Have you ever witnessed someone’s stellar self-confidence level and wished you could be just as confident?
Many people mistakenly believe that confidence is simply something they either have or don’t have, and those who lack it often think they’ll never be confident. Truth be told— no one is born with limitless self-confidence. It is a skill that must be learned and reinforced with practice. Although the old adage is, “Practice makes perfect,” Dale Carnegie said, “Practice makes permanent.” Why is this differentiation so important?
Similar to a sports skill, when you practice a bad technique, you ultimately master a bad technique. Worse yet, over time, that technique will become so ingrained in your memory that it will be quite difficult to ever correct it. By practicing a good technique, on the other hand, you will master a skill that contributes to your success. This holds true for self-confidence. If you’ve tried to develop self-confidence, but continue to have discouraging and negative thoughts, it’s because you were unable to obtain the knowledge required to develop self-confidence as a skill.
Here are three ways to grow your self-confidence.
- Do something you fear every day. Dale Carnegie said, “If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” By stepping outside of your comfort zone and doing what you fear, not only will it become easier to do over time, but your self-confidence will increase each time.
- Check your inner critic. If you struggle with low self-esteem or confidence, odds are you have an overactive and inaccurate inner critic. Often times people develop beliefs about themselves that simply aren’t true, e.g. “I’m too shy for public speaking,” or, “I don’t have the guts to ask for a raise.” If this sounds familiar, apply Dale Carnegie’s 21st Human Relations principle, ‘Throw down a challenge,’ by asking yourself what evidence actually supports those beliefs? Determining that there isn’t any real evidence will enable you to deny such negative beliefs, and enable you to dare yourself to do what you fear. Once you do, be sure to reward and congratulate yourself for having crushed false self-beliefs and conjuring your self-confidence!
- Picture your perfect self. Another strategy to fix false self-beliefs is to learn the skill of visualization. This tactic is one Olympians count on to conjure their self-confidence before competing. By picturing yourself acting confidently and succeeding—whether it’s during a job interview, requesting a raise, etc., you train your brain to have new positive self-beliefs. Dale Carnegie said, “Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.” By envisioning yourself courageously achieving your goals and/or overcoming any fears you may have, you’ll increase your self-confidence and the probability of success.