by Dawn Depke
What exactly is confidence and why does everyone want more of it?
I’ve asked several people this very question and everyone’s answered it differently. Confidence means different things to different people. The most important question is, what does it mean to you? And What would having more provide for you?
I’ve heard confidence described as an energy, a state of being, an attitude, a choice, and having it allows us to be courageous, brave, and bold. It allows you take risks, ask for what you want, have healthy boundaries, and go after your dreams.
On a scale from 0-10, how much confidence do you have? Do you wish you had more? How would your life change if you’re confidence massively increase? What would be possible for you? How would you feel? What would you do that you aren’t already doing? Who would you become, that you aren’t already being?
These are some insightful questions to ponder, and they’re even more powerful when answered.
What if I told you that you could have as much confidence as you desired, would you be willing to do what it takes to get it?
One thing’s for certain, none of us are born with limitless confidence, it’s a skill that’s developed and maintained throughout our lifetime.
Do you remember the first time you were asked to give a book report or read an assignment in front of the entire class when you were in grade school? I’ll never forget the first time my teacher asked me to go to the front of the room and speak in front of the ENTIRE class?
Instantly my heart began pounding so hard and so fast, that I thought it was going to pound right out of my chest. My mouth felt instantly dry and my face flush with heat and redness just as the intense nauseating feeling grew in the pit of my stomach. I was terrified!
As terrifying as that first experience was, I learned to calm the inner panic and develop massive confidence which led me to thrive in uncharted territory, and in circumstances where I was uncomfortable, which in turn, grew my confidence even more.
This earned confidence has landed me unbelievable opportunities that never would have been an option had I not developed a certain level of confidence and maintained it.
Here’s how I did it, and the top 10 things you can do to build your self-confidence and maintain it.
- Change Your Physiology
When in doubt, look the part. Stand tall, shoulders back, smile and look people in the eye. NLP (Neuro linguistic programing) teaches that physiology has an impact on our behavior, which in turn has an impact on our results. It’s also taught that our mental state, has an impact on our physiology, so changing your thoughts will automatically change your physiology and vise versa. So the old adage, “Fake it ‘til you make it” has some truth to it.
- Breathe Slowly and Deeply
It’s natural for your heart rate and shallow breathing to increase when you find yourself in uncomfortable circumstance. By taking slow deep breaths, a shift in your inner physiology and mind takes place. This type of breathing impacts and calms the nervous system which helps create an expansion for mental clarity and a sense of being grounded allowing you to keep cool, calm and collected in most situations.
- Immediate Positive Self-Talk
Take control of your thoughts, especially the ones that are negatively impacting you. You do know you can do that, right? This was a powerful step for me and one that I still use today. Command the inner critic to be quiet and tell yourself that you can do it. Whatever circumstance you find yourself in (public speaking, asking your boss for a raise, speaking your truth to a significant other…) repeat something to yourself that’s helpful and keeps the inner critic quiet, such as, “I can do this.” “I’ve got this.” or “It’ll all work out.”
- Visualize the Successful Outcome
Visualization is the technique of seeing an image of yourself accomplishing the very thing you want, desire, or think you can’t. People who lack confidence have a poor inner perception of themselves that is often inaccurate. Practicing visualization is one of the best ways to change the images in our mind, which has massive impact on your levels of confidence. See yourself accomplishing and overcoming any situation that you are wanting or desiring to overcome. Visualize and see the best version of yourself achieving this easily and effortlessly. As Napoleon Hills once said, “If you and see it, you can achieve it.”
- Positively Affirm yourself.
An affirmation is a statement of something that is declared to be true. To build self-confidence, it’s vital to use positive, empowering and uplifting statements and not self-deprecating ones.
Pay attention to how you speak about yourself internally and externally. Do you call yourself names? Do you belittle or undervalue yourself or make yourself, your abilities, or your achievements seem less important than they really are?
We begin to believe what we tell ourselves over time, so speaking to yourself in a loving and positive manner is important for you to feel good about yourself and your accomplishments. Eliminating negative self-talk and changing beliefs about yourself, to a more expansive and possibility-oriented way of speaking will leave you feeling more empowered and confident.
Examples of an affirmation are, “I am a good person.” “I am loveable.” I am magnetic.” “I deserve to succeed in every area of my life.” “I take time to breathe slowly and deeply.” “I am courageous and brave.” “I am worthy.” Begin affirming yourself today and feel your self-love and confidence grow.
- Use Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique)
EFT is an effective way to immediately shift your internal negative state of being on the spot. If you begin to feel angry, worried, sad, anxious, or another negative emotion tapping on specific acupressure points while feeling and expressing verbally how you are feeling moves that energy and emotion through quicker so that you can feel neutral again. This is a quick yet extremely effective tool to master. For an instructional video about how to do EFT click here.
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
One of the best ways to grow as a person and increase your self-confidence is to challenge yourself on a regular basis to step outside your comfort zone. Everything you desire but don’t have is outside your comfort zone and the only way to get it, is to expand beyond it.
How you ask, well….in my opinion and other successful peoples, the best way to overcome fear is to face it head-on, by doing the very thing that scares you the most. Immediately your confidence expands because you moved beyond that invisible barrier that was holding you back. More times than not, it’s your perception that’s the scariest part. Moving through the fear feels invigorating and empowering. I challenge you to think about one thing that you have been putting off and today commit to doing it today. Begin getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and expand your confidence beyond what you ever thought was possible for yourself.
- Know what you want and why you want it
Knowing what you want and why you want it increases confidence because when you have direction and purpose, confidence automatically follows. People who don’t know what they want, let life lead them, meanwhile people who know what they want, lead life.
If you don’t know what you want, or if you know what you want but don’t know how to get it, it’s okay, I have a solution for you. Many people don’t know how to find tune their purpose and make it a reality. Vibrant and Alive Now’s Guide to Creating Your Vibrant Vision ™ was written for people just like you. It is a step-by-step guide to help you go inward, reveal your deepest motivations and desires, define what’s truly important to you and walks you through how to implement it so it becomes your reality. It’s available at VibrantAndAliveNOW.com or at Amazon.com.
- Follow a proven system to get what you want
Confidence is developed and maintained in many ways. You’ve heard the saying, “There are many roads to Rome,” haven’t you? When dealing with confidence, the same philosophy exists. There are many roads to take to develop and maintain it. Finding the best way that works for you is key.
Most successful people have developed their confidence using the steps mentions above and maintain it by following a proven system that works for them. Successful, confident people typically follow a morning routine, a system throughout the day to increase efficiency and productivity, and an evening routine to set them up for a peaceful night’s sleep and an effective next morning.
This system also keeps the important things top of mind, like having down time, time for working out, having fun and having time for family, the ability and flexibility to raise their kids and travel. Not just work.
I have read about and interviewed many successful people and they all follow a proven system that keeps them on track, meanwhile increasing their confidence. For a free copy of Vibrant and Alive NOW’s Guide to Creating a Vibrant Morning click here.
10. No judgement, accept your best, strive for excellence
Mindset has a lot to do with the amount of confidence you have.
There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback, and there’s no such thing as perfection, only excellence. You might reject this initially, but when you truly break it down and think about it, it will make sense.
What I mean by that is that life is a journey of self-discovery and exploration. This “life school” that we’re on gives us numerous opportunities to learn and grow, shift and change who we are. If you’re too afraid of “failing” you won’t ever take the risk to start something that might be completely fulfilling for you. If you strive for “perfection” you stop yourself from even starting it because you think it won’t be good enough, or perfect enough.
My advice to you is to play a big game. Have fun, make mistakes and learn from them. Just pretend for the next few weeks that there is no such thing as failure or perfection, only growth and feedback and see how much more fun life can be.
The more action you take the more feedback you get, and a lot of that feedback will be positive in ways you can’t even imagine. Doing this not only helps your confidence grow, you will begin seeing your inner strength, flexibility, courage and other amazing qualities that you never noticed about yourself begin to shine.
If you liked this blog post you will love other works by Dawn Depke. Find them at VibrantAndAliveNow.com. To contact Dawn email firstname.lastname@example.org