There are many different ways you can build, or boost your self confidence and self-esteem.
When people speak to me about their confidence issues, the biggest concern, by far, is the fear of failure. In fact, it’s so common that I’ve dedicated an entire post to improving the way you think about failure.
1. Start a Journal:
There are many free journaling programs available online. My personal favorite, simply as a journal, is RedNotebook, but any one of the many offering will do. When you write down your small successes everyday, then look back at the end of the week, you’ll soon begin to see that you capabilities are greater than you expected.
Keep a small notebook in your pocket, or bag and make short notes about all of your little achievements; small things like making someone smile unexpectedly, or finishing a report 30 minutes early, etc. All these sorts of things happen on a daily basis, but we’re usually blind to the importance they can have on our level of confidence.
You should also note down anything that didn’t turn out exactly the way you planned. You can then look at it later and try to discover the reasons why, then you can steer clear of those distractions, or problems next time.
2. Avoid trying to be perfect.
No one is ever going to be perfect. Whether your developing a worksheet, baking cakes, or writing a book, etc., initially, good enough will do. Once it’s done, you can always go back later and improve it, but if the process keeps stalling because you’re constantly starting again, you’ll never get there…. get it done, then make it better!
3. Think positively.
No matter what fate has befallen your attempts to be a success at something, there’s always a positive to take from your apparent ‘failure’. Sometimes, you may have almost ‘made it’, but one little thing let you down. Instead of seeing the whole experience as a failure, celebrate the positive things that have happened, and vow to change the things that didn’t go as well.
Sometimes, it may seem as though nothing good came of your attempt, well in that case, your positive is that you triumphed in discovering what didn’t work, so you’ll do it better next time. Some of the greatest minds of our time were abject failures!
4. Take action
Decide to take some action every day. To start with, it may only be something small, like making that phone call to the tax office, or remembering to smile when you answer the telephone, but as your confidence grows, so will your ability to take action on larger things. Whenever you take action on something, write it down. Write down how you felt beforehand, then how elated you felt afterward. Small actions create great benefits, especially when you write them down, then refer back to them when you’re searching for inspiration to do an uncomfortable task.
5. Improve your posture.
When you look confident, you feel confident. Stand tall, with your shoulders back and breathe deeply. Imagine there’s a rope pulling your head upwards and the rest of your body is straightening up along with it.When you speak, try to speak slowly and purposefully, avoid rushing your words. When people who lack self confidence speak, they tend to rush their words, because unconsciously, they don’t feel their views are worth wasting someone’s time with. Confident people speak ‘confidently’ and simply by slowing yourself down, you’ll feel more confident in your opinions.
6. Get some exercise.
This tip probably isn’t one you were expecting, but if you feel better physically, you’ll feel better about yourself mentally. Getting some exercise doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym four times a week, or running 5 miles a day. it can be as simple as going for a short walk a few times a week, or getting off the bus one stop early and walking the rest of the way, or taking the stairs now and then, rather than jumping straight in the elevator.
7. Break down big tasks.
Sometimes the confidence you have in your abilities, is judged by the size of the task you’re asking yourself to undertake. If you have to complete a task that seems way above your abilities, break it down into smaller, manageable steps, then congratulate yourself on a job well done each time you complete a step. Small tasks are much easier to see yourself completing than huge daunting ones, so make it easy to succeed.
8. Remember that the only way to truly fail, is never to to try.
Successes build confidence and as long as you notice the successes, your confidence will increase. Whenever you feel like a task is beyond your capabilities, ask yourself “what’s the worst that could happen?” You’ll usually find that any consequences of ‘failure’ are very small compared to the benefits of the many success you could have if you just took a chance and did it.
9. Stop trying to improve.
By trying to improve yourself, you’re unconsciously telling yourself that there’s something wrong with you in the first place. Instead of trying to improve what you believe is wrong, start to develop all the things that are right! Build on your strengths, and then use the confidence you have in those abilities, to bolster the abilities you have less confidence in.
10. Model confident people.
If you work with someone who always seems confident in what they do, model them. Watch the way they act around people, the way they sit when they answer the telephone, etc. Speak to them – people love to talk about themselves, so ask them what they think about when they find themselves in a new and untried situation. While you’re talking to them, try to ‘match and mirror’ their body language, eg breathe at the same rate as them, speak at the same pace they are, fold your arms if theirs are folded, etc. People also like people who are like them, so be like them and make a new friend… there’s another success to add to your growing list 😉