Five Steps To Self Confidence

“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” ― Samuel Johnson

Self confidence levels can mean the difference between spending your life in the shadows or achieving everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

Think of it as a dial: Turn it down and you become tongue-tied, awkward, anxious; turn it up and you radiate with charisma. Turn it down and you miss opportunities, learn to live with regrets, always feel like you’ve failed in one way or another; turn it up and you make your own luck, live life to the full, never needing to look back in time or ahead because the present is pretty damned perfect...

That’s how important self confidence is. It can and will literally change your life. And the great news is that the dial is entirely in your control - you can turn it up any time you want to. Here are a few tried and tested ways to do just that:

Focus on positives
We all have our insecurities and complexes. The way we look, the way we sound… Fixating on perceived weaknesses will stop you from achieving your full potential. Address any shortcomings that you can, but also accept the things that you can’t change and make the most of your strengths. Remember, you are what you think so don’t keep putting yourself down. Everyone has positives they can be grateful for - make a list of your own!     

Face your fears
Fear can be crippling. Much of the time it doesn’t have to be. If you have nightmares about, say, public speaking, the only way you’ll find peace is if you practice public speaking. You don’t have to get up on stage in front of thousands of people right away - baby steps: give a toast at the dinner table with family or friends; start a conversation with strangers in a coffee shop; get involved in clubs or groups and don’t shy away from using your voice. The more you do something, the less fearful you’ll be - and one day you’ll realize you’re not afraid at all any more.   

Build up to it
Set attainable goals. Make lists with self-imposed deadlines and do your very best to follow through. Focus on each task in order of priority as if it is the only thing you have to do. Celebrate every little victory. Keep making those lists, and push yourself a little further every time. Even if it’s only progressing you in tiny steps, as long as your confidence is growing then you’re going in the right direction.

Help someone
Being of service to others can improve self esteem and stimulate self confidence. When you volunteer or simply perform spontaneous acts of kindness this validates your usefulness to those around you. Increased interactions with others improves social skills, reduces social anxiety and boosts your own sense of self worth. So you’re doing something good for society and for yourself too!

Stop comparing
So you think other people are ‘more successful’, ‘better looking’, ‘happier’? What measures are you using? We all succeed in different ways. Some people may appear to be living the dream but are lonely and unhappy; others may never have a lot of material possessions but have lives abundant with love and laughter. Nobody is the same and success is subjective. Just do YOU the best way that you can. Remember, those who mind don’t matter, those who matter don’t mind. Stop worrying about what others may think of you. If they have your best interests at heart, they’ll be rooting for you. If not, who needs them?! Own your space unapologetically and you’ll have confidence in spades. 

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” ― Lao Tzu