Do You Want To Know How To Build Your Self Confidence?
If you want to know how to build your self-confidence, read on.
Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right. ~Henry Ford
There is a very sad story. An executive left $100,000 with three of his employees. The executive was going overseas on business for three years. The first employee took that money, assessed the business opportunities before her, came up with a business plan, and invested in the opportunity.
At the end of three years, the employee had sold that business for a very tidy profit. The second employee found a financial planner and invested the money in stocks and bonds, so that there was a good return on investment when the executive returned from overseas.
Now comes the sad part.
The third employee had a very rough childhood. His parents split up when he was young. Both parents had only bad things to say to the employee when he was growing up. He came to believe what they said about him, and he did not think that he had any talent or ability. He thought that he had gotten his current job out of luck. Having $100,000 on his hands made him very nervous. So he took the money to his basement and locked it in a safe. He was afraid of losing any money and getting a bad review from his boss.
Too many of us have locked $100,000 in the safe!!
The Bible tells this story. And here is the lesson I take from it, in terms of self-confidence. How much money do you think you are worth? $1,000, $10,000, $100,000, millions. How about: Priceless!!
Yet, how many of us, either out of fear, laziness, or false beliefs (based on what parents, teachers, or friends have told us growing up) have tried to “play it safe” by putting our talents in a safe. That safe represents the following key features of low self-confidence:
MindTools has an article that speaks of a great analogy for some practical exercises you can engage in to forge your self-confidence: it’s that of taking a journey. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix to immediately give you the self-confidence. But, if you have the commitment, focus, and determination necessary to make the journey, you be astounded at how much confidence you will forge by the end of the journey.
Success Factor: Prepare for the Journey
Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. – E.E. Cummings
- Write down all the victories and accomplishments you have already achieved. One of the best questions I have ever come across when doing my year-end reflection in preparation for my goals for the next year (Your Best Year Yet!: Ten Questions for Making the Next Twelve Months Your Most Successful Ever) is found in the book that I’ve mentioned in parentheses. “What were some of my greatest accomplishments.” When you write it all down, it’s amazing what your accomplishments can do to boost your sense of self-confidence to set goals for the year ahead.
- Think About Your Strengths. I wrote about this at length before in an article about Getting Your SWAT Together. By reflecting about what you are good at, as well as areas for growth (Now, Discover Your Strengths), you will be preparing for greatness.
- Get your personal mission statement, vision, and goals in place. The scientific study of achievers and persons who are experience personal satisfaction (positive psychology) are striving toward meaningful goals.
- Manage Your Mind. Half of your journey toward self-help motivation and self-confidence is in how you think and communicate to yourself about yourself, your abilities, your strengths, and your circumstances. (The other half is your ability to taking consistent actions daily toward your goals). You’ve got to feed your brain and soul valuable nutrients if you want to gain increased self-confidence. I want to take some time here to highlight some key fellow bloggers who help me feed my mind with positive and inspirational content:
- Rod Kirby at The Success Center
- Steven Aitchison at Change Your Thoughts.
- Jonathan Wells at Advanced Life Skills.
- Celestine Chua at The Personal Excellence Blog.
- And this is an audio program from Brian Tracy that helped me immensely: The Science of Self-Confidence (Nightingale Conant)
These are just a few of many who influence me to keep growing in my journey of self-confidence.
Success Factor: Start the Journey
Here’s what I want you to do, before you get started. Pick one of your goals. Then go to HabitForge and enter it. Invite a couple of your close friends to monitor you. Then get started!
- Build the Knowledge You Need to Succeed. Don’t delude yourself. If you figure out that you are lacking in certain skills after doing a SWOT analysis, make a plan to go out and get those skills. For example, it’s important to learn a new language to stay competitive in today’s business environment. I’m setting a goal to learn Spanish starting this year. So my first step will be to go to the library and find out what materials are available. My next step may be to sign up for a community college course. Another next action would be to take my friend up on an offer to go out with his Spanish speaking buddies to get immersed in hearing and (trying to) converse. In summary, find out what skills you need to learn. You may also need to build on skills that you already have, but you will need to grow them to the next level. Find those who are experts in the ares of knowledge you are seeking, and learn from them.
- Practice CANI (Constant and Never Ending Improvement, the term for kaizen, improvised by Anthony Robbins in his work, Awaken the Giant Within) In other words, take one small action each day toward mastering your new skill/knowledge areas. As you do this, your confidence will steadily increase.
- Learn to Embrace Failure as Your Friend. The key to success is to have a positive attitude toward risk and failure. For example, Tony Robbins, a very successful public speaker, quickly outpaced other speakers because he slated himself to speak almost five times more often than they did. Did he fail? Sure! Did he look stupid? Sure! But he learned each time that he spoke, and he became progressively more expert and confident.
Success Factor: Increase the Pace
Once you have arrived at a degree of success and self-confidence, don’t make the mistake of getting complacent, overconfident, or lazy!
Continue to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone. Set new goals for yourself. Rub shoulders with experts who are more successful than you are. At the same time, look for people with less confidence and experience, and see how you can lend them a helping hand with what you have learned.
I want to wrap this up with a fantastic video by Zig Ziglar that well illustrates how we build self-confidence. It takes a lot of effort and determination at the beginning, but once you get started, you will be happy that you read this article 🙂
(photo credit: pincusvt on Flickr)