In a previous post, we discussed five tips for increasing your self-confidence. Here are five more.
1. Speak your mind.
Being clear about what you want and need makes it much easier to set personal boundaries. Saying “no” sometimes gives the “yes” more meaning. Speaking up and setting boundaries does not necessarily mean you will never do anything to help others. It simply means that you are able to assess whether someone’s request is urgent or reasonable, and respond accordingly.
It is not necessary to become aggressive; there are acceptable ways to say what you need to say. Being truthful in a kind way shows a healthy sense of self-regard without unduly alienating others.
2. Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Healthy self-esteem allows you to be honest about what you can and can’t handle. There must be a balance between being strong enough to assert yourself and being humble enough to ask for help.
Everyone has different talents and abilities, so acknowledging your weaker areas should not be a confidence killer. Commit yourself to building on your strengths and making improvements where necessary. This type of “personal proactivity” builds confidence naturally.
3. Don’t waste time on what you can’t control.
Avoid worrying about factors that are beyond your control. Focusing on what you can’t do only makes you feel helpless, while taking action when you can make a difference is uplifting. Excessive self-blame is destructive, so it’s important to determine when taking responsibility is appropriate, and when you are shouldering a burden that is not your own.
There are things we can control (how we treat others and the decisions we make) and there are things we cannot control (what others think and feel, and the decisions they make). Recognizing the difference allows us to let go of unnecessary guilt and move forward with confidence.
4. Give reasons, not excuses.
Everyone will fall short at one time or another, but it’s not necessary to offer inadequate excuses when you fail. In turn, you have no obligation to accept half-hearted excuses when others fail you. There may, at times, be a legitimate reason for why someone doesn’t meet expectations, so forgiveness is a crucial concept. Honest mistakes happen; when they do, offer a solid reason for the behavior rather than stammer through an explanation that doesn’t ring true.
Making excuses is a habit that is expected to go away as we leave our childhood behind. It shows a lack of maturity, and immature people are not, by nature, confident people.
5. Step it up a notch.
Appearance does make a difference. Proper grooming provides a kind of “armor” we use to face the day, and liking what we see in the mirror goes a long way toward building confidence. The saying “fake it ‘til you make it” really does apply here. Get up, clean up, and suit up for the day.
If you already do this, you’ll know what a difference it makes in how motivated and capable you feel to face the day. If you don’t already do this, try it. You will be amazed at how much more likely you are to stand taller, speak louder, and feel better about yourself.