My mind

Kickstart your self confidence

Image source: Flickr

‘I could understand feeling that nauseous and nervous if I was trying out for the lead in the play, or I was asking out the cutest boy in school, but all I was doing was raising my hand and offering a way to raise money for some new gym equipment,’ sighs Julie. ‘I just sat there, letting Miss Know-It-All get credit for an idea that wasn’t anywhere near as good as mine. I hated myself for a week.’

Leaders have self-confidence. So do great athletes. And probably the friends you admire the most.  ‘It’ is self-confidence, the ability to know and accept your strengths and limitations without depending on the opinions of those around you.’  If you think you’re alone in envying those with a ‘Look out world, here I am,’ attitude, take heart. It’s been documented that the two greatest fears we have are not snakes or crime or natural disasters, not getting caught cheating or telling a lie, not getting your period and being totally unprepared, but meeting strangers and standing up to speak in front of a group, and to do this, you need self confidence, which is easier said than done.

For too many of us it’s easier to run a marathon than say something nice about ourselves.

It’s some crazy notion that only stuck up, full of themselves people can find something positive to say. Think of the confident people you know. Isn’t it their self confidence, as much as their ideas and ability, that reassures you they know what they’re doing? For those times the limelight is near and you feel you need a lifeline, try:

  1. Visualising yourself as you wish you would be. How would you act if you weren’t shy? What would you say if you felt confident? Picture yourself talking with self confidence and then follow that behaviour.
  2. Writing down everything you’re anxious about beforehand…I’ll make a fool out of myself, people will think less of me, I’ll fail…then afterward, see if any of your worries came to pass.
  3. Chances are you’ll see all your angst was a waste of energy and improve your self confidence.
  4. Chanting these mantras or at least posting them around your room: SUCCESS IS 99% FAILURE. IF YOU THINK YOU CAN, YOU CAN. IF YOU THINK YOU CAN’T, YOU CAN’T, and the all-important 10 most powerful two-letter words, IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME.
  5. Taking a deep breath and asking for a moment to focus. Then do your best to avoid looking around to see who is looking at you.
  6. Avoiding caffeine, carbohydrates, and sugar before your big moment. Protein will help keep your energy at an even level.
  7. Remembering all the great people who regained faith in themselves after being told they didn’t have what it takes to succeed.


Self Confidence Idols:

  • Einstein was four years old before he could speak.
  • Isaac Newton did so poorly in school, his teachers considered him ‘Unpromising’.
  • Beethoven’s music teacher rated him ‘hopeless’.
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
  • Walt Disney was fired for ‘a lack of imagination’.
  • Winston Churchill failed Year Six because he didn’t complete the tests required for promotion.
  • Abraham Lincoln failed in business twice; was defeated eight times for public office, and had a nervous breakdown before becoming America’s greatest president.

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