7 Ways to Be More Confident

In my early life, I was an absolute Goddess for my dad, but never anywhere near enough for my mum at the time and so I grew up being confused and whilst confident in some areas; really lacking on confidence in others…

I kept on attracting leaders all my life and already in my teens, I received great opportunities to shine whether it was on the top of the cheerleading pyramid or working on parliamentary elections in 1998 and opportunity to work on the event during the UN conference.  There were days on the stage when my heart raced and my palms sweat just thinking about the new challenges that faced me. But I learned that success would not make me confident – confidence in myself and my abilities would make me successful.

Confidence is the cornerstone of leadership and I am taking a stand for all of you being leaders in your own life!  If you don’t believe in yourself, how can others believe in you?

Here are seven ways we learn to boost our confidence:

1.  Push through self-limiting beliefs

As children we think we can conquer the world, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, our enthusiasm and natural inclination to dream big are squashed.  Parents and teachers start imposing their own beliefs – about what we can and can’t do in life – upon us.

If I am not encouraging my clients to pass their self-limiting beliefs with love and support I give them, they would not have the phenomenal results they report to me even years after finishing my programme.

How to make it work for you: 
Find your limits by exposing yourself to different situations and push through the uncomfortable.  Once you have confidence in yourself, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.

2. Never confuse memory with facts

Our memory does not store information exactly as it’s presented to us.  Instead, we extract the gist of the experience and store it in ways that makes the most sense to us.  That’s why different people witnessing the same event often have different versions.

Your brain has a built-in confirmation bias.  That means it stores information that is consistent with your own beliefs, values and self-image.  This selective memory system helps keep the brain from getting overloaded with too much information.

So recognize that your memory does not always provide you with accurate information.  For example, if you have low self-esteem, your brain tends to store information that confirms your lack of confidence.  That will be all you remember about a specific event.

How to make it work for you: 
Revisit the facts of a memory loaded with self-limiting beliefs and try to gain a more accurate perspective on the event.  Talk with others that might have a different perspective.

3. Talk to yourself

This might seem crazy, but it works.  Talking to yourself can make you smarter, improve your memory, help you focus and even increase athletic performance.  The documentary The Human Brain claims we say between 300 to 1,000 words to ourselves per minute.  The Navy SEALS and Special Forces use the power of positive self-talk as a way of getting through tough times.

For example, by instructing recruits to be mentally tough and speak positively to themselves, they can learn how to override fears resulting from the limbic brain system, a primal part of the brain that helps us deal with anxiety.

How to make it work for you: 
Be positive, because the way you talk to yourself influences your neurobiological response to it.  When you say, I know what to do here or see things as a challenge rather than a problem, you’ve turned your response into a positive one.

4.  Think positive to overcome your negativity bias

Since the early days, humans learned to get lunch or be lunch.  Our natural negativity bias has kept us safe from danger for thousands of years.  But not every new or different thing is a threat to our survival.  This negativity bias can chisel away at our confidence because we’re hardwired to pay attention to all that we’ve done wrong.

FBI agents are taught to hunt the good stuff.  It can be hard at times because positive information is like Teflon and easily falls away.  But negative information, like Velcro, sticks.

How to make it work for you: 

  1. Come up with five positive thoughts to counter every one negative thought.
  2. Let every positive thought sit for 20 seconds before moving to the next positive thought.
  3. Acknowledge both good and bad emotions.
  4. Do not try to suppress negative ones.
  5. Label the emotions for what they truly are and move on.  Do not enter into inner dialogue about the negative emotion because then it becomes more powerful.

5. Raise your curiosity levels

Curiosity is an important trait for anyone who wants to be confident and successful.

Curiosity is the foundation of life-long growth.  If we remain curious, we remain teachable and our minds and hearts grow larger every day.  We can retain our beginner’s mind by always looking forward and discovering new experiences and uncovering new information.

How to make it work for you: 
Ask questions and be curious because:

  • It makes your mind active instead of passive.
  • It encourages you to be more observant of new ideas.
  • It opens up new worlds and possibilities.
  • It creates an adventurous response that leads you in a new direction.

6. Overcome self-doubt

If you lack self-confidence, you will always feel like you’re at the mercy of other people.  When you assume a victim mentality, you are no longer resilient to life’s inevitable obstacles and roadblocks.

We sometimes find ourselves to need to go where its needed, not to where we feel most comfortable to be.  I was assigned projects and appeared myself in situations I had no idea how to solve.  But my thinking was this: “Drop me into the middle of any situation, anywhere, anytime.  I will not be scared because I am confident I will succeed wherever I am.”

How to make it work for you: 
No one but you is stopping you from achieving what you want to accomplish.  It’s time to identify the areas in which you doubt yourself and remove those barriers.

7. Face your fears

When we feel in control, we’re not afraid.  When we have a level of comfort with something, it’s not scary.  When we don’t feel in control, we don’t think clearly because our emotional brain is in the driver’s seat and takes over.  This is why fear often seems random and irrational – our emotions are in control.

Great example is that to increase safety, FBI agents are taught to move closer to the threat. It does no good to avoid, deny or ignore the fear.

How is it in your life?  How confident are you and which areas of your life would you like to increase your confidence?  How would it look like?  How would you feel?  What impact would it have in your life?

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