13 Pointers to Improve Your Confidence

Confidence can be learned!We’ve all been there…  episodes where out of the blue, somebody does or says something totally unprovoked that obliterates your self-confidence. Or, you experience a failure at something you thought you would ace. Or you compare yourself to superstars in any field and wonder, “What’s wrong with me, why can’t I do that?”

Most of all, we hear the word “but”: “You did great, BUT I think you could have tried a little harder.” “I appreciate your contribution, BUT we still lost the contract.” “That was a good effort, BUT maybe you’re more cut out for another sport.”

As a result, our self-talk changes from “I can do this!” to “Why bother? What’s the point? I’m never going to be able to… I’ll never be as good as… It’s not going to work…” And if repeated, that little voice becomes a thought habit… and eventually it becomes a BELIEF.

You can guess where this is headed. Every single person alive has had probably thousands of moments that eroded their confidence. Here are some ways to improve your confidence right now, and get back on track to being the best you can be!

1. Praise yourself. Acknowledge and appreciate your talents, qualities and abilities. Do you ever praise yourself, or just spend your precious time belittling yourself? Right now:

  • Write down 5 things you are good at. Even if it’s a small talent or ability, acknowledge it.

  • Remind yourself of the times that you were complimented… but you shrugged it off as “nothing.” Now, think back to that situation and say “THANK YOU” with a big smile on your face.

2. Be your own best cheerleader. It’s easy to be your own worst critic, but there are soooo many people out there who are willing to be your worst critic – the haters, the jealous ones, the ones who just don’t believe you or like you… so let them voice their opinions (because what they say is NOTHING more than opinion)… and don’t beat yourself up over mistakes and failures. Mistakes and failures DO NOT EXIST as negatives if you learn and grow from them!

3. Change your self-talk to be more confidence-inspiring… by applying the “but” principle. Except instead of taking a positive statement and adding a “but… something negative” to it, add “but… something positive” to ALL of your negative self-talk. Example: “I didn’t get the result I wanted, BUT I learned so much from this experience.” Or, “I haven’t sold a painting yet BUT I’m expanding my marketing efforts and constantly working on my craft.” If you constantly tell yourself you’re no good… then that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The same will happen if you constantly tell yourself that you’re amazing. Verbally cheer yourself on, silently and out loud! “Come on, you can do it!” “You’re doing great, keep it up!” “Go for it!” “YES!!!!!”

Don't compare yourself to others.4. Quit taking things personally. So, someone hates your photograph. So, someone dismisses your well-researched report as make-believe. So, someone thinks you’re using performance-enhancing drugs just because you had a day in the Zone. There will always be people whose sole mission is to bring others down. Ignore them. It’s just noise. Block out the negative noise and only allow yourself to absorb constructive criticism (an opportunity to improve) and praise (acknowledgement). Don’t give your personal power away to the haters. Don’t allow another person to dictate how you feel about yourself.

5. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s so unproductive! There will always be someone better, faster, smarter, prettier… and who cares? The more focus you put on them, the less energy you have to focus on yourself. Focus on being the best YOU can be. Let others inspire you, but put your own spin on what you do.

6. Leave your baggage at the last station. Your past is irrelevant. Start to think of yourself as a “rags to riches” story and RIGHT NOW, leave the past behind. Rewrite your “Story of Me.” The past is history… and aren’t reruns boring?

7. Every day, do a little bit. Of course your grand goals are overwhelming. You’ll never get there without action. Take tiny steps every day and you’ll a) look back and see how far you’ve come and b) you’ll be closer to your goal (and soon, beyond it). Commit to 15 minutes a day of working on your dreams.

8. Clear your solar plexus chakra. Your level of self-esteem can be the difference between success and frustration so uplift yourself daily, spend time in the sun, fill your space with light and bright colors (yellow in particular) and focus on your passions and dreams.

9. See failure and mistakes as signs of progress. If you’re taking action, chances are you’re messing up, too. As long as you’re learning from your mistakes and failures, you are progressing and building your self-confidence in the process!

Visualize... and FEEL success!

10. Do it anyway. Fear of failure, rejection, pain, and even success, can paralyze you. But whatever horrible catastrophe you’re imagining is just that – imagination. You can also choose to imagine the best-case outcome. So do that, and take action.

11. Surround yourself with people who inspire, uplift and support you… and create an empowering environment: read books that educate you, watch TV shows that inspire you, listen to music that uplifts you… you get the picture.

12. Visualize! Elite athletes all do this: they visualize the moment of success, but also every movement in the process. You can do the same. LIVE what you want in your imagination and heart, before you take your first step! Always visualize success and the positive emotions that go with it – and remember to visualize the delightful and challenging moments that make up a great experience. Visualize yourself as the hero(ine) of your own mental movie!

13. Love yourself by choosing to be confident. Confidence means you aren’t afraid to “fail” because you know you’ll bounce back stronger than before. Confidence means that you aren’t afraid to try because you will not be diminished in any way if things don’t go as planned. Loving yourself means allowing yourself to give full expression to your life and use your talents and time in the best possible way… not hiding and regretfully wishing while others live magnificent lives.

Go for it!

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