I've recently been helping my grandkids with exam revision and it brought home just how important self-confidence is to success.
If we feel confident about what we do, we are much more likely to achieve a good outcome, whereas not feeling confident will lead to procrastination and poor results.
If we feel confident about who we are, we can feel relaxed and be ourselves much more authentically than if we worry about what others say about us and whether we measure up (to what we imagine we should be).
But, of course, the big question is, "How can I feel more confident?".
Well, I thought about it, and I've come up with 5 easy secrets to building self-confidence - things that can be done without too much time and effort, though they may need a bit of persistence - they work better if you do them consistently.
Secret 1 - Give yourself a make-over
I thought long and hard about this one, because it seems very superficial and I completely agree that how you look doesn't define who you are. But, how you look can affect how you feel about yourself and it's a very visible affirmation about your intention to feel confident. And it's easy to do: get a new haircut; buy a new flattering outfit; get some advice on skin products and make-up; get fit. Paying attention to yourself is self-affirming and if you go for quality and not quantity with your purchases, it will reinforce your personal value. Getting fit will give you more energy and make you feel more positive. Make a change to improve your personal appearance and you'll really give your confidence a boost.
Secret 2 - Celebrate your successes
All too often we are inclined to overlook our successes and focus on our failures. Confident people do the opposite - they focus on their successes and overlook their failures. Because there's no such thing as failure, only feedback: failure tells us what doesn't work, so that we can do it differently next time. Start simply, by celebrating each little humble victory in your life as a triumph and achievement. Give time, attention and reward to every little thing you do well. Begin by writing a list of all the things you do well and keep adding to it daily. Have a reward system in place to help you celebrate each little victory.
Secret 3 - Be grateful
Gratitude helps us to focus on what's good and positive in our lives and what you focus on attracts energy. The more grateful you are for what you've got now, the more you will draw new wonderful things into your life. Focussing on what you don't have, will generate reasons about why you don't have it and lead you to focus on your weaknesses. Take a moment each day to focus on what you have to be grateful for - past successes; skills and abilities; opportunities to grow; loving relationships; and anything else you can think of to be grateful for.
Secret 4 - Find confident people
Sometimes it can be really motivating to find other people who have overcome the same issues that you are experiencing. Read books, listen to motivational tapes or download webinars from the internet (most are free). Hearing or reading about how others have overcome the same challenges as you can help you to believe that it's also possible for you.
Secret 5 - Build confidence in others
Often if we think poorly of ourselves, we look for the negatives in others, and it's not a delightful quality. Find reasons to praise and compliment others - looking for the best in others will help you see the best in yourself. And if you do want to give some constructive criticism, use the feedback sandwich:
SAY SOMETHING POSITIVE
TELL THEM SPECIFICALLY WHAT THEY CAN DO TO IMPROVE NEXT TIME
SAY SOMETHING POSITIVE
Feeling confident makes it easier to be optimistic, and helps smooth the path in life. Some people find it easier than others to feel confident, but it a bit of practice goes a long way.