Anyone who tells you that confidence is an innate quality isn’t telling you the truth.
Confidence isn’t a trait that some people have and others don’t.
I am not a naturally confident person.
I used to worry about what people thought of me. I feared being awkward or saying the wrong thing. Many times, I was unsure of myself.
The good news is that I grew out of this.
I did so by building my confidence muscle, being around confident people and taking notes on effective confidence-boosting strategies.
In my previous life, I helped run campaigns for candidates seeking public office. I worked closely with some of the most confident people you can imagine.
I began to notice similarities among the political candidates I worked with. I also came to realize that not all of these people had been confident their entire lives. Sure, a couple had been, but many political candidates are continually building their confidence.
The secret about confidence is out. Anyone can be confident if they shift their mindset and constantly work at it.
You can be confident too.
As your confidence soars, you’ll stand out at work, easily carry on conversations at social events, meet more people and live a richer life.
Here are 6 ways you can boost your confidence to become the person you’ve always wanted to be:
1) Accept yourself for who you are.
The reason you’re not confident in yourself is that you don’t love and accept yourself.
It’s not your fault. Since your early days, you received conditioning from your parents and other adults who put you down and discouraged you.
You listened to negativity in the form of doubt and criticism.
You can’t go back and change the past, but you can avoid becoming a victim of it.
You can work on loving yourself. You can use positive affirmations that confirm all the wonderful things about yourself. You can remove negative people from your life.
You can treat yourself more kindly by finding work that suits you. You can find more inner peace by practicing gratitude and forgiveness daily.
You can feel your feelings and your pain more. You can embrace your vulnerabilities and manage the inner voice that halts your progress.
You can also live a more authentic life.
Live in line with your values and with what’s important to you as a person.
When you’re living your truth and not hiding behind a mask, you feel comfortable with yourself and present your true face to the world.
2) Delete the disempowering stories that you tell yourself.
In your mind, do you replay past mistakes, screw-ups and failures?
Do you unwittingly tell yourself that you are your past? And do you let past events create the belief system you hold today?
Consider past circumstances that you believe indicate you aren’t good enough, smart enough or competent enough.
Do you see how they were isolated situations? You’re not a failure just because you failed one time.
You’re not a reject if you faced rejection one time.
Acknowledge the stories you’ve created about yourself.
Know that the stories you tell about your lack of confidence are simply NOT TRUE.
You created the stories. You took individual situations, linked them together and created powerfully strong beliefs about yourself.
Once you realize it’s a story, you can change it. You can write the story of how, over time, you learned to be confident.
3) Change the script that goes through your mind.
Growing up, did you listen to parents and loved ones who put you down, doubted you and undermined you?
Or to teachers, authority figures and neighbors who thought they were mentoring you when they were actually destroying your self-worth?
People think they’re providing sound advice when they’re actually hurting you and creating an unhelpful script in your mind.
However, you can change this script.
Try a mindfulness practice that catches the various thoughts bouncing around your brain.
Try affirmations and neuro-linguistic programming to reprogram your subconscious mind.
Listen to positive, confidence-building words and statements to help you flip your internal script.
4) Get into a confidence zone.
Did you know you can enter a state of confidence?
Imagine that you’re in a drama class, and your instructor asks you to act like a confident person for a couple of minutes. Could you do it? How would you act? What would your confident behaviors be?
Would you change your body language? Your posture? Your stance? Would you stick out your chest a little more?
You know what confidence looks like.
You’ve met confident people and at different points in your life have been confident yourself. You’ve seen what confidence looks like in your favorite television characters and movie heroes.
Stand up straight. Take up more room around you. Walk with a beat in your step. Before you enter an interview or networking event, practice Amy Cuddy’s tips concerning power poses.
Channel and become the confident person you visualize yourself to be.
5) Take small steps of confidence.
You don’t change from a shy person to Mindy Kaling overnight.
The best way to build your confidence is to challenge yourself and take small steps of confidence.
Talk to someone you normally wouldn’t. Introduce yourself to a stranger at the next office party.
Raise your hand and your voice. Speak up at the meeting.
Attend that social event with a friend.
Take the smallest step you can think of to move toward confidence. One confident action builds upon another.
Chatting with someone new gives you the courage to talk to a small group of people. And speaking to a small group of people gives you the courage to get on a stage and deliver a speech to a larger audience.
6) Develop a healthy relationship with rejection and failure.
Often, we experience one rejection and think that we are permanent failures.
We to talk to one person and don’t have a positive experience.
We try to sell someone on our idea, and that person shoots it down.
A rejection here and a rejection there and before you know it, you’ve formed deep-rooted beliefs about yourself.
You start thinking you’re not worthy enough or good enough.
You believe other people don’t like or accept you.
You let a handful of negative opinions stifle your mind and your life.
No one likes rejection and no one likes to fail, but did you know that rejection is a normal part of life? And the fact that someone says “no” to you or turns down your request has nothing to do with you—it has to do with that person.
The most successful and confident people have taken rejection and brushed it aside. They see rejection simply as a part of life.
Instead of letting rejection paralyze you and undermine your self-worth, know that you win some and you lose some.
Sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you don’t. This is perfectly normal. Confident people are those who face rejection and failure over and over again.
The only difference between you and them is that they don’t let their confidence lapses and failures define them or slow them down. They use rejection and failure to keep growing.
A failure is not a failure if you learn from it. A failure can be a lesson.
Remember, confidence isn’t a trait only television stars or popular people have. It’s not a natural or innate quality that some people receive at birth.
Anyone can become confident if he or she is willing to work on it.
You can become confident by accepting yourself and changing your mind’s script. Take small confidence-boosting steps and work on confidence behaviors to become the confident person you’re capable of being.
*Photo credit epsos.de