Is your lack of confidence holding you back? Do you spend excessive time inside of your own head regretting, worrying, wishing things were different, and putting yourself down? Does your low self-esteem hold you back from making good use of opportunities and achieving goals you know you’re capable of reaching? Without confidence and self-esteem, you’ll never venture outside of your comfort zone.
You can only be your best you if you have a healthy confidence level. Confidence is believing in your ability to succeed. This belief motivates action. Self-esteem relates to yourself, how highly you value yourself, and the strength you allow yourself to exhibit. Everything you do, say, and think has an effect on your self-esteem and confidence. And since you control what you do, say, and think, you can have a huge impact on your confidence and self-esteem.
Everybody needs a boost sometimes. Smart executives consciously instill encouragement and confidence into the cultures of their corporations. For example, a sign in the lobby of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab encourages rocket scientists to “Dare Mighty Things.”
Here are eight simple things you can do to boost your own confidence and self-esteem:
- Stop trying to be perfect.
Nike has been inviting action since 1988 with its slogan, “Just Do It!” And you don’t have to be perfect to just do it. You achieve success only by taking action, which builds more confidence, which encourages you to take more action and achieve more successes! Don’t allow pressure to be perfect to get in your way of taking action.
- Take credit for your success.
When trying to increase your confidence, it helps to take a page from the playbook of successful people. When they accomplish something great, they take credit for that success without hesitation. When people with low self-esteem accomplish something great, they commonly say explain that they must have gotten lucky, or that the accomplishment wasn’t all that difficult after all. Successful people understand the benefits of confidence and work to build theirs from an early age. In fact, many successful people value confidence as highly as they value competence.
- Stop speaking negatively to yourself.
Studies show that more than three-quarters of self-talk is negative. And negative self-talk kills confidence. So, when you catch yourself speaking negatively to yourself, make a conscious effort to stop. Consider telling yourself something like, “I’m not interested in that type of input!” Another method is to wear a rubber band around your wrist and to snap yourself when your self-talk takes a negative turn.
- Stay away from “vacuum people.”
Vacuum people suck all of the self-esteem, confidence, and positivity out of each person they come into contact with. If you have a vacuum person among your closest friends, move her out of your group. Surround yourself only with supportive, positive people. Other people can’t make you feel inferior unless you grant them permission to do so.
- If you don’t feel it, fake it.
Your body language can affect your self-esteem and confidence. You’ll slump and slouch if you’re doubtful and unsure. But one study showed that you can change your thoughts by positioning your body in a more confident posture. Positioning yourself for as little as two minutes with your chin up and your shoulders back. Keep an open stance, and make good eye contact with your intended audience. This will help you feel more confident. Smiling for two minutes will make you happier and increase your self-esteem. People who express confidence and self-esteem with their body language actually feel better about themselves.
- Unleash your sense of humor.
When it comes to increasing your self-esteem and confidence, laughing is like an internal workout. Laughing increases endorphin levels, which trigger positive physical feelings and reduce your perception of pain.
- Express your gratefulness.
You will feel more confident when you understand how much other people have done for you or how much you’ve accomplished. Saying that happy people have gratitude is backward. It’s grateful people who are happy.
- Release your fears.
Human beings have only two instinctive fears: the fear of loud noises, and the fear of falling. All of our other fears develop during our lives. Silicon Valley higher-ups understand that confidence is critical to success. Posters around the Facebook headquarters ask, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
Legendary actor John Wayne famously said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” And Canadian ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
And if you can develop fears, you’re capable of getting rid of them! So, don’t wait anymore. You got this. Just do it!