Tuesday, 10 January 2012

How to Create Confidence

Confidence is so integral to life. 

Your successes, your failings, your best and worst moments - they all come down to how you're feeling about yourself and how happy you are projecting that self outward. We’ve already gained consciousness within ourselves, now we need to spark confidence in what we have uncovered. You have the right to believe in yourself; you have the right to believe in your own opinions, so why aren’t you asserting that confidently and consistently?

Although you should strive to understand why you may not be effectively asserting yourself, don’t blame yourself when you do lack confidence: self-blame will only drag you down further. You’re a one-(wo)man team; you should be on your own side!

I think a key to great confidence is understanding that feeling inadequate now and then is okay. Once we’ve accepted that, when it occurs, it doesn’t swamp us with any real, lasting doubt in ourselves; we simply realise that a dip in confidence is completely natural in the humble path to glory!

In a documentary I once watched about Elvis, it showed him at the peak of the Vegas period of his career. He was about to go on stage and, without directly quoting him, he said something along the lines of ‘I still get nervous. I wonder... will they like me?’ He sounded so in earnest that I thought: by Jove! Elvis worried about that kind of thing too?!

It was a real revelation. I suddenly thought, if Elvis can have lapses in self-belief - one of the most beloved performers in the history of mankind - then it’s surely okay that I have them too, and it needn’t impact one iota on the level of success I can achieve.

♥ You have the right to believe in and assert yourself
♥ Don’t let natural lapses in confidence drag you down further than necessary
♥ Like Elvis, dips in confidence needn’t impact on your level of success

Understand and envisage your confident self.

Think about why you want to be more confident, and what that will look like. Confidence is, of course, a trait that has to be put into practice rather than simply worked out on paper. However, committing yourself to paper, and making yourself accountable and aware of your desires in hard copy, provides not only clarity on what confidence means to you, but is a reference point to call upon in those real-life moments where you are tested.

So, what does confidence mean to you? To me it means:

♥ Drawing people into and holding them in conversation
♥ Building new friendships all the time
♥ Progressing in my career

This will translate into:

♥ Feeling justified in sharing my opinions, but able to take other opinions on board
♥ Being assertive in arranging social activities, even with new friends
♥ Talking happily about my career plans, without putting myself down

Once you’ve got these points, think about the physical actions that will assist you in realising them: holding eye contact instead of looking down, smiling, standing tall with a straight posture, speaking slowly, clearly and purposefully, being comfortable with listening and sometimes staying silent, and controlling your breathing. When you really begin to realise that you are a strong, justified and significant human being, these things will come more naturally.

I will now keep these points in my mind all the time, so that when an opportunity to benefit from confidence occurs, I know how and why I should rise to the challenge, and I will actively create confidence for myself.

Do you suffer from low self-confidence? How important is creating confidence to you?


Kileen said...

This post- and blog as a whole- are so amazing. Thank you so much.
I do suffer from low self-confidence, and doing this 'homework' made me realize that the only thing standing in the way of my goals was my self-confidence dealing with self-perception.
I'm going to keep my own bullet points in mind to lift myself up and not let me stop myself from reaching any and all goals I want to reach!

Autumn said...

I suffer from low-self-confidence! To me, creating confidence is important because it pushes me out of my little self-imposed box.

The Dotty One said...

I love that quote. One of my problems is caring way too much about what others think of me. I work so hard on being what I think others want that I sometimes don't really know what I want!

I'm hoping this exercise (and MYLA in general) will help with this but I wondered if anyone had any tips for how to worry less about what others think?

connie said...

I find my lack of confidence comes when I doubt myself. It is often in times when I am out of my comfort zone and I am not sure of my ability to perform or succeed. I have a tendency to beat up on myself when I make mistakes too.

I am finding that if I can catch these negative and self-berating thoughts as they arise I can stop them in their tracks. When I feeling unconfident, simply changing the self talk I am using makes me feel completely different! I catch any 'fear' driven thought and transform it in to a 'love' driven thought. I may not 'believe' that new thought instantly, but it really helps me feel happier, lighter and more confident!

Thanks for another wonderful post x

Megan said...

Kileen - Thank you! And PLEASE keep sharing your experiences and telling us all how you're getting on :)

Autumn - 'Self-imposed' is so apt. I've realised, recently, that anytime I feel inadequate or under-confident it is 100% always me doing it to myself; no one can really put you down unless you give them your permission. They can try, sure, but you only hurt if you see the truth in it, so change your truth.

Dotty One - It is one of my favourite quotes too. I have to admit I've never worried too much what other people think, perhaps because I come from quite a supportive family so I've grown-up to assume that support. One thing I find that I do, however, is lose faith in ideas I was *already* doubting when somebody else puts them down. So the key to take from that is to follow the paths that YOU really believe in - work on that belief rather than tricks to ignore criticism. Hope that helps! Anyone else got anything to add?

Connie - I just wrote the above response before really taking yours on board, but looks like we are TOTALLY on the same page! Also, turning 'fear' driven thoughts into 'love' driven thoughts is the best thing I've heard in a while, thank you so much for sharing that.


Bonnie said...

This whole month of posts is just incredible. Thank you so much for doing it, its making all the difference.

finntje said...

These posts and the comments are really, really great. I also suffer from very low self-confidence but ever since I realised that it is all due to my own perception of myself, it's been much easier to push the boundaries. This exercise really made me sure that what I think of myself is much more important than what others think of me.

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