Monthly Archives: September 2016
Make a comprehensive list of all your strengths and weaknesses as outlined in the ‘accept your weaknesses and strengths’ section of Monday’s series post. Once written down spend a few minutes on each item on the list of both your strengths and weaknesses, taking time to accept them as such without having them define you in terms of self-worth.
Create your very own ‘lifetime achievement award’ as outlined in the ‘recognize your achievements’ section of Monday’s series post, remembering to include both personal and professional achievements as well as interpersonal achievements (such as assertiveness, stress management and empathy skills).
Last week we looked at how when we stop comparing, are more assertive, socialize more, seek to learn and build our experience we foster greater internal confidence. This week we continue to look at ways we can further develop our internal confidence.
Recognize your achievements
Whilst it’s never a good idea to be prideful, learn to recognize your achievements. This needn’t just be academic or tangible achievements but could also include the positive qualities you show to others – achievements which are just as valuable.
Write them down on a piece of paper and type them up to show you how far you’ve come whenever you are feeling run down or despondent. You could even frame your ‘lifetime achievement award’, updating it annually, as a source of encouragement and motivation at times when you may be overwhelmed by how far you still need to go.
Remember confident people take time to recognize their achievements, realizing their contribution is valuable whilst not feeling the need to vocalize them whereas the arrogant use their achievements as a means to brag and tend to become prideful and superior because of them.
Accept your weaknesses and strengths
To be truly confident you need to know yourself on a deep level and be self aware. You need to acknowledge your weaknesses, realizing that they don’t detract from your inherent worth, instead accepting that you are fallible, as is everyone.
Take a few moment to write down your strengths, as you look at each one think of how it has helped you and be grateful, feeling fortunate as opposed to superior.
Take a few moments to write down your weaknesses, not berating yourself for them but rather embracing them as part of who you are, someone with a lot to offer but also someone who is imperfect – someone who is human.
To really avoid becoming prideful, superior or arrogant fostering humbleness is key. Please see below for some handy tips on how develop a humble heart:
- Be ok to make mistakes and admit to them
- Don’t brag – ever
- Give credit to others freely
- Give compliments freely
- Seek out others opinions
- Be open to learning
- Be helpful
- Be quick to apologize and forgive
Positivity and optimism
In today’s world where results are expected to be instant – this attitude fueled by both technology and the media – it is often forgotten that most things worthwhile take time. It is true that you can have breakthroughs and instant results (especially when Tony Robbins is your personal coach) but a little patience is usually required when developing a new habit, trait or skill. If you want to speed up this process try thinking of your reason why every time you feel discouraged to motivate you and picture yourself achieving the goal.
Often when we work towards something like fostering more confidence we can overly berate ourselves for stumbles along the way and fail to praise ourselves enough for the small wins. So every time you catch your inner critic saying something like ‘you got that wrong’ or ‘look, you did it again’ just roll your eyes and take no notice! For a more in depth look at silencing our inner critic please read my self-compassion article titled ‘How to Silence Your Inner Critic and Become Your Own Best Friend’.
I was shocked to discover that recent studies have seemed to suggest that genes account for 50% of how confident we are in adulthood (Steve Suomi of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)). However this isn’t to say that we can’t cultivate more confidence and nurture ourselves in such a way as to promote a healthy level of internal confidence – I believe if anything this preliminary finding means that actively fostering more confidence is even more important for those of us that lack in this area.
The one thing I’ve found is that in many ways confidence increases with age. I’m not referring to the youthful type of confidence which verges on arrogance and is rife with insecurity; I’m speaking of the type of confidence that is calmly self-assured, the type that whispers rather than shouts.
The type which tells you that you are exactly who you were always meant to be and makes you comfortable in your own skin, making no excuses or apologies for who you are and realizing that if anyone objects it is of no consequence to you, it being more of a reflection upon them than you. This is internal confidence at its best.
For those in their twenties who do not share this type of internal confidence this may be reassuring however you needn’t just sit and wait for internal confidence to naturally develop as there are definite steps you can take to speed up this process.
Try this quick little exercise and you may well be on your way!
Today’s task is to take a look at last week’s exercise where you listed a situation you lack confidence in. Think of one example of how you can learn / train if needed and build up your experience in the relevant areas in order to foster more internal confidence with which to approach your situation in future.
When thinking of this, the following questions may be helpful:
- Can someone more experienced be your advisor or mentor?
- Are there professional courses you could take?
- Are there vocational courses you could take like assertiveness, hobby classes or skills based classes?
- Can you read about the situation or skills needed to better handle the situation, thereby learning?
- Can you create less scary situations whereby you can practice your new skills?
Today’s task is to take a look at last week’s exercise where you listed a situation you lack confidence in. Read ‘Assertiveness; A Journey Worth Taking’ and give one example of how you can be more assertive in similar situations in future. Then plan a group meeting and practice assertiveness techniques to foster more internal confidence, which will inevitably help you with your situation in future.