I’m not talking about a self-loathing type of cockiness, I’m talking about the understated secureness found in a person who has unshakeable faith in who they are.
If we think of all the people we idolise—whether their success is counted in wealth, health, happiness, or whatever success looks like to you—we find that they use this airy attribute to their advantage.
Being able to truly express ourselves usually goes hand in hand with having the balls to get everything we want from life—and that, my friend, can be considered a talent.
We are by nature “men and women of talent,” all born with the capacity for achievement and success. So, how can we get more of this elixir that brings with it grains of success?
The fact that you’re reading this already puts you 95 percent ahead of your peers. (Only five percent of us ever pursue self-development—so kudos.) Don’t be disheartened if you realise you lack confidence, because it is only a state of mind, and through science, we know that states can change—giving us the power and capability to develop our level of confidence.
The first step is to understand what level of confidence we’re at now. Once we are aware, we can begin to change.
Nurture, and life experiences, have often led to the growth of inferiority complexes within us; they are the by-product of negative beliefs planted in our minds, and basically crush confidence in that specific area.
“My parents lovingly labelled me as a bad dancer growing up, so I grew up with the belief that I was unable to dance; as I grew older, I stopped dancing completely to avoid criticism. At parties, as an adult, I wanted to dance but believed I couldn’t without embarrassing myself, so I never bothered to try, It affected my social life because I was always on the sidelines.
At age 40, I was pushed into attending a dance class and realised that nobody in the class has rhythm, next time I was at a wedding, I observed that most people can’t dance but they do it anyway. Little by little, I broke the agreement with myself; finding out that with practice, I’m not half bad—it took me 30 years to get there.”
The ability was always within—it just needed practice and a little courage (aka confidence). Yet for 30 years, that complex offered all the roads to failure and none of the ways to success—until the decision was made to change.
This scenario applies to 99 percent of the negative beliefs we hold about ourselves in our minds. We need to grasp the fact that our own opinions, and those from others, are only personal points of view, they aren’t absolutes, nor are they viable the majority of the time. Yet, we tend to accept the load, whatever it is, and carry that baggage with us throughout life.
I’m here to be a little bit in your face and say that the negative beliefs are a crock of sh*t, and it’s time to drop them.
This then is the first step in developing confidence: Understand that our limiting beliefs and inferiority complexes are only opinions we’ve adopted as truth; they aren’t absolutes, and they hinder our growth as confident badasses. No longer are we going to allow them to set up camp in our minds. No more free rides.
We both know that these stubborn beliefs won’t leave without a fight—they’ll be up in our grill with comments such as: who do you think you are, you’ll never be able to change.
Kick those judgemental pusses to the curb and keep doing that until they don’t get back up.
Decide with definiteness to stop putting faith behind these beliefs. It takes willpower, but you have a lot of willpower, and it can be done. Be strict with yourself; if you break, say no, and stand up again.
Many believe that life is “how you take it.” I believe otherwise—that life’s not how you take it, but it’s about the glory of living deliberately, crafting circumstances, habits, and magnetising everything we want by acting now and moving toward the good in life.
If I keep moving toward the good in life, I know that one day I will arrive, and so will you. It’s paramount to learn to control our mind or it will control us, keeping us exactly where we’re at right now, comfortable and safe, but reading this article, wanting, and wondering how we can become as confident as person X, Y, Z.
You are person X,Y, Z, realise that, and feel free and open-minded, because once we have a blank canvas, we can start to paint.
If I use the analogy that confidence is a seed born in every mind, we can understand that by watering that seed, it awakens the sleeping oak within the acorn. If we keep nurturing that mini oak, eventually it learns to take nutrients from the ground by itself and we no longer need to feed it daily. With little attention, nature takes over, and in time, it reaches new heights.
Our minds work in the same way: doing something persistently creates habits, which develop and eventually become our way of being. We can apply this to habits that induce the growth of confidence; practicing self-discipline (to act, to finish, and to follow through), a positive mental attitude, faith, and open-mindedness are all habits that expand self-confidence and self-esteem.
Act today how that person in your mind acts.
“Be as you wish to seem”—Socrates’ words are true to form and are basically step two.
To become confident, we must first act confident (even if we don’t feel it) by visualising the person we want to become, the opportunities we will take, and the way we will act, making these visualisations vivid like our wildest fantasies.
Don’t consider how it went yesterday, or how it will go tomorrow—I’m talking about right now. Today, do it today.
An athlete visualises winning the race before he/she runs it, just as I had a vision for this piece before I wrote it. We must have a clear idea of how we will be when we have confidence oozing out of us, because once we have a map, we can follow the road.
I understand that trying new ways of being can feel like you’re putting your neck on the line, but let your faith trump your fear. By deciding that where you’re heading is more important than narrow-minded remarks from loved ones, strangers, or acquaintances, you can overcome the fear of criticism.
Just as a castle has great walls to protect itself, we must have great walls around our minds to defend our purpose in life. That way, cheap comments have no power, they become weak and measly, sliding right off without a mark. Guard your confidence like gold and let no man take petty withdrawals.
Keep in mind that it’s often those with broken dreams who sow the seeds of discouragement from the sidelines of life.
Regardless of confidence’s intangibility, it’s reflected in the way we carry ourselves, in our posture, eye contact, appearance, and tone of voice. Considering that over half of what we say isn’t coming out of our mouths, projecting an image of confidence is key, because whether consciously or unconsciously, others are quick to judge our body language almost instantaneously.
May all of your vibes say, “I got this,” by quitting negative self-talk (it’s baloney), carrying yourself with poise, and making a habit of visualising who you’re becoming and acting as her/him right now. Eventually, the thoughts will be reflected in your outward appearance and if you do your best day in, day out, your best becomes better (I speak from experience).
What comes with confidence is the ability to communicate clearly and concisely; it gives us the courage to ask questions and to ask for what we want. It induces leadership, positivity, motivation, and persistence, halting assumptions in their tracks and teaching us not to take things personally, which avoids a lot of drama in our lives.
Stop to ponder all the scenarios in which increased confidence will benefit you, and you’ll see that baby—it’s large. It’s reflected within our every encounter.
These instructions are so simple that a child can understand them; so if you can read this article, I know you can carry out these instructions.
I already feel you starting to ooze confidence, just the way Marilyn Monroe oozes sex appeal because you can’t dip your hand in glitter without some of it sticking—you got this.
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