As you may recall, last week, in my newsletter, I shared the five common situational confidences.
Hopefully by now, you have a better sense of what causes your confidence to go up and down like a roller coaster. You can be on the top one minute, and feel your confidence sink the next.
To stay more even-keeled, think of confidence like a bank account. You want to make regular deposits into your confidence bank, so you can stay positive when people and situations make withdrawals on your confidence.
The key to having a more sustained level of confidence is to make more deposits. The ways you can make deposits into your confidence bank account are numerous. Here are a few you might try:
- Project a positive presence. This goes beyond good grooming (but does include good grooming). A positive presence is projected through good posture, a smiling face, and a quick and light step. If you don’t believe this, then try this experiment:
- Walk into a convenience store with slumped shoulders, eyes diverted, feet slow. Pay attention to how people react to you – if they even react at all. You may feel that you are invisible.
- Now walk into a convenience store with a positive presence – good posture, light step, smiling face. Hold the door for someone. Look them in the eye and say “hello”. Now, how do people respond to you?
One of the take-aways from this experiment is this: When you project a positive presence, most people respond to you in a positive way. That in turn gives your confidence a boost. When you have a bland or negative presence, most people ignore you – and that in turn diminishes your confidence.
- Make a list of things you like about yourself. It’s okay to be a little egotistical here. Include in this list the positive things your friends and family say about you. Not only is it important to like yourself, it helps to be aware of your positive attributes. Keep the list and refer to it prior to going into situations that seem intimidating. You will be reminded that you have value!
- Pay attention to your self-talk. Is it negative? Critical? Blaming? Hurtful? If so, switch the language to positive comments. You have wonderful qualities and you also have some “needs improvements”. Yes, you may be disorganized at times AND you also do wonderful things for other people. You are a blend of your positive traits, sprinkled in with a few areas that may “need improvement”. Seek self-acceptance, not perfection.
- Recognize your mistakes for what they are. Most mistakes can be defined as mistakes of ambition. This means that you are trying something new, solving a problem, working too hard, or trying to do more than you are actually capable of accomplishing given your resources. You will make mistakes. And when you do, take responsibility. Raise your hand and say, “I goofed.” Then, seek a solution, learn your lesson, and move on.
- Be supportive of others. People who are overly self-critical are usually critical of others. When you put yourself in the position of helping, not judging, you will find that you judge yourself less.
Confidence can be developed. Sure – it seems that some people were born with a leg up in life. We all know people who started life in a supportive, nurturing family that provided the opportunities for them to get ahead. But many, many successful people have had to pull themselves up by their boot straps and go it alone. They took responsibility for their lives and you can too.
Stay tuned for the final week: Is confidence a sprint or a marathon?
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