Your first step to a healthy self-esteem and personal success is to build confidence. It’s not something you’re born with, but it’s something you can work on developing.
Confidence is just a state of mind. It is the belief in your ability to meet life’s obstacles and succeed. And this belief in yourself is a key element in your success.
In the words of Henry Ford, the iconic figure behind the automotive revolution:
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Believing in yourself is the hallmark of building confidence.
Being confident means recognizing what you’re excellent at. It’s about the value you bring to the table and how you communicate that value to others.
Can you recall a time when you were extremely confident in your ability to do something?
How did you feel at the time? Did you ever feel unstoppable and ready to take on the world?
It’s long been recognized that your beliefs (whether true or false), guide your behaviors and define your life. Your thoughts and actions are the architects that will help you build confidence.
Essentially, confidence is based on your belief (in your ability to succeed) rather than your actual talent.
Now, let’s dive into seven intriguing, yet often overlooked, strategies for cultivating confidence that paves your path to success:
The first unspoken key to building confidence is to cease being your own harshest critic. Are you constantly comparing yourself to seemingly flawless individuals and feeling inadequate?
Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others and feeling inferior as a result. You must understand that they have worked extremely hard to get to where they are now.
What you don’t see is how many times they tried and failed before finally succeeding. Instead, consider the end result of what you want to achieve. Think about how it will improve your quality of life.
Make the decision to be the person who can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Then, put aside your fears, doubts, and pressures in order to get yourself out of the way.
To build confidence, you must silence that nagging voice inside your head that doubts your actions and questions your choices.
This is your inner critic, that nagging voice inside you that governs your thoughts towards yourself and others.
Your inner critic usually takes shape during childhood, when painful life events are embedded in your subconscious mind. These negative voices may have originated from parents, teachers, or key caretakers when you were a child.
How can you break away from these self-loathing and negative self-talks that keep you trapped in a perpetual vicious cycle?
Is there a way to free yourself from these thoughts and develop a feeling of self-worth and unstoppable confidence?
Well, in order to silence your inner critic, you must first be aware of it. Your self-critical thoughts are simply beliefs that you have unknowingly implanted in your subconscious mind over time.
“Whenever you think in absolutes or hyperbole like, “I’ll never get better at this” or “I’m always behind schedule” you can be sure that you’re witnessing the Inner Critic’s handiwork.”
If you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself, just rescript those words by saying something like:
“I did my best and I’m proud of myself for the effort I put in.”
The practice of mindfulness is another approach to counteracting your subconscious mind’s steady stream of negative thoughts.
Mindfulness does more than just get you into a calmer state of mind. It also creates a buffer between you and those self-defeating thoughts.
Mindfulness is an effective tool that enhances your concentration, emotional balance, and mental calmness.
The intention of mindfulness is to focus your attention in the present moment and strengthen your body-mind connection.
Mindfulness meditation teaches you to accept and not judge your thoughts and feelings. According to a study published in the Global Journal of Health Science, it boosts self-esteem, a vital component of confidence.
When you begin to practice mindfulness, you become more aware of what is going on in your life. This gives you more control and improves your capacity to make better decisions.
Part of your mindfulness practice involves you taking a step back and examining your thoughts as they come and go. This gives you the freedom to select which feelings you want to embrace and which you want to avoid.
As a result, you’ll be able to call on this confidence when you need it most.
Arthur Ashe, tennis legend and the first African-American male to win the US Open, once remarked that:
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
People who are confident are always prepared for what lies ahead. Your competence improves with planning and preparation, which in turn boosts your confidence.
“The best way to build confidence in a given area is to invest energy in it and work hard at it.”
When you are adequately prepared, it gives you the confidence to perform a task successfully. To boost your confidence, get involved in deliberate practice. It is essential in your bid to build confidence because it will always surpass your natural ability.
Furthermore, when you’re well-prepared, you’ll feel less stressed and more in control. It can also help you get a major competitive advantage, so you can think and act more effectively.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
The most effective technique to build confidence is to act with the confidence you aspire to have. That is, act as though you already have the confidence you desire.
By acting as if something is real long enough, your behavior will become habitual. You will begin to forget that you are merely pretending.
This technique is known as the “As-If” frame. It is based on Hans Vaihinger’s article Philosophie des Als Ob (‘Philosophy of As If’), published in 1911.
The objective of the “As-If” frame is to allow you to put your limiting beliefs aside and explore alternative possibilities.
This is no different from the “fake it till you make it” formula advocated by the Law of Attraction movement.
When you’re afraid or unsure, close your eyes for a moment. Recall a time when you were confident and self-assured. Bring yourself back to that moment by using all of your senses.
You’ll be able to cultivate that emotion in the current moment if you do this. The mind and body influence one another. When you act confidently by replaying confident memories in your mind, your body will adopt a confident physiology as well.
If you intend to use this approach in other areas of your life, please do so with discretion. Because the “fake it till you make it” method has its limitations.
Do you ever notice how confident people use a certain set of phrases in their everyday speech? If you pay close attention to their vocabulary, you might discover the following words in their everyday conversation:
Without a doubt
“When we direct our thoughts properly, we can control our emotions.”
Your mind is incapable of distinguishing between fact and fantasy. As a result, the words you choose have a direct impact on your thoughts and emotions. And your emotions are essential in developing your confidence.
The language you use reflects your inner thoughts. When you use empowering words in your daily communication, you will become a more optimistic and happier person.
You will also be able to perceive things from a different perspective. As you do so, more possibilities will open up for you, and you’ll become more confident as a result.
Most people do not give much thought to the words they use when speaking. So, start by being conscious of your daily vocabulary.
Here are examples to show you how a confident person would speak versus someone who is not:
Confident statement: I will be there by 11 o’clock.
Unsure statement: I’ll try to be there by 11 o’clock.
Confident statement: I can travel to London next month.
Uncertain statement: I hope I can travel to London someday.
As you start using empowering words in your daily communication, your mindset and thoughts will change. And your confidence will soar.
You’re probably aware that your subconscious mind doesn’t discriminate between fact and fiction. This is why affirmations, which are sentences you repeat over and over until they become true, can be effective.
Repeating affirming statements like “I am a calm and confident person” regularly teaches your brain to believe them.
Besides being a powerful tool to manifest the changes you want in your life; they are ideal for building confidence. Because it has the power to rewire your brain.
But affirmations have their limitations. If you have a firmly ingrained negative belief in your subconscious mind, it can override a positive affirmation.
So, how do you put affirmations to work for you in your bid to build confidence? First, figure out what beliefs have been holding you back from building confidence.
Then, write down affirmations that will boost your confidence level. While you can use affirmations that you’ve read somewhere, it’s preferable to personalize your affirmations.
To benefit from the affirmations you have created, repeat them aloud for about five minutes, three times a day. If you keep a journal, you can also write your affirmations down several times in your journal.
Almost every aspect of living a happy and fulfilling life is tied to self-confidence. It is something everyone aspires to achieve.
Confidence is knowing that you have talents and positive qualities, that you can handle challenges and deal with challenging situations.
Confidence gives you the skills and coping strategies you need to deal with failure and setbacks. Once you have it, you will be virtually unstoppable.
Confidence will also bring you grit, mental toughness and the ability to persevere. It can help you with finding a decent job, getting more dates, and creating the life you desire.
Confidence binds you to your authentic self. It will make it easier for you to accept your imperfections since you’ll know there’s no bearing on your self-worth.
Now that you have learned the seven subtle secrets to building confidence, what is your next step?
Here’s a quick relaxation practice to help you get started on your confidence-building journey. Locate a quiet area where you feel safe and at ease.
Use this script to assist you in subconsciously reprogramming your thinking and accelerating your journey to build unstoppable confidence.
Gently close your eyes and take a deep breath…with each breath you are feeling more and more comfortable and more and more relaxed…wherever you are now…you are experiencing a very calm and confident feeling…
With this feeling…be aware that you have the ability to build confidence… you possess all the capabilities to be that person that confident person you want to be …
… you possess all the capabilities to be that person that confident person you want to be …
Allow yourself to feel totally relaxed…and at the same time you feel safe and secured as you slowly drift…into a state of deep…deep relaxation…
Now, take a deep breath…and with each breath…you know that you have full control of your life … and as you continue to focus on your breathing…think about the times that you felt absolutely confident…as you picture them in your mind… allow this confident feeling to grow…let this confidence grow and manifest itself in your day-to-day success …
At the same time…you also realize that…you can unlearn feelings of fear and lack of confidence … as you take another deep breath … feeling totally relaxed … allow the image of you … being happy and secure … confident and self-assured … as you tell yourself … I can …and I will …
As this comfortable image soothes your mind…you are filled with positive energy…and the feeling of fear leaves you for good… and you allow only good thoughts and positive feelings to become part of you… with the awareness that…
And…you realized that you are a confident and competent person…feeling good about yourself…and your achievements…as you think about the time you feel totally confident…you see the image of yourself…you can hear sounds and voices from that time…and those feelings of confidence completely surround you…
Now, allow that feeling to expand… and you can see that feeling as a glowing white light…warm and comfortable … powerful… and allow that white light to expand and grow so that it encompasses you … and your whole being to be embraced by this white glowing light…
Feel that warm and comfortable feeling …as it continues to grow and expand…allow that white light to be absorbed into your body … and…as you absorb the light completely…
You are aware that from this point forth… each and everything you do … you will be able to perform better than you have ever done before … because you will approach each new task with … a confident frame of mind … and with each breath…you know that your confidence will grow stronger and stronger every day…
From now onwards…your will always have the confidence…and as you allow this whole feeling to be embedded into your subconscious mind.…you are ready to awake from this relaxed state…
You will also emerge as a calm and confident person…and you can achieve much more…at the count of 3…you will open your eyes…feeling safe…secure…confident…and from now on… you are a confident person in full control of your own destiny…
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