According to research, confidence is not a natural trait for most people. Successful individuals even struggle with it. Academy award winning actor Gene Hackman once said that he never watched his movies because he knew he would not be satisfied with his performance. He wasn’t confident that he gave his best. I think we’ve all felt that way but we can build confidence and these seven tips will get you started.
- Perfectionism Is Paralyzing. Accept failure and mistakes and imperfection as normal aspects of success. If you typically strive for perfection in everything you do, you will never be satisfied and you’ll probably miss out on important lessons gleamed from taking risks and facing failure. It also creates stagnation. If you’re afraid you won’t do something perfectly, you may not do it at all.
- Stop Comparing. If you’re focused on someone else’s accomplishments, you’re not invested in your own. My son is back in a sport he left four years ago. His teammates were more skilled, more experienced, in better shape and guess what, more confident. In the beginning, he focused on how much better they played and how inadequate he felt. Once he changed his focus and stopped comparing himself to every player, he improved and so did his confidence. Strengthen your weaknesses, enhance your strengths and block distractions. Someone will always be better than you. Doesn’t matter. You are on a different journey.
- Recognize And Record. Pull out your resume, update it if you need to and spend some time looking at everything you’ve done. Same with thank you notes, letters from your kids and photo albums (with special occasions that were special because of what you did). Or, create an outline and start recording your accomplishments, from the insignificant to the very significant. The insig’s started you on your path to the sig’s. Don’t take for granted that which you do easily or naturally and don’t discount an achievement because of it. Confidence is rooted in understanding your gifts and talents and seeing how they have played out, from rocket scientists to stay-at-home moms.
- Rehearse And Prepare. Determine what makes you feel awkward, uncomfortable and unsure of yourself. Visualize a desired outcome and practice getting there. Start with similar, safe scenarios until your behavior becomes natural. It might be tough in the beginning but the more you face the situation and realize you can handle it, the more comfortable you’ll become.
- Learn Or Improve. This is a simple one. Learn a new skill or improve upon a current one. It showcases your potential to do so much more. From getting stronger in the gym to learning piano or training as a youth volunteer, push yourself mentally and physically and watch your efforts transcend into all aspects of your life.
- Accept Praise and Compliments. Stop rationalizing your accomplishments and making them less-than. We are telling the truth when we give positive feedback (unless you hang around with a lot narcissists!) Graciously accept with a smile. You earned it. You deserve it. It’s real. It’s you.
- Stand and Set. Set attainable goals: daily, monthly and beyond. It’s fine to start small and build upon your success. Remember, you’re building and strengthening. And, always stand tall. Shoulders back, tummy in, chest slightly lifted. Same goes for sitting. No slouching. In both cases, you will not only feel more confident, you will look it, too! Now, go rock your world with your serious bad-a## selves!