Do you consider yourself self-confident?
Self-confidence is the feeling of assurance in who you are — in spite of your life circumstances or achievements. It is the ability to love and accept yourself, flaws and all, and view yourself from a perspective of optimistic realism and acceptance.
Most of us at some point in our lives, or for big chunks of our lives, have dealt with low self-confidence.
Throughout our lives and well into adulthood, our life experiences can impact our self-confidence. Sometimes a dip in self-confidence is episodic — like a job loss, a divorce, or a financial crisis. Something bad happens, and until we can get our footing again, we feel discouraged and inadequate.
We may feel wounded for a while, but over time we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again. Our inner confidence kicks in, and we recognize we have the resources to get past the event and thrive again.
However, if your life has been “a series of unfortunate events,” your self-confidence might never have had the opportunity to emerge again. This is particularly true for those who had a difficult childhood and are already starting at a self-confidence deficit.
If you enter adulthood lacking confidence, you don’t have the inner reserves to manage the inevitable ups and downs of living. Negative life events, failures, and difficulties happen to everyone. But without a core foundation of self-confidence, these events continue to take a toll on your ability to thrive in life.
But self-confidence can be learned and nurtured. It comes from a place of peaceful acceptance of yourself and full recognition that you have the power to create your life rather than react to it.
You have control over your destiny, and the only things standing in your way are your thoughts and beliefs about yourself – and perhaps a lack of knowledge about how to change or heal those.
You can rebuild self-confidence through positive, forward moving, life affirming actions.
Here are some self-confidence boosting actions you might not have considered before.
1. Turn off the TV, step away from the computer, put down the book
When we aren't feeling great about ourselves, we turn to these things as a distraction and escape from the pain of low self-confidence. We numb ourselves with electronics or get lost in reading. None of these are bad things at the right time, but now is the time for forcing action in your life. Passivity will foster low self-confidence.
2. Volunteer with children
If you want to feel immediately successful and appreciated, volunteer doing something with children. Children offer unconditional acceptance and joy. They naturally appreciate adult attention and interaction. Volunteer to read to children in your local school. Or become a big brother or big sister.
3. Have one daily goal
Just one — and make it non-negotiable. Set aside the same time every day to accomplish your one goal. It doesn't need to be big. What matters is that you do it every day. Your one goal can be part of a bigger goal that leads to a solid achievement. Working toward something diligently will boost your self-confidence.
4. Start a blog
Creating and writing for a blog is not only fun, but it also can provide a great service for people and allow you to build extra income. It involves a variety of interesting skills and allows you to express yourself and share your knowledge. Even if you don't share your blog with others, it is a great way to chronicle your thoughts and ideas. If you want to learn how to create a blog, check out Start A Blog That Matters by my friend and online expert Corbett Barr or any of the ProBlogger Products.
5. Join Toastmasters
Toastmasters provides the tools to help you become an effective communicator and leader. When you develop speaking skills you develop natural leadership skills too. And although it's not officially a networking group in the traditional sense of the word, Toastmasters offers wonderful networking opportunities with like-minded people. You simply can't be part of this organization without building your self-confidence.
6. Smile to yourself, to others, and in front of the mirror
Psychologists have found that even if you’re in bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by forcing yourself to smile. Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress. Smiles make a person seem more attractive, sociable and confident, and people who smile more are more likely to get a promotion at work.
7. Create something
During those times when you might be watching TV, surfing the net, or reading a book — create something instead. Draw, plant flowers, build something, write a poem, make a vision board. Doing something creative and fun gives you a sense of achievement while being relaxing and non-threatening. Read the book, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron for more ideas on creative projects. (Yes, this is acceptable reading as long as you put the book down and work on something creative!)
8. Have an imaginary good twin
When we have low self-confidence, we tend to engage in regular negative self-talk. This just reinforces our bad feelings and low confidence. So mentally visualize your higher self as your good twin. The good twin only has positive, loving, and supportive things to say about you. Imagine the twin is always sitting on your shoulder. When you begin the negative self-talk, you turn to the twin and only listen to his or her voice. Arm the twin with real facts about why you should be confident and happy.
9. Work on your passion
Having a life passion will naturally boost self-confidence. When you feel engaged and excited about what you have going on in your life, self-confidence is an automatic by-product. If you don't know what your passion is, make it your temporary passion to find out. Here's a resource to help you.
10. Become a scarce resource
Look around you at work or in your life otherwise. Where do you see a need that isn't being fulfilled? Where is there a problem but no solution being provided? Where is there a lack of information or expertise? Ferret out that vacuum and learn all you can about how to create the answers and solutions. Become an expert in an area where you will be a scarce resource and in high demand. When people turn to you as the expert, you will feel confident in your value and sense of purpose.
You don’t have to be a high achiever, financially successful, outrageously attractive, the most popular, or super intelligent to have self-confidence. At its core, real self-confidence is about quiet authenticity. It’s about being yourself, whoever you may be, and learning to love that self while continuing to improve upon it. As you practice actions that boost self-confidence, you will learn to trust yourself and appreciate the unique qualities you offer the world.
How is your self-confidence, and what other ideas do you have for creating a self-confidence boost? Please share them in the comments below.
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