One of the most powerful assets in your mental arsenal is to increase your confidence – to feel good about yourself so that you can attract the things you want and so that you can give off an aura of being in charge and being passionate about what you’re saying.
But if you’re naturally someone who struggles with self-confidence, how can you simply ‘switch off’ that self-doubt and become more confident. Confidence is what turns thought into action – which is kind of what we’re all about.
Understand What Confidence Is
Confidence is a very broad term that gets thrown about a lot with careless abandon. This is a bit damaging because we tend to think of it as a single term that encompasses so much about who we are. We either have ‘good confidence’ or we have ‘bad confidence’.
In reality though, confidence is much more contextual than that. You can be confident in one domain and you can lack confidence in another. Maybe you think you’re ugly but you know you’re a fantastic writer – does that make you confident or not?
So you can make yourself confident simply by focusing more on the things you’re good at in order to spend more time ‘at the top of your game’. At the same time though, you should also make sure you remember that your ability can improve in most areas. If you think you’re ‘bad’ at something, then remember that you’ll get better with practice and that everyone is bad to begin with. We’ve seen how neuronal connections strengthen as they fire and this is how you can become great at any given sport or activity over time.
What about your looks? Well, you can improve those in a lot of ways too. But it’s also useful to remember that everyone is different and that beauty is a very subjective matter. If you focus on your good qualities and own what you’ve got, you’ll be attractive to a lot of people.
As mentioned, it’s useful to learn and to develop the things you’re not good at. This is why the hypothesis testing to become socially bulletproof is so useful – you’re exercising your social skills, just like you exercise a muscle.
As you get better in these areas, you’ll find that your confidence naturally improves because you have more strings to your bow and fewer areas that you consider to be flaws. But more important than this even is the psychology of simply trying new things and taking on new challenges. Each little ‘win’ will flood your brain with positive hormones and reward you and that will make you more inclined to try again. Try learning small things like juggling or learning to count in another language, each time you have a little victory it will improve your confidence and help you become better at taking on newer challenges.
Meanwhile, the failures you encounter will help to make you more accustomed to sometimes picking yourself back up and more desensitized to the feeling of failing at something. Again, this builds confidence.
If you’re looking to increase social confidence and self-worth, one of the very best things to do is to throw yourself into a challenging and outward-facing job. You’ll then have no choice but to make calls, great clients and learn new things and each time you do, your esteem will grow.
Before trying something new, visualize yourself succeeding. This can help you to activate brain areas as though you really had succeeded and that will help to quash any doubt and boost your confidence. You can enhance this further by listening to some empowering music and reminding yourself that it’s a challenge and not an obstacle.
Better yet, if you keep practicing this it can eventually become habit – meaning that you’ll automatically visualize yourself succeeding in future when taking on any new challenge!
Power poses are positions you hold that have been shown to boost testosterone and thereby confidence. Try standing up and holding your arms over your head in a ‘V’ shape as though you had just crossed the finish line in a race. This is a universal stance that symbolizes success and it can really help to increase your drive and determination.
Invest in You
Finally, invest in yourself. If you treat yourself well for long enough, you will feel as though you deserve to be treated well. What’s more, wearing nice clothes, maintaining good health and having a great home all help to build that internal picture of who you are and give you more self-esteem. It’s not a waste of time and money to buy a good suit – it’s an investment.
Next week we'll talk about staying positive.