The reason Mr. Disney believed confidence was so important is because it gives humans a mental attitude of “I can do this.” And with that attitude, things actually are accomplished.
But Disney had a lot of support – a family, investors, and a dedicated staff. It’s easy to have confidence when everyone around you is encouraging and supporting you. It is not so easy when you are “out there” on your own, with a lot of self-doubt, with only yourself to depend on to muster up the self-confidence you need to achieve your goals. But it can be done – not overnight – but it can be done!
“Attaining anything is a matter of ‘C’s’ – curiosity, courage, constancy and confidence – and the greatest one is confidence.” – Walt Disney
Here are 14 very practical, nuts and bolts things you can begin to do right now that will build that self-confidence you need:
1. Set small goals
Set small goals that are challenging but achievable and short-term. Paint a room, learn a new computer skill, jog ¼ of a mile. Each achievement will bring more confidence and spur you on to tougher goals.
2. Learn everything you can
Find topics of interest and research them online. Watch the “Discovery Channel” – their programs are fascinating, cover a huge variety of topics, and are so well presented, the information is difficult to forget. You will be amazed at how the knowledge about a topic that comes up in conversation will impress others. Each time someone expresses being impressed, another thought is planted in your head that you have value.
“Use your free time for self-development.” – Brian Koslow
3. Take care of your physical appearance
You don’t have to look like a god or goddess, but a shower, clean hair, a shave, or some makeup will make you more confident.
4. Dress well
Don’t go to the grocery store in the clothes your just wore for yard work. Clean up when you go out in public, or even when you are simply hanging out at home. A good appearance tells your mind that you are worth being around.
5. Watch your posture and your walk
Self-confident people stand up straight and walk rather briskly. Practice this at home first and then when you go out, just getting into the physical “feel” of confidence can send good messages to your mind.
6. Speak slowly
That’s what confident people do. They want others to hear everything they say. People who lack confidence speak fast and often mumble because they are afraid of what others might think about their contributions to a topic. Again, practice at home until this is a habit.
7. Trash the negative thoughts
Here is a really easy mental game you can play. When a negative thought about yourself creeps in, stop it immediately. See it in your mind’s eye as an ant and picture yourself stomping on it. Once you kill it, it turns into something that is really appealing to you – a big juicy hamburger, a flower. This takes practice, but you have to make it a habit.
8. List all of your good qualities
List all of your good qualities; post them everywhere, read them out loud to yourself every day. Are you a great accountant or lab assistant? Write it, read it, and speak it!
9. Get outside of yourself
Volunteer somewhere – anywhere! Whether you go to a hospital, tutor kids at a community center, read to people in a nursing home, or take care of animals in a shelter, you will get a great sense of accomplishment as you see others appreciate you, Being appreciated by others is a huge confidence booster.
10. Stop whining about problems
Stop whining about a problem that you think you can’t fix. Develop a sound plan to solve it and follow through with it.
11. Write down your principles
What do you believe are the values that you hold most dear? If you have trouble with this, it is no wonder you lack confidence. Confident people know what they stand for. If you can’t think of anything, write down the “Golden Rule.” Then live it!
12. Challenge yourself
Each time you accomplish something you have never done before, your confidence grows. I once knew a woman whose husband died suddenly, leaving a British sports car he was restoring in pieces on the garage floor. She was at a real “low” and certainly lacking in confidence about her ability to make it on her own. She took that car manual and, every night and on the weekends, she put that car back together. It took a few months, but when she was finished, she knew she could tackle most anything.
13. Write a book
Why not? Even if it is never published, just finishing it builds your confidence in your ability to take on a big task and complete it!
14. Increase your proficiencies
Do this in small steps. You want to be a writer? Start small. Write a few blog posts or articles and submit them. Advertise yourself as a freelancer., pick up small jobs. With every submission that is approved and with every little writing job you get, your confidence builds.
“I’m a slow walker but I never walk back.” – Abraham Lincoln
Always keep that in mind! Becoming self-confidence all on your own is permanent. You will never have to worry about losing if your support is suddenly gone.