Self-Confidence (27)

A college study asked random people one particular question: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? The answers are what you would expect: 7644904496?profile=RESIZE_400x

  • “I want to lose weight.”
  • “I wish I knew my purpose in life.”
  • “I wish I had better friends.”
  • “I want to get ahead at work.”
  • “I wish I wouldn’t put things off.”

What you might not expect is a single unifying factor behind every one of these things. What these people actually wish for is confidence. Knowing who you are and what you want out of life and finding the determination to do these things all boil down to feeling good about who you are as a person first and foremost. Every change you want to make is wrapped up in a more confident you. How do we know this? Simple. We look at what happens when self-confidence is gone. 

Without self-confidence, you stall out. You struggle to accomplish things, or even to get through the day. You might set goals, but you don’t realize them. In extreme cases, you become invisible, unnoticed at work when it comes time for promotion, or seen only lurking in dark corners at social functions. What’s worse, is 9 times out of 10, we’ve done it to ourselves. We’re killing our self-confidence every day by the very choices we make. 

What are some ways you might be taking down your confidence levels? 

You Surround Yourself with Negativity

Hanging around people who put down either you or your dreams is a big mistake. You can’t help but lose confidence when you’re always being told you’re wrong.

You Apologize More than You Need To

It’s one thing to say you’re sorry when you need to. It’s another entirely to take on everything as your fault. The minute you do that, you’re undermining yourself and your self-confidence by assuming you’re always in the wrong. 

You Talk Down to Yourself

Self-talk is a powerful thing. We lose confidence every time we say something negative about ourselves. 

You Become Omniscient

When you start thinking you know what others are thinking about you (usually negative), you’re assuming that you’re not worth knowing or interacting with. Frequently, this is coupled with the idea that you’re making a fool of yourself, or that your ideas have no merit. It’s no wonder your confidence has taken a hit. 

You Give In

It’s normal to be afraid sometimes. Living in fear though wipes out confidence entirely. You start thinking you’re not capable of handling situations or even taking care of yourself.

You’re Too Agreeable

Saying ‘yes’ to everything means you don’t value your time. This is one of those more subtle ways you tear down your confidence without even realizing it. 

You Hate to Fail Ever

To some people, there’s nothing worse than failure. With this mindset, you see only the disaster when things go wrong and probably take it personally. You destroy your confidence as a result. 

You Think Everyone Hates You

Much like being omniscient, you make assumptions about people. This time you’re telling yourself no one likes being with you. Sadly, if everyone else in the world hates you, it quickly becomes apparent you’re not too fond of yourself either. 

You Can’t Accept Compliments

When you start to rebuff compliments, by brushing them off, you deny a positive affirmation from an outside source. You’re also saying you’re not worthy of the compliment, thereby putting yourself down again and ripping into your confidence levels. 

You Try to Keep Up with the Neighbors

No matter how great your life, you’ll always be able to find someone better off than you. These comparisons tend to end in putting down your own life, as you chart your failures and try to figure out where you’ve gone wrong. 

You Only Settle For Perfection

Perfectionism tells you you’ll never be good enough. This kind of message creates a mindset of being a failure, annihilating confidence. 

You Don’t Set Boundaries

You can’t possibly think much of yourself if you let people walk all over you. When you do this, you’re saying your needs are unimportant. Worse, you’re telling yourself that you’re insignificant. It’s no wonder your confidence is a little battered.

You Close Yourself Off

When you’re not able to open up with people, you’re shortchanging both yourself and them. They never get a chance to know the real you, while you never allow them to affirm you in the ways you need. Worse, you’re telling yourself your opinions and feelings don’t matter when you always keep them to yourself. 

You Refrain from Forming Opinions

It’s essential to know what you believe. When you refuse to take part in a discussion on some issues, you’re negating your thoughts and feelings. This does not mean you get into every debate. You need to make sure there is some benefit to getting involved other than being able to say you won. 

You Live on Social Media

If you’re living vicariously through friends on your feed, you lack seriously in living your own life. You’ll start finding life is dull and even unimportant by comparison. Over time, this leads to the number one killer of confidence: Depression 

So, what can you do when you’ve knocked your self-confidence down to nothing and need to build it back up again? Try these simple tips: 

Clean Up Your Act

Take the time to tend to your bodily needs. Shower and brush your teeth. Exercise, eat right and get enough sleep. It’s easier to be confident when you’re feeling good.

Dress the Part

Much like grooming yourself, wearing clothes that make you feel good about yourself has a way of perking up your confidence very quickly. Clothes should be clean and neat, in good repair, and are something in which you feel good when wearing. 

Change the Picture

How do you see yourself? If you’re not happy with who you see when you look in the mirror, start picturing the person you want to be, rather than the person you think you are now. You’ll be amazed at what a change this makes in how you feel about yourself in the present. 

Fix Your Posture

A confident posture has a way of helping you to feel confident. So, stand up straight!

Smile

Smiles work the way posture does. When you smile, you appear confident. They also bring out your natural confidence if you give them time to work. 

Speak Well of Yourself

You wouldn’t bad mouth your best friend. Why are you putting yourself down? Focus on what you’re telling yourself. Even using affirmations might be helpful here, until you get in the habit of thinking better of yourself.

Drop the Negativity

Take the negativity right out of the conversation. Instead, reword negative statements into positive ones. For example, don’t say, “I never know what to say” but switch out to “I have important things to contribute to the conversation.” 

Do Someone a Solid

Helping someone else has the side effect of making yourself feel good. It’s a win-win situation as now the one you’re helping feels better too.

Do an Inventory

When self-confidence is low, it’s easy to think there’s not much good about you. Here’s where you need to take stock of things. Seriously look at yourself and list out the good stuff you’ve done or the traits you admire most. If you’re having difficulty with this, it might be easier to ask a close friend to help you with this step. Keep the list and read it often to remind yourself of these facts. 

Act ‘As If’

When you’re not feeling confident, sometimes it works to fake it. When you act as if you are self-assured and ready for action, surprisingly, your body tends to cooperate. The next thing you know, you’ll be feeling way more confident than when you started. 

Prep Yourself

When you need to do something complex, practicing beforehand will always make you feel more confident when the time comes to act. 

Take Your Time

Slow down. Taking time to speak or act, always makes you seem more confident to others. As a bonus, you’ll be feeling more confident because you’ll feel surer of your actions and words. 

Become an Expert

Nothing screams confidence like knowing what you’re talking about. Take the time to learn something well, until you feel like an authority on it.

Quit Complaining

Complaints put your focus on negative aspects to your life, dragging down confidence. Why even let yourself go there? 

Clean the Chaos

When you’re surrounded by clutter, you start to feel disorganized and even depressed. Taking time to declutter and neaten your surroundings helps you feel more in control of your life, and more confident.

Live Your Life

Over time, inactivity leads to the feeling that you’re not capable of doing anything at all. Getting out and about, working toward goals, and accomplishing things gives a sense of accomplishment. The more you experience all life has to offer, the more confident you’ll feel. 

Fixing self-confidence takes work, especially if you’ve been actively picking it apart for a while now. Be patient with yourself as you focus on changing things for the better. Like any habit, it’s going to take time to create the behavior you want. You might find the best thing to help you will be something you thought of while working through this list. Keep open to possibilities and remember this essential thing…You are WORTH the effort.

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While you are in the grasp of strong negative emotions it may seem difficult to build any resilience to life's less pleasurable experiences. It is possible though, and that's a thought you should bear in mind if you are experiencing excessive negative thoughts.7222851300?profile=RESIZE_400x

How come some people give up and cry into a bottle, while others just pick themselves up, shake it off and carry on as if nothing happened? They're called coping skills, and anyone can develop them.

Flexibility and adaptation are undoubtedly two outlooks that help people recover from bad situations. Whereas someone who may feel entrenched in their negative feelings finds it harder to remove themselves from those feelings and change direction, those who are willing to see emotions as things that grip them tighter the more they focus on them and understand how to let go and change direction quickly, come out on top.

In a way, emotions are like quicksand or Chinese finger traps.

By seeing negative events in your life as flexible, short term situations, you can more easily move on. Let's imagine someone who sees these negative events as a fixed point in space and time. To them, that disappointment they felt with themselves or that failure they felt, is a fixed point in their life. It's always there. Nothing they can do will change the fact that there are failures and disappointment in their lives.

Those who view situations as being temporary will be more likely to see the same situation as a speed bump in Life's rearview mirror.

So what can you do to help you adopt this outlook?

Ever poured paint or bleach into a bucket of water? That's how negative people think. When one bad thing enters their life, it starts to spread and color everything else. They may well have been the life and soul of the party until that point, but now everything is just a mess!

Try seeing new challenges as crayons that can be laid side-by-side with each other. Don't dwell on the fact that you didn't manage to quit smoking today, but see that you smoked less and are not going to let a temporary setback prevent you from trying again the next day.

Just because you don't get something done the first time doesn't mean you won't get it done at another point in the future. No one walks, ties their shoes, or writes a word the first time they try.

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There is nothing worse than the creeping dread of failure. It doesn’t matter whether you failed in a relationship, missed out on a promotion, bombed an interview, or missed a deadline. Sometimes, it feels as though it’s the end of the world. It’s not, no matter how much you feel as though it is. And it is easy to fall victim to the failure and fall into a dark hole of depressions.  The most important step you can take after experiencing failure is to pick yourself up and dust yourself off.7193039692?profile=RESIZE_400x

How?

How can you possibly begin to pick yourself up after failure?

  • Take Time For Healing

You won’t get over failure in a day. It’s quite literally a heartbreak. It’s okay if you don’t feel cheerful for a minute. It would help if you allowed yourself time to heal from your failure. You will reach a point where you realize the sting has worn off.

  • Remember This

Without failure, there can be no success. If you desire success, then you have to come to terms with the fact that you will fail. It may take numerous attempts to achieve success. This is something you will need to remind yourself of regularly. When you run into a brick wall and feel as though you can’t overcome an obstacle, remember that without failure, there can be no success. If that scares you, then remember this – it’s that or you live your life littered with what-ifs. 

Failure is a lesson; it isn’t digging your grave. The only way to avoid it is to do nothing at all. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

  • Learn the Lesson

The wisest thing that you can do after a failure is learning. You shouldn’t view failure as an excuse to quit. It should serve as your motivation to go again and avoid making the same mistakes. If you’ve ever played a video game, then you will know how you regenerate at a checkpoint and start the task again. That’s how you should view failure. You didn’t die. You’re back to square one. It’s frustrating, but you’re down, not out. Now, you can repeat your attempt, but now you have more knowledge and insight into how best to approach it.

  • Accept Your Mistakes

You can’t afford to dwell on your mistakes. What you have to do is accept them. You’re going to want to beat yourself up about it, but that is dwelling on it. Instead, it would help if you accepted that mistakes happen, failure will occur, and it’s part of what will shape your success.

  • Opportunity for Growth

This is a chance for growth so, put a positive spin on that failure. It’s your opportunity to re-evaluate your situation and look for new opportunities. 

  • From Mistakes to Mastery

When you learn to accept your mistakes, you are unlocking the door to mastery. You are moving from mistakes to mastery. You’re learning more about your craft.

  • Your Next Steps

Once you experience failure, you must determine your next steps. You can steer yourself to success when you are proactive. Make decisions and put them into action.

You aren’t the first person in the world to fail. You’re not the only person in your inner circle to fail. As much as it may feel as though the world is against you, it’s not. It’s easier to motivate yourself to move forward when you recognize that you’re not alone. It’s normal, and even the most successful people in history (and in the present) have experienced failure. They didn’t let it hold them back, why would you?

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Your habits, or the things you repeatedly do without conscious thought, play a crucial role in your personality and wellness. As you navigate through life’s challenges, your habits affect your self-esteem by either building your confidence or tearing you down.  Good habits require practice, but they will help build your self-esteem, confidence, and wellbeing.

Positive habits help you grow as a person.  You need good habits to succeed in life.  Developing good habits like these can boost your self-esteem and help you achieve success. 6852231673?profile=RESIZE_400x

Mindfulness 

Mindfulness means being present in the here and now, not worrying about the past or future.  Because the human brain is designed to remember past experiences and to dream and plan for the future, mindfulness takes practice. Mindfulness is a habit that helps you focus on the present situation without complicating your response or decision with negative issues from the past or fear of the future. 

To develop the habit of mindfulness, ask yourself these questions: 

  • How does this situation affect me at this moment?
  • How does this situation make me feel?
  • What can I do right now to change this situation?

Staying in the moment affects your self-esteem by helping you reflect on what you feel.  Mindfulness also enables you to focus on what you can control.  In any situation, you have control over yourself and your reactions. 

Many people practice meditation to help develop the habit of mindfulness.  Meditation requires setting aside time to develop this habit consciously.  The more you practice, the easier it will be, and the stronger your habit of mindfulness will become. 

Setting Goals 

Your self-esteem is tied to your ability to create and achieve goals.  Goals help give your life structure and meaning.  When you accomplish a goal, you increase your self-confidence and self-esteem. 

To improve your self-esteem, your goals must be measurable.  Otherwise, not being able to reach your goals will negatively affect your self-esteem.

Achieving your goals requires having a plan and breaking your goal into manageable steps. Each time you complete a step, your self-esteem increases.

You can build the habit of setting goals by writing your goals down.  By writing your goals, you help commit yourself to achieve them.  Start by writing your goals for the day.  If you’re a busy person, the goal of spending 15 minutes by yourself to meditate or relax is realistic and achievable. 

 Increase your goals as you develop your habit. You may want to increase the time you spend on self-care or add a new goal, like spending more time with your family.  As reaching your daily goals becomes a habit, you build your self-esteem. 

Positive Surroundings

Scientists have determined that your surroundings affect your self-esteem.  If you spend your time with negative people or always hear negative messages about yourself, your self-confidence will suffer.  Over time, negative input can cause you to have a negative personality and outlook on life.

Get into the habit of spending time with positive people.  Surround yourself with motivational objects like posters or pictures of your goals.  Read books or listen to podcasts about how to achieve more in life.  Displaying mementos of your previous successes can also help increase your self-esteem.                                                                                                                              

Many people find that having an orderly work or living area is more positive for them than working or living in a mess. Developing the habit of keeping your area clean and neat not only provides positive surroundings for you, but it also builds your self-esteem, knowing you have control over your environment. 

Gratitude

Gratitude is a habit that affects your self-esteem by building a positive mindset.  Researchers have found that gratitude builds self-esteem by helping a person feel connected to others and by limiting negative self-talk.  When a person is grateful, they feel worthy of what they’ve received and are willing to show kindness to others, taking positive actions to increase their self-esteem.

Gratitude can replace negative self-esteem.  Many people spend their lives apologizing for every slight they imagine they cause.  Apologies are necessary, but people often default to an apology instead of thanking someone.  Imagine you dropped something on the floor, and a stranger picked it up for you.  Do you apologize for dropping it and disturbing them, or do you thank them for helping you?

Your reaction is based on your self-esteem and whether or not you feel like you bothered them. The habit of gratitude helps improve your self-esteem so you can accept help from others.

The habits of mindfulness, setting goals, being in positive surroundings, and gratitude strongly affects your self-esteem.  Good habits build your self-esteem every time you complete a positive step toward your goals. 

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Are you tired of telling yourself to do things the same old way? Sick of the comfort zone? It’s time to push past the world of limitations into the no-limits mindset. People who embrace no-limits live life to the fullest by pushing themselves to be the best they can be. 6785174697?profile=RESIZE_400x

How does this work? Let’s look at various things you must understand if you’re going to have a no-limits mindset:

 

  1. People without limits rewrite the script. All those so-called rules in life are meaningless. It’s time to look past what you’ve already established a hundred times over and start thinking about changing the rules instead of toeing the line one more time. It’s people who refuse to accept the status-quo who genuinely understand what it means to have no limits

 

  1. People without limits realize where the limits came from in the first place. The only thing limiting us are our thoughts. We’ve already decided we can’t do something, and as a result, we can’t. By taking away limitations, we find ourselves in the world of possibilities instead of impossibilities.

 

  1. People without limits don’t let anyone tell them who they are. When you feel like you're limited, how many times is it because of something that someone else said or did? Maybe you had a parent who told you that you ‘just weren’t athletic’ and as a result, you never went out for sports of any kind. This kind of limitation is insidious because you often don’t realize the origin until you start prodding into its origins. When you establish that it’s from someone else and not you, you can start to reprogram that voice.

 

  1. People without limits don't give up. Setbacks are normal. what you do with setbacks is what matters. Learn from those with no limits. Accept the failure, mourn it, then dissect it to see what you can learn from it. Congratulate yourself for having tried, and then dig in and try again, this time applying the lessons you’ve learned. There’s no room for quitters in this mindset.

 

  1. People without limits know how to face their fears. You’re never going to get anywhere if you let fear stop you cold. Understanding where your fear comes from, and then doing the work to overcome that fear is what’s going to free you up to move forward and accomplish what you need to.

 

Living a life of no-limits doesn't mean that you never feel limited in any way. It means you know what to do when you feel that pushback when you’re striving for a goal. Tell yourself you’re bigger and better than any of the things that hold you back, and you’ll be amazed at the new mindset you have developed!

 

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“You have to play the ball before it plays you!” 

Anyone who has played a ball sport as a child or had a child play a ball sport has likely heard coaches shouting this. It’s a common term in both basketball and baseball. In baseball, as you get started in the outfield, you wait for that ground hit to reach you before you take action. If you have ever watched a game of baseball, then you know how easy it is for that ball to hit a bump in the grass and go flying in another direction. Fielding balls look easy, but it isn’t a passive activity. It’s vital that the player proactively fields the ball, and a proactive player will play the ball, while a reactive player will wait for the ball to shape the play. 6688931053?profile=RESIZE_400x

You can translate this ethos into your daily life. It sums up proactivity perfectly. 

To be proactive, you have to hold yourself accountable for the situations where you find yourself. Beyond that, you have to be proactive about trying to make it better. Proactive people don’t allow their circumstances to dictate their decisions. They let their values do the talking. They act, a reactive person is acted upon. All this to say that proactive people are adept at playing the ball before it can play them. 

You always have a choice. You’ve probably heard that before. You’re in an impossible position, and it seems like there is no way out, but there’s always a choice. When a proactive person is faced with a situation where the circumstances of the event limit the options available, they still find a way to exercise their agency. 

A great example of a proactive person is Raoul Wallenberg. This Swedish man, who died aged just 34 because of his choices, is viewed as a hero of the World War II era. Instead of standing by and watching, he issued many Hungarian Jewish citizens with Swedish passports to protect them from being sent to concentration camps. Technically, he broke the law. The people he issued these passports to weren’t Swedish, nor did they have any claim to Sweden. However, he used his confidence and his position to bluff the Nazi guards. By doing this, by making the choices he did in difficult circumstances, he is credited with saving tens of thousands of lives. While others stood by and watched, bound by fear, the law, and a host of other circumstances, Raoul Wallenberg took action. He is the personification of proactivity. 

The Habits of a Proactive Person

  • Understanding their circle of influence. When faced with a particular situation, they ask themselves whether they hold any influence. If they do, then there is an action to take.
  • Meditation. It’s a game-changer, and it typifies how you can play the ball. Meditation will leave you feeling more positive, calmer, and allow you to be more present in typical situations. It’s that presence that will enable you to be a more proactive person.
  • Take action. Yes, this one should be obvious, but proactive people will always take action, even if it’s just a small one. It’s the most powerful thing that you can do in a situation, and taking action is a proactive posture. As you start to take action, you will see your circle of influence widens, and as it does, you will find yourself slipping into a proactive mindset much more quickly. There’s always a choice, there’s always a way to move the dial forward, and that’s what proactive people understand.

“Circumstances-what are circumstances? I make circumstances.”  Napoleon Bonaparte

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To move from a place of merely surviving in life to a place of thriving, resilience is a necessary trait. At a basic level, resilience is our ability to bounce back from tragedies and difficulties we encounter in life. 

At a more sophisticated level, the resilience mindset embraces the idea that true resilience is our ability to navigate life, adapt to change, learn through adversity, and understand our feelings and emotional responses to situations. For this to be achieved, there must be a high level of personal awareness and insight, which leads to a deep understanding of self. 

Resilience is an asset when it comes to managing adversity because it helps us to overcome it. Rather than crumbling under the pressure and weight of every challenge we encounter, we become able to assess the problem, learn and grow from it as we go through it, and then move forward with the lessons we've been taught (O'Keeffe, 2019). It is resilience that empowers us to continue moving forward, learning, and growing and building on the things we are learning in life. 6683932262?profile=RESIZE_400x

Keys to Developing a Resilient Mindset 

To develop a resilient mindset, here are several qualities and practices to implement—the following outlines several of those qualities and practices and their relation to the development of resilience. 

  • Optimism: A strong trait of those with a resilient mindset is an intentional optimistic outlook when approaching challenging situations. The way a person views a situation shapes the approach they take when dealing with the situation.

A more positive outlook tends to yield a more positive outcome because individuals see opportunities as opposed to obstacles, and thus enthusiastically address issues versus hesitantly avoiding them. Leading psychologist Martin Seligman explains that optimism is linked to resilience in that it helps people's views on permanence, pervasiveness, and the personalization of hardships.


Optimism leads people to see adverse events as temporary rather than permanent, to prevent setbacks from impacting unrelated areas of their lives, and not to blame themselves when unfortunate events occur. Thus, people can better pivot ad recover from challenges they experience. 

  • Focus on What You Can Control: Learning to focus on what is within your control and releasing those things that are not is an integral part of developing resilience. It is only those things within our control that we can influence, thus exerting physical or mental and emotional energy on things outside of our control is mismanagement of time and energy. Individuals who spend their time and energy on what they can control become more resilient because they put their efforts towards those things that will have the most significant impact and produce the most results. This allows them to be productive and respond better to situations that arise.

 

  • Self-Awareness: Self-awareness is critical to the development of a resilient mindset. Self-awareness helps us to assess areas of ourselves and our lives where we need to improve and areas of our lives that are producing favorable results. 

Self-awareness offers us critical insights about ourselves that we can use to change, adapt, grow, or alter ourselves, our environment, or other elements. This ultimately contributes to resilience by helping us keep patterns and habits that help us adapt and respond to challenges while becoming aware of and purging patterns and practices that work against our goals and pursuits. 

If we can cultivate a resilient mindset, our ability to cope with challenges in our lives will be strengthened. Rather than being overcome by negative situations and circumstances, we will become empowered to overcome those situations and circumstances. By implementing the practices mentioned and others like it, we'll be one step closer to better navigating the difficulties we encounter.

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So many things can batter at your confidence. Is it any wonder sometimes you’re feeling less capable, or even something of a failure? The main thing is not to allow yourself to stay in this frame of mind for any longer than necessary. Here are some quick ways to reclaim confidence after losing it: 6510517082?profile=RESIZE_400x

Watch Your Language

First of all, you’re not a ‘failure,’ and using any variation on that word isn’t going to help. By paying attention to your self-talk, you’ll find you can shift your focus very quickly. Reword negatives over to positive phrasing and be careful not to allow any putdowns in how you think of yourself.

Figure Out the Roadblocks

How are you undermining your confidence? It might be you have some habits or behaviors which are doing you a lot more harm than good. For example, you might be hanging out with a ‘friend’ who continually puts you down. While it might seem hard to do this kind of self-examination at first, it’s crucial to protecting your confidence and ability to move forward. Once you have these things listed, ask yourself what you can do to change these behaviors.

Find Your Tribe

Nothing builds up confidence, like being surrounded by people who believe in you. Find friends, mentors, and people who share your interests and are more interested in building you up than tearing you down. Make concrete plans to spend more time with these individuals. 

Understand Yourself

Sometimes we can’t help but feel shattered, especially when some outside force (such as the loss of someone dear) has left us emotionally vulnerable. Research what you’re going through. Understanding where you are and that your reactions are normal, will go a long way to preserving your confidence as you work through the crisis.

Practice Self-Care

It’s hard to feel confident when you’re not feeling well. Eat right, Exercise, Get enough sleep. You’ll be amazed at what attention to the basics does to improve your outlook and your feelings regarding yourself. 

Live in the Moment

Confidence is easily shattered by the failures of the past and can make you feel weak and frail when faced with an uncertain future. For this reason, take some time to focus on the now. Meditation or mindfulness are great ways to relax and put yourself in the moment. You’ll find yourself feeling a lot calmer and less stressed, a place where confidence thrives.

Being more confident happens when you pay attention to what’s hurting your confidence now. Be mindful of yourself and intentional in your actions. Confidence will grow best when you pay attention to these details. 

I wrote a book on changing that self-defeating voice inside you "Prove Your Inner Critic Wrong". It is available at Amazon. Use the link below.

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If you have confidence, winning new friends becomes easy. It will attract people almost automatically. People love others who exude confidence. Think about the people at work. Do you tend to migrate towards confident people naturally?3938309770?profile=RESIZE_710x

It’s essential not to take your confidence too far where you are looked upon as being arrogant. This has the potential to turn people off more than win any friendships. Overconfident people are seen as unwavering, and others tend to avoid these types. It’s not necessary either. The key is to be yourself without stepping on others.

Believing in yourself is the first step towards gaining confidence. Everyone has some amount of self-doubt, but you need to get over it. Start by observing others who you feel are confident. What qualities do they possess? Do they talk about themselves, or do you find them positively talking about others? Do others get excited when those confident people enter the room?

Sometimes, confidence comes from learning new skills. If you know what others don’t, people will come to you when they discover you have those skills or knowledge.  But don’t stop at just a cursory level of experience. Become an expert, and you will have the confidence necessary when people do approach you. It’s okay not to know everything at the beginning, don’t pretend as you do. But, as long as you continue on the path of learning more, it will serve you well.

Confidence also comes from knowing the strength of others and using it to help them as well as you. If you are part of a team, get to know what others are good at on your team. Then, when you come across those attributes in your job, you can rely on their expertise. They will appreciate you for recognizing their abilities.

Help others who are not good at something but show a willingness to learn. These people will become allies, and they too will appreciate your efforts to help. They will become part of your network and will talk you up to others.

Friendship will happen when you gain confidence in your life and work. It will seem effortless, and you will end up with more friends than you know what to do with. That is certainly a better problem to have than having no friends at all. Don’t be surprised if you get approached by unknown people saying that your friends have recommended you.

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Steps to Building Self Belief

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but trust me when I say, “you are good enough.” No matter what you are going through right now, you need to believe in yourself.3779882764?profile=RESIZE_710x

Self-belief will help get you through the tough times, and then propel you towards your goals in the good times. If you suffer from a lack of self-belief, all hope is not lost! You can begin to cultivate it by following the tips:

  1. Identify Your Negative Feelings
    You need to recognize and acknowledge the negative feelings you have about yourself. You can’t just stick your head in the sand and ignore them. Think about them, write them down and say them out loud. Make a mental note to catch yourself when you start thinking about these things.
  2. Keep Track of Your Wins
    Take some time to write down a list of your “wins.” These can be successes you’ve had in your life, relationships that matter to you, and anything else you are grateful for. Anytime your self-talk starts the mantra; you aren’t good enough; reflect on the list to remind yourself that you are.
  3. Ask Others For Positive Feedback
    We are often our own worst critics. Take some time to reach out to people you trust and ask them what they think your strengths are. You might be surprised by what you hear.
  4. Work On Your Competence
    Competence breeds confidence. If you lack self-belief, one of the best things you can do is commit to lifelong learning. The more you know about a subject, the more confident you will be in your abilities.
  5. Focus On Your Strengths
    Stop beating yourself up over what you lack. Instead of worrying about the things you can’t do well, focus on the things you can do well.
  6. Stop Comparing
    One of the worst things you can do is compare your circumstances to others. First off, there is no race, and you don’t have to compete with anyone. Secondly, you have no idea what kind of lives other people live.
  7. Take Care of Yourself
    If you lack self-belief, don’t let that hold you back from taking care of yourself. Commit to eating right and exercising. You will naturally feel better about yourself if you are actively working towards a healthier lifestyle.
  8. Visualize A Confident You
    Even if you don’t feel confident, act as if you are filled with confidence. Take time to visualize what you would be like with limitless self-belief. Don’t be afraid to think big either. Imagine yourself with everything you want – including a new confident attitude.
  9. Set a Goal
    The mere act of setting a goal can instantly help you feel more confident. Even if you doubt your capability to achieve the goal, taking action and working towards this goal will build the momentum you need.

 

 

ACTIONABLE STEPS

 

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Start to keep a list of all of your successes and wins. You can use a simple notebook if you want, or an app like Evernote.


The goal is to list all of your past successes, as well as track any new ones.

 

When you lack self-belief, you can refer to this list to see just how much you can (and have!) accomplished.

 

 

Take some time to list your strengths.

 

If you are struggling to come up with enough, then reach out to loved ones and ask them.

 

They may come up with some strengths that you never even knew you had.

 

Now it is time to set a goal.


It doesn’t have to be something major, or even big. Starting small is an excellent way to boost self-belief.

 

Choose a simple goal that you could realistically accomplish in a week or two.

 

Write it down – and go for it!

 

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A wise thing to remember when it comes to our thoughts and actions is that although we have little control over how we feel intrinsically, we can control what we do about those feelings. In that, we have absolute authority over our behavior and the way that we react to those emotions, and although our subsequent actions may not always feel to be under our control, they are. Better thoughts for better behavior will come with practice. 3403846061?profile=RESIZE_710x

As with most things, this concept certainly more often than not falls under the category of “easier said than done.”  Easier said, yes, but not impossible to do. People vary widely in their natural inclinations in terms of behavior and impulse control, in that some of us are more energetic and passionate, and others are easier going about their thoughts and tendencies.

Either way, our thoughts, and emotions can get the best of us at times, and almost always react out of emotionally inflammatory “heat of the moment” type duress. The result is regretting our actions.

When considering better thoughts for better behavior, which is a discussion that has been thoroughly explored by psychiatrists, philosophers, and poets alike and whose quotes on the topic have provided much insight on the subject.

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato was once quoted, saying wisely that “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.”  It is the “knowledge” factor in human behavior that more often than not that has the most potential to result in wise decisions, and although the elements of “desire” and “emotion” of which he spoke often lead to impulsive, not well thought out decisions. This is not absolute; not all decisions derived from desire and emotion lead to bad choices. It just depends on if you are in control of your feelings or your emotions control you.

The American poet Emily Dickinson, who was relatively reclusive and whose work was often dark and melancholy, wrote that “Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes.”  The insight that can be inferred from this quote is that we should no more take credit for our “good” thoughts than we should admonish ourselves for our “bad” ideas, but instead, it is the choices and decisions that we consciously make in response to those thoughts and emotions that matter most.

The French poet and playwright Moliere had an interesting, albeit pacifying thought on human behavior when he stated that “A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation.”  From this quote can be derived the sage advice of not falling victim to one’s “hot-headed” tendencies, but instead rising above and mastering control over one’s impulsivity is not only possible but desirable.

And lastly, the contemporary (and often controversial) American author Tucker Max had a surprisingly mature and intellectually cognitive take on psychoanalysis when he said that “The point of psychoanalysis is to understand the roots of your behavior.  Understand why you’re doing what you’re doing – and connect your unconscious to your conscious.” 

The advice that can be derived from this statement is that to master one’s behavior and actions, one need’s first to have a deep and profound understanding of their inner tendencies, and once a person knows themselves thoroughly, the better chance one has of controlling their behavior.

Thinking before acting is always the better path, no matter how difficult it may be in any given situation. It will take discipline when we are faced with problematic choices and decisions when emotions are high.

As unrealistic as it may be to think that every person could make informed and well thought out decisions at every juncture, every effort made to encourage that type of thinking will undoubtedly always result in wiser and more prudent actions. Better thoughts for better behavior.

 
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When a beginner runner prepares for their first marathon, there are several routine changes they must implement to build their endurance. Initially, they need to practice running long-distances to build stamina — their diet needs to provide them with the nutrients required to fuel their body.

These changes will be challenging; thus, taking them out of their comfort zone. However, by making these small changes, they are essentially making themselves stronger for the long run. Often, making small changes in our routine can be likened to taking a risk. We are removing comfort from our mindset and challenging ourselves each day, enabling ourselves to reach new levels.3389897035?profile=RESIZE_710x

Taking risks will make you a stronger, both mentally and physically. A recent study found people who took risks were more fulfilled and happier than those who played it safe. Individuals who enjoy challenging themselves with new activities find great excitement in not knowing the outcome of their actions.

Individuals who participate in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety-related disorders sit with their feelings of tension to build a tolerance to the emotions. The fear associated with anxiety is not knowing what is to going to happen. When patients risk exposing themselves to their fears, they are building their mental strength and resilience. 

Taking Risks Builds Confidence

Psychology professor Andreas Wilke researched the decision-making process from a psychological perspective. He states, "When we decide to take a risk, we are very quickly, and often subconsciously, evaluating the perceived chances and benefits of success versus the perceived chances and costs of failure.”

Risk-taking builds confidence and trust in your intuition. You aren’t approaching life with the sense of impending doom. Instead, you are positioning yourself to reach your goals.

Taking Risks Builds Self-Reliance 

When taking risks, you have to rely on your ability to know what is best, intuitively. Likely, others will view your decision as unwise; perhaps even offering unsolicited advice. You will need inner strength not to fall prey to their advice. However, the ability to take a risk with the hopes of achieving ultimate success sparks enthusiasm. With this new confidence, the opinions of others no longer carry the weight it once did. Instead, you are building a belief in yourself to create opportunities.

Taking Risks Supports Innovative Thinking

There is no easy way when it comes to risk-taking, nor is there a one-size-fits-all approach on how to read intuition. Because of this intuitive approach, risk-taking involves thinking on your feet and getting creative about problem-solving. Remember, every excuse has a solution.

The way we have been conditioned to think will control our behavior. We can choose to take the safe route because it’s acceptable to our peers and our inner critic. Or, take risks that will expose yourself to endless opportunities for achieving success, which is right outside of your comfort zone!

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People are different. While this seems like an obvious statement, don’t take it lightly. Because people are different, this means that you will never be able to please everyone. Therefore, stop trying to do so. Instead, focus on pleasing yourself. Those who love and respect you will also love and respect you for doing this. They may not agree with you, but they won’t stop being your friend because of it. Trying to please everyone pleases no one.3140820386?profile=RESIZE_710x

Some people will disassociate with you if you don’t please them. Forget about them. They aren’t worth the brain power expended. Move on with your life, and don’t worry about what they think. If they aren’t pleased by your actions, probably nothing will ever bring them around.

Of course, you shouldn’t trample on people. If your actions are such that you are doing wrong by others, they have the right to be upset with you. In these cases, you need to reevaluate what you are doing and adjust accordingly. You want to be happy, but you want to do it with integrity. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

When your decisions are about you or your family, then you should follow your moral values, trying to please everyone pleases no one. Another good motto to live by is – “what people say about you is none of your business.” When you repeat that motto, it helps you to move on and care less what people think. People are going to have their opinions no matter what you do. You may as well make yourself happy rather than others.

Another point is you are the only one responsible for the decisions you make. You must live with those decisions. Others may think they know what’s best for you, but they don’t. You make that determination yourself, and you need to take responsibility for those decisions.

If you make decisions to make others happy, you would not be able to blame your choices on them. They probably wouldn’t accept such blame anyway. People will make excuses, such as they didn't have all of the facts. Or, they will say the situation is different because it was you and not them. These are more reasons not to worry about what people think and live your life to keep your self-respect. Read the poem“The Man in The Glass” till you internalize the poem. Trying to please everyone pleases no one.

 
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If your boss tells you that you did something wrong, do you get flustered about the exchange? As long as your boss is not saying something about you personally, you should not take what he or she said to heart. It’s the job of a boss to make sure you are doing the right activities. Too many people will take the criticism as an affront to their personality, and this can be a problem. Don’t take everything so personally.

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Develop Thicker Skin

You need to develop a thicker skin, as they say. You cannot know everything there is to know about your company or the people who work there. That means you will naturally make mistakes. Embrace the errors as a learning experience.

You are not going to last long in your job if you take everything that people say about you in a personal way.  That attitude will hurt you in many things you do.

Look For Feedback

You should welcome criticism. It’s a way to learn and get feedback on what you are supposed to do and avoid doing what you aren’t. If you take what is said personally, you probably won’t listen to the criticism. More often than not, this results in a repeat of your offense, and this can get you into trouble long term.

Of course, if someone says something that is personal and they shouldn't have said it, you have the right to confront the person saying it. It’s one thing to say that you performed a particular job incorrectly, etc. But, if someone says you are incompetent or stupid, then you should not let them get away with that and handle the situation immediately.

Sometimes people will say something in a joking manner, and you may not take it as lightly as it was intended. This situation can be difficult because if you get too confrontational, you could be made to look bad. Others may say it was only a joke. Not all humor is funny, though, and people have different tastes on what constitutes humor.  In this situation, you need to calmly state that you didn’t find what the person said as being funny and ask them to refrain from making such jokes. Then, everyone should move on.

It is a good idea to not focus on gossip. Someone may tell you that you were the subject of some gossip. The action to take is often to do nothing at all because you won’t be able to prove what was said. Develop a thicker skin and don’t take everything so personally.

 
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