Self confidence is the key to success. Without it you’re nothing. With it, you’re the king of the world. Without it, you’ll never dare. With it, you can’t lose. Self confidence will open doors and tear down obstacles but if you don’t have it, you’re going to find yourself stuck with no forward progress.
Yah, I’m speaking to you, the guy at the bar afraid of making the move. The woman in the cube afraid of asking her boss for a raise. The man at home, afraid of telling his mother he needs her to stop hounding him. Even the girl at school, afraid of the way other people look at her and judge her appearance. I understand you and your fear but I have to tell you, you need to overcome and learn to love yourselves or else you’ll be stuck as that little mouse all your life. You’ll be the nervous little deer, always looking out for someone about to eat you, instead of the confident predator, at ease and in charge.
The hard part about self love is starting out. It’s difficult to convince yourself that you’re worth loving when you know for a fact that you don’t. That fact though isn’t quite as factual as you think, and the following five techniques will help you get a good start on the road to self confidence.
- Look people in the eye – Prey looks away, nervously looking around for an escape. Predators look ahead, never afraid of meeting someone’s gaze. When you walk around, practice looking people in the eye and not flinching away when they look back at you. Don’t be creepy and stare but meet people’s gaze, smile and only then look away. Let them know you’re ok with looking them in the eye. Practice with strangers in the street first and then move on to the people you know.
- Repeat your successes – Late at night, when you’re trying to fall asleep, repeat in your mind all the good things you did that day. Start out little if you must but remind yourself that you were in fact successful in many things. For many of us, we tend to dwell on the bad and forget the good. We obsess over the missed opportunities and the moments which made us feel stupid. Stop that. End the night by reviewing all the good things you did.
- Replace your friends – I used to be an asshole of a friend. No, it’s ok, I can admit that now. I used to be one of those friends who was always cutting down the friends around them. I did it with humor, to show that I didn’t really mean, but I did it anyway. If you have a friend like that, either ask them to change or stop spending time with them. Those friends sap your confidence away like nothing else because they’re supposed to be supporting you and instead they remind you of all the little mistakes you make.
- Speak slower and with a measured tone – Prey speaks quickly and with a high pitched tone. It’s a sign of submission, a way of saying “I am less than you, please don’t kill me”. But you are not prey, are you? Speak with a confident tone and confidence will follow.
- Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that can happen?” – Most times we hold back because we imagine the horrible fate that awaits us. That horrible fate is nonsense. What we imagine as the worst case scenario is usually so far fetched as to be ludicrous. In fact, in many cases we don’t even imagine any specific awful outcome, we just think to ourselves “oh, this will be horrible if I try.” Stop that. What’s the worst that will happen if you ask for that raise? Ask the girl at the bar for her number? Ask your mother to give you some space? What’s the absolute worst that will happen? In most cases, you’ll see that it’s simply not that bad.
Remember, confidence is everything. Learn to fake it until you can make it and you’ll quickly find yourself not really faking it anymore.