Self-confidence is one of the most important skills you can have.
Believe in yourself!
Here’s how you can build your self-confidence.
As Henry Ford said:
If you think you can do it, or you think you can’t do it, you are right.
As the Athletic Director and head coach of the Varsity Soccer team at Ryerson University, Dr. Joseph is often asked what skills he is searching for as a recruiter. Speed? Strength? Agility?
In Dr. Joseph’s TED Talk, confidence gets a fresh perspective. He explores the skill of self-confidence. How it’s not just the most important skill in athletics, but in our lives.
Without self-confidence, we are useless. Self-confidence is the belief that no matter what we can accomplish the task at hand. This self-confidence TED talk shows how this is a skill you can develop in yourself.
Tactics to build self-confidence
Repetition, repetition, repetition. 10,000 hours. Confidence is a skill we want to be confident in, it needs to be familiar to us.
- Don’t quit.
For example, salespeople with self-confidence are more likely to set high goals and therefore more likely to stay employed.
One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. ~ Arthur Ashe
19 things you can do to boost self-confidence
1. Set yourself up to win
Sometimes I say, the key to happiness is low expectations. But that’s not true. Set your aim high, and even if you fall short, you will get better results than going after mediocre and safe goals.
2. Be prepared
Practice your message or presentation. Do it in front of the mirror. Go through scenarios and roleplay your behavior of the actual situation. What might they say? How would you respond? You can’t think through everything, but practice will make you more confident.
3. Visualize yourself as you want to be
Similarly to practicing the content of your interaction, think how you present yourself physically. How will you sit, move, and stand? You can practice that too.
I find self-affirmations to be useful in reinforcing the image you want to cultivate about yourself. Do not go over the top but be kind to yourself so that your affirmations are kind but believable.
5. Do one thing that scares you every day
You don’t have to do the scariest thing. Work your way up to that by doing something that feels “slightly” awkward. Then, as you progress, the scariest thing will become the “slightly awkward thing”.
6. Take the 100 days of rejection challenge
A specific scary thing is rejection. Fear of rejection is often the reason we sell ourselves short and won’t ask for what we need or even deserve. Go out every day and look for rejection. When you do this, you will desensitize yourself to the pain of rejection.
7. Question your inner critic
We notice our every mistake and think everybody else noticed it too. Don’t worry; people are too busy thinking about what makes them nervous to pay any attention to your mistakes.
Take one day of the week when you put in a lot of effort to help others. Don’t sprinkle the helping over the longer periods. Go all in and do a big chunk of giving at once. As Adam Grant writes in “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success,” this is the most effective way to give and get the benefits of giving.
9. Think positive and kill negative thoughts
Focus on the positive side of the things. You will win, or you will learn, either way, you get something of value out of everything you do. Even if something bad happens, find the silvery lining. You will not always succeed but keep doing it.
10. Learn new things and increase competence
Every bit of knowledge you accumulate helps you see yourself in a better light. Keep learning new things, be curious, find out how things work, and use that when you are in situations where you need confidence.
11. Set a small goal and achieve it
One pushup doesn’t matter, one sales call will not get results, one article will not make you a great writer. But 1,000 will! Break your goals into pieces so small that they are easy to achieve, then smash those small goals relentlessly, every day. Repetition and consistency will get you the results.
Maybe you don’t like to pump iron. Maybe you think running is torture. Find out what is the smallest amount of workout you can tolerate and start from there. Start with walking every day.
13. Smile and look people in the eye
The act of smiling shows people that you are confident. Worried and unprepared people don’t smile that often. The best way to make sure you have something to smile about is to prepare for what’s coming.
Smile when you meet new people and ask them about their work and life.
Smile when proposing solutions to a problem in your work environment or at home.
Sometimes you may not feel self-confident, but smiling helps to kick it up a notch.
14. Be kind and generous
When you help others, you show strength that strength turns into self-confidence. You helped someone and, in that moment, you did what you wanted and what others needed. The generous act doesn’t have to be big. You can move from smaller things to more substantial acts and your confidence grows with it.
Be kind. Kindness also helps you build trust in yourself. Often people mistake kindness for weakness. Kindness is strength, you are confident enough to turn your attention to other people’s needs.
15. Change a small habit.
Maybe you don’t have a bad habit you want to change. This is great, you can be confident in yourself for being one of the few who don’t have bad habits. For the rest of us, changing something small that you feel you shouldn’t do is an effective way to boost self-confidence. Maybe you eat too much junk, maybe you use strong language more often than you should. Notice how you behave and change it.
For example, six months ago I stopped swearing. I told people that if I use language that is not suitable for good company and they call me on it then I will give the person 5 dollars. In the first few weeks I had to hand over several hundred dollars.
Over the following months I swore less and less, and I even had to pay myself when I caught myself thinking in strong language. Later I donated that money.
The best thing about changing a habit is that it scales. Start with something small and after you master it move on to bigger habits that need changing.
16. Focus on solutions and what you can change
Life throws problems at us. When you face an obstacle focus on the solutions. Focus on the aspects that you can change. If it rains, then it’s not very productive to moan about it. If you have to go out, get an umbrella or a raincoat.
The mindset of focusing on solutions will put your career on fast track. Bosses rarely want to hear about problems they have to solve for you. Always propose a solution. The solution may not even be the one that works. However, if you put in the effort, you will grow and become more self-confident.
17. Stand tall – with your shoulders back
There’s some research about the confidence-boosting value of power poses. However, followup studies have failed to replicate the findings. Even though the research is thin, you may have seen people who walk into the room like they own the place. This is the impression you want to leave on others. So, stand tall, chin up, and smile just before you meet someone. If you do this, you will seem confident and fun, as the fading smile makes you look happy.
Be grateful for all the people in your life, for the things you have. My psychic powers let me see that you have a computer or a phone in front of you right now. Well, there are people who don’t have that. If you read this on the paper, then you have a printer, even fewer people have printers.
There are so many things in your life that someone else might consider a luxury. Be grateful for those things. Maybe you won the gene lottery, you are thin and gorgeous. Maybe you won another prize in that lottery and you know how to solve quadratic equations and you speak five languages.
You may have great friends, or kids, or a spouse, or parents, mentors.
I know you can read. Probably you can also write.
There’s so much to be grateful for.
Remember all that you have when you feel down, and luck seems to avoid you at the moment.
19. Celebrate the small stuff.
We often celebrate big goals and milestones in our lives. Sometimes we forget that those results are the compound effect of the small victories we have every day or week.
You finished the first part of the essay you had to write.
You went to a gym for the first time over two weeks.
Pat yourself on the back and celebrate.
Maybe it’s not even a victory you celebrate, but the end of something bad happening. You got cold last week and now it’s over.
Celebrating brings confidence into your life as you see that can continuously deliver results.
If your self-confidence is on the rock bottom, then you might find it hard to believe in your affirmations.
“I am the best!” might seem like a lie.
Start with baby steps. There are some accomplishments you have managed over the course of your life. For example, I’m pretty certain you can read. There are many people who can’t read. You have mastered that skill.
The key to happiness is low expectations.
But you found this article. Seems you have a goal, and that is a step that most people do not take. You are way ahead of them.
Keep going and self-affirming.
Build up self-confidence in others by focusing on their positive behavior. Catch them when they are good. Don’t beat them down when they make a mistake. Show the instances where everything went well.
Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act. ~ Jack Welch
Interpret all feedback as you want it to be. For example, if a girl tells you “I will go on a date with you if you are the last man on Earth.” You interpret it: Great! There’s a chance.
Photo on Visualhunt