We all know that being confident is crucial to succeeding. But which really comes first: the confidence or the success?
6 Ways To Become More Confident
1. Be really good.
There's no better ballast for confidence than competence. The confidence of being very good helps you be even more successful in all you do (personally and professionally).
2. Do something hard.
After ten years with IBM and many years before that of working in a corporate structure, I decided to try it on my own and start my own business. I was leaving security (regular pay check, sick time, health benefits, 401K, etc. ). There was a great deal of risk for me because I had never been outside the realm of a company structure where if I didn't earn the money, I didn't eat, couldn't pay the bills, and didn't have anything to fall back on that was regular income to help me. My mother thought I was crazy. I was going to start a business in an industry I knew nothing about. Hard. You bet. Scary too. The pay off could be great though (eventually work less, make more money, be happier, increase my quality of life, more time off, improve my health, etc. ).
3. Do something that scares you.
A number of years ago I went hang gliding. I am afraid of heights. I mean I am so afraid that I can't get close to an edge of a one-story balcony and look over without being afraid of falling. I even have a hard time driving on a bridge without having that fear of falling off. For a long time I had been talking about doing something that would put be in a position that is scary. Believe it or not, knowing that I wanted to do something for so long, but not taking the action to do it was eroding my confidence. You don't have to do something outrageous, but one sure way to build confidence is to do something that scares you (even a little).
4. Do something you have always wanted to do.
Go on that dream vacation; do that five-day Vermont bicycling tour; get to Alaska to watch the bears eat the jumping salmon; re-decorate that room; buy that extravagant toy, piece of jewelry or dream car; take that wine-tasting class; travel on the Concord; go the U. S. Open, etc. Just making firm plans to do it will increase your confidence.
5. Do something you have been putting off.
Want instant confidence? The great feelings of relief that come with cleaning up a mess or finishing even a small project are wonderful. This can be as simple as cleaning out the garage.
6. Get in good physical condition.
I'm not sure anything erodes our self-confidence more than being out of shape or overweight. It's difficult to feel successful just because you make a lot of money when you get winded walking up the stairs, don't like what you see in the mirror, or haven't got the strength to easily lift your luggage into the overhead compartment. I can't tell you how many people I talk to who have a goal of being healthy and fit but do little to nothing about being fit. Put yourself on a permanent health and fitness plan and your confidence will soar.
The common theme to all these confidence-builders is action. Inaction diminishes confidence and action builds confidence.
"The future never just happened. It was created. " -Will & Ariel Durant
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