5 Tips to Increase Your Confidence

confidentbizman--resizedConfidence and happiness go together, and yet circumstances and events around us threaten to strain that connection.
Even the most confident of us can have moments of doubt or incidents that dampen and diminish our usual upbeat certainty.

Confidence is the belief that you have the ability and skills to succeed at whatever you tackle. When you are confident, your inner voice says “Yes, I can.”

Happiness is a state of well-being, where you are pleased with your life and look forward to each day.

Confidence is learned. It is based on successfully completing activities and reaching goals. The more you are successful at what you tackle, the stronger your confidence that you’ll be able to succeed at future endeavors.

Here are 5 tips to gain and maintain your confidence which will give you deep satisfaction in your day-to-day life.

1. Recognize that you are not alone.

People who are successful have moments of doubt and a slip in confidence occasionally. They also have failures and make mistakes, but they realize that this is part of growth. Instead of being undone by these bumps in the road, they find ways to restore their feelings of self-worth and self-assurance. You can do this as well.

2. Surround yourself with confident people and situations.

We are all influenced by our surroundings. That’s why it’s important to stay in the company of inspiring people who encourage you and cheer you on. This may be in the form of motivational groups, seminars, audio recordings, clubs, books, and of course, your friends. Fill your experiences and mind with uplifting people and ideas.

3. Break big tasks into smaller ones.

It’s scary to stare at a big task as if you had to accomplish it in one swoop. Big tasks take many days, weeks and sometimes years. So, chop the big task into small parts and complete one small task at a time.

Completing a college degree, for example, will require you to complete many units of study, often taking many years. But since you can only take one course or set of courses at a time, focus on what you can handle in small chunks. Complete them successfully knowing that they are moving you closer to your goal.

4. Acknowledge your successes, even small ones.

You may be like many of us, and discount your achievements, or put yourself down for not having done more. This is a big confidence-killer.

When you complete a step toward your goal, congratulate yourself, celebrate and reassure yourself that you will succeed at the next step as well.

5. Practice positive self-talk and affirmations.

Scientists say that we think thousands of thoughts each day. Since we tend to move toward the direction of the thoughts it’s essential that we think positive ones.

Think about what you want to bring about. Even before it comes into being it’s essential to speak about the good you want. Some achieve this with the help of guided meditation, prayer, and spiritual rituals. Find what works for you and make it a part of your life.

4 More Tips to Gain Confidence

From http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2010/04/dancing-with-the-stars-results-the-next-elimination.html

From http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2010/04/dancing-with-the-stars-results-the-next-elimination.html

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.

3 Tips to Gain Confidence

butterfliesinfield“Nerves and butterflies are fine – they’re a physical sign that you’re mentally ready and eager.  You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that’s the trick.”  ~Steve Bull

Performing in front of an audience is one of the scariest things you can do, and yet some people make their living doing just that.

Do you imagine that they are perfectly confident and never feel scared?

If you think that, you’d be wrong.

I doubt that anyone wakes up one day and is confident from that day forth.

Self-confidence is the belief that you can handle whatever comes up and that you deserve good things and happiness in your life. Confidence is an essential part of happiness

Building your confidence can be done in many ways. Here are 3 tips to get you started.

1. Look at what you’ve already achieved in your lifetime.

  • Make a list of your achievements.
  • Pat yourself on the back and accept compliments from others.
  • Refer to your list of achievements when you begin to feel down.

Give yourself huge credit if you’ve finished school, raised a family, managed your rent or mortgage for years, completed some task that at first you thought was hard, grew tomatoes, stood up and won against a company or person who was trying to defraud you, overcame an illness, reached your weight loss goals, found your way when you were lost, learned another language and so on.

Many of us take our achievements for granted, and thereby miss a key ingredient of self-confidence.

The beauty of acknowledging your achievements is you have proof of what you can do, and a reason to believe that you can do it again.

2. Make a list of your strengths.

Dwell on and build on these strengths

Get started by looking back at #1. The achievements you accomplished were likely related to strengths of character, behavior, and skills.

3. Take control of your thoughts.

When your mind begins to drift to self-doubt, pull yourself back with positive self-talk about the things you noted in #1 and #2.

That inner critic is alive and well in all of us, but you are in charge. You may well have to get rough with your thoughts in order to keep them in line. But it’s worth it.  Your happiness depends on gaining and keeping your confidence.

[See Wednesday’s post for more tips]