Everyone faces fear. Everyone has times of low self-confidence, including yours truly.
The good news is, each person who is a confident person was not just born that way. They worked hard to get there. This is great news because it means anyone who wants to be confident can be. It isn’t just for the elite few.
I am currently reading The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. The second chapter is on this exact topic. In fact it is called Build Confidence and Destroy Fear so, lest you think I thought up such a sweet blog post title on my own, I will now set the records straight. I didn’t. I just added the “how to.”
So, let’s get down to business. The business being confident and fearless!
These are the 5 procedures David lays out in his chapter. Perhaps they will change your life as have mine!
1. Action cures fear. Indecision and postponement only fertilize and grow fear. Figure out what your fear is exactly, isolate it, and take action. There is a proper action for every fear.
I also considered myself shy until my desire to be different prompted me to try out for the play in high school. As I bounded onto the stage as an overconfident ballerina, my fear fell away.
2. Make an unsurpassed effort to put only positive thoughts into the bank of your mind. Let the negatives go. Dwell on them no longer. Don’t let negative thoughts about yourself or bad situations grow into what David calls “Mental Monsters.” Let them go. Refuse to recall them.
The Buck Stops Here was a great post from Michael on this topic.
3. Have a proper perspective of other people. Strip away all the fluff and we are all basically the same. Yes, we come in different shapes and sizes but when push comes to shove a farmer or a world-class golfer have basically the same problems, needs, and desires.
I realized this when I met the coach of the Baltimore Ravens, at the barn where I was manager. He came out to see his wife ride and enjoy a day at the farm. Just like I would do.
4. Follow your conscience and you won’t develop poisonous guilt complex. Do what you know is right to do. It is a very straight forward rule for success and confidence.
I know this is true because I feel it whenever I don’t follow my conscience. I then proceed to act different to try to cover up whatever it is I feel guilty about. I am now following the small nudges and things go so much smoother.
5. To think confidently, act confidently. “Remember, motions are the precursors of emotions. You can’t control the latter directly but only through your choice of motions or actions…” Dr. George W. Crane.
These 5 things are great suggestions that Michael and I have tried and continually put into practice. They work!
1. Be a front seater – The people who sit in the back don’t want to be noticed. They are usually also lacking in confidence. Sitting up front builds confidence. Try it.
2. Practice making eye contact – How are you using your eyes? Are you using them to your advantage? Tell other people you are confident and trustworthy by making direct eye contact. It will both give you and win you confidence.
3. Walk 25% faster – Have you ever gone people watching? The people who look the most confident walk at a quick clip. Walking slowly is directly connected to low self-esteem. You will both look and feel more confident if you walk faster.
4. Speak up – The more you speak up in all situations the more you will add to your confidence. Practice being the first one to speak in meetings and forums. And stop worrying about looking stupid. For each person who disagrees with you there odds are there will also be just as many who agree. Practice it and see what happens.
5. Smile Big – Try to feel defeated and down about life with a big smile on your face. It is impossible. A big smile makes you feel confident and melts away hostility, worry and fear. It is readily available for your use!
I would love to tell you more about this amazing book, but there is not enough room here. So, more on the The Magic of Thinking Big next time!
Meanwhile, get this book, and let me know what you think. It is changing my life and I have no doubt it will do the same for you!