Confidence: The Key to Life
“When you have confidence, you have won before you started.”
– Marcus Garvey
Of all the qualities that we as humans possess, there is one that affects all areas of our lives. It affects what we say, what we do, and even how we look. With it, we have the power to reach out and grab our dreams; without it we remain a mere shadow of our true self.
The quality I’m referring to is confidence.
Confidence – the belief in your ability to excel – can be an elusive thing to attain. While some people seem to ooze confidence, others appear to be utterly lacking in self-esteem. It may appear that confidence is an innate quality; you either have it or you don’t. The truth is that confidence is a learned behavior.
In this article, we discuss five specific strategies that you can take to boost your self-confidence. Applying them will help you to discover your strengths and Become Unstoppable.
What is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence is a deep, inner peace within a person that makes them comfortable with who they are. When you’re comfortable with yourself, you can look in the mirror and be happy with what you see. It is the quality that often distinguishes the fulfilled from unfulfilled lives.
The Five Keys to Confidence
Know Your Identity
Until you have an unshakeable belief in your identity, you will struggle with self-confidence. Your identity is an inner sense of who you are and what you stand for. It is like the anchor that grounds your life. Once you know your true identity, you empower yourself to control your future, rather than letting others do so.
You can work to discover your identity by:
- Listing your strengths and positive traits.
- Writing down the weaknesses that you need to control – this will allow you to gain mastery over them.
- Writing down your convictions – the core beliefs that you will hold to no matter what. Doing so will cement them in your mind, allowing you to hold to them when it matters.
When you know who you are, you will begin to feel comfortable in your skin – and this will give you the confidence to be yourself.
Look After Your Body
When you start to take care of yourself physically, there is a direct impact on the way you feel about yourself. Your self-esteem will sky rocket. You will begin to walk with confidence and begin to portray the poise and bearing that tells people that you are happy with yourself.
Self-confident people are self assured. It is important to remember that this is a behavior that can be learned. When you make decisions, make them conclusively. Avoid the tendency to apologize for your opinion or give qualifications. It doesn’t matter if others disagree with your opinion. Be ready to defend it, but don’t apologize for it.
You can start to take ownership by eliminating procrastination-style terms such as . . .
- I don’t know.
- Kind of.
- What do you think?
Forget About Yourself
Many people spend too much time worrying about what other people think about them. Inevitably the assumption is that others are thinking negatively about them, whether it’s the way they look, sound, or act. This tendency wrecks our level of self-confidence.
By learning to forget about your ego and focusing on sharing and helping others, you will be freeing yourself of the shackles that have held your self-confidence back. This ability ties in with our first tip about knowing your identity. When you are confident in who you are and know you have value to offer, you will be able to lose your fear and focus on the world around you.
Here are three things that can help you do this:
- Educate yourself more and be prepared. This will give you the confidence that you have a meaningful contribution to make.
- Put a card on your mirror that says , “I care more about helping others than helping myself.”
- Do random acts of kindness for others.
Modify Your Body Language
The main thing that relays confidence to others is our body language. Yet, many people have developed body language habits that reflect a total lack of self-confidence. Here are five things you can practice to turn this around:
- When walking, always hold your chin at least parallel to the floor – put away your cell phone and be ‘present’ in the situation.
- Sit and walk straight, with your shoulders back – you will look far more self assured.
- Stop Fidgeting – twirling your hair, cleaning your nails, and touching your face all betray a lack of confidence, so work to eradicate them.
- Maintain Eye Contact – while you don’t want to stare the other person down, you should look them in the eye for about 60% of the interaction. The rest of the time look to the side rather than down.
- Smile – a warm smile conveys a relaxed, friendly aura. But it also produces endorphins that make you feel better about yourself.
Developing self-confidence will free you of the shackles of self-doubt, inferiority and low aspirations. Follow through on our five key steps–
✓ Knowing your identity
✓ Looking after your body
✓ Taking ownership
✓ Forgetting about yourself
✓ Modifying your body language