Contrary to what most people think, self-confidence is not something you can pull out of thin air. Neither can you get it from an external source, such as your credentials or material possessions.
To cultivate a genuine belief in yourself that comes from within, you’ll need to develop certain mental habits.
#1: Discipline Your Mind
John Kehoe, author of the Mind Power course, says that we have the power to dismiss or entertain any kind of thought, be it positive or negative. We often don’t realize that we have this power and as a result, we allow our minds to get filled with distracting chatter.
One of the most overlooked causes of diminished self-confidence are the negative statements we repeat to ourselves, as if it were a mantra. The next time you start thinking of self-defeating thoughts like “I’m inadequate” or “This day is going to end badly”, acknowledge what’s happening and let it pass through your system.
All it really takes is a habit of self-observation to be able to tell yourself, “There I go again” and focus on doing something about your daily challenges instead.
#2: Learn How To Decide With Ease
Another obstacle to self-confidence is doubting your ability to take the right course of action. This stems from the fear of the consequences resulting from your decisions.
You need to remember that our mind can act like a separate entity from us. In many ways, it can be our greatest enemy because it has an intimate knowledge of our weaknesses and greatest fears.
When your mind dangles these fears in front of you, it can leave you paralyzed and unable to make a sound decision.
But you have to realize that a great majority of your decisions won’t mean the end of the world. In fact, mistakes can be turned around and used as a learning experience instead.
In fact, some people are even willing to “crash and burn” (if the situation allows it) just to know what NOT to do the next time around!
In order to make the best possible decision, you just need to go by certain guidelines. For starters, you’ll need to give yourself some time to consider all the angles and pinpoint the heart of the problem before making a decision.
Once you’ve covered all the bases, then you can take the exact steps needed to carry out your decision. Don’t worry about what will happen after you’ve made your decision; instead, learn from the outcome of the results.
#3: Mind Your Self-Attitude
Too often, we go by impossibly high standards and end up HATING ourselves for not meeting them. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating that you should slack off and be satisfied with being mediocre.
Being committed to excellence is ok, but hating yourself for being LESS THAN PERFECT is an entirely different matter.
Arrogance isn’t a quality that most folks aspire to have, but you shouldn’t go to the extreme opposite either. An attitude of self-depreciation and self-loathing will only serve to harm your self-confidence.
If you thought lowly of yourself, why should other people think of you any different? Be careful of the precedent you’re setting for the people around you.
The most self-confident people didn’t become who they are by being perfect. They embrace the process of making mistakes, picking themselves up and trying again.
More importantly, they don’t see themselves as victims. Self confidence comes from the knowledge that while you don’t have complete control over your circumstances, you can control your reaction to them.
Remember: you are not a slave to the events in your life, nor any other external factor for that matter.
Playing the victim won’t earn anyone’s respect; seeing yourself in such a negative light will tell others to do the same.
By treating yourself with value, you’ll learn to be happy with who you are. That’s one of the basic foundations of unshakable self-confidence.
And when you’re happy with yourself, you’ll stop apologizing for existing in this world and begin to act with genuine self-confidence. In the end, people will pick up on your positive vibe and be naturally drawn to you.
When it comes to winning people over, those qualities are far more valuable than money in the bank, the car in your garage, or the clothes on your back.
Photo by Angelo González