When you love yourself (in a good way, not egoistically) and believe in your capabilities, it translates into self-confidence. Being self confident is critical for success, it enables human beings to become increasingly productive and willing to take risks that lead to higher levels of success. In fact, in a DUNIA magazine poll, readers were asked: In your opinion, which of the following is most critical for success? 52% voted Self-confidence, 29% – Focus, 13% – Knowing The Right People, 6% – Patience.
This poll results point to the importance of being confident in yourself—of knowing that you are good enough and capable of learning, developing and winning through life. Having self confidence also means believing that you have what it takes to close deals and grow in business/career of choice; and firmly understanding that you posses the qualities of the great leader that others will follow and look forward to working with.
Self confidence is essential for success. Without self-confidence, how can we expect to make an impact as leaders? The good news is that self confidence develops as we go and is strengthened through life experiences. In taking the first step, then the next, and the next, confidence grows.
Even when we have some doubt in our capabilities to weather life’s storms without being knocked down and out, having self confidence propels a person to act, to take risks and to give their best.
Self confidence helps us resist the crippling effects of fear… as expressed in the quote: “The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do,” Author Unknown.
Here are a few tips that can help raise self-confidence levels:
1. Look like a million bucks, smell like a million bucks, feel like a million bucks. It is important to pay attention to looks. First, because a person’s outward appearance determines the impression that people make when they first meet them — and first impressions are usually the most lasting.
Dress appropriately and smartly, and ALWAYS WEAR A SMILE. Though laying emphasis on outward appearances may sound superficial, looking good does often translate into feeling good as well, hence more confident!
Practicing good personal hygiene helps increase a person’s feelings of self-worth. Basic activities such as taking daily baths, use of mouthwash, deodorant, sweet smelling body lotions and other forms of personal grooming come highly recommended. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Good basic personal hygiene and hand washing are critical to help prevent the spread of illness and disease”… and raising self-confidence levels, if you ask me.
2. Dream big! … Developing solid life goals that one consistently works on helps develop self confidence – as it indicates that a person is not just drifting through life, but living in purpose. Each goal when achieved, moves us forward and closer to bigger goals, resulting in feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment, breeding self-confidence.
Also remember to be enthusiastic about your dreams. Enthusiasm is the companion of success, of one who is on an exciting mission and is playing to win. Develop a spring in your step. Feel it and walk it! The passion, the fire, the focus of walking in purpose. Keep your energy levels high by eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. Avoid feelings of sluggishness, helplessness or hopelessness; also stop procrastinating — as these can be major energy-drainers.
As you accomplish set goals, self-confidence levels rise.
3. Open up your world by trying new things. Be not afraid to take on new challenges, you will grow with them. Push yourself. Settling for average and giving up because of “our circumstances” breeds doubt and gloom. Instead, be determined to improve your life, to be a positive influence on those around you, then take action that leads to results.
Self-confidence is fueled by results.
Armed with curiosity, an open mind and a willingness to learn, start by taking small steps. Just like working to lose weight, as you push yourself consistently, working your muscles and taking on next-level exercises, you begin to feel your body responding, then results start to show, and the pounds begin to shed; the hard work is paying off and those happy “Yes! I did it!” feelings set in. Self confidence grows when we push ourselves, generating solid, tangible results.
What is that one thing you’ve always wanted to do? Travel, start a business, gain that promotion at work, start a family, volunteer in the community? Get the wheels rolling today. You will experience what feels like a beautiful burst of fresh air rushing into your life. The thrill of discovering new things, living life, and conquering challenges builds self-confidence.
4. Integrity! Maintain your integrity and be true to yourself, living by those values that are important to you. Never lose your sense of self. Avoid being swayed by other people’s lifestyles and intangible promises. Understand what you’re shooting for and stay in that lane. It is important to define yourself by values that matter to YOU, not by other people’s expectations and desires. Not being constantly swayed or easily knocked off the path you have chosen helps build self-confidence. Be thankful, have self-belief and seek to grow.
5. Face your fears and spread the light. Treat others with respect and uplift them. There’s a feeling of happiness that sets in when you are helping others. Self confidence and happiness are birds of the same feather. Check yourself constantly for negative emotions such as anger and frustration and get rid of them. Understand that these are often caused by fear of some kind – fear of loss, rejection, the unknown, fear of being perceived as weak, or simply some built up issues and other unresolved negative emotions. Face whatever is robbing you of your inner light and work on becoming a better person. Once you begin to feel happy, permitting your inner glow to shine out, self-confidence grows.
Remember that you have nothing to prove to anybody because you are confident in yourself. Be open to learning and avoid self glorification, attention seeking, controlling others, unnecessary competition, wanting to change and punish other people … such negativity only serves to weigh us and others down, while recognizing and appreciating the good in others uplifts everyone.
Build, help and be of service for a greater good. People will begin to say good things about you and lift you up just as you uplift them. The positive karma you put out will come right back to you, helping nurture your confidence.
6. Be comfortable in your own skin. Whether you are tall or not so tall; skinny or chubby; dark skinned, brown skinned or “white”, educated or not so educated, learn to accept you for who you are. God created you an original. We are all unique. Embrace yourself, recognize your talents and gifts, and USE THEM.
Stop worrying excessively about what other people are thinking or saying, you can’t control the world. Acknowledge your imperfections, avoid spending precious time and energy trying to hide or pretend they do not exist. In fact recognizing that we are all flawed human beings, and having nothing to fear, nothing to prove, nothing to hide … dumps a tremendous amount of pressure away, allowing us to connect with our true selves.
It is hence important to spend time with yourself in order to discover strengths and understand shortcomings, and then be determined to improve. Embracing the good, the bad and the ugly and being determined to self-develop helps build self-confidence.
7. Celebrate! Take time to appreciate and enjoy your accomplishments and those of others. Acknowledge milestones reached and pause to enjoy them … this allows you to feel good and confident. Spend quality time in the company of the right people, i.e. those who build you up, not tear you down. It is difficult to feel confident when the people around you are constantly telling you how unworthy you are. Be therefore selective of the company you keep. I love this tweet by Tyrese Gibson (@Tyrese) a few days ago, “This week I want you to make a conscious effort to STOP giving the WRONG PEOPLE EMOTIONAL ACCESS TO YOU!!!”
As a leader, set out to do good and create value. This helps boost positive feelings about self. Guard your heart, choose your friends carefully … and always remember to say “Thank you” and “I am sorry”. These are major self-confidence boosters.
Poll (Vote and see how others are voting)