“Seven Keys to Building Self-Confidence” written by Guest Contributor.
What is self-confidence and why do some people seem to have a healthy dose of it while others struggle in every area of their life due to a lack of it?
Have you noted how self-confidence doesn’t seem to come from having exceptional intelligence, attractiveness or wealth?
There are attractive intelligent people who lack the confidence to achieve their goals and dreams while people with major physical disabilities inspire thousands of people from stage.
So what are some of the keys to building self-confidence?
Before we start on the path of building self-confidence, let’s first understand what it means.
Wikipedia defines self-confidence as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.
Self-confidence is having a trust in our abilities. It allows us to push past the fear and worries of trying something new. We feel self-assured and assertive. We go after what we want.
Lack of Self-Confidence Is…
So a lack of self confidence can hold us back due to negative thoughts about our abilities playing in a loop in our head.
This brings about a stress response in our body. I can remember as a teenager shaking in some social situations due to a response my body was having to the situation. If you a have a fear of public speaking you probably get that shaky butterfly feeling if you’ve ever had to speak in front of a group. Or if you’ve ever had to approach someone of the opposite sex for a date. This thought pattern and corresponding feelings can hold us back in every area of our life.
As an adult, we can temporarily have more or less self-confidence based on things like our income or success and how attractive we feel but these can be fleeting and puts control outside ourselves. There are things you can do to feel confident no matter where you are in life.
Keys to Building Self-Confidence
Here are my seven keys to building self-confidence.
1) Smile and Make Eye Contact with People
This is so simple and costs nothing. The more you are engaging with others, even in small ways, the more positive feedback you will get from others.
Action: Make it a point to smile and make eye contact with at least 3 strangers today.
2) Body Language
You don’t have to walk like a runway model or balance a book on your head, but be aware of holding your shoulders so they are not slumped forward. If you were tall as a child, like me, you might have rolled your shoulders forward to try to look smaller. Your posture sends signals to others. It also affects your body through a chemical response. Holding your body in a more confident posture emits hormones that help you feel more confident. It tricks your body into feeling more confident.
Action: Be aware of your posture. Stand tall and hold your shoulders back.
3) Try Not to Use Fillers In Your Speech
“Um’s and Ahhs” and speaking fast are indicators of nervousness and a lack of confidence. We can’t usually hear that we are using fillers as we are speaking. Mike and I have several hundred videos on our YouTube channel which has helped me realize this is an ongoing challenge for me.
Action: Slow down take pauses. Practice by interviewing someone or giving an impromptu speech and count how many fillers you use.
4) Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Good About Yourself
They don’t have to be designer labels or super expensive but something you feel good in. Be well groomed.
Action: Go through your closet and get rid of at least one thing that you know you don’t feel comfortable wearing. Plan a shopping trip to get one outfit that makes you feel great.
5) Participate in Physical Exercise
Physical exercise releases positive chemicals called endorphins, It helps you feel more comfortable in your own skin, Confidence is a balance between minds and body.
Action: Go out and walk or run or do some kind of physical activity at least once a day
6) Get Out of the Pattern of Second Guessing or Negative Thinking
We all have some negative thoughts that creep in so it’s best to have a way to stop thoughts that are limiting and self-defeating. Cut your negative thoughts immediately and replace with words that are positive and confident. I love Napoleon Hill’s confidence formula from the classic book “Think and Grow and Rich.” If you say this out loud everyday you will start to reap the rewards.
Action: download the self-confidence formula here and read out loud at least once a day
7) Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
At the next meeting or event, you attend try speaking up by asking a question and always sit in the front row, if possible. If someone asks for a volunteer immediately raise your hand. We are usually afraid to be noticed or stand out and fear being judged. People are much more accepting than we realize and. Life outside your comfort zone offers more opportunities—and more successes. More personal successes means more self-confidence.
Action: Do one thing outside your comfort zone this week. You will have an opportunity present itself. Take it and learn from the experience.
Final Words on Building Self-Confidence
You will be truly living life when you develop the habits of self-confidence.
A lack of self-confidence keeps us small and if we base our self-worth on external circumstance like how much money we have or how attractive we are instead of developing tools that help us with intrinsic self- worth we will be constantly at the whim of circumstances outside ourselves. With these seven tips, you will be on the road to unshakable self-confidence no matter what the situation.
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1. TAO of Self Confidence – Self Awareness and Self Confidence
2. Humility and Pride | Understanding the The Pride/Humility Wheel
3. Why Try to Always Have A Positive Mental Attitude?
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