Whether you’re lacking confidence in general, or simply need support in a particular area, the techniques taught in building confidence can improve your entire life. Confidence is such an important factor that it’s been proven to increase one’s yearly salary by thousands of dollars, improve your relationships, and supercharge your career trajectory. By committing to a confidence buff up, you’re taking control of your destiny and positioning yourself for personal and professional success. Most of the limitations that keep us from confidence are illusions and limiting beliefs.
Once you learn to shatter those illusions and break through limiting beliefs, you’ll be empowered to accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Step #1– Determine exactly where you’re missing it and the beliefs and behaviors holding you back.
So how do you go from a lack or poor confidence level to a higher confidence level depends on you. Ask yourself what is holding you back right now from exerting confidence? Is it a fear of rejection? Do you need to overcome social fear? Do you feel you will be perceived as arrogant? Do you not trust your decisions? Building confidence starts with getting motivated, overcoming fear of rejection, being assertive, and then you can empower your life for success. We all have a level a fear when it comes to exercising our confidence, but why are some more confident than others? Some would say it’s because they look good or their smart or they have everything going for them. This is a false assumption. How you think someone else sees you should never be your only perception of you, but instead how you feel about yourself. I know some of the most beautiful, successful people you could ever meet and the insecurities they possess would surprise most. Building confidence is just like any habit and takes time to build and most of all patience with yourself. You have to be able to laugh at yourself first and then when others laugh you can say, “I know that was funny and ridiculous so let me start over” with a big smile on your face. When you can laugh at your own mistakes it’s so much easier when you feel you’ve made a social mishap or made a mistake at work.
Step #2– You need to deconstruct old ways of thinking and patterns that keep you bound to the status quo and prevent you from taking confident action. The perception that someone else would think less of or look down on you is a bad habit. In a social setting, you should try wearing the outfit you love but feel ridiculous in. When you see an outfit in a store and you think that’s gorgeous but I would feel silly wearing it, ask yourself why. Why would you feel silly? Is it that you normally wouldn’t wear that because someone else may think you look silly?
Try going into a boutique instead where you can get shopping assistance and ask the owner or fashion expert for help. It may be easier to shop alone and have a stranger who’s an expert give you advice on fashion and knows what looks good together rather than you trying to piece together something you don’t feel good in or instead of wearing the same old thing over and over. Boutique owners are like having your own personal shopper and fashion assistant rather than department-store shopping all by yourself. After you build up a self-awareness of putting together an outfit, then you can transition back to department-store shopping if you prefer.
An example of confidence building in your work would be to ask to take the lead on a particular project. If you have the fear of failure but the desire to succeed you can gather all the resources you need to make it happen. I love to Google and research anything that makes me more aware, educated and find the truth. You can also ‘You Tube’ almost anything now from interview skills to rebuilding an engine. I discuss Interview techniques in my book Strong Women.
Step #3– You need to develop new mindsets and skills to practice regularly in order to rebuild your confidence muscle and help you develop into the self-assured, pro-active, confident person you want to be.
As you practice new thoughts and behaviors, you’re actually creating new neural pathways in your brain, supporting your real-world efforts. Building confidence will empower you to be more assertive without being arrogant. Assertiveness is a very important means for communicating your needs in a way that is fair to both yourself and to others. Unfortunately, for some insecure people, assertive people are sometimes threatening and it is easier for the insecure people to label the assertive ones as arrogant, selfish, or unhelpful when they receive the answer “no” or when the assertive draw clear boundaries. In particular, those with manipulation, neediness, and trust problems can see assertive responses as undermining their own agendas and will seek to respond with negative critiques of an assertive person’s behavior. This is where it can get a little tricky for the newly assertive convert, but it’s no reason to suddenly start worrying that you are arrogant!
Women struggle the most with Confidence and Assertive behavior because as a man your labeled ‘STRONG’ and women are labeled completely different’.
Try Some of These Assertiveness Steps when Building Confidence:
Don’t– Look down or fidget
Do– Have good posture and eye contact
Don’t-Let your voice shake or crack
Do-Take a deep breath and speak confidently
Don’t– Speak too fast or quietly
Do-Speak slowly and loud enough to be heard
Don’t– Let people brush you off
Do– Ask for their attention if they aren’t giving it
Do– Make your point and state your request
Don’t– Look shabby
Do– Look clean and put together
Don’t– Keep going on about the issue
Do– Stop once the problem is corrected
Don’t– Be vague or wishy-washy
Do– Know what it is you want and state that
Don’t– Misdirect the blame
Do– Address the policy or issue itself
Don’t– Be aggressive
Do– Remain calm and collected
Don’t– Remain silent
Do– Speak up if something’s important to you
Don’t– Be a doormat
Do– Have an opinion and don’t be afraid to voice it
Do– Treat the other person with respect at all times
Remember changing your old habits takes time but practice makes perfect. When you try the same thing over and over and want a different result, try something different.
Cherie Rickard RN
Author & Speaker, Grief & Empowerment Strategist