So how do you prepare yourself to begin ?
Do you lack self confidence? First you need to recognize and fully understand the problem and take action to seek a solution. Next, you must begin to educate yourself. This is the step that lasts forever. To truly achieve progress, we must never stop learning.
One important thing to understand is that building self confidence is a process. It won’t happen overnight but you can begin to see and feel results as soon as you start consistently working at it. The good news is that building self confidence is something that can easily be achieved with a little knowledge and some persistent effort.
As you begin to practice what you learn, and start building self confidence you will also begin to create more successes in your life. These successes will begin to compound the growth of your confidence itself. The result is a snowball effect that helps you learn how to be confident even faster than expected. Confidence creates confidence! Also once your self esteem gets repeatedly proven to you through the positive results that you witness in your life, your doubts will begin to recede into distant memory and disappear permanently.
The best way to approach building self confidence is to take the process in steps and the first step for any worthwhile endeavor should always be to get prepared.
To get prepared, you need to clearly recognize where you are and where you want to be. Only then can you create an effective plan to get there. You know where you stand in regards to self confidence. You are aware of the types of situations that you can handle comfortably and the types of situations that you have difficulty with. Reflect on this for a moment and try to get a clear understanding of where you are right now with regard to your path to self confidence.
Now consider where you would like to be. Imagery is a powerful mental tool. Visualize yourself doing the things that currently make you uncomfortable. When you do this, picture yourself doing these things with ease, completely relaxed internally as if it were something that you had mastered and completed hundreds of times. If your mind can think it, it can achieve it. Now you have a clear picture of where you are and of something that you want to accomplish. File these mental pictures away or write them down, this is your motivation and you can return to it whenever you need to.
The next step to get your self prepared is to get into the proper mindset. You must believe that your goals are possible before you can reasonably commit yourself to them. If this is difficult for you, just remember to use consistent rational thought. If you think about this goal rationally, it becomes clearer that it is not only possible but probable that you can achieve it. These practices for building self confidence have been tried, tested and proven over many years and by hundreds of thousands of people before you and I. Humanity has had plenty of time and test cases to sort out what works and what doesn’t by now. Rest assured that the information is out there and that what you desire is indeed quite possible. Eliminate any and all doubt about that right now. Accept it rationally and move on.
Another important part of your mindset is to make sure that you stop working against yourself. We tend to pick up bad habits that perpetuate negativity in our minds. Make a conscious effort to remove self defeating thoughts and to stop saying anything that puts you down. They call these bad habits “self defeating” for a reason. That is exactly what they do! You’ve heard it many times “think positive”, and you will continue to hear it if you ask people who know about how to be confident. Stay positive, stay focused and take steps.
The best way to begin to recognize your strengths is to take some time and think back over your entire life. Starting as early as childhood if you want, find memories of each significant accomplishment in your life. Regardless of who you are, I promise that there will be many. Don’t down-play anything. If you felt good about it, it matters. Write it down. If you won a foot race in 3rd grade and you remember the great feeling you had afterward, include it. You got the job out of 5 people that were interviewed? Include it. Compile a list. This will be something that you will refer to often (at least weekly) to remind you that you are actually quite capable of success. Focus on and highlight the ones that are the most important to you.
Now look at the list and think of it in terms of the things that you are currently comfortable with and the things that still make you uncomfortable. Are you able to see any trends? You should begin to see where your strengths lie. What are the things that you are good at? Write these ideas down as well. We all need to be acutely aware of our strengths when we set out to accomplish any significant goal.
Another crucial piece of the process is the development of a tangible and clearly defined plan. This will help you measure and bear witness to the progress you make which will in turn reaffirm your belief that your efforts are paying off. By following a plan, you will learn how to be confident systematically and develop strong habits.
The plan should outline your goals. Start by brainstorming a list of things that you feel that you could not handle comfortably but that you hope to be able to handle with ease in the future. These are your specific goals. Include any accomplishment, even the ones that seem insignificant. For instance, I used to feel a little awkward when asking strangers for directions or help. I wanted to be able to approach and speak to anyone with confidence and so I would add this to my list. Don’t be afraid to include the tough ones as well like asking for a promotion, giving a speech to a room full of 1000 people or asking the girl or guy down the hall out for dinner. Now put them in order from easiest to most difficult and focus on accomplishing each one before moving on to another.
Each small accomplishment will earn you some measure of improved self confidence that will help you to approach and achieve the next. Each accomplishment is a building block towards building self confidence.
You will move through these accomplishments from easiest to hardest over time and each time you achieve one, just like accomplishing any goal, you will reward yourself by knowing forever that you can do this. These small triumphs will never go away. They are stepping stones along your path. Every time you move forward to another goal, consider how to apply your strengths to the situation to make it easier. “Work smart not hard” still applies whenever possible. Work on each step until it becomes as comfortable as an old hat. To this day, I still sometimes find myself asking people whom I don’t know for directions or assistance, just to talk to them!! The things that we practice become habit.
Have you ever heard the phrase “fake it until you make it?” The idea behind it is simple and lends itself well to building self confidence. By practicing something enough and putting yourself out there, you will begin to incorporate these activities into your life in such a way that they become habit. They become easy. They begin to define you. To a significant degree, you are what you do. Once you realize this concept fully, you begin to see that you truly can become anything that you want to be. You take action and begin to define ourselves. You are seeking information right now which tells me that you are already practicing this concept whether you knew it or not. You are taking action to define or redefine yourself into someone with greater confidence. In a way, you are in fact learning how to be confident right now simply by taking action!
As you move forward in your learning and begin to progress toward building your self confidence, you will undoubtedly run into some stumbling blocks. There will always be some small desire to quit, give up or avoid. Just remember that taking the easy path is akin to hiding from challenge and works to break down your confidence rather than build it up. When possible, remain committed to your personal growth and push through challenges. The best part is, even if you fail, you will still gain confidence because you stood and faced the situation. You tried! There is significant courage to be found by simply facing the fear or doubt and making an attempt. If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger. If it might kill you, then by all means reconsider!
You will likely find that self doubt will always try to creep in. But you will be looking for it. Learn to recognize it for what it is each time it happens. When these doubts present themselves in your mind, all you really have to do is back up and truly and objectively examine the situation. Is it really possible to do this? Do people do this sort of thing all the time? If so, then yes, it’s quite likely that you can learn and do it as well. If on the other hand, you doubt something because of a rational objection, it is also quite possible that a significant challenge lies there and the situation may warrant further evaluation, a new plan or acceptance that it is an unlikely goal. If you are 50 years old and you haven’t been in the Air Force or gone to college, becoming an astronaut might be a little bit out of reach, or perhaps the path would be so challenging that the means may not justify the end result.
For instance, at a certain time in a colleagues’ life, he was determined to go to medical school and become a doctor. He was a great student, already had a bachelors degree and many of the prerequisite courses completed. However, he was 35 and also had 3 children and no income. He started out determined and confident but eventually doubts about this journey began to surface. Careful examination told him that remaining dedicated and confident might get him pretty far and friends and family would help as much as they could but, 4-5 years of borrowing money and surviving with no income before being able to work again might prove to be more strife than it was worth. Trying to handle that while completing one of the most academically rigorous career paths in existence might not even be healthy. He simply did not have a realistic and maintainable plan that suited his current situation. Careful thought revealed that his motivation was based heavily on money and prestige which might be bad reasons to drag his family through such difficulties. These realizations finally brought him around to reconsidering this career path as a viable option.
The moral of this is that not all doubts are irrational and based on fear but many of them are. Be realistic when evaluating your doubts as well as your goals. As you continue to learn how to be confident, you will also learn how to better evaluate your goals and fears.
Hopefully some of these concepts will help you be better prepared as you continue along the path of building self confidence. Take this advice into consideration and prepare yourself mentally as you continue your efforts to learn how to be confident in all aspects of your life. You will be more open and willing to accept any direction that you receive. Get prepared and begin to make your way toward a new and more confident you.
Now you have a couple ideas about how to get your head in the right place but in order to send your self confidence levels to new heights, you’ll need a plan and the willingness to follow it…
…Lucky for you, there are many amazing programs for building your confidence! Find out more here: how to be confident!
Or feel free to check out my next article here: Confidence Building, Taking Action
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