Do you consider yourself to be confident? Can you walk into a room and engage in conversation with strangers? Take negative feedback without getting defensive? Present a powerful pitch to aroom full of potential customers? Ask for a pay rise?
Confidence is the secret ingredient that can transform your life from ordinary to extraordinary – but many of us struggle with a lack of self-belief.
Most of us don’t take the time to consciously build our own confidence and self-belief – probably because we don’t know how to – but luckily it’s something we can pro-actively work on through self-reflection and developing positive thinking habits.
Here’s 10 practical habits to cultivate for building confidence:
1. Keep a secret folder of any positive feedback you’ve received and review it once a fortnight.
2. Every week, write down three things you have achieved (however large or small) and one thing you like about yourself.
3. When / if things go wrong, use the “Acceptance” or “Opportunity” buckets. Either put it in the “Acceptance” bucket and just think ‘it is what it is’ and let it go; or put it in the “Opportunity” bucket and consider what learning or growth can come out of this.
4. Extend your comfort zone by 10% every month – prove to yourself that you can do things that you thought you couldn’t by finding a way to do something 10% scarier each month e.g. leading a big meeting / challenging a difficult client / asking for a pay rise.
5. Become aware of the narrative you create around what you can and can’t do. What stories are you telling yourself that might not be helpful? Are there times when you think ‘I’m rubbish at public speaking / interviews / IT? Get conscious of those negative narratives and challenge them – is it really true or are you just still learning in this area?
6. Create an “anchor” to trigger and calm and confident mind state. Learn about how to use this handy NLP technique in this video.
7. Use your body to trick your mind into feeling confident – “power posing” for 2 minutes has been found to raise your testosterone levels by 20% and help you prepare for difficult moments in work or in life where you need a confidence boost. Watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk for more on this.
8. Do a favour for someone else – when we help other people, we break our tunnel-vision and widen our perspective, which in turn makes our own problems appear smaller. Hence every time you help someone else, you help yourself.
9. Do something physically effortful like exercise – when we feel physically confident, we feel mentally confident.
10. Create some mantras that help remind your unconscious that you are perfectly capable and confident. For example, ‘I’ve got this’. ‘I can’. ‘I’m good enough’. You’ve got to cheer yourself on.. after all, no one else is going to!
Building confidence is an ongoing process that requires self-reflection and deliberate action, but over time, you can gradually strengthen your self-belief and reap the benefits of a higher baseline level of confidence. It’s not about being perfect; it's about embracing your strengths, relishing challenges and creating positive thinking habits. Yes, it takes a bit of work.. but it’s 100% worth it!
This article was written by Jackie Beere OBE, Mindset Coach at Fearless.