“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” –Wayne Dyer
A very common question that I often get asked is, “How do I increase my self-confidence?” Obviously, most successful people appear to be very self-confident, but is there a method to boost your self-esteem? Actually, there is.
12 ways to increase your self-confidence:
Change your thoughts, change your life.
Whether you like it or not, it’s true: you create the world you live in. The thoughts that you think create the emotions you experience, and those emotions lead you to do certain actions, which finally end in results that shape your world (and your reality). Therefore, it’s wise to say that your thoughts create your reality, simple as that. Now, it’s very empowering to realize that it’s always up to you to choose what thought to put into your mind at any given moment. Compare:
THOUGHT: This is a difficult exam and 90 percent of test-takers fail. So, there’s a slim chance of passing. I’m a victim. ==> EMOTION/FEELING: frustration, doubt, stress, apathy, anger ==> RESULT: inaction, defiance, low self-confidence
THOUGHT: This is a difficult exam and 90 percent of test-takers fail. However, I could be among the few who pass. I’m responsible for my results. ==> EMOTION/FEELING: excitement, eustress, responsibility, faith ==> RESULT: action, excitement, high self-confidence
Lisa M. Hayes said, “Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.”
Review your successes.
This is a beautiful exercise that Jack Canfield proposes as an effective way to boost self-esteem. “A simple way to start this process is to take an inventory of your major success. Divide your life into three time periods – from birth to 15, 16 to 30, and 31 to 45. The list three major successes from each time period.” It’s amazing how drastically it can help change your state.
Increase your competence.
The more skilful you get at what you do, the better your results will be, and guess what? You’ll have more self-confidence. That’s right. Hone your skills and try to be among the best in your field. Practice, practice and practice. Your self-esteem will soar. Guaranteed.
Set goals and make plans to reach them.
Self-esteem is in direct relation to how purposeful you live your life. Brian Tracy says, “The very act of setting big, challenging goals for yourself and making written plans of action to achieve them actually raises your self-esteem, which causes you to feel much better about yourself.”
5. Step out of your comfort zone.
Self-confidence is not hereditary; it’s learned through getting yourself comfortable with doing the uncomfortable. Nancy Vito says, “Even doing something seemingly small every day will lead you to something bigger. You will grow and will begin to feel unstoppable. Just take that first step.”
6. Your physical state affects your self-esteem.
Tony Robbins points this out in Awaken the Giant Within. He mentions that your physical state including your facial expressions and the way you carry yourself has a tremendous impact on how you feel. Just try smiling (even for no reason) for a few seconds and see how it affects your overall mood.
7. Pay attention to your appearance.
The way you dress and the way you groom yourself will influence the level of your self-esteem. Perhaps it’s because our attitude toward ourselves somehow mirrors the attitude of others toward us.
Exercise and eat well.
Endorphins are the chemicals that are released into the body when you do physical activity. Their job is to make you feel energized and upbeat. Serotonin is the chemical that makes you happy, and 90% of it comes from food. That should make it obvious why exercising regularly and eating properly are so vital in boosting your self-esteem.
9. Have faith.
It’s obviously advisable to model what the people at the top do so we won’t have to reinvent the wheel on our way to success. However, we should bear in mind that every single one of us is on our own journey. Sometimes, we compare where we are right now with where some successful people in our field are, we see the huge gap, and this creates a lot of stress and anxiety. We sometimes miss seeing the fact that those successful people are where they are because of all the sacrifices they have made in the past. So, we’d better allow ourselves to have our individual experiences along the way and have faith in the process.
10. Run away from negative people.
As William Arruda nicely says, “Ditch Debbie Drowner. Being around negative people can bring you down, and those negative attitudes and beliefs can rub off. Surround yourself with positive, can-do people. Stay away from office gossip and chronic complainers.”
11. Live your values.
Our values are the compass that guides us through our lives. They’re our operating principles. If we try to honor our values every day, we will feel more in tune with who we really are and, therefore, act in a more confident manner.
Get a coach.
A big part of our lack of confidence comes from our fear of failure. A good coach will help you uncover your limiting beliefs and mental blocks and will act as an objective non-judgmental partner who will help you see the greatness within you. Also, a coach will hold you accountable to your vision, encourage you along the way, and celebrate your successes when you’ve achieved them.
Now, you share what you think can help boost self-confidence.
Dr. Shahab Anari is a Personal Branding Strategist, professional coach, and co-author with Brian Tracy of ‘Ignite Your Life’. He has worked with more than 30,000 people on the topics of personal and professional success. He empowers professionals to multiply their income through more visibility, credibility, and authenticity. Download his FREE Personal Branding Guide at www.shahabanari.ca