Has it happened to you?
You say sorry too often when sorry isn’t needed.
At a restaurant when the waiter gets your order wrong. At the mall when someone bumps into you. At work when someone misses your meeting, and it feels like your fault because you didn’t remind them.
Or maybe you struggle to accept compliments. Instead of saying thanks, you argue against the compliment. You downplay it. You attribute it to some coincidence.
The above, described my life. I had a low self-image, lack of confidence, courage or whatever you want to call it.
Maybe you’re in the same boat I was. Always thinking if only I could alter my self-image. If only I could boost my confidence. If only I could be the person I’ve always wanted to be.
But what if I told you, you could?
Dr. Maxwell Maltz said it best: “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.”
The definition of self-esteem is your faith in someone or something. Maybe you’re overweight and lost faith in your body. Maybe you feel you’ve failed your parents. Maybe you feel you have failed yourself.
If so, this post might be of help.
Here are a few tricks that have helped me, and may help you too.
1. What If
If you experience self-doubt during indecision, ask yourself: “How would I act in this situation if I was overflowing with confidence?” Then, do it that way!
Your comfort zone is a dangerous place to be. If you want to grow, get out of it.
2. Here’s Why Affirmations Don’t Work
I know what you’re thinking. Not this again! But hear me out. Here’s the catch that most people miss.
You have to say your affirmations with feeling. What’s the difference between an owner’s manual and a best-selling novel? Emotion. Your subconscious mind doesn’t understand words, but it does emotion.
Repeat the following to yourself with as much enthusiasm as possible: Everyday, in every way, I’m getting bolder, more confident, and self-assured. At first, you won’t believe yourself, but if you tell your subconscious mind something long enough, after a while it’ll believe it.
3. Knowing vs Doing
It’s easy to fall into the trap of saying: “Meh, I already know this.” Instead as yourself: “Am I applying this advice to my life?”
Also, ask yourself if this advice can improve your life. If it can, it would be wise to test this new idea in your life by applying it.
4. Reverse Engineering
If you haven’t watched Amy Cuddy’s Ted talk, you’re in for a treat.
Self-assured people have a confident body posture. But Cuddy explains the reverse can also apply. If you’re feeling down, strike a power pose for 2 minutes to increase confidence. A power pose is any position that makes your body bigger and more open.
My favorite is feet on the desk with my hands clasped behind my head.
I’ll be honest with you. Building confidence is possible, but it does take time. You won’t gain it overnight.
Until you reach your goal have someone be your confidence. Whoever inspires you. It might be Tony Robbins, Oprah, or whoever.
Reading or listening to their stories can be empowering. You learn about their sheer determination and persistence that got them where they are today.
6. Act Like a Nightclub Bouncer
Negative thoughts spread like weeds. As soon as one enters, they spread. You should be like a nightclub bouncer who banishes every negative thought that tries to enter your club of happiness.
Sometimes you feel powerless, but don’t let self-doubt take your power. You have the power to choose more positive thoughts.
Is it easy? Nope! But it becomes easier with practice. Driving also wasn’t easy. But the more you practiced, the better you got.
And it’s OK if you’re scared. Courage is being scared and still moving forward. As with self-esteem, you can also learn to be courageous.
You are not your beliefs. Someone else put them there. If someone put them there it means someone can remove them.
Don’t tell yourself the lie that you can’t do it. Because that’s all it is. A lie. People with way fewer resources than you have achieved more. Not because they got lucky, but because they wanted it.
The question is, do you want it bad enough? Do you want to be confident?
Instead of going through life with your handbrake on, rather rip it out. When (not if) your confidence skyrockets you’ll be in the fast lane. No need for slowing down or parking.
Let’s stop settling. Let’s stop trying to please other people, and rather please ourselves. To hell with what anyone thinks. If you’re happy, they should be happy for you.
Because isn’t being happy the purpose of life? It sure is for me. So let’s change that.