Self-hypnosis is complete nonsense. Let’s be realistic, when was the last time it gave you confidence? Helped to lose weight? A promotion? No options – NEVER. Of course, there are a lot of “experts” around who sell this hackneyed move: just say 50 times “I am incomparable, wonderful and I can achieve anything”, and you will immediately become confident in yourself as a president. It works? No. So let’s talk about the methods that really help people gain self-confidence.
Before we dive headlong into building true self-confidence, let’s take a step back and try to understand what confidence is.
Confidence is knowing that what you own will later become what you want and make you happier. This is a necessary condition for an idea to become an action.
Confidence is the ability to believe in yourself when there is a big deal, to raise your hand when an interesting project comes up, or to speak at a conference (and without any worries!). Confidence is not a 100% guarantee that everything will always work out, but it helps you get out of your comfort zone, push boundaries and set a course for success.
Statistics confirm that success has more to do with confidence than competence. So, here are five steps to self-confidence.
- Show confidence
As strange as it may sound, in order to learn to be truly confident in yourself, you can first imitate confidence. In the wild, some animals pretend to be brave in the face of danger. Pretend you too.
Self-hypnosis doesn’t work. Our brain analyzes and compares our expectations with our experience and real life situation. If these two aspects don’t match, the brain gets out of control and you start to experience stress. Anxiety and negative thoughts appear, which make all self-confidence disappear. So how can we be?
Prepare better for an exciting situation, rehearse in front of the mirror (pay attention to both the tone of voice and facial expressions) and look at others positively, enjoy communicating with them. This will give the brain “good reason” to believe that our positive attitude corresponds to a favorable external situation, and confidence will appear on its own.
- Don’t forget that you expect more from yourself than others from you.
The good news is that the whole world will believe what you are demonstrating. Thank goodness no one can read your mind, know about fears and anxiety.
The bad news: you can misinterpret any sidelong glance, any random word, any reaction of people to your actions, and then worry about this (invented by you) occasion.
In this case, psychologists recommend listening to your inner voice (do not be alarmed ahead of time, no one is going to persuade you to engage in self-hypnosis). Do a little experiment: For one week, write down what thoughts are spinning in your head (exact wording) when you feel lack of confidence.
By simply recording and analyzing your internal dialogue, you will be one step closer to reducing the number and hopefully eliminating such thoughts altogether.
In addition, it is helpful to write down and keep on hand a list of your achievements, experiences gained, events that made you feel significant, confident, and understand that your actions are beneficial.
Whenever your inner voice gets out of hand, take a three-minute break, pick up a list, and remind yourself how good you can be. Show your brain a physical evidence when you need extra confidence.
- Monitor your physical condition
I understand it’s a cliché to say that you need to take care of your health, but this cliché did not appear out of nowhere. Have you ever wondered why all successful leaders, without exception, regularly play sports? If you overwork, eat fast food, sleep little, and lead a predominantly sedentary lifestyle, it becomes harder to show the world your best version of yourself.
You don’t need to workout until you drop for several hours a day: a 30-minute walk from work to home or climbing stairs to the 10th floor can be enough to generate endorphins. Start with small changes in your usual lifestyle, gradually get used to them.
Difficulties and, accordingly, stress need to be added to your life in very small portions. It is necessary to wrap yourself around the finger so that both physical and mental health are in balance.
- Increase the impact, change your internal dialogue
Do you know why most people’s communication skills leave a lot to be desired? Because they are in their own thoughts. Instead of focusing on their interlocutor and showing their location, they think how not to blurt out nonsense and what would be so smart to say next. The main reason for this behavior is that they did not prepare well.
It is almost impossible to be truly confident if you are not prepared enough to show your best side. Think about the people you are talking to. What do they really want? What’s stopping them? How can you help them?
If you focus on helping the person you are talking to, you will relieve your anxiety and get the same genuine interest in the answer.
It is worth using this method to promote your services or if you want to impress at any event.
Take the time to study the material on the topic and your audience. Every hour spent doing this will bring a disproportionate result. And what happens when you get a positive response? You guessed it – you will gain lasting, genuine self-confidence.
- Make mistakes quickly, make mistakes often
A terrifying word that paralyzes even great people and prevents them from succeeding is failure. It especially haunts those who are perfectionist by nature and are chronically afraid of doing something wrong.
But failures in our lives do happen, it’s just inevitable. In fact, if you are not mistaken, then do not learn anything new. Remember Ramit Sethi’s statement more often: “This is not a failure – this is a trial.”
You are just checking that it doesn’t work. And when you know this, you can move on and find paths that will lead to the desired result.
And most importantly, once you come to your senses after another “failure”, you realize that you do not feel empty. After all, it is this experience that helps you face your fears and achieve your goals in the future.