The other day I was at a coffee shop and 5 people were talking about the economy next to me. As I love this topic, I couldn’t help listening to them for 10 minutes. At one point I noticed an interesting thing about the conversation. One of the guys seemed more certain and self-confident than the others. He talked with clarity and used his hands almost like conductors when he spoke. Very quickly he managed to convince everybody around the table. There was only one problem…everything he said was completely false and made no sense. Yet his 4 friends believed him! How incredible.
That conversation was interesting because it made me realize:
People who succeed in life aren’t necessarily right but they are the ones who are usually more confident than the others. Self-confidence allows them to win negotiations, to convince others, to lead but perhaps most importantly to take a chance.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, showed that those who appeared more confident, achieved a higher social status that their peers. Prof Cameron Anderson of the University of California who lead the study even said that “incompetent people (who are confident) are often promoted over their more competent peers”.
So self-confidence plays an important role in your success and mastering it must be part of your plan.
In this article, I’m going to show you exactly how can build self-confidence so you can get the life you want.
Step 1: Join the gym and build your “muscle of confidence”
Starting building self-confidence is no different than joining a sports club.
When you join a sports club, you need to answer a few questions such as:
- Have you been practicing some sports lately?
- Do you have any health problem?
- How much do you weigh?
The purpose of those questions is to both get to know you better and connect with you.
To start building your confidence you must go through the same process. The only difference is that the one who ask the questions and who’s trying to get to know you isn’t the fitness coach but yourself. That’s right. Right now you think you know yourself but you don’t. There is a whole part of you that you don’t even know exists and the first step to building your self-confidence is to connect with it.
How do you do that? Well it all starts by asking yourself the good questions.
Everyday we ask ourselves thousands of questions. It’s actually what we call thinking. Thinking is nothing more than a series of questions to which we answer in our head. Our brain is the super-computer in charge of coming up with these answers. It’s a super-computer because no matter what question you ask, it will automatically give you an answer.
If you want to build self-confidence you must start monitoring the questions you ask yourself. When you ask yourself poor questions you get poor answers and poor answers leads to poor quality of life. That’s where the low self-esteem comes from. It’s that negative self-talk that happens constantly in your head.
Here are a couple of examples:
How can you build self-confidence if you are constantly beating yourself up, criticizing yourself, comparing yourself to others? You simply can’t.
I’m sure if someone talked to you this way you would never permit it, so why do accept it when you do it to yourself?
To build self-confidence you need to progressively change that self-talk. To do so, you must ask yourself questions that empower you.
- What am I proud of?
- What have I achieved over the past years?
- What hardships did I overcome?
Write every answer down and read them everyday, it will allow you to change your focus and build self-confidence.
“Like working out requires a good diet, building self-confidence requires feeding your brain with good thoughts.”
Step 2: Work out your confidence
A good diet is not enough in a fitness plan. You also need to exercise, which means lifting some weights, running, stretching, pushing your limits…
To build self-confidence that’s exactly the same. You can’t become more confident only by feeding your mind with good thoughts. You must take action, get out of your comfort zone, push yourself and stretch yourself.
To do so you must take on small and big challenges on a regular basis. Challenges are excellent because they help you push your limits, break barriers and create new beliefs about yourself.
When you have a low-self esteem, you tend to limit yourself a lot and see more constraints than possibilities in your life:
- “I’m too shy, I can’t talk to that guy”
- “I’m too fat, I can’t work out“
- “I’m not intelligent enough to join this University”
When you set challenges to yourself, you give yourself the opportunity to prove yourself wrong, which helps you reach other levels of confidence every time.
Here are some examples of simple challenges you can do to build self-confidence:
Make a list of 7 things you have been saying you should do but that you haven’t done yet and go after each one of them this week.
Stop someone in the street and ask him/her the time.
Send an email to yourself in the future and indicated in it the 10 things you are the most proud of about yourself.
#CHALLENGE 4 (also called the Kanye West challenge):
Look at yourself in the mirror every morning for 1 month and say out loud:
“I’m the most awesome person in this world. There is nothing that can stop me”. Do it even if you don’t believe a word you say, your subconscious mind will perceive it as real.
Every time you accomplish a personal challenge, add it to the list of things you are proud of and then read it everyday to feed your mind with uplifting thoughts.
Step 3: Make confidence your new routine
What happens when you’ve been working out for 1 year and then suddenly stop because you are not motivated anymore?
You start gaining weigh, you feel less energetic, you lose the momentum you got, you feel guilty for not doing any sport…you basically go back to square one.
Building self-confidence works the same way. If you stop feeding your mind with empowering thoughts, if you stop challenging yourself, you will lose your confidence. So you must integrate them in your routine a stick to it.
Self-confidence isn’t something you achieve, it’s a lifestyle that you need to adopt.
Now I want to hear from you, do you feel self-confident? Do you know some techniques to build your self-confidence? Please let me know in the comments below.
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