Self-confidence is related to feelings of self-worth and self-regard. It suggests that a person has confidence in their abilities and how they present themselves to the world and that these abilities are born out of oneself. People who project self-confidence often find it easier to attract success and to gain support for their endeavors. If you have it, you use it. If you do not have “it,” you may desire it.
The keys to developing self-confidence can come from the inside through self-awareness and self-acceptance or you can learn to project it outwardly and do so until it soaks in to your emotional fiber.
One of the accepted self-confidence practices is the “fake it until you make it” behavior. This behavioral technique asks that you project yourself as a self-confident person would and as your external self demonstrates this attitude, your internal self will begin to adopt this external portrayal. To do this, consider dressing well and enhance your appearance as best you can. Many people require coaching advice on how to do this because it does not always come naturally, and can be done incorrectly. This does not have to be financially expensive but does require some coordinated efforts. Project yourself as confident by having good posture, standing up as straight and as tall as you can. Smile warmly and easily. Give sincere compliments and look for the “GOOD” in other people to build them up and do not dwell in the negative. Avoid gossip and negativity. Walk faster and with intention. Make eye contact. Speak up, do not mumble. You do not have to speak fast or talk just for the sake of talking. (Unnecessary talking can sound desperate.) Learn to really listen and respectfully reflect back the understanding, or lack of understanding, that you may have of your communication partner. (Let them finish. Be patient.) Use a firm handshake when you greet people. Demonstrate your positive excitement about learning new things and about life in general. Look for what is good and do not dwell, too much, on what is missing.
Internal self-confidence takes more effort and time. Your motivation to be self-confident will be tested. But a deep core of self-confidence can last a lifetime. To accomplish the ability to dwell in internal self-confidence begins with a demonstration of self-love and self-care. To do this you must put time and effort into taking good care of yourself. You will benefit from regular exercise and stress management. In fact, it is difficult to hold on to your self-confidence without regular demonstrations of self-care. Deep relaxation can also lead to a type of self-control that allows you to control your fears, anxiety, anger, and sadness. You can minimize the fears and maximize your solid emotional foundation through regular stress management practices. Even when you become self-aware of a possible weakness or flaw in yourself, you will better able accept these as lessons rather than be a victim to any of your imperfections. We ALL HAVE IMPERFECTIONS and we must learn and adapt new ways of “being” to help us move past any of these discovered flaws. This is sometimes easier said than done and counseling or coaching may help expedite your process of moving through the insight of any imperfections. “We are perfect because of our imperfections.”
Focus on your strengths, your gifts, your creativity, and your positive contributions. By dwelling on these, you allow the positive light of self-confidence to begin to burn more brightly from your inside, out. And, though difficult, learn to accept and appreciate any sincere compliments that come your way. Build, brick by brick, the feelings of self-worth and self-regard that come from demonstrations of your positive contributions to your family, friends, work, and to the world. Give gifts of yourself freely and without expectations but maintain healthy boundaries (do not emotionally bankrupt yourself.) Find “positive” people to support you. Negative or desperately needy people will drain you if you do set limits, and honor these limits.
Finally, demonstrate gratitude. Self-confident who are healthy will understand that this is a blessing and will find ways to show how grateful they are for feeling their self-confidence.
For coaching support, consider the Stress Education Center at www.dstress.com and please take GOOD care of yourself.