Self-confidence: some people have oodles of it, others…not so much. I was one of the latter types. Whenever I attempted something, my lack of self-confidence would creep into my mind with thoughts such as: “You aren’t good at this.” “Why are you even thinking that you are going to succeed?” “You are useless.” Unfortunately, I listened to the negativity that was swirling through my brain whenever I tried to do anything to improve myself.
Failure would come and then the self-accusation and the negative confirmations flooded into my thinking. “See, you failed! What made you think otherwise? You have always failed.”
Self-confidence stems out of self-esteem, an my self-esteem was at low tide. What I needed was unstoppable self-esteem and self-confidence. It was something I knew wouldn’t happen over night.
Developing self-confidence takes determination, focus, and work. You need to hit the “kill switch” of negative thinking and inject positivity into your life. But, how do you up the confidence level? You need to stop looking at your failures and refocus. You need to understand that there are some things that you have done right!
Here are 4 ways you can build your confidence to new levels:
1. Consider your past successes
Let’s be honest now. Not everything you have done has failed has it? There are things that you have done well and succeeded in. Remind yourself of those past successes. Let them dictate to you that you aren’t a failure after all. Don’t listen to the negativity anymore. Replace it with a new soundtrack of positivity that celebrate your previous successes.
When you look back at the things you have achieved in the past, what happens? Confidence starts to stir. Grab hold of that confidence and move forward with it.
Tell yourself “I’ve managed to do things well in the past and I can be successful in the future.” Are things going to go smoothly? No! Whenever you try something, there is bound to be a mistake or failure crop up along the way. Nonetheless, allow these to teach and guide you as you journey along the path of success.
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” – Helen Keller
We never stop learning (unless we choose to). What is it that you want to improve about yourself? What do you want to change about your life? There may be a new career you want to take on, or maybe there’s a skill set that you currently have that you want to enhance.
As you learn and develop new skills, your confidence is boosted. Learning is the ultimate self-esteem “pick me up” as it enhances you as a person. It develops you and you will find that your self-confidence increases.
3. Try something that you have never done before
There are always opportunities to try new experiences. The other month my wife and I went to Osaka, and experiencing the Abeno Harukas building . Here, you can experience “Edge the Harukas”, which means you can go to the top of the building, go outside and lean backward 300 metres above the ground. I am not a fan of heights, but for some reason there was a resolve in me to do this!
Then I came to understand that doing something like that added to my self-confidence. I am not saying that you have to go and do something daring (unless you want to), but try something you have never done before. When you do, guess what happens? You have just chalked up another success. Add it to the pile and keep going!
4. Surround yourself with positive people
To change your thinking and your beliefs means you need to change what and who you are listening to. You have well-meaning people who tell you not to get your hopes up. They say things like “Not everyone is successful,” or “Successful people only got there by luck.” You are told to accept your lot in life.
The people who say these things are sincere in their empathy toward you. They don’t want to see you hurt or disappointed. However, these people are misguided in their counsel. It’s time to change your circle of influence. Find people who will tell you that you can succeed. People who will encourage you rather than pat you sympathetically on the bag and tell you “Success is for others and not you.”
“Surround yourself with positive people who believe in your dreams, encourage your ideas, support your ambitions, and bring out the best in you.” – Roy Bennett
Go to meetup groups where you can be with like-minded individuals who can provide you with advice, guidance and friendship. Find mentors who have done what you long to do and reach out to them. You will find that they are willing to help you succeed. Start building networks with people who are going to encourage you and provide you with the positivity that you need.
When you are around positive people, how do you feel? When someone is there guiding you and telling you that you can succeed, where is your confidence level? When your mentor high-fives you and says “See, I knew you could do it!” you will find that your confidence has skyrocketed.
When I found people that encouraged me instead of filling me with negativity and self-doubt was when I found my confidence growing, expanding, and strengthening.
Which one of these 4 ways to build self-confidence resonates most with you and why?