Build Your Self-Confidence

It’s happened to us all. You’re at a business or social gathering, doing all right, feeling pretty good about things, when suddenly someone wants to know who you are and what you do.

Suddenly, you flash back to your fourth grade play. You’re on stage, the room goes quiet, the spotlight is in your face and you’re on! You’ve forgotten your lines.

The results are fairly predictable. Your mouth does dry, your palms begin to perspire and you find it almost impossible to breathe. You open your mouth to speak, but nothing comes out.

Since most of us are not performers by nature, this is a nerve-wracking experience. Whatever self-confidence you thought you possessed upon entering that room has completely vanished. You’ve become so self-conscious; you’d like to just disappear altogether. It’s as if your mind has gone blank. This is much more than just plain nervousness, however, this comes down to your core beliefs concerning you, and how you feel about yourself.

The mind is an amazing machine and is capable of building you up or tearing you down, depending on your inner beliefs. What you believe about yourself, at your core, will determine how you handle challenges in your life. Changing what you believe about yourself, can change your whole life.

What’s your first response to a new challenge or crisis in your life? Do you step up and say to yourself, “This is tough, but I can do this!” Or do you really want to go hide in a closet and hope it all goes away. It won’t of course and you can’t live in fear your whole life.

It’s hard to feel self-confident if you’ve suffered losses and set backs, embarrassment and pain, depression and anxiety. So you fall back with your “I can’t do this!” and tell yourself that the reality of the situation is simply that you’re not up to it. That’s just the way it is and always has been. You should just come to grips with it.

This isn’t your reality, but merely your perception of it. What you think you are, you are! It’s time for a change.

Perhaps, as you were growing up, the adults in your life began telling you what you weren’t, what you couldn’t do and you believed them, after all you were just a kid. But as you grew and matured, you began telling yourself the same things, the same lies you were told before. You inadvertently continued the cycle of lies.

It’s time to break the cycle and stop telling yourself the same old lies. You can change the way you see yourself; it is possible. If you begin to see yourself as successful and happy and you will be. Self-confidence is just believing in yourself, trusting yourself, having faith in yourself. If you don’t, who will?

It’s not what happens to you in life, it’s how you respond, it’s how you cope with what happens. Instead of going through your usual litany of woe, try looking at how much you’ve overcome and guess what, you’re still here. Stop dwelling on what you consider your failures and focus instead on what you’ve accomplished, on your successes. Think about it, you do have them. You may have unconsciously tried to camouflage them or hide them, but they’re there.

Do you feel that little surge of pride in yourself? Congratulations! You just increased your self-confidence a hundred-fold. Now keep it up!

Now, zip back in time to before you stepped into that room. You’re all alone for just a moment. It’s time to have a talk with yourself. Remind yourself of who you are, of all you’ve accomplished. Make a mental checklist. You may not be a performer, but you are the star of your own life! Don’t forget that! Repeat this little exercise until you become more comfortable with yourself and others.

Now, do this exercise every morning-look at yourself in the mirror and smile. Aloud, say, “I like you, just as you are, right now!” It may seem silly to be talking to yourself, but it’s important that this new positive message be played every day, to drown out the old one that kept saying what you couldn’t do. Listen to that new self-confident you and believe in yourself.

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