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14 Killer Actions To Help Build Confidence

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14 Killer Actions To Help Build Confidence

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.

Thank you for reading my article! What actions would you add to this list?

Laura Callisen is an independent writer and a freelance blogger. Today she works as a co-editor of an online magazine and invests all her free time in self-development.  Laura believes that the only place where success is coming before work is the dictionary. Make sure to check her Professional Blog and to follow her on Twitter. Laura is always happy to share her experience and to hear yours.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Amanda

    Feb 13, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Excellent post..Yeah i’m also agree with you..if we have the attitude like “I can do” we can definitely win the life without any doubt. Reading this type of inspirational posts will also make the peoples to be great i think

  2. Promoocode.com

    Dec 26, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for sharing the post. This is a wonderful and amazing article.I am very glad to be here.Thanks for sharing.

  3. Simone

    Jun 25, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Excellent work! The author has detailed every minute detail about the topic. I am sure these points will inspire many minds.

  4. Ethan Bridges

    Aug 21, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Spot on: Stop whining about problems!

    A positive attitude will *always* pay off. Just keep looking for solutions, and stop complaining as if only you have problems. A positive attitude makes an environment happier, and needless to say, it’s contagious.

    Problems can never be avoided. We have to deal with them–but must not let them take over us.

    Nice post, Laura! Thanks!

  5. Victor Winners

    Aug 21, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I never thought about speaking slowly as I’d been convinced speaking somewhat faster will force others to pay more attention to you. LOL! Now, I’ll consider this.

    Erm, the other confidence boosting measure i take is a trick i play with my mind. I tell myself how confident i am, How everyone is admiring whatever action I’m about taking and then i just take it with every form of outward boldness, notwithstanding that lil fear in there. This works really good for me.

  6. Rafael Maccheri

    Aug 21, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Great article,

    I usually say that confidence is like a muscle. The more you practice , the stronger it gets.

    And the best way to improve confidence is to do what you know you have to do, no matter what.

    Regards,

    Rafael Maccheri

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

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