Achieve potential with confidence

Self-confident people radiate power. Confidence is a feeling of invincibility that comes from within, a deeply-held impression that you deserve the best. It’s an aura that arrives in the room with you, an attitude that shouts, “I can!” It’s apparent in body language and speech. Confidence allows you to show up at a job interview knowing you can handle the position, or to boldly ask for that raise and promotion.

No matter your background, experience or ambitions, you’ll not achieve your full potential until you’re confident with who you are and what you’re doing. Maxwell Maltz said, “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.”

Some people think, “I’d be more confident if only I were more successful.” Wrong. You’ll be more successful when you become more confident. Self-confidence is a prerequisite for success.

The good news is that you don’t have to be born super confident. Confidence can be learned and nurtured by practicing a few simple assurance-boosting principles:

Examine the source of your confidence deficits. At one time or another, everybody’s had confidence-shattering experiences, but do you have a residual permanent scar? Finding out that answer can help you dispel myths and begin to deal with the issue in the light of day.

Identify the rules you’ve set up in your head, then revise them. You probably have a laundry list, “I won’t be confident until this or that happens.” You control your thoughts and can change everything in your life by shifting them. Recognize your power. No one can kill your confidence but you; you alone are in charge of what you think and feel. On your rule list, methodically adjust negative statements to positive declarations.

Brainwash yourself. Get an inner dialogue going that’s uplifting, not harsh. Don’t say things like, “Why did I polish off that bag of potato chips? I’m such a fatso!” Use positive self talk, “I’m capable, I can make changes. I can do this.” Choose to build yourself up not tear yourself down. Realize it’s either an upward or downward cycle. When you feel good about yourself, it affects your decisions. When you make good decisions, it causes you to feel better about yourself.

Mentally rehearse being confident. Imagine your best self meeting people, looking them in the eye, standing tall and proud. If you don’t feel like a winner, start a scrapbook of accomplishments – letters, notes, photos – anything that reminds you you’re respected. If one area of life is in shambles, dwell on another. Congratulate yourself for any and all ways you’ve succeeded. Peg a trigger memory of a time when you were on top of the world, and recall it when you’re feeling confidence challenged.

Hang out with confident people and model them. Would you rather be with an encourager or an energy vampire? Your confidence can be fed by positive, poised people who have a zest for life.

As Norman Vincent Peale said, “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities!”

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