One of the biggst problems with trying to gain self-confidence, or build your self-esteem, is knowing where to start. So, this week I thought I’d give you that starting point.
1. Design your own Self-Confidence Blueprint
If you’ve ever asked someone what they’d like out of life, generally they’ll struggle to give you a solid answer. Yet, ask them what they don’t want and they’ll have a long list for you.
Unfortunately, people naturally seem to focus on what they don’t want in life.
Initially then, you need to be aware of what confidence means for you, so you know what you’re going after.
Throughout the history of Personal Development, you’ll find no end of statements and quotes similar to these…
“You get what you focus on” or,
“Whatever you keep your attention on, you’ll create” or,
“Your focus equals your future”, etc.
In basic terms, if you focus on what you don’t want, what you don’t want, is exactly what you’ll get!
To start you off, your first piece of self-confidence home-play (like homework, but more fun!), is to find yourself a quiet place for a few minutes and design the life you really want.
Get yourself a notebook, or even a few sheets of paper. Now, picture your life if everything was just how you wanted, because again, you need a target.
- How would you look in this perfect life?
- How would you act?
- What things would you be doing?
- How would your body language be?
- What expression would you have?
- What things would you do differently?
- How would you be treating other people?
- What kind of things would you be saying to yourself?
Picture as much as you can about this new you. Then describe this self-confident version (in as much detail as you can) on the paper.
Then, every day, read this description of yourself and in as much detail as you can, picture yourself being this person.
Being this person in your mind, helps your subconscious find ways to bring that vision to life.
2. Set yourself some confidence building activities and tasks
For most people, their confidence takes a hit when they want to try something new.
One of the greatest human discoveries is that life truly begins outside of your comfort zone.
The problem for many of us, is in taking that initial step.
So, why not make yourself a promise? And take a small step each day, that pushes you very slightly outside your comfort zone.
Every day, take a few minutes to think about one small task, or action you could take the next day, that’ll stretch you slightly.
It needn’t be anything overly difficult in the beginning. It could be making that call you’ve been putting off, (or if you’re a man, asking for directions 😉).
Then, once you’ve decided on your task, close your eyes and imagine yourself confidently achieving it.
Now, take the plunge and go do it! Little-by-little your comfort zone will expand.
If you’re a bit of an ‘adrenaline junkie’, you could always try 100 day Rejection Therapy!
3. Change your physiology
The way you present yourself to the outside world greatly effects the way you feel inside.
Even something as simple as ‘putting on a smile’ can make a difference.
Here’s a short exercise from Deborah Gruenfeld (a Leadership and Organizational professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business), you should try.
- Sit up straight in your chair.
- Now, roll your shoulders back.
- Get your elbows away from your body.
- Stretch out your legs, (or, if you want cross one foot over your knee so your leg makes a triangle shape.)
Now read these words out loud, with as much feeling as you can:
“I can’t do it, I feel so helpless, I am worthless.”
What you’ll find, is that it’s almost impossible for your mind to process thoughts of low self-esteem, when your body is presenting a show of power and confidence.
Next try this:
- Make yourself small and lean forward a bit.
- Bring your hands close to your body.
- Keep your knees together.
Once you’re in this position, read these words out loud, with feeling:
“I am totally in charge. I’m invincible. I’m on top of the world.”
Again it’s really difficult for your mind to present different feeling from the ones your body is presenting.
So, practice standing tall with open body language and wearing a healthy smile, because it’s surprising how much difference it makes to your confidence.
As Deborah says…. “It’s not the case that our bodies only follow our psychology, but that we actually take cues from what our bodies are telling us, and the way we hold our bodies actually affects how powerful we feel and how powerfully we behave.”
I’ve embedded Deborah’s video if you’d like to see it.
What would be your tips for boosting your self-confidence? Let me know in the comments 🙂