BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE, ONE BEHAVIOR AT A TIME
1. Decide daily to project confidence and self-esteem.
Whether you realize it or not, you only have one chance to make a first impression, so look others directly in the eye and greet them with a smile. The sowing and reaping principle is constantly in effect, so make it work for you in this way…give a smile/receive a smile…give a positive greeting/receive a positive greeting. This habit projects a sense of self-confidence. Your posture, bearing, gestures, and gait, tell others (and your own nervous system) that you are a confident person. Body language actually communicates confidence in a much more powerful way even than words. This is more than just the basic “fake it ’til you make it”…when you act confident you become confident!
2. Discipline your conversation to reinforce your confident image.
If you want to be respected, you must appear respectable, so when meeting someone new, always give them your name (including over the phone). Leading with a personal introduction underscores the feeling that you respect yourself, and that they should pay attention to what you have to say. Once you have established and adopted a confident manner, don’t let your words tear down what your actions have built up!
3. Don’t be afraid to accept a compliment.
Minimizing expressions of honor from others is not a sign of humility, it’s just rude and insulting to the person paying you the compliment. Instead of trying to sidestep or downplay a good word, be gracious and appreciative. Giving plays an important role in life, but so does receiving. Being able to accept from others provides them with an opportunity to experience the joy of giving. A sign of solid self-esteem is being able to show genuine appreciation for a gift or compliment. Just saying “thank you” is usually the appropriate response!
4. Deny yourself the luxury of self-promotion.
Bragging comes from a lack of self-confidence and a desire for external approval, but genuine modesty is a characteristic of someone who is secure with who they are. Everyone wants and needs attention…it’s a valid desire that comes from God. But people who constantly brag are calling attention to themselves in an unhealthy way, because they don’t feel worthy of respect!
5. Direct every conversation toward the positive.
You can change your life simply by changing your speech patterns. Avoid turning your problems into everyone else’s problems, and don’t make problems the centerpiece of your conversation. Talk up your life and the lives of those around you. Train yourself to instinctively move away from negative thinking. When you are tempted to criticize or complain (and complaining can become addictive, if not checked), find a way to re-direct your thought process!
6. Destroy doubt with positive action.
Everyone’s confidence gets rocked from time to time…it’s a normal and universal experience. But dwelling on difficulties and disappointments will only make things worse for you. The best antidote for doubt is to increase your level of productive activity. When your self-confidence is under fire, don’t over-analyze the situation…just do something! When you are busy taking action, your mind will be focused on solutions instead of problems!
7. Dare to see everything as an opportunity.
When you choose to see setbacks as opportunities, your whole perspective shifts toward the positive. If you fail to produce your intended result (as everyone does from time to time), then you should know that it’s just time to adjust your course. It is not a reflection of your value as a person, so don’t take it personally or let it tamper with your self-esteem. When you think confidently, you will act confidently. And when you act confident, you will become confident!