Would you like to be more confident?  Hardly anyone says no to this question.  In fact, confidence is one of the few things in life that we don’t necessarily want in moderation.  Don’t confuse confidence with arrogance or an over-inflated sense of one’s self worth.  Genuine confidence by definition is “the assurance you have in yourself or the abilities you possess”.  When used with respect and with a service attitude toward others confidence is a true gift that attracts others. Versus arrogance that repels others.   

I’ve learned personally that to become more confident you must be willing to challenge yourself beyond your comfort zone. You must be willing to make mistakes.  Failure is essential for building confidence even though it seems counter-intuitive.  Through failure we learn the lessons that teach us how to eventually succeed.  The best anecdote for fear is action.  So, I’d like to challenge you this week to take action, one step at a time. 

Here is a simple 5 step system for training yourself to be more confident.  Follow this formula and commit to doing all the steps regularly and daily and you will definitely experience an increase in your confidence.  The best part is once you start to feel your confidence build it multiplies.  Get going in the right direction and you will see yourself doing things you never imagined possible.  

5 SIMPLE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE

1)  Determine WHY you want to be more confident –   What will more confidence give you?  With every goal in life whether it is being financially secure, becoming healthier, or getting that next promotion you must always make sure you are asking yourself why you want to attain the goal. Confidence is simply a means to the end. What’s the end?  When you hit times that you don’t want to work at building your confidence muscle you must go back to your purpose or “why.”  If your why is compelling enough than it will pull you forward to the win at the end.  If you aren’t able to articulate exactly why you want to be more confident ask yourself what the downside in the past has been due to a lack of confidence. What opportunities have you missed?  What disappointments did you experience? 

ACTION STEP – Write out your “why”. I want to be more confident so I can _______________________.

2)  Visualize yourself as more confident –  Modern science continues to prove the power of visualization. Visualization can cure cancer, create architectural wonders, and help professional athletes reach the pinnacle of their career.  How would you look if you displayed more confidence? Close your eyes and picture yourself doing something confidently.  What does your posture look like?  What does the tone in your voice sound like?  How do you feel about yourself when you are showing up in the world as confident?  Get as clear a picture in your mind of yourself practicing something difficult or something you want to master confidently. Visualize this as often as possible (at least daily).  Then when you are ready to actually do what you are visualizing your mind will already know what to do and more importantly HOW to do it confidently. 

ACTION STEP – Sit for 5 minutes today and visualize a more confident you.

3)  Focus on your strengths –  Focusing on your strengths by using them in life is the #1 secret to confidence.  Are you a gifted listener who always remembers what is important to others?  Were you selling used golf balls to your neighbors before you were ready to start kindergarten?  Can you get to the heart of a matter in seconds and simplify even the most confusing conversation with a group?  All of these skills are clues to your uniqueness.  If you are not in a situation that allows you to use your gifts then you will most likely continue to battle a lack of confidence.  If you are not certain what your true strengths are then I highly recommend you research the many assessment tools that will help you determine them.  StrengthsFinder or DiSC are resources you can use with a minimal investment.

Action Step:  Write out your strengths. Then think about how you will use them more in your life.

4)  Guard, control and feed your mind –  Have you heard the expression “Where the mind goes the man (or woman) follows?”  Everything mentioned above is important and necessary for taking steps forward in confidence.  However, if you do not believe first that you have the power inside you to become more confident it will never happen. You must first believe in your heart and your MIND that you can be more confident.   These 3 skills practiced daily will reset your negative thinking patterns into positive messages that are the foundation for confidence.

  • Stay away from “negatives”.  Particularly people.  Be very careful who you spend time with.  Avoid people who bring you down regularly. Surround yourself with positive, successful people who are self starters and are continuously improving.  These people will be your role models for your self-study program.   They may also encourage you as you grow.
  • Identify the things that you say to yourself that drags you down into a pit of self pity and zaps your confidence.  Take the next few days to write down the negative self talk that you hear – catch yourself saying it and keep track.  Then once you know what your 2-3 “zappers” are, start talking back to them and replacing the negative thoughts with positives.  As you practice this you will gradually pull out the negative “weeds” and plant seeds of positive that will grow over time.
  • Replace negative thinking in your head with positives. These are often called affirmations.  Write or audio tape these positive statements of encouragement and “truth” affirmations. Display them visually if that works best for you. Or say them or listen to them if you are an auditory learner.  Just like you feed your body healthy food if you want to be physically healthy you must feed yourself positive mental food to improve your outlook and gain confidence.

ACTION STEPS –

Think of a positive, confident person you can spend more time with and contact them.

Identify your 3 common “zappers” and develop a few affirmations to replace them.

5)  Start Your Confidence Training Program – Confident people have something in common. They take risks and they never view mistakes as failure. They view mistakes as opportunities to learn and get one step closer to success.  If you want to build confidence there is only one true way to do it. Practice doing things that stretch you and even scare you and watch your confidence soar.

Think back to a time when you did something that boosted your confidence.  Was it something easy or challenging?  When we overcome the things we fear the most we make the greatest leaps forward with our confidence.  Commit today to doing something that you would not normally do but you know you should do to be more confident. Can you speak up in a meeting you normally wouldn’t?  Can you attempt a new skill that requires going out on a limb?  The bottom line advice here is practice, practice, practice… to become more confident. 

ACTION STEP:  Commit to one thing you will do this week that will build confidence.  Set a goal. Then DO IT before 5 p.m. on Friday!

Taking these 5 simple steps will set you on a deliberate and exciting journey toward a more confident and authentic you.  If you start building your confidence muscle this week by taking these simple steps imagine how great you will feel by the weekend?   

As they say, life is not a dress rehearsal.  Live confidently and live it to your fullest potential. 

Let me know how you did this week becoming more confident.  I’d love to hear your challenges, triumphs and any ideas you have that have worked in building your confidence.  Connect with me at  www.facebook.com/maryannrivers.biz

Here’s to a more confident, successful and joyful you!  MAR