Updated: Mar 14, 2022
The single greatest thing you can do for your own success is to develop self-confidence.
Self-confidence is not egotistic or acting like you're better than anyone else. It is simply the belief that you know what to do and how to do it. It’s trusting you are great at what you do, and that you can handle whatever comes your way.
Demonstrating self-confidence helps others to build trust in you, and positions you as a skilled, adaptable leader in your field.
"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings." Samuel Johnson
So, what does it mean to be confident? Studies show that confident people share many of the same traits, even across cultures and industries. Cultivating those traits you already have, and developing those that you do not yet have, will build your overall self-confidence.
Remember - self-confidence is about building yourself, never about tearing others down. When you are confident, you make others around you feel confident too.
Key traits of confident people include:
They are not afraid to be wrong
They are willing to take a stand, even if they end up being wrong. No sitting on the fence!
They value finding out what is right more than they value being right
They listen more than they speak
They do not seek the spotlight, and they share the spotlight with others
They ask for help when they need it
They think in possibilities, not obstacles – they ask “Why not?”
They don’t put others down
They aren’t afraid to look silly or foolish
They acknowledge their mistakes
They seek feedback from only those who matter
They accept compliments
They “walk their talk”
Are you wondering how you measure up? It can be hard to assess our own self-confidence. Taking some time to ask a few questions and answer them honestly can help you gauge the areas where your confidence is high and the areas in which you can develop.
Ask yourself if you agree with these statements:
• I intuitively know what’s right for me
• I walk my talk
• I am honest with others
• I am honest with myself
• I feel comfortable being wrong
• I am more interested in finding out what is right than being right
• It is not important to me that I be right all the time
• I feel like I can meet any challenge
• I operate well under pressure
• I do not put others down
• I like to share the spotlight with others
• I have a clear vision for my life
A simple guide to building your self-confidence
Self-confidence is a trait that can be built. In fact, a few very simple tactics can help you quickly build your self-confidence. And as you become more confident, you will have experiences that will build your confidence even more! Use this simple, but powerful, guide for building self-confidence and owning it:
1. Dress your best
Knowing you look good is a key to feeling good about yourself. When you know you look good, you project confidence. Take the time to choose clothes that fit well and which you feel good in. A good haircut that is easy for you to style is also key. If you enjoy make-up, jewellery, or other types of adornment, find pieces you love that make you feel like a million.
2. Stand up straight
Good posture is a quick, free way to build your confidence. Stand up straight and keep your shoulders back. Don’t be afraid to take up space. A bonus of good posture is that you breathe more deeply and get more oxygen, which may mean you have more focus!
3. Practice gratitude
When you take the time each day to practice gratitude, you see how many blessings you have in your life. This builds your confidence and appreciation for your life.
4. Compliment others
Confident people take the time to compliment others. When you compliment others, you project that you have concern and appreciation for others.
5. Accept compliments
When someone compliments you, accept it. Too often we say “Yes, but…” instead of just saying “Thank you.”
6. Spend time with people who build you up
This helps keeping you focused on the positive.
7. Build others up too
One key trait of people who have high self-confidence is that they build up others rather than tearing them down. Having self-confidence means that you do not feel competitive with others – their success doesn’t take away from your own. Find ways to build up others. Compliment them genuinely. Acknowledge their contributions, and express your gratitude.
Food for Thought
“Mark Twain was so good with crowds that he became, in competition with singers and dancers and actors and acrobats, one of the most popular performers of his time. It is so unusual, and so psychologically unlikely, too, for a great writer to be a great performer, too.... ” Kurt Vonnegut
Everyone can develop the self-confidence to own their space!
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