Think it – Act it – Become it – Developing Confidence in Yourself

“Lack of confidence is not the result of difficulty. The difficulty comes from the lack of confidence” – Seneca

Developing Confidence in Yourself 

What is your biggest obstacle to more self-confidence? I think it’s your internal dialogue – the way you talk to yourself. If you think negative thoughts – than negative things will happen. It’s the law of attraction happening in real-time. A low self-image translates into a lack of confidence – which causes us to think negative thoughts – which in turn causes us to hold back and give up easily rather than to face tough challenges.

“The better people think they are, the better they will be. A positive self-image creates success’ – Liisa Joronen. World class athletes, like world-class actors visualize a Gold Medal – Oscar-winning performance. They set themselves up for a positive experience by visualizing in their mind’s eye what their performance will look like. And then they go out and replay that winning performance in real-time.

You need to visualize how a great manager looks and acts and then play that video for real. The more you do it – the more you will become it. (Think it – Act it – Become it) Here are some helpful tips on how to boost your self-confidence.

Five Ways to Develop Confidence in Yourself: 

  • Look for a role-model or mentor. What is it about their style that you like? What do they do that makes them appear confident? (Their walk, the way they look or the way they talk?)  Act like they act and you’ll eventually begin to act the same way. I love Tom Peter’s style when he delivers a speech (Author of “In Search of Excellence”) So when I first began giving speeches I emulated his style and it eventually became my style. I created a “Habit” and I now do it without thinking about it. (A good habit is a good result – plain and simple)
  • Focus on your achievements rather than your failures. Focus on what you did well and what you are going to do better the next time you have the same opportunity. We can all improve. We’ve all done things that in hindsight we would have done differently. I’m forever critiquing myself. But it’s the only way I know how to get better at what I do. How often have you had an exchange with someone that turned ugly? And after you calmed down you went over it again in your mind and realized that you could have handled it better? Remember – No body is perfect but everyone has the capacity to grow and get better.
  • Set reachable goals for yourself. (Set SMART targets) Break down difficult tasks into more bite sized pieces. Anyone can eat an elephant one bite at a time. I love the feeling I get when I get to cross an item off on my To-Do list. It’s even better when I’ve completed everything on the page and I get to tear it out of my notebook and throw that page away.
  • Be prepared for every task. Nothing beats thinking and planning it out. You can’t be prepared for everything but you should be able to predict the kinds of things that could happen and how you’ll react to them. You should be able to anticipate the kinds of questions you are going to be asked and script your answers in advance. If you have prepared well you’ll look confident and the other person will think that you are. (Communication is 93% non-verbal. It’s not what you say that people remember – it’s how you went about saying it that people remember the most)
  • Remember to be your authentic self. You are not in competition with anyone else but yourself. You are unique. You are who you are. You can only do what you can do. Strive to be the very best You that you can be. Feel good about yourself knowing that you gave 100% of yourself. You can’t do better than that. There is no try – you either do it – or you don’t. And don’t is OK if you gave it 100%.

Someone who is confident in their own abilities and is comfortable in their own skin won’t need to hold anyone else down so that they can feel better about themselves. What do you want people to think and say about you? Think it, act it, become it. Be that person. 

You Are Who Ever You Think You Are 6

“The value of self-esteem lies not merely in the fact that it allows us to feel better but that it allows us to live better – to respond to challenges and opportunities more resourceful and more appropriately.” – Dr. Nathaniel Branden

What is self-esteem? Simply put – self-esteem is your opinion of yourself. And personal opinions (regardless of who is giving them) are rarely based on fact. So unless you are dealing with facts your opinion of yourself is probably not true. (We are our own worse critics) You need to cut yourself some slack. Or as Annie would tell me – take a pill and chill.

Building up Your Self-Esteem / Your Self-Worth 

There are a number of great books on how to develop your self-esteem – not only in yourself – but in others. One of my favorites is “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” by Nathaniel Branden PhD. Branden is a Lecturer and practicing Psychotherapist who has done more than any other theorist to advocate the importance of self-esteem to human well-being.  We all feel insecure and unsure of ourselves at times. We all have self-doubt – especially if we are doing something we’re unsure of or we are doing it for the very first time. No one wants to look silly in front of their peers. No one wants to make a mistake.

Here’s a list of some of the things that you could do to build up your self-esteem. Read over this list and decide where you want to start. Remember – No one has the power to take away your self-esteem without your permission.

  • Stop comparing yourself to others: You are unique – you are you. There’s no one else exactly like you. Do what makes you feel good on the inside. If being thin will make you feel better about yourself then do it. But don’t do it because someone else decided that thin was the way to be. Who made them “Supreme Commander of the Free World”?
  • Stop putting yourself down with negative thoughts: I’m bald. I will always be bald. Nothing is going to change the fact that I’m bald because I refuse to wear a wig or get plugs or do the comb over thing. It is what it is – so suck it up and get over it and get on with your life. You either change it – or you change the way you are thinking about it.
  • Surround yourself with positive, supportive people: I can’t stand to be around negative people. It’s like they walk around all day long with this black cloud over their heads. They wear me out. I have far better things to do with my time than to listen to them complain. You’ll know if you are the negative one when you walk into a room and everyone else gets up and leaves.
  • Get involved in the work and activities that inspire you: I love what I do. I can’t see myself doing anything else. I can’t see myself retiring. They are going to have to drag me off the stage or bar me from the classroom. Do what turns your crank. Do what makes you truly happy. Choose a career that you’d do even if you didn’t get paid for doing it. (Don’t let anyone know about the money thing. You need money to pay the bills and keep a roof over your head)
  • Respect your own needs. It’s OK to say no. You don’t have to feel guilty. Women have a hard time with this one. You need to spend “Me” time. You need to take care of your own needs before you can take care of others. Take a bubble bath – light a candle – play your favorite music – do something just for you.
  • Stop trying to be perfect: No one is perfect. Let me repeat that. NO ONE is perfect. We all make mistakes now and again. You can’t beat yourself up over it. You learn from it – and you move on. Your future is not in the past so don’t live there. Most things are out of your control. Accept that you did your very best – and get on with it.

Low self-esteem – or low self-image translates into a lack of confidence – which causes us to think negative thoughts – which in turn causes us to hold back and give up easily rather than face tough challenges. You need to push forward even when you aren’t 100% sure of what the end result will be. Don’t wait for perfect. “Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks on a great and honourable course with a sure hope and trust in self.” – Cicero.