There is no doubt that one sure way to improve self-confidence is to model highly self-confident people.
Self-confidence is all about believing in yourself, your own worth, your power and abilities, regardless of the situation you are in.
A lot of people believe that self-confidence comes from the possession of high skill sets or knowledge. While being excellent in a particular area of expertise can give you a sense of high self-worth, it is not a necessarily a prerequisite for self-confidence.
People who have high self-confidence have a strong sense of assurance and belief in themselves. They exude calmness, composure and self-awareness, and that is because, they have formed a set of habits that have become part of who they are and how they live their life.
So, let's look at these habits in more detail:
HABIT 1: Keep Your Word - To Yourself And Others
This sounds very simple - but often it isn't.
For example, how often do you tell yourself you're going to do something and then you don't, like exercise perhaps? How often do you NOT keep your promise to others?
Whenever this happens, not only is there an underlying feeling of dissatisfaction within yourself but also you are providing your subconscious mind with evidence that you don't do what you say you will... that you are someone whom can not be trusted.
This is incredibly destructive to your self-confidence, because you don't get to trust and know who you say you are and do. You say one thing, but don't deliver, and this costs you your trust in yourself and your self-confidence.
High self-confident people understand the importance of keeping their word. They understand that coming from this space of integrity, where their word is law, IS the key to accessing their own power and self-confidence, and in my opinion, is also the most important habit that leads to success in life.
The trick is to start making smaller promises that you know you won't let yourself or others down. Be honest with yourself. Don't say yes to something when you know you can't fit it in.
Baby steps are the key here. If you try to do too much too soon, you will inevitably let something slip, and guess who will be watching?
HABIT 2: Choose Positive Self Talk
The primary keyword here is CHOOSE. No matter how many successes we have or how many things we do well, we continually doubt ourselves and our abilities.
It might have something to do with the fact that over 75% of what we think is negative, which is completely counterproductive. With these kinds of statistics, it's no wonder we struggle to feel good about ourselves.
One of the most important changes we can make in our life is choosing our self-talk.
Highly self-confident people have learned the habit of catching negative thoughts before they can have an effect on their moods, feelings and performance. They consciously choose to cancel these thoughts and replace them with positive empowering thoughts instead.
They have formed the habit of saying: stop, cancel or pass, whenever they catch a negative thought... not giving any power to that thought... not reacting to it.
Affirmations are a very powerful way of re-educating our minds to think empowering thoughts rather than the counterproductive negative thoughts.
So CHOOSE to improve self-confidence by choosing positive thoughts and practice these using affirmations.
HABIT 3: Focus On Your Strengths
Lack of self-confidence is a result of losing sight of our great qualities, and exaggerating our flaws instead.
High self-confident people know their strength and focus on what they can do, rather than what they can't.
When you think you are not good at something, try to consciously focus on the qualities that you have that are important to carry out that task.
For example, if you are doing public speaking and are not confident at delivering a speech, but you are a great researcher, writer and organiser... focus on these attributes instead, and know that you can be confident and proud of the content of that speech. Focusing on the great content will make the delivery of the speech less significant.
HABIT 4: Be Courageous
Get out of your head and just do it!
Low self-confident people tend to procrastinate and worry. They end up being hung up over negative outcomes and failures of the past, and they can't seem to find the courage to move forward.
Highly self-confident people have learned that in order to succeed, they can create the possibility of being courageous anytime they want... this way, even if they are afraid, they can choose to take action... in spite of fear!
You see COURAGE is not acting without fear; courage is acting in spite of fear.
When you make it a habit of being courageous you will increase self-confidence, because you are more likely to give the things you want a go, and when you are more focused on the doing rather than the thinking and worrying, you've overcome half the battle.
HABIT 5: Act and Feel Important
High self-confidence people have a habit of thinking highly of themselves through the way they behave and the image they portray. They have high levels of energy.
If we were to look at their behaviour, you will notice that self-confident people stand up for themselves and speak up when it is appropriate.
The image of self-confidence is also portrayed by the physiology and body language, by way they look after their body and the way they dress.
Do you see many self-confident people who walk around with slumped shoulders and are dressed badly?
No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are, so make it a priority to look good and feel important.
Here are some basic things you can do at the physical level to improve self-confidence... by modeling the image that highly self-confident people portray:
Good posture - walk confidently, stand up straight and tall with shoulders back and head up, and make eye contact.
Dress sharp - look presentable and smart. When you are dressed well, doesn't that instantly make you feel great and important?
Get your energy up - listen to upbeat music to instantly get energy up, and exercise regularly. Not only will exercise give you energy, but also the side effect is... great physical appearance... which will also help to improve self-confidence.
HABIT 6: Be Grateful
There is no doubt that High Self-Confident people have an attitude of gratitude. I'm talking about heartfelt gratitude and not so much about forced gratitude, because... there is a difference.
How do you recognize the difference between forced gratitude and heartfelt gratitude?
If you've ever expressed gratitude by starting a sentence with, "At least... " you understand the meaning of forced gratitude. For example... at least I have food on the table, or... at least I have a good job, etc. We force ourselves to feel grateful, but this is coming from emptiness and it isn't a long-lasting habit, because as soon as our circumstances change, we may not feel the same.
Heartfelt gratitude is a much deeper feeling. It is a feeling of appreciation and connection with life itself, which when present, gratitude triggers positive feedback loops.
This is the secret habit that high self-confidence people rely on to get access to this amazing positive mental attitude that they have.
So, to improve self-confidence start the habit of being grateful.
An exercise you can do everyday is to spend 5 minutes acknowledging the small things you like about yourself, things that make you feel self-confident and successful right now.
You can write these down in a gratitude journal and review them weekly.
Another powerful thing to do is find an unsuspecting or unlikely target to unleash your gratitude upon.
Gratitude often works best where you would least expect it to. Perhaps you can show appreciation or be grateful to a friend or family member, or you have seen a beautiful tree or flower that brightens your day, perhaps appreciate your favourite song, or a really good hug... you will be surprised how many things you will find that you can appreciate and be grateful for everyday!
HABIT 7: Focus On Contributing To Others
People with low self-confidence tend to focus too much time on their own problems and flaws, they undervalue what they are capable of, and spend too much time being critical of themselves.
They get caught up in this kind of thinking and as a result feel low in self-confidence.
High self-confident people focus on the needs of other people, they take the attention away from themselves and focus on how they can be of service and contribute to others.
The more they contribute to the world, the more they are rewarded with personal recognition and success.
So, to help increase self-confidence, the one thing you can do IS stop focusing on yourself and start contributing and helping others.