Some people may hate highly confident individuals, others may love them, but deep down we all wish to be like them. Lucky for you, self-confidence is a skill everybody can acquire, no matter who you are or where you´re at in your life right now.
What does it take to achieve long-lasting confidence and overcoming any challenge in your life?
Confidence comes from repetition. The more you do something, the more confident you become.
When I started writing my first blog posts and articles I was frightened of the “publish” button. What will people think? Will they laugh at me? What if someone I know sees my post and thinks my content is awful?
After writing daily for over a year, I certainly lost the fear of putting my words out there for the world to read. With time I became more and more confident in my writing abilities.
Repetition and facing your fears will make you an expert and thus, increase your self-confidence.
Are you afraid of public speaking? Practice everyday in front of a mirror, overcome your fears and speak in public on every chance you get. With time you will look back and laugh about how you used to panic before giving a speech.
Malcolm Gladwell stated it in his book, Outliers: It takes 10.000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert. Experts are without a doubt highly confident in their field.
Cut Out Negativity
The more you listen to the naysayers and people who complain about everything, the more you will start believing it yourself.
While researching information for this post, I googled “The 10.000 Hour Rule” I mentioned above. The first couple of pages in the search results were mostly blog posts saying that the 10.000 Hour Rule is wrong.
I read one post, then another and before I knew it, I started believing that it was indeed incorrect and I contemplated not even mentioning it in this post.
Then I took a break, grabbed a cup of coffee and started re-thinking what I just read.
How can doing something for 10.000 hours not make you better at it and raise your self-confidence? It doesn´t even make sense!
No matter what you do or say, there will always be people pointing out the negative aspects of it.
You lift weights? You´re too obsessed with your self-image.
You don´t exercise? You´re lazy.
You work hard? You´re overdoing it and not enjoying life.
You prioritize enjoying your life? You won´t be successful.
If someone pulled a knife and threatened you, you would probably run because you´d want to avoid getting hurt. Negativity is just as dangerous, it poisons your mind and puts your confidence and self-belief at risk. Run away from it as fast as you can!
Remember this and write it down if you have to: You have the ability to interpret reality in any way you wish, choose to see the positive side of everything.
Re-frame The Way You View Failure
When you hear the word failure you probably picture a person crying, being upset or a similar negative scenario in your mind. You learned to associate failure with negative feelings from the day you were born.
You did something wrong and realized that there are consequences to it, such as getting a bad grade and making your parents feel disappointed.
In the same way you learned to associate failure with negative feelings, you can learn to re-frame it into a positive experience.
The most successful people learned to change the way they view failure.
Take American author Jack London for example, he was rejected 600 times before his first story was accepted. Without a positive outlook on failure, his story would´ve never been published.
Steven Spielberg received 3 rejections from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television but that didn´t stop him. Eventually he was accepted by another school and look at him now!
Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba.com and one of the richest people in China was rejected from 30 different job applications, including a job at KFC where 24 people applied for the position and everybody was hired except for Jack.
Every time you fail at whatever it is you attempt, picture yourself one step closer to the finish line.
You can either view failure as a big defeat or a small success. The great news is that if you manage to keep associating failure with success, you won´t even mind failing anymore, in fact you will be waiting to fail anxiously.
We all have that little voice in our heads telling us how we can´t achieve things. You can change the way that voice speaks to you by training it. Positive affirmations are often overlooked because they are mentioned everywhere and what is abundant loses value in people´s eyes, but self-affirmations do indeed work.
By developing the habit of repeating positive statements about yourself every day, that little voice in your head will start motivating you instead of tearing you down.
Let´s say you have a sales meeting in a couple of minutes. How awesome would it be to automatically think: “You got this, you are the best salesperson these people have ever seen”?
Write a letter congratulating yourself on everything you have accomplished so far and read it out loud every morning. Save it on your phone and go through it when you feel like your self-confidence needs a boost.
Focus On What You Can Control
There is no point in placing your attention on an outcome as you can´t control it.
Focus on what you CAN control, your actions. If the outcome of your actions didn´t turn out as expected, think about how you can improve instead of dwelling on how things didn´t go your way.
Visualize Success And Combine It With Work Ethic
Taking a moment to visualize yourself succeeding and fully believing that you are entitled to success will improve your self-confidence. The more you picture yourself already having achieved your goal, the more you will feel like you´re already there and it will show in your actions.
Jim Carry wrote himself a check for ten million dollars for “acting services rendered” and he gave himself three years, dating it thanksgiving 1995. He kept it in his wallet and shortly before thanksgiving 1995, he found out that he was going to earn ten million dollars for his role in the movie “Dumb and Dumber”.
Of course success won´t come knocking at your door if all you do is lay on your couch and visualize yourself accomplishing your goals, you still have to take action.
Developing long-lasting self-confidence is all about having a positive mindset and fully trusting your capabilities. Don´t tear yourself down and give up when feeling insecure trying new things.
Remember, repetition is the foundation to master any skill.
Start today and boost your self-confidence to break down all the barriers life places between you and your goals.