As a young boy going to grade school I never considered confidence to be an issue. I was one of the most popular faces in school. I had excellent academics. Me winning different awards and recognitions was a commonplace. I used to do stage shows in school functions and I was also the class monitor. Naturally, I was the most confident person I had known back then. But it all changed when in 2nd grade I had to leave that school and got admitted to another much bigger school. It was in my new school that I realized that I’m not the best. There are plenty of other people who are far better than me. The system, the curriculum everything was different. Three months in this new school was enough to pop the bubble that I lived in for the first 8 years of my life.
And for the first time in my life, I realized that confidence is definitely an issue and that I lacked plenty of it. I spent the next 8 years in this school. Inside these 8 years, I entered my adolescence, the effect of the society set in. Like many others, I started worrying that I would be judged and was in constant fear of this. I kept myself aloof from doing a lot of things, from participating in a lot of activities that I otherwise would have done. All for my lack of self-confidence. The initial struggle that I had made me believe that I was never good enough and all that happened in my previous school was just a delusion.
Towards the end of this period however, I did get habituated with the system. I did do well enough. But it was nothing close to my potential. And the prime reason behind this is my continual lack of confidence which in turn prevented me from taking action.
I’m pretty sure that you too have such a story where you lose out on a lot because of your lack of confidence (tell me about it in the comments section), otherwise, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. In fact, most people in the world have a profound lack of confidence which prevents them from reaching their actual potential.
To solve this issue I spent a considerable amount of my time researching into the topic of confidence, what is it and why we lack so much of it. I searched for solutions to this problem. And while doing that I noticed a pattern which can be expressed as a formula. A formula which I believe can make you very confident. At least, I’ve found it to be useful for myself when it came to building my self-confidence. Read through to find this out.
How to use this article
This is probably one of the largest posts you are going to find on the internet knowing which may prevent you from reading any further. But hey, if confidence is something that can define your entire life, then there is no harm in spending even an entire day reading a single piece of writing if required. I can guarantee that you won’t regret it. To get the most out of this article-
- Grab a pen and paper
- You can either listen to the audio version of this article which is at the top. If that doesn’t work for you can just read all the way yourself
- Read this article in chunks rather than reading it at once. That way you’ll retain more of what you learn
- Take active notes as you read through
- I would suggest that you bookmark this page, share it with others or even email yourself this article so that you don’t forget about it. You can also use Evernote to save it for later reading. (Signup to Evernote using this link to get Evernote Premium for a limited period of time)
- If you scroll down you’ll see a self confidence quiz which I suggest you to take to know how confident you are now
- Every month, take the quiz again to see the change that has been bought to your life reading this article
- From the results of the quiz if you believe that there is something that you need to work upon come back to this post anytime
- In this ever eventful world, in case you don’t forget to retake this quiz, you will automatically receive an email once every 4 weeks from the first time you take the quiz reminding you to take it again.
- Refer back to this article after taking the quiz
Let’s start off with some basic questions.
What is confidence and what does it mean?
The word confidence has its origin in the Latin word ‘confidere’ which means ‘to have full trust’. In modern days, confidence has expanded in its dimensions so much so that there is no one single definition that can fully define what confidence means. The following are some of the prominent definitions of confidence-
- a belief in your own ability to do things and be successful
- a feeling of certainty
- a positive and habitual way of thinking
- an attitude that invokes action and emotion
- behavior that makes a set of feelings and attitudes follow
- the extent to which you can get out of your own way
- the extent to which you can continue to take the right action despite what you feel
- to be fearless in your actions
- an emotion born out of your actions
- you maintaining originality, you being your true self irrespective of your surrounding environment
Although there will be disputes regarding the definition of confidence, there’s one thing I can say for sure. Confidence isn’t something that you’re born with. It isn’t something that comes all on a sudden and enables you to do whatever you like. It isn’t something that’s permanent. And being confident certainly DOES NOT MEAN not having your nerves.
Confidence isn’t something that you have rather it is something that you do.
Where does self-confidence come from?
This question has a fair level of controversy to it. Different people will give you different answers- from past successes, from accomplishments, from being well built-up, from good performances, etc. But the truth is self-confidence as the name suggests comes from your own self, it comes from inside you.
To properly articulate it, self-confidence comes from raising your Self-esteem. But isn’t self-confidence and self-esteem the same thing? Absolutely not. Self-esteem denotes your sense of self-worthiness. Prominent psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden in his book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem writes that your self-esteem is your reputation with yourself. It’s what you genuinely believe and think of your true self.
Difference between Confidence and Overconfidence
Confidence is quiet and it stays within you. When you’re confident you don’t act morally superior. Rather you are humble and you rightly estimate your skillset grounded on reality.
But when you are overconfident you have this fixed mindset that you are always correct. You tend to overestimate yourself and are proud of yourself. Unlike popular belief, you really don’t need to outwardly show that you’re always right and proud of yourself. Even if you’ve never expressed overconfidence in front of others you may be just as overconfident as any of those overconfident persons you hate.
Why is confidence important?
Confidence, for many people like you and me, happens to be that one thing that has the potential to initiate a series of actions in our lives that will change it for the better. The benefits of confidence include but are not limited to-
- Better performance
- Enables you to take action which you otherwise would not have taken out of fear
- It empowers you to say ‘No’ when you should be saying ‘No’
- Being confident removes anxiety
- You can unlock your full potential by being confident
- You get to discover your true self
- It can make things easy for you
- It can free you from your self-built cage
What does a profound lack of confidence bring to your life?
Confidence means having enough belief in your abilities that you become active. Lack of confidence, therefore, means being uncertain of whether your efforts will be successful – an uncertainty that makes you scared to even try. Lack of self-confidence potentially leads to-
- Social anxiety and withdrawal
- Emotional turmoil
- Depression and sadness
- Closeting yourself
- Treating yourself very badly
- Fear of facing any new situation
- Not discovering your full potential
- Lifetime regret
- Eating disorder
- Always having self-doubt
- Living a very mediocre life
- Not fulfilling your dreams
- Always getting less than what you deserve
- Moral deterioration
- Bad relations with other people
What causes people to lack so much in confidence?
Although there may be a plethora of reasons why most of us lack confidence, some of the prime reasons include-
- Self-limiting beliefs
- Physical insecurities
- Past trauma
- Anxiety and depression
- Comparing with others
- Negative self-talk
- Bad parents
- Lack of congruence between what you want, what you believe and what you do
- Social prejudice
- Lack of self-discipline
- Lack of adequate knowledge and practice
- Bad company
- Lack of awareness
- Want of perfectionism
- Being a victim of bullying
- Inferiority complex
- Often not completing what you started
- A false sense of pleasure
How confident are you?
To know how confident you are you can take this comprehensive self-confidence quiz.
How can you be more confident?
The internet is filled with quick fixes some of which may boost your confidence level temporarily. But none of them will truly enable you to build your confidence. Because having a permanent sense of high self-confidence asks you to follow a complex long term process. However, the process of building confidence can be simplified with this one formula. Wait for it, wait for it, and… POOF! Here it is-
Throughout the rest of this post, you will come to know how to implement this simple yet highly effective formula in your life to build your confidence and become superconfident.
Part One Of The Confidence Formula: Intention
Having the right intent is essential for any journey. You just can’t go out hoping that one day you’ll reach your destination, one day you’ll become confident. You need to expect it and need to know that it will happen. For this, you need to have the right intent.
There is nothing you can achieve but failure if you don’t have the determination to take you all the way through. Confidence is something that you need to create for yourself. Unless you have the determination to do this whatever formula you follow it doesn’t really matter. You’ll never have confidence. Approach the act of gaining confidence as an obligation and be determined.
“One of the greatest turning points in my life occurred when I stopped casually waiting for success and started to approach it as a duty, obligation, and responsibility.”Grant Cardone
But how do you become determined?
2. Ask yourself – “Why do I need this?”
Every morning, or before any major event ask yourself why you need this confidence in the first place. Clarity is power. Unless you and, more importantly, your mind and your body specifically know why you need to be self-confident, you will never be self-confident.
This is primarily because our brains are great at filtering out information that we don’t require. So it’s important that you keep reminding yourself of this information. Each day, grab a pen and a paper and write your answer to the above question so that it gets internalized in your brain.
3. Understand that you are going to miss out on a lot of good things if you are not confident
Lack of confidence prevents you from taking action. You know that you’ve already missed out on a lot of things to date because you were not confident when you needed to be. You know you could have achieved a lot more if it weren’t for your inability to be confident when required. If you don’t take any measure now this will continue forever and ever.
It’s time you call it QUITS.
Make a comprehensive list of all the good things that you are going to miss out on for your lack of self-confidence, and reflect upon that list on a daily basis. This regular act of reflection shows your brain why it’s important to act now.
4. Pain vs Pleasure
According to Tony Robbins, one of the best life coaches out there, Pain and Pleasure are two of the most powerful forces in the universe. In fact, everything that we do day in and day out all through our lives is purely driven by our sense of pain or our sense of pleasure.
For example, you perceive just standing in front of a crowd, all staring at you as a severe ordeal. You attach a deep sense of agonizing pain to it. On the other hand, we associate pleasure to being in a group and not being observed by others.
The amalgamation of these two forces together is what has made the fear of speaking in public the No.1 fear in humans, coming ahead of the fear of dying.
But our brain always takes decisions with positive intent. For example, people who smoke know that it is going to kill them. But still their brain compels them to smoke when it’s boring, or when they are going through some painful situation, all that with the positive intent of making them feel good.
What’s important is that we actively teach our brain to understand what’s good and what’s not by actively attaching an insurmountable level of pain to the things that we don’t want to have and actively associating utmost pleasure to the things that we want to have; in this case being able to do the thing that we want to with confidence.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you need to prioritize long term pleasure over short term pleasure. This is because in most cases-
Short term Pleasure = Long term Pain
Congruence means to be in a state of proper alignment. To have an insane level of confidence you need to line things up properly. Your intention, your mindset, your actions, body, and mind all need to be properly aligned with your goal, your vision.
When there is congruence in your action there is clarity in your mind; your brain knows exactly what to do when to do it and how to do it.
So to have meaningful confidence in yourself align all the factions of your life in one direction.
Part Two Of The Confidence Formula: Thinking
The next part of the formula is Thinking. To be insanely confident, which a presume you’re currently not, you need to change your default way of thinking.
1. Accept what you can’t change about yourself
Face it. No human in this world is perfect. Each one of us is full of imperfections. It is these imperfections within us that make our lives so different from others. Some of the natural traits that we have can’t be changed no matter how hard we try.
Fretting about these flaws within you won’t cure these imperfections. Rather, it’s more likely that you’ll end up magnifying a very small issue into a life-defining problem.
In these cases, the smartest way to act is to accept what you can’t change about yourself and live with it, if not be happy with it. What you can’t change you can’t change.
So accept it, get on with it and love yourself anyway.
2. Practice Self Awareness and know yourself inside-out
Self-awareness means to have a conscious awareness of your own character and your feelings, your strengths, your weaknesses and everything thing else that defines who you are.
The reason why self-awareness is such an important trait is that it helps you to know who you are and what values you stand for. Having full knowledge about these things is an integral part of being self-confident. Because knowing yourself inside-out helps you to decide what to do to achieve your goals. It helps you to know what your strengths are so that you can use them to the fullest. It also helps you to know what your weaknesses are so that you can work on them.
Start your morning asking yourself, “Who am I?” This one simple question will give rise to a series of other questions all that contribute to the complex development of you and your belief system.
3. Define Your Fears
Defining your fears top to bottom gives you clarity. You come to know the reason behind your fears. Having this knowledge helps you to take action to eliminate these fears by taking proper action.
4. Recognize that you are holding yourself back
As humans, we have limitless potential. But more often than not we tend to hold ourselves back. We fail to recognize the infinite potential we possess. Whether be it the prejudices of the society or our own myopic vision very few people actually reach their full potential and produce excellent results.
The key to getting out of this is to recognize that it is you who is holding yourself back, and not anyone else. A good example in this context would be the story of Marvel’s very own Captain Marvel. She had the power to single-handedly defeat an entire Kree army. But it was only when she realized that her powers were subdued by the Kree device on her neck(in our case the limiting beliefs inside our head) that she was able to uncover her true powers.
So don’t judge your self-worth based on your current condition. Because you too, my friend, are holding back an enormous deal of power. Realize this as soon as you can.
5. Combat Negativity
You simply can’t focus on being confident and at the same time have a bunch of negative voices roaming around your head. Getting rid of all these negative thoughts is the precondition to have a clear and confident mind.
Here are some of the key negative elements you need to eliminate from your mind:
- Your inner critic: The inner critic is that voice inside you that plants reservation in yourself. Your inner critic constantly criticizes each and every one of your actions that too from a pessimistic point of view. It strangles you from doing anything meaningful by swaying you against it.
- Overthinking: Overthinking is one of the root causes of our lack of self-confidence. It prevents us from living the moment and implants meaningless concerns in our head.
People who lack confidence all share one thing in common, and I would know because I was one of them: They live in their head. So much so, that they can’t even hear what the other person is actually saying.Nicolas Cole
- The Imposter Syndrome: Imposter Syndrome is when you always have this feeling that every great result you have achieved until now were mere accidents. It’s not because you deserve this success, rather because you somehow turned out to be lucky.
- Arrogance: Arrogance is the opposite of confidence. It is a brittle shield trying to hide your insecurities. When you are arrogant you try and identify your worth with your own beefed-up opinions and visions of yourself. You try to show that you’re better than others, rather than showing who you really are.
- Comparing yourself with others: Comparing yourself with others is an act of foolishness. Each and every one of us is unique. We all have our own joys, and we all have our own difficulties. Never compare yourself with anyone yourself. Present-day social media plays a big role in creating a comparison mindset.
- Compromising originality: You will never be confident if you are constantly compromising your ownself and living a life dictated by the opinions of anyone else but you. Embrace who you are and never make a compromise on that just for the sake of making people who don’t matter happy. Let go of managing other people’s opinion of you.
- Waiting for other people’s approval: Majority of the people aren’t really successful in their personal life. So why bother looking forward to the opinions of people who are not any more successful than you are? Believing that a certain person’s approval will make you happy or more confident is a destructive habit.
- Perfectionism: Perfection in the vast majority of case the opposite of completion. The sense of perfectionism in whatever is it that you do dissuades you from taking proper action. According to Brené Brown, we strive for perfectionism to shield ourselves from the possibility of failure. If you really do want your works to be perfect make sure that it does not stop you from taking action.
- Other Negative Habits: Some other prominent negative habits that hinder the development of your confidence include but aren’t limited to- Staying in situations that you really dislike, focusing intensely on practice, disqualifying yourself before doing something, playing really low, etc.
But how do you kill all this negativity from your mind?
Follow these simple yet effective steps to combat negativity
- Be mindful and aware of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and reactions to situations, and also the people around you.
- Kill all the disempowering thoughts and beliefs
- Replace them with empowering revitalizing thoughts and beliefs
- Repeat this until it turns into an automatic response
6. Find a good and consistent source of confidence
For most people, their source of confidence lies in the praises and approvals of other people. The problem with this is that such a source of confidence isn’t reliable since it isn’t consistent. And more importantly, it relies on how well you perform. So to make the flow of confidence from such a source consistent you need to perform really well that too on a consistent basis.
But in practicality, this is impossible. No human, irrespective of their level of expertise, can deliver good results and perform well on a consistent basis.
So you need to find a proper source of your confidence, one that is consistent. One from which you can gain confidence even when you have no one to stand by your side. It can be a vivid imagination of your goal, a strong determination, your love for your sport, your firmness to do the right thing, or anything else that’s consistent.
7. Have a Growth Mindset rather than a Fixed Mindset
A Fixed mindset is when you believe that everything from your strengths, your weaknesses, your potential, and your results is fixed and predetermined. And you are going to get nothing more than what you are destined to get.
A Growth Mindset, on the other hand, is the belief that most if not all the things in life are flexible and malleable and changes the way you want it to. Which means that your potential and your strengths are limitless. It all depends on what sort of actions you are willing to take. That is, your attitude to your life is going to define your altitude.
So to have your desired level of confidence you need to have a growth mindset. You need to believe that your level of confidence isn’t fixed. It can be improved by taking proper actions.
8. Practice having an Equality Mindset
Back in school, one of my teachers, who has been in this noble profession for over 50 years now, once told us-
In my entire teaching career, I have seen students of all kinds. I have seen only a few people who are prodigies and intellectually superior than others. The number of dumb students even fewer. Most students have the same level of intellect. The difference is in the way they use it.Phanindra Chandra Banik
That coming from a person with 50 years of experience, can never be doubted.
So have an equality mindset. The person in front of you isn’t superior to you in terms of intellect. Be confident and never let other people intimidate you. Moreover, make proper use of your own intellect.
9. Control What You Focus On
Imagine that you are on a podium giving a speech in front of fifty-odd people. What should you be focusing on?
Here are your options-
(a) How the people are reacting to your speech
(b) What the people are thinking about you
(c) Sounding and appearing more confident
Most people choose option (c), which is absolutely wrong. So are (a) and (b). So what exactly should you be focusing on?
It’s your content that you should be focusing on. That is to say, all that you need to focus on is what you are saying at the moment. Everything else doesn’t matter. If you focus on what other people are thinking about you, or on sounding confident, which most people lacking confidence inevitably do – your content which is your main performance is likely to get sidetracked amid the chaotic environment inside your head.
So only focus on what really matters, and eliminate all the pointless concerns.
10. Own Your Strength
Irrespective of who we are and what we do, each of us, we have our own sets of strengths and weaknesses. But our pessimist side often wins the fight against our optimistic side. And as a result, it reminds us of our weaknesses every now and then.
As a result, our strengths, or more precisely the knowledge of them thereof, remains in the shadow; so much so that we hardly recognize.
Learn to recognize your strengths and continually build upon them. If your feeling stranded and don’t know where to start from, you can always take the 16 Personalities Test. Even the free test will give you a comprehensive explanation of yourself. It tells you your personality type, your strengths and weakness, and many more.
One interesting thing that I found when I gave the 16 Personalities Test is that I belong to the ‘Logician’ category and about 3% of people in the world are of this personality type. This makes this personality type quite rare. What this means for me is that the majority of the people I meet are going to be different than me. And that’s completely okay.
11. Embrace Your Vulnerability
Most of us use the word ‘Vulnerability‘ to mean a weakness of some kind, or a state of being exposed to attack. But renowned researcher Dr.Brené Brown sees it differently. According to her, ‘Vulnerability’ means the willingness to openly admit failures and weaknesses which helps us build up resilience to feelings of shame, and be happier with what we have.
In her research, she discovered that shame weakens our ability to believe we can improve ourselves and that we can improve our level of confidence. And shame is a common way in which we try to combat our vulnerability. So if you can embrace your vulnerability, your sense of shame automatically disappears.
To know more about this you can check out Brené Brown’s Ted talk on ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ below.
12. Failure is an integral part of the confidence gaining process
There was a time when I feared failure so much that this fear was enough to prevent me from doing a lot of things that I genuinely wanted to do. And I know a lot of you are currently doing the same thing. We all know well that failure is but a stepping stone in our path to success. Yet only a few of us actually portray belief this in our actions.
And rightfully so, people of the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, and J.K. Rowling, people who were ready to fail often are the ones to make a name for themselves in their respective fields.
So embrace your failures and learn from them rather than running away from them. Each time you fail, you learn more about the thing that you’re doing, and the more you learn about it, the more confident you’ll be.
13. Become a (Reverse) Paranoid
Paranoia is a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically worked into an organized system. It also used to mean the unjustified suspicion and mistrust of other people.
While you and I may not have paranoia, the mental condition, we do to some extent have a mild sense of paranoia acting within us. For example, if you’ve ever scored bad in an exam where most others have done well, it’s not unnatural for you to feel that you are subject to partiality by your teacher or someone else.
This toned-down form of paranoia most of us have in a lot of cases bars us from seeing the actual cause behind our failure and compels us to make excuses.
We call it Reverse Paranoia when we use this paranoia in a positive way, In this mode of thinking you start believing that everything happening in this universe has the sole objective of ensuring that you succeed. For example, in the previous scenario instead of making excuses that the teacher was partial, you believe out of all the people the teacher is indirectly challenging you to do better in the next test. And this is because he knows that you have incredible potential.
In this mode of thinking, every obstacle you come across in life, you believe, is an indication that it’s time for you to up your game. You believe that you are facing this obstacle because you have the strength to overcome this and it’s time you discover that.
Part Three Of The Confidence Formula: Imagination
Does this sound familiar to you?
One day you come across an event which happens to ignite a strong sense of motivation inside you. It can be anything- a movie, a story, an exceptional performance by someone, anything. You go back home, and that night you feel pumped up. You resolve that tomorrow is going to be the start of your epic journey to success. No matter what happens you are going to kill all your temptations of mediocrity and are going to only those things which are going to make you successful. You are going to build the best of habits and are going to be super-confident and super-efficient.
Come the next day, you wake up to the alarm, all pumped up. You start doing what you’re supposed to do. After grinding your to-do list for an hour or two you think that it’s time for you to take a break. And so you start your short break.
But alas! You see your phone and pick it up, thinking that minute or two on your phone won’t disturb your routine. Two minutes turns into five and then ten…and by the time you notice it’s been 2 whole hours. And then you spend 3 more hours on the phone, thinking that your day is already over, there’s nothing you can do to make it better, and so you’ll start again afresh tomorrow.
The next day comes, but you believe you’re not ready yet. So you defer the beginning of your epic journey to success for tomorrow. Seven days later you remember that not so long ago you resolved to immerse in a new routine. But here you are back to your old routine, doing what you always do. And more importantly, you have no idea why you’re doing what you’re doing now and not doing what you were supposed to do.
We’ve all been through this experience. And amazingly most of us are going through this mediocre routine right now.
Why does this keep happening so often? Why do we not do what we’re supposed to? And why do most people consistently revert back to that old cycle of lack of self-confidence of theirs?
The simple reason is our subconscious mind. That is to say, although we consciously know you that need to be self-confident and we may firmly believe that you can be confident, our subconscious mind doesn’t believe the same.
And because of this, that feeling of fear and that lack of confidence always seems to set into your mind and your body no matter what you do. Because around 90% of what we do on a daily basis is controlled by our subconscious mind; the reason being that your brain is an expert at flushing out all the unnecessary details.
You can understand this more clearly from an example. Let’s go back to that scenario we were in a little earlier – you giving that speech. Your conscious mind is busy thinking out the things that you are going to say to the people and how you are going to present it to them. So the task of handling your confidence now goes to your subconscious mind. Now, all the fears and all the doubts all the nonsensical questions that have been programmed into your subconscious starting from your birth till date sets in. Your adrenaline goes up. Anxiety sets in your veins. And there you go, all your confidence which your conscious mind has been hosting didn’t take a second to get flushed out.
So what is our problem?
The main problem when it comes to our lack of self-confidence lies in our subconscious and the way it has been programmed.
But what is the subconscious mind?
In psychology, the subconscious is the part of the mind that is not currently in focal awareness. The subconscious mind is like a big memory bank that stores your beliefs, memories and life experiences. This information that is stored in your subconscious mind always affects your behavior and actions in different situations. In the simplest of senses, our subconscious is our built-in auto-pilot feature.
Whatever we do every day, at least 90% of it is done by our subconscious mind. Only 10% or so of our daily tasks, we actively do with our conscious mind.
So the secret to an insane level of confidence lies in how our subconscious is programmed. And it should be quite clear to you by now the default settings is really very bad.
But how do we override this default program that has been solidified in our subconscious upon running for years?
In comes Imagination. It is this 11-letter magical world that can reprogram your subconscious the way you want it. You may the smartest, the strongest, the fastest, but if you lack the power of imagination you can do nothing with your strengths. Because you’re still running on that default mediocre program that everyone else is running on.
The clearer is your imagination the closer you will be to your goal. If you can hone this skill properly than you won’t have to worry about being confident ever again. Here is what you should do-
1. Visualize Yourself Being Confidence
If I ask you to go back to your home from your school or your office would you be able to do that? Most people including you would answer, “Absolutely.”
Why is that the case? It is because you’ve been through this road so many times that you know every nook and corner of it. You know this way like the back of your hands. And it is this familiarity with the road from the start to the finish is what enables you to find your way home without any hesitation.
The phenomenon works in every aspect of our lives. If you know the road, every nook and corner of it from the beginning to the end, you are inevitably going to reach our goal.
Visualization plays the most important role in these cases. You can use your imagination to visualize your entire road to success. By visualizing every aspect of the journey both the good and the bad and every possible permutation of them as vividly as possible, you now have a complete road map to success installed into your subconscious. And no matter what situation arises, it shouldn’t be a problem for you because you’ve already visualized this inside your head and you already know the way out of this situation.
The reason why visualization works so well is that our brain really can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality. So practice the art visualization every day for at least 10 minutes. For some, this act of visualizing may turn into procrastination. If that’s the case write everything down on a diary just in order to guide your imagination.
Affirmations are basically mantras bearing a sense of positivity that you keep on repeating to yourself until it gets imprinted into your subconscious. And when that happens, these positive affirmations override your default negative beliefs. Your subconscious now knows how powerful you are.
Anchoring is an understated yet highly effective tool to boost your confidence. It refers to citing one or more of your past successes as an inspiration to overcome future hurdles. Pick a past accomplishment something that even startled you when you achieved it and use it is an anchoring thought to make yourself believe that if you could achieve then you can achieve whatever you set your site to.
If you fail to find such an accomplishment, use your imagination. Because you already know that your brain really can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality.
4. Use Confident Language
The way we speak and the words we make use of on a daily basis, all are an indirect reflection of inner belief system. When you use a confident language not only when talking to your yourself(something that successful people do a lot) but also when talking with others, that confidence from your language transpires into your inner system.
So, replace all the ‘I should’ with ‘I want’, the ‘I should not’ with ‘I don’t want’, and the ‘I can’ with ‘I will’. Let confidence be your diction.
5. Make Self-Distancing An Inherent Part Of Your Language
Self-distancing means speaking to yourself from a third-person perspective. Let’s say your name is Lebron. Instead of saying “I wish I can do that” say something the likes of “Lebron wants to do this”, “Lebron is confident”, or “Lebron is the best”.
Sure, this sounds narcissistic. But it definitely works. Interestingly Lebron James himself does this quite often as you may say in any of his interviews. Self-distancing will drastically increase your confidence because it forces you to think objectively and shuts down all the crappy negative thoughts in your mind.
6. Keep away from negative people
Negative people are great confidence drainers. They have very low self-confidence. Moreover, they can drain your confidence as well. Staying around them will definitely make an otherwise confident person rethink if he is confident or not.
You might think that avoiding these people is no big deal. If it only were that easy. The problem is some of our very own people, people closest to us may be a negative person. Your best friend, your parents, your partner it’s not unlikely for these people to spread a bad aura in your life. Even the language they use regarding you no matter how affectionate that maybe can create a limiting belief in your mind. Learn to identify these people and deal with them tactfully.
7. Don’t just hope, expect and know that you’ll achieve
We ‘hope’ for a lot of things in our lives. But ‘hope’ more often than not is nothing more than a mirage. Stopping wasting your time hoping for things and start expecting. Know that you are going to achieve what you’re working for.
Confidence comes for certainty. Knowing that you’re going to achieve your goal, expecting that you’re going to succeed gives you a sense of certainty wich hope in and of itself doesn’t.
8. Keep Your Goals Secret
When we reveal our goals to someone else, irrespective of whether we know them or not, it creates a two-fold problem. The first is when that person praises you. It gives you a false sense of accomplishment. So now you don’t feel the urge to work for it.
The second is when that person doesn’t praise you rather questions your goals. This questioning instantly implants a sense of doubt within you. As a result, your confidence level reduces.
So never share your noble goals with anyone else.
Part Four Of The Confidence Formula: Action
Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.”
Action is what completes the four-part confidence formula. And if you’ve made this far then I believe that you have what it takes to act upon what you’ve learned. The following are some of the many actions that you should be doing to consolidate confidence within yourself for eternity.
1. Accept Responsibility & Stop Complaining
Complaining about your circumstances, your weaknesses, your difficulties, or even your complaining about your shadow will give you nothing. You might garner sympathy from others. But expect nothing more than that.
Never make excuses or blame others for-
- your lack of confidence
- your failures and setbacks
- how you are treated by others
Rather accept responsibility for your own actions. Because if you don’t nobody else will. You have to be confident yourself. Nobody else will make you confident.
2. Overcome Weakness
Identify all your weaknesses and work on those that can make a difference. Ignore the petty stuff. You don’t need to perfect. Even the best of the best have their own weaknesses.
So work on priming yourself. If you want an A then study for an A and not for a B.
3. Exercise and Confidence
Your emotion is defined by your motion. When you move you might feel exhausted, but it makes your body happy. This is because the human body was designed to walk miles after miles on a daily basis(something that our ancestors used to do) rather than being a couch potato.
Personally, I don’t like to exercise at all. But I’ve seen that when I exercise the morning of any big day, I do quite well. It helps me control my nerves and use my energy effectively. So exercise at least once every other day.
4. Meditate Your Way To Confidence
Meditation does wonders to your body, mind and as well as your confidence. It not only calms your nerves but also helps you to think your way through.
Even 5 minutes of meditation will take you a long way through.
5. Start Journaling
Writing what you did today before you go today in a diary seems lame. But many of the highly effective people have this habit of journaling. Because spending on a pen and some paper and devoting 10 minutes a day to journaling will pay you dividends.
Journaling helps you to-
- strengthen your self-discipline
- make yourself accountable to yourself
- plan ahead
- learn from your mistakes
- take inspiration from your past (raw material for Anchoring)
Writing about your failures and your guilts day after day forces your brain to take action. Because, naturally, you don’t want to see your failures again and again.
6. Adopt Confident Body Language
When you’re not confident it tells in your very posture. The way you place your arms and legs, the way you move your eyes, these all as visual cues for the person in front of you that you’re not feeling confident. On the contrary, when you have a strong posture to others you will appear to shine with confidence. This physical sense of confidence quickly spreads into your inner system and makes you believe that you’re confident.
Watch the following Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and a prominent advocate of ‘power posing’, has to say regarding your body language:
So do pick up some Superman and Wonderwoman poses.
7. Gamify Your Life
We all love to play games. And most of us equally hate working in life. So turn your work and your training into a game; reward yourself for your accomplishments. Microaccomplishments takes you a long way through. Gamification makes tasks interesting and increases your accomplishment rate. And the more things you accomplish the more your confidence increases.
This brings us to our next point…
Complete whatever you start. When you have a long history of not completing things your brain starts believing that you don’t need to complete anything. This can assume a dangerous form over time. Don’t leave things incomplete.
9. Use the 5 Second Rule
This very handy tool was formally devised by author Mel Robbins in her famous book The 5 Second Rule. Whenever you know that you should be doing something but just don’t feel like doing it, count from 5 to 1. As soon as your done counting stand up and start acting. This counting backward sends a message to your brain that you need to take action right now.
So if you’re low on confidence but you need to do something that requires you to be on the top of your confidence, count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and launch yourself like a rocket and dive deep into your work.
10. Enjoy the process
No matter what happens it’s important that you enjoy the process. Stop overthinking, stop thinking whether you are going to embarrass yourself or not. If you feel your nerves settling in again ask yourself am I being nervous or am I feeling very energetic? When we are about to do a task which we normally don’t do, a challenging task, our body quickly musters a high level of energy ready to be used. This sudden spike in energy and increased blood flow is what we mistakenly call nervousness. You’re not nervous. At least your body isn’t. It’s just highly energized. Recognize this as soon as possible.
Start taking action and whatever you do enjoy it fully. Don’t worry about being confident. Because you can’t think of being confident and be confident at the same time.
11. Some Other Things You Can Do To Bolster Your Confidence
If you’ve already materialized all that you have read until now into action than you’re already the most confident person you know. But if you still want to go that extra mile you can check out the following list-
- take a cold shower every day
- take the 100-day rejection challenge
- try something new every day
- help out someone
- read good non-fiction books whenever and wherever you can
- complement others as much as they deserve
- act as if you know what you’re doing
- groom yourself properly and look confident
- develop your brain
- do at least one thing for the betterment of your body daily
- write all the things that you’re grateful for in your journal
I know that this isn’t the first article you’re reading on changing yourself. And yet there is little change in you. If you want to change for the better you have to move. You have to start taking action. Confidence isn’t a bird that is going to fly to you. Rather confidence is something that you have to create with your actions. But after all this, all I have to say is that your life is your life. I’ve done my part handing you the roadmap. It’s up to you to decide what you’re going to do with it.Create your own user feedback survey
P.S: Coming soon ‘The West World Mindset’
You might still be wondering if there is a singular technique that can in and of itself bolster your confidence-level sky-high. As for now, I can tell you that there is one such technique which I personally use. It’s called the ‘West World Mindset’. You won’t find this on the internet though. Because I made it up myself. And now it’s paying me in dividends.
Join the journey below if you haven’t already. That way when I’m done writing a blog on this secret technique you will be notified immediately.