One of the most important steps to achieving your goals in life is to develop a strong sense of self confidence. This does not however involve becoming loud or arrogant. On the contrary, people with genuine self confidence are usually calm and self assured and do not need to 'big note' themselves.
Here are my top ten tips for building your self confidence:
1. Visualise Yourself As The Person You Want To Be
Each morning spend a few minutes visualising yourself as the person you want to be. Think about the way you dress, the way you carry yourself and the way you interact with other people. Seeing yourself as the person you want to become is the first step towards building self confidence.
2. Self Confidence Statement
After visualising yourself as the person you want to be, read the following statement out loud:
"I know I have the ability to achieve my major goal in life. Therefore today,
I demand of myself persistent and continuous action towards achieving my goal"
Reading this statement out loud is a great way to start your day in a confident state of mind.
3. Dress Well
One of the most effective ways to instantly improve your level of self confidence is to dress well and to make the decision to always be well groomed. This does not mean you have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Instead, just focus on gradually building up a small collection of good quality clothes. Also remember that simple accessories such as a tie clip or necklace can make a big difference to the way you look and feel.
4. Positive Posture
Another powerful way to build your sense of self confidence is to stand up straight and lose the slouch that many of us have acquired over the years. While you may be able to make a change to your posture by simply becoming aware of it, the best way to make a long lasting change to your posture is to practice yoga or pilates.
5. Move With Purpose
A simple but effective tip for increasing your levels of self confidence is to always move with a sense of purpose. In his book 'The Magic of Thinking Big', David Schwartz recommends walking 25% faster than normal. Having a spring in your step lets people know that you have important things to do and actually makes you feel more confident as you go about your daily business.
6. Become A Participant
Have you ever noticed that in most meetings or groups, people immediately head towards the back of the room so that they can remain as inconspicuous as possible? A great way to increase your visibility and sense of self confidence is to make the decision to always sit towards the front of the room and be a participant. When you have something to say - don't be afraid to say it.
7. Connect With Confidence
Another way to quickly improve your self confidence is to practice making a strong first impression. When you meet someone face-to-face, look them directly in the eye, smile broadly, shake hands firmly and say, "Hi Jim, nice to meet you".
Similarly, you can sound more confident on the phone by answering, "Good morning Carol Jones speaking" instead of simply saying "Hello"
8. Build Your Success File
Occasionally your self confidence will take a hit when something doesn't work out the way you hoped. One of the best ways to repair your self confidence in this situation is to keep a folder outlining your past achievements and successes. You should also include any positive feedback that you've received from others.
As you review your success file and fill your mind with positive comments, your doubts and insecurities will quickly disappear and your self confidence will be restored.
The BIG secret to being self confident that people rarely talk about is - preparation. The more you prepare and practice for an event, the more self confident you will become.
If you are worried about an upcoming event, use your apprehension as a stimulus to take action and practice, practice, practice. The simple but powerful truth is that self confidence grows through repetition and experience.
My final tip for developing self confidence is to join a Toastmasters group.
Toastmasters is a non-profit organisation that helps people from all walks of life to develop their public speaking and leadership skills. In my experience Toastmasters offers a safe and relaxed environment to step out of your comfort zone and develop the invaluable skills of being able to think on your feet and speak in public.
So there you have it!
If you implement some or all of these 10 techniques you'll gradually develop a greater sense of self confidence which in turn will help you to pursue and achieve your most important life goals.