How to Build Self-Confidence: a Soft Skill Work in Progress

 

 

Self-confidence, like all Soft Skills can be improved. In fact, a few very simple tactics can help you quickly build your self-confidence. As you become more confident, you will find that you will have experiences that will build your confidence even more.

With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”  — Dalai Lama

 

Self-Questionnaire

How confident are you? 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 greater self-confidence. How strongly do you agree with these statements?

  1. I know intuitively what’s right for me.
  2. I walk my talk.
  3. I am honest with others.
  4. I am honest with myself.
  5. I feel comfortable being wrong.
  6. I am more interested in finding out what is right than being right.
  7. It is not important to me that I be right all the time.
  8. I feel like I can meet any challenge.
  9. I operate well under pressure.
  10. I do not put others down.
  11. I like to share the spotlight with others.
  12. I have a clear vision for my life.

How did you do? Based on your responses here are some basic ideas to help you build your self-confidence:

  1. Stay away from negativity and bring on the positivity. This is the time to really evaluate your inner circle, including friends and family. This is a tough one, but it’s time to seriously consider getting away from those individuals who put you down and shred your confidence. Even a temporary break from such people can make a huge difference and help you make strides toward more self-confidence.
  2. Be positive, even if you’re not feeling it quite yet. Put some positive enthusiasm into your interactions with others and hit the ground running, excited to begin your next project. Stop focusing on the problems in your life and instead begin to focus on solutions and making positive changes.
  3. Change your body language. This is where posture, smiling, eye contact, and speaking slowly come into play. Just the simple act of pulling your shoulders back gives others the impression that you are a confident person. Smiling will not only make you feel better, but will make others feel more comfortable around you. Imagine a person with good posture and a smile and you’ll be envisioning someone who is self-confident.
  4. Look at the person you are speaking to, not at your shoes–keeping eye contact shows confidence. Last, speak slowly. Research has proved that those who take the time to speak slowly and clearly feel more self-confidence and appear more self-confident to others. The added bonus is they will actually be able to understand what you are saying.
  5. Image. Go the extra mile and style your hair, give yourself a clean shave, and dress nicely. Not only will this make you feel better about yourself, but others are more likely to perceive you as successful and self-confident as well.
  6. Don’t accept failure and get rid of the negative thoughts. Never give up. Never accept failure. There is a solution to everything, so why would you want to throw in the towel? Make this your new mantra. Succeeding through great adversity is a huge confidence booster. Low self-confidence is often caused by the negative thoughts running through our minds on an endless track. If you are constantly bashing yourself and saying you’re not good enough, aren’t attractive enough, aren’t smart enough or athletic enough, and on and on, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are becoming what you are preaching inside your head, and that’s not good. The next time you hear that negativity in your head, switch it immediately to a positive affirmation and keep it up until it hits the caliber of a self-confidence boost.
  7. Be prepared. Learn everything there is to know about your field, job, presentation–whatever is next on your “to conquer” list. If you are prepared, and have the knowledge to back it up, your self-confidence will soar.
  8. For tough times, when all else fails: Create a great Life is full of challenges and there are times when it’s difficult to keep our self-confidence up. Sit down right now and make a list of all the things in your life that you are thankful for, and another list of your accomplishments in which you take pride. Once your lists are complete, post them on your refrigerator door, on the wall by your desk, on your bathroom mirror–somewhere where you can easily be reminded of what an amazing life you have and what an amazing person you really are. If you feel your self-confidence dwindling, take a look at those lists and let yourself feel and be inspired all over again by you.

“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered–just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.” – Barrie Davenport

 

Build Up Others

Finally, 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 diminish your own. Find ways to build up others. Compliment them. Acknowledge their contributions, and express your gratitude. Being a mentor can also help to build others up by helping them develop skills, which will help them develop their own self-confidence.

John Whitehead, MA, CEC, coaches individuals and organizations in becoming more effective by helping them improve their interpersonal communications, emotional intelligence and resiliency.

*******Are you wondering if having a Leadership/Personal Development Coach is right for you? Contact John for a complimentary, exploratory coaching session at john@johnkwhitehead.ca********