One of the excuses I hear most often as to why people don’t achieve what they would like to is ‘I don’t have the confidence’. So I thought it was about time I did a blog on this.
The excuses come in many forms but the truth is a lack of confidence is down to a fear. And all fears (bar the two we are born with) are due to a lack of, less of or never having love.
I don’t mean love in the lovey dovey context but more along the lines of being liked, essentially worrying what other people will think of them.
Before I get into the steps to build up your confidence I’d like to just explain the difference between confidence and arrogance.
Confidence is having SELF belief to accomplish tasks no matter what.
Arrogance is having the belief that one is BETTER THAN OTHERS.
This is important to understand because form the outside sometimes it can look very similar.
Take arguably the greatest boxer of all time – Muhammed Ali.
Many regarded him as an arrogant boxer but think about it…his famous slogan was ‘I AM THE GREATEST’ not ‘I am better than you’.
He operated from a place of self belief in his own abilities.
So let’s have a look at the ways to be able to build confidence.
Notice I said build.
This is the truth about confidence: Confidence isn’t got or given it is built and like most things that we build it is done with a skill.
Below are 6 key skills you can work on to build your self confidence.
How to build confidence:
Let’s start with our language. And I don’t mean as in what language do you speak I mean as in the words that we tell ourselves. The language we use has an incredible influence on how we act. I’ll give you a few simple examples.
‘I want to promote my business more but I don’t like speaking in from of people’ vs ‘ I don’t like speaking in from of people but I want to promote my business more’ this is a simple ‘but flip’. Same words, different meaning.
‘I am not good at spelling’ vs ‘I am not good at spelling, yet’ By simply adding yet to the end of the sentence you are presupposing that you will be better in the future therefore giving yourself the opportunity to grow rather than it being a statement of fact.
Our physiology is one of the 2 main contributors to our emotional state. By using our body correctly it can enable us to feel more confident. If I was to ask you to move into a confident pose it’s highly likely your head will be up, your shoulders broad and your back straight.
If I was to ask you to move into a less confident pose it’s highly likely your head will be down, your shoulders dropped and your back curved.
Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist did an incredible TEDx talk on How your Body Language may Shape Who You Are, I recommend you check it out.
Stepping out of your comfort zone
If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always got. Basically that means you are going to have to move out of your comfort zone! The thing that people don’t realise though is that you don’t have to go straight from your comfort zone into your panic zone. You can operate from your stretch zone which is located in the middle of the both.
Small progress is better than no progress.
Take public speaking in front of 30 people for an example. You can start by doing a talk to yourself, then a couple of people, then a few more, then 10 or so people, and then gradually you work your way up to the 50 people. This is an example of operating in your stretch zone.
Feedback not Failure
There is no such thing as failure, only useful results. ‘Failures’ are feedback that we need to correct our way towards a desired outcome. We can negatively label what we do which falls short of success as ‘failure’ or alternatively, we could view it positively as feedback or information to enable us to seek revision or improvement.
Just taking action isn’t good enough if you want to be confident. As I explained earlier building confidence is a skill and…
“Repetition is the mother of skill”
Repetition and persistence are really key here. With a bit of inspiration from Aristotle I came up with this:
“We are what we are willing to do,therefore true confidence is not an act but repetition” Will Polston
Our environment has the ability to influence our behaviours – both positively and negatively. The skill here is identifying if you are in an environment that encourages you to develop, if you are in that environment you will develop.
This includes being in a physical environment and also being around the type of people that will enable you to build your confidence rather than those that will shut you down with their comments or opinions.
There you have it 6 skills you can work on.
Until next time… make it happen.
P.s. Feel free to download your free ebook Staying Positive: 10 Simple Tips to Staying Positive click here to get it now.