By David Joel Miller.
Increase your self-confidence by following these 12 easy steps.
1. Stop trying to be perfect – no one is.
Focusing on being perfect keeps you thinking of the negative. Focus instead on your personal best. Work on being just a little better each time you do something and over the long haul you will see improvement. Skills take constant polishing to develop and to maintain.
2. Improve yourself.
Learn a new skill, tackle something you have never done before. Confidence is based on having a wide variety of areas in which you feel competent. Freed of the need to be perfect in everything, you can be however good you are at lots of things. The more skills you have, even rudimentary skills, the more confidence you will have.
3. Don’t compare your private self to others public selves.
We all know our private self. The times we have done something we regret. You know your imperfections. It is easy to compare yourself to someone else’s P.R. image. Do not compare your naked self to someone else’s red carpet costume. Time and again we have seen a public person that many thought had it so together, only to find out that this public person hid a major flaw.
4. Accept yourself warts and all.
The key to increasing your self-confidence is to accept that the way you are now is perfectly OK, all the while striving to become the best person you can be. Being self-deprecating is not being humble. Stop putting yourself down. Accept yourself and you make it easier for others to accept you. Reject yourself and no amount of accomplishments will make you feel good about yourself.
5. Please yourself first for increased confidence.
Trying to please others first results in being chronically unsure if you measure up. Outside people do not know you the way you know you. There will be others in your life you will never be able to please. Some parents think the way to get their children to do better is to always point out their offspring’s flaws. The result is that those children feel they can never measure up and some give up trying altogether, a thing we call learned helplessness. As adults, many people can trace their lack of confidence to a lifetime of trying to please impossible others.
If you have or had someone in your life like that, realize that pleasing them is an impossible task and focus on pleasing yourself.
6. Take more chances.
The great basketball players take more shots. Many highly successful people have tried a number of careers or businesses before they found their niche. You do not protect yourself from failure by sticking to the things you already know. Trying new things helps you discover talents you never knew you had.
7. Have a gratitude list.
Creating a list of the things you have that you are thankful for. Write down a list of your life accomplishments. Remembering the things you have accomplished in life boosts your confidence. People who lack self-confidence tend to dismiss their accomplishments and discount what they have because they focus only on the things that are lacking.
Recognizing the things you have and the part you have played in creating those things can boost your self-confidence.
8. Use affirmations to increase your confidence.
Affirmations are an incredible tool for boosting confidence. Tell yourself that today you will have a great day and your brain creates it. Say these positive affirmations to yourself every morning. When you need a boost of confidence, repeat them to yourself.
For maximum effectiveness pick affirmations that you believe. Do not try to lie yourself into self-confidence. If you want to be more famous your brain may not accept the affirmation I am famous. It could accept that “Today I will do things that people should notice.”
9. Do your homework – be prepared.
Giving a speech about something you know nothing about will not inspire confidence. Teachers, even those who have been at it a long time, will prepare before classes. New to a field? Learn the basic vocabulary and the “who’s who” of your job. The more you know and the more subjects you know about the easier it will be for you to have conversations with people. Knowing what you are talking about breeds confidence.
10. Educate yourself – read.
Confident people know a bit about a great many things. Self-assured people read and read widely. Read about your own field but also read about things outside your interests. Being well versed in many things will help you interact with others in a confident way.
11. Find the things you care about.
Know yourself and know your interests. It is much easier to be confident when talking about or doing something you really care about. Self-knowledge should make you more confident not less. Accept your good qualities and do not dismiss them lightly. It takes time and practice to become proficient at things. Pick things to practice that you enjoy and you will learn them more rapidly and become better at them.
12. Look for the happy things in life – smile and laugh.
Being a happy person draws others to you. Happiness is a skill. It requires practice and observation. The negativity in the world yells at you every day. The positive happy things wait patiently to be noticed. Make happiness watching a skill you hone every day.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books