Archives for March 2011

4 More Tips to Gain Confidence



Monday’s post gave you 3 tips to gain confidence. Here are 4 more.

4. Decide where you want to go in your life.

What are your goals, dreams, visions?

Research the skills and actions that are required to get you there.

Even after you’ve accomplished one goal, set another one. Having no goals or aims is fertile ground for negative thoughts.

As I was completing my doctoral studies, one graduate student cautioned us in a seminar to set a new goal once our degrees were awarded. He shared stories of some Ph.D.s who fell into depression when they completed their work because they didn’t set new goals.

5. Commit to building the skills that will help you accomplish your goals.

Even small steps toward your goals boost your self-esteem and thereby your confidence.

If your goal is to declutter, even just sorting your sock drawer is a good start and gives you a feeling of movement toward your goal.

6. Widen your comfort zone.

When you set out toward a new goal you will immediately encounter new and unfamiliar territory. You will be required to take a risk and step into some way of doing things you haven’t done before.

This is your proof that you are making progress. As you master that first scary skill or navigate that first scary step, you will feel a little better. But soon, if you keep moving forward, you will encounter new skills.

Instead of looking at them with fear, look at them with anticipation as they are the stones along your path to success.

Even if you are very skillful in one area, you will experience some fear of the new when you go after a goal in another area.

Think about the TV show, Dancing with the Stars, where celebrities who are experts in some area other than dance step outside of their comfort zone to risk embarrassment and failure in front of the world.

In one episode, Buzz Aldrin, 80-year-old former astronaut took to the dance floor with a sprightly partner. He held his own, including enduring the scathing criticism of the judges, one of whom said he looked like he forgot to take off his moon boots.

Which gets me to the last tip toward building self-confidence.

7. Avoid being dependent on what others say about you–good or bad.

When you are honest with yourself about your strengths, it’s important to also acknowledge your weaknesses.

Learn to evaluate your own performance so that you don’t rely on compliments or dismiss them, or are undone by criticism.

After his performance on Dancing with the Stars, Buzz Aldrin was well aware that he didn’t give a stellar dance performance and that older competitors typically don’t last long.

Earning near the lowest score of the evening, Aldrin’s goal didn’t appear to be winning the competition. He was willing to make himself vulnerable so that others around his age would be encouraged to take risks, step outside of their comfort zones and live their lives to the fullest. If this indeed was his goal, he was a huge success.

Self-confidence is not the absence of butterflies when you are about to take on a task. They indicate that you care deeply about what you are about to do. If you follow these seven steps for achieving and maintaining confidence you will be able to greet those butterflies and command them to fly in formation while you carry out your task passionately and successfully.