A Healthy Confidence Bank Balance Helps You Win
It is easy to lose confidence and self-belief with all the doubters and difficult situations out there in the daily grind. Fears and fresh memories of difficult and unpleasant experiences can chip away at your confidence. Some days you can feel belittled, demeaned, criticised and beaten. You can feel overwhelmed and often second guessing yourself on basic tasks and decisions that you would normally make without hesitation.
However, you can rebuild your confidence, self-esteem and self-belief although it does take time and a sustained conscious effort. Think of it as a confidence bank with a confidence balance in your account. You can and should make regular deposits to build your confidence and over time your confidence balance will grow. Even occasional withdrawals, when things don’t fall your way, won’t dent your confidence as much because you are reassured by your healthy confidence bank balance.
Here are 10 ways to increase your ‘Confidence Bank Balance’:
1. Actively take responsibility and control
Confidence is not a special talent, or a genetic feature, or an attribute reliant on others. It doesn’t require you to be overly smart but it does require you to put up your hand up and take responsibility for your own confidence, self-belief and resolve to repel as many threats and withdrawals to your confidence bank balance as you can. In assuming responsibility you are consciously and actively resolving to take control for building your confidence. As you should, because if you don’t no one else will.
2. Know yourself inside out
You build confidence by developing your individual strengths so that you can ‘stand out’ and not just ‘fit in’. When you are trying to ‘fit in’ you often lose some of your self-identity which erodes your self-confidence. To build on your strengths you need to dig deep within yourself to know yourself inside out. Similarly analyse and understand your fears and weaknesses; and everything that threatens to derail your confidence. Start thinking about your limitations and whether they’re real limitations or just ones you’ve allowed yourself to infiltrate and magnify. Ask your friends and family for their honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses and the positive and negative things you do. Through better understanding yourself you learn to know yourself and your principles – who you are, what you stand for and why, and this helps you build a clearer picture of what to build on and what to avoid. This clarity will build your confidence. As an aside if you aren’t happy with who you are then you have some work to do to change your attributes. However the upside remains that you have clarity and control and can work on doing something constructive to build your confidence bank.
3. Plan and prepare for your success
It’s much harder to have confidence in yourself if you don’t rate your abilities to perform and do well. Worrying about this makes the problem worse and all the while your confidence bank balance falls. If however you can spend time planning and preparing for a specific task and how you will tackle it, you will feel more confident in your ability to succeed in that task. And then if you can be successful in this your ‘feel good’ factor is compounded. If you are lacking in confidence avoid the situations that might require off the cuff decisions or responses and where you can increase your preparation and planning.
4. Build the positive and kill the negative
Our brains are built to think negatively which can limit our risk taking and confidence. To build your confidence you have to kill the negative thoughts when they arise and replace them with positive thoughts. When you catch yourself limiting your ambition, think of your negative thought and squash it like you would an annoying insect. Try and kill it dead and then replace it with a positive thought or commentary. Sometimes all you need is “ten seconds of courage” to get through and onto more positive territory. It’s a skill and it takes time but you can develop the habit.
5. Make it happen
The motion and momentum involved in making things happen will naturally improve your confidence. Doing something is almost always better than not doing anything and whilst you may make mistakes which could reduce your self-confidence, push on by starting with small goals you are more likely to achieve. Obviously that’s the ideal, then set another small goal and achieve that and so on. The more you achieve those small goals your increasing competence will build confidence in achieving not only those small goals but the bigger goals too.
6. Become a subject matter expert….. in something
The more knowledgeable you become in any given subject, the more confident you will become. Pick a subject you are passionate about or at least quite interested in and research and study the subject, using all the available videos, podcasts and posts you can find. It may be Tom Hanks movies or the Australian Federation but amassing the knowledge builds your self-belief.
7. Work on improving your body language
An important part of building your self-belief is feeling confident about the way you project yourself to others. There are some small, perhaps obvious, ways of doing this:
- Act confidently. This is following on from your positive thoughts and you can change yourself one action at a time, simply by putting more energy into your actions and talking to others in a more positive way.
- Stand tall and walk with more purpose. Using some of Professor Amy Cuddy’s “power posing” tips will help you stand taller and straighter and walk more purposefully.
- Speak more slowly. This is important because it can affect how others perceive you. A person with authority, speaks slowly and it shows confidence. A person who speaks quickly is perceived as doing so because they don’t want to keep others waiting. Hold the stage and deliver what you have to say with more authority and people will listen.
- Smile. Smiling makes you feel more positive and builds some positivity around you that invariably comes back to you in the form of more self-confidence.
8. Be more generous
I used to disregard this as I thought it was corny advice but now where I can, I will be kind and generous. I think it’s a positive way to feel good about yourself which builds your self-confidence bank balance.
9. Change a small habit
This is an accomplishment which makes you feel stronger. If you can change a small habit – like writing down 3 “what’s working well” points every night, or limiting yourself to a certain maximum number of coffees or alcoholic drinks each day for a month you will feel better and increase your confidence.
10. Take care of yourself
It seems obvious but if you sleep well, eat well, stop or reduce smoking or drinking and exercise regularly you will feel more in control and more empowered with more energy. This will substantially improve your self-confidence. It’s easy to start – take a walk a few times a week and drink more water. Start the habit.
For more on how to build confidence and the 4 C’s framework contact us.