and 37 war elephants, to reach Italy and attack Rome the replies were unanimous, “It can’t be done!”. Hannibal’s reply to this is now the now famous quote, “We will find a way or we will make one!” Such was the confidence he had in his own abilities.
As best you can, stop berating and judging yourself harshly. There are numerous people in the world who will jump at the chance to do that for you. Be gentle with yourself and recognise that your mistakes are merely learning opportunities. Keep in mind that your words have power. They direct your thinking. When you speak in a certain way you begin to formulate ideas and beliefs which are in harmony with the words you are using. These beliefs in turn have a major impact on the action you take and the way you conduct yourself throughout your life. So choose words that uplift you, encourage you and strengthen you and go easy on yourself when you make a mistake. Recognise what you have to learn from it and move on.
Seek out the company of people you want to emulate. Look for self-confident people to mirror. Watch the way the walk and how they talk. Put yourself in positive environments as much as you can. Your environment and the people around you dramatically affect your level of confidence whether you realise it or not. Immerse yourself in people who build you up but that are honest and forthright with you. These are the type of people who will show you where you can improve while also reinforcing that you can do it and that the job you have done thus far is great. They can help you work on your faults while praising you with each step forward you make. Negative people only pull you down and should be avoided. If someone tells you often enough that you can’t do something you will begin to believe them and thus form a negative belief about yourself. Such people are toxic and must be avoided at all costs.
Be a person who is true to their word. Take action when you vow to take action. Follow through on your plans even if it initially looks like there is no way forward. That doesn’t mean being inflexible. Of course there will be times when you need to compromise and alter your goals and plans but always stay true to your vision. I promise you another way will present itself. If you give up you will seriously damage your confidence! A key point to remember is that there is no such thing as failure – you only fail when you give up! If you keep on keeping on, trying different approaches and staying steadfast to your ideal, you will eventually succeed. The knock-on affect is that your confidence in yourself will grow and you will also have the added knowledge of what not to do. Failure is the greatest teacher but only if you learn from it and use it!
Feel the fear and do it anyway! If you stand up and face that thing that you are most afraid of and do it anyway very often the fear disappears. If it doesn’t the first it will the second, third or fourth. Doing this will prove to your subconscious mind that nothing bad did occur from taking that action. For example you will find that talking to that person didn’t make you stop breathing or giving a lecture didn’t make you die, or walking across the bridge wasn’t life-threatening etc.!
Keep a diary of all your achievements not matter how small and don‘t let others ridicule you for it. I know of a person who was terrified of balloons. Now to you or me this sounds ridiculous but to him it was as frightening as facing certain death. You know what your fear is! Many times in life fail to acknowledge the progress we are making simply because ‘we can’t see the forest for the trees’. We get caught up in the big picture and don’t see the smaller gains that are actually getting us closer to our goal. Think of a time when you met someone you hadn’t seen in years. Do you remember noticing how much they had changed? You could see it yet to their family, close friends and people who seen them everyday the changes would have been almost imperceptible! Take the time to write down every little gain you make. Soon you will be able to read back over it and really see just how far you have come. Write down the fears you faced, how you faced them and obstacles you overcame. Explain how you felt before and how you felt after. This will help keep you motivated in times of internal struggle and show you just how far you have come in your journey to more self confidence.
Finally when you go to bed at night let your mind think of all the achievements you had during the day and week and month. No matter how small these achievements may seem give yourself credit for all of them. Upon waking in the morning visualize yourself for 5 or 10 minutes beaming with joy and confidence as the day unfolds and you will literally set yourself up for a successful day and incredible life!