At its most extreme, having confidence in what you’re doing is the difference between pooing a brick and feeling invincible but I hasten to repeat, that is at its most extreme!
For the majority, having confidence in what they are doing is the difference between having Inner Imps such as Doubt and Fear who are hogging the microphone and convincing the rest of Team You that what you’re considering attempting is an absolute no-go (leading you to stay in your nice little comfort zone and not bother to change things for the better or go for your dreams) and those that have Self Esteem and Positive Thinking Inner Imps that have been put through their paces on occasion and, subsequently, developed a little muscle (although their Inner Imps Doubt and Fear are still clearly audible, they know (through their own experiences) that they are the one in control and that with a little bit of help from Self Discipline and Perseverance, they’ll get where they want to be eventually.
Although there are mega amounts of external things that can boost your confidence when you’re doing things (words of praise; a pay rise for a good job; a good mark in an exam; a huge parking space where you’d have no problem parking the car; the latest, top of the range gizmos to get the job down) they are just that, EXTERNAL and you have very little control over them. What you need to do, is concentrate on the things that you DO HAVE CONTROL OVER. We’re talking CANDoables most anyone CANDo with little effort but huge results as far as boosting self confidence is concerned.
One – Eat Well – A healthy diet can have a huge impact on improving your body image. If you improve your sense of self by feeling healthier (and we’re not even talking eating less here, we’re just talking making more sensible choices), you’ll improve your sense of body image and that will show in your body language.
Two – Move More – On the same lines as eating well, start moving more. How physically fit you are can have a huge impact on your body image and sense of self. Again, I’m not talking about entering the Miss/Mr Muscle contests but take the stairs and not the lift; park a bit further away from work/home; walk the kids to school; go swimming; get your bike out and start using it rather than the bus. Call on your Inner Imp Self Discipline and make small but regular changes.
Three – Volunteer – Whether it’s at work or at a school parents’ evening, stick your hand in the air and wave it like you don’t care. Volunteering to do things is NEVER as bad as Doubt and Fear would have you believe and it will give your Self Esteem new experiences with which to pump up his muscles and can widen your social circle.
Four – Say Nice Stuff – If you can’t think or say something positive, don’t THINK or say anything at all. Keep all your words and thoughts positive and try to stop any negativities from creeping in. Negative thinking affects self confidence because naysayers can always come up with a reason (read here excuse) for not doing something and then your Self Esteem won’t benefit from the positive experiences to be had. Choose to refuse to get involved in arguing/backstabbing/gossip/comparisons and you’ll start to bring out the best in you.
Five – Use Self Propaganda Shamelessly – The more times we hear something, the more our Inner Imps begin to believe it to be true. Take a mo’ and jot down four or five things that you see as your strengths; things you can be proud of. Take another mo’ whenever you feel your confidence slipping (I know … what am I like? All I can say is that I’m all for “moments”, I like to think of them as CANDo Magic Moments because they can really work magic!) and say these things to yourself in your head (or out loud in front of a mirror).
Six – Get Opinions – Sometimes, we just can’t see the good in ourselves no matter how hard we look. Take a friend, any friend provided they have a particularly well developed Honesty Inner Imp, and get them to tell you four or five things they admire about you. Remind yourself of these points whenever your self confidence has a fit of the wobblies.
Seven – Stay Clean and Tidy – No-one is more interested in your appearance than you are. In fact, you’ll fret over stuff that other people won’t even notice. How you feel about how you look will affect your self confidence dramatically. You don’t need to aim for model and movie star looks, but make the most of what you’ve got. Stay clean and tidy and you’ll feel heaps more confident.
Eight – Comportment Counts – How you carry yourself, walk and generally move your body speak volumes about you. Are you slumped over, energetic, lethargic, purposeful, aimless? Become more conscious of your body and start moving and holding it in more positive ways. It’s likely to feel a little unnatural at first but, in a surprisingly short period of time, Autonomy will take over and you’ll be moving and FEELING like this most of the time.
So much of how confident we feel is about faking it until it becomes a reality. Practice being confident and you’ll become more confident. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and your zone will move from lacking confidence to having confidence. Go on, you CANDo it!