One of the things that have held a lot of people back from pursuing their dreams for many years is fear of failure … and the lack of self-confidence needed to overcome that fear.
It’s something we all face, to some degree, I think. The key question: how do you overcome that fear?
By working on your self-confidence and self-esteem. Without really thinking of it in those terms, that’s what I’ve been doing over the years, and that’s what will help us finally overcome our fears, and finally pursue our dreams.
This isn’t to say you wouldn’t have those fears anymore, but now you know that you can beat them, that you can break through that wall of fear and come out on the other side.
Taking control of your self-confidence
If you are low in self-confidence, is it possible to do things that will change that? Is your self-confidence in your control?
While it may not seem so, if you are low in self-confidence, I strongly believe that you can do things to increase your self-confidence. It is not genetic, and you do not have to be reliant on others to increase your self-confidence. And if you believe that you are not very competent, not very smart, not very attractive, etc. … that can be changed.
You can become someone worthy of respect, and someone who can pursue what he wants despite the naysaying of others.
You can do this by taking control of your life, and taking control of your self-confidence. By taking concrete actions that improve your competence, your self-image, you can increase that self-confidence, without the help of anyone else.
Below, I outline 25 things that will help you do that.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- Groom yourself. This seems like such an obvious one, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and a shave can make in your feelings of self-confidence and for your self-image. There have been days when I turned my mood around completely with this one little thing.
- Dress nicely. A corollary of the first item above … if you dress nicely, you’ll feel good about yourself.
- Photoshop your self-image. Use your mental Photoshopping skills, and work on your self-image. If it’s not a very good one, change it.
- Think positive. Always replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Kill negative thoughts. Goes hand-in-hand with the above item, but it’s so important that I made it a separate item. You have to learn to be aware of your self-talk, the thoughts you have about yourself and what you’re doing.
- Get to know yourself. When going into battle, the wisest general learns to know his enemy very, very well. You can’t defeat the enemy without knowing him. And when you’re trying to overcome a negative self-image and replace it with self-confidence, your enemy is yourself.
- Act positive. More than just thinking positive, you have to put it into action. Action, actually, is the key to developing self-confidence. It’s one thing to learn to think positive, but when you start acting on it, you change yourself, one action at a time.
- Be kind and generous. You act in accordance with the Golden Rule, and you start to feel good about yourself and to think that you are a good person. It does wonders for your self-confidence, believe me.
- Get prepared. It’s hard to be confident in yourself if you don’t think you’ll do well at something. Beat that feeling by preparing yourself as much as possible.
- Know your principles and live them. What are the principles upon which your life is built? If you don’t know, you will have trouble, because your life will feel directionless.
- Speak slowly. Such a simple thing, but it can have a big difference in how others perceive you. A person in authority, with authority, speaks slowly. It shows confidence.
- Stand tall. As an aside, people who stand tall and confident are more attractive. That’s a good thing any day.
- Increase competence. How do you feel more competent? By becoming more competent. And how do you do that? By studying and practising. Just do small bits at a time.
- Set a small goal and achieve it. People often make the mistake of shooting for the moon, and then when they fail, they get discouraged. Instead, shoot for something much more achievable. Set a goal you know you can achieve, and then achieve it.
- Change a small habit. Not a big one, like quitting smoking. Just a small one, like writing things down. Or waking up 10 minutes earlier. Or drinking a glass of water when you wake up.
- Focus on solutions. If you are a complainer or focus on problems, change your focus now. Focusing on solutions instead of problems is one of the best things you can do for your confidence and your career.
- Smile. Another trite one. But it works. I feel instantly better when I smile, and it helps me to be kinder to others as well.
- Volunteer. It’ll be some of the best time you’ve ever spent, and an amazing side benefit is that you’ll feel better about yourself, instantly.
- Be grateful. While being grateful for what you have in life, for what others have given you, is a very humbling activity … it can also be a very positive and rewarding activity that will improve your self-image.
- Exercise. All you have to do is take a walk a few times a week, and you’ll see benefits. Start the habit.
- Empower yourself with knowledge. Empowering yourself, in general, is one of the best strategies for building self-confidence. You can do that in many ways, but one of the surest ways to empower yourself is through knowledge.
- Do something you’ve been procrastinating on. What’s on your to-do list that’s been sitting there? Do it first thing in the morning, and get it out of the way. You’ll feel great about yourself.
- Get active. Doing something is almost always better than not doing anything. Of course, doing something could lead to mistakes … but mistakes are a part of life. It’s how we learn.
- Work on small things. Trying to take on a huge project or task can be overwhelming and daunting and intimidating for anyone, even the best of us. Instead, learn to break off small chunks and work in bursts.
- Clear your desk. It could be the calm in the centre of the storm around you.