What is confidence for you? Confidence is about feeling comfortable with yourself, loving yourself, accepting yourself the way you are. Confidence is this inner conviction to believe that you can direct your life the way you want to, you are not a victim of circumstances.
Confident people take these circumstances and they change them. If circumstances are not great, they invent new ones. Confident people don’t perceive failure as an end, they perceive it as another step that will take them towards success. If you want to achieve success in life, it’s inevitable that you will fail multiple times. Look at all the great people who lived in this world. They failed multiple times before reaching this huge goal. Whenever they fail, they think “you know what? I’ve learned something new, I may use it in the future in order to get something bigger”.
Confidence according to Napoleon Hill
In “Think and to grow rich”, Napoleon Hill reports many examples of successful people. In the early 1900’s a man called Mr. Darby was caught by the “gold fever” and went west to DIG AND GROW RICH.
After weeks of labor, he was rewarded by the discovery of the shining ore. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home and told his family. They got together money for the needed machinery. The first car of ore was mined, and shipped to a smelter. They had one of the richest mines in Colorado! Down went the drills! Then something happened! The vein of gold ore disappeared!
They drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again—all to no avail. Finally, they decided to QUIT. They sold the machinery to a man for a few hundred dollars, and took the train back home.This man called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed, because the owners were not familiar with “fault lines.” His calculations showed that the vein would be found JUST 1 meter FROM WHERE THE DARBYS HAD STOPPED DRILLING! That is exactly where it was found.
The man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine, because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up.
Mr. Darby went into the business of selling life insurance. Remembering that he lost a huge fortune, because he STOPPED 1 meter from gold, Darby profited by the experience in his chosen work, by the simple method of saying to himself, “I stopped 1 meter from gold, but I will never stop because men say ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.” Darby started to sell more than a million dollars in life insurance annually. Thanks to the lesson he learned from the gold mining business.
Inner & Outer confidence
We can talk about the inner confidence, the core, what you have here inside, how you feel about yourself but also about the outer confidence, how other people perceive you. They’re interconnected, whatever you think about yourself impacts how you are perceived by other people. It impacts your external characteristics, your body language, your posture, the way you speak, the way you look at people, the energy you send. And vice versa, you may not be very confident inside but if you use your body language in a certain way, if you have the right posture, if you speak in the right way, it will impact the way you feel inside.
Tip #1: Stop seeking approval
Most people are constantly busy with what other people think about them. Am I dressed well enough? Will they accept me? And so on. Stop seeking approval of other people. Stop seeking validation, because the more you seek it, the less you get it. Confident people don’t care what people think about them. Approval seeking behavior is normal to a certain extent. The problem starts when you start comparing yourself to other people. You will always find somebody who is better than you. Instead, you should compare yourself to yourself. Are you doing your best? What progress have you made?
No matter how great you are, you could be a person helping thousands of people around the world, it doesn’t matter. Somebody will love you, somebody will not like you. Accept that no matter what you do, somebody won’t like you. Rejection is part of your life, it’s inevitable. You will never get validation and approval of everyone (and trying to do so is very destructive).
Tip #2: Push Your Comfort Zone
One of the most important traits of successful people is the willingness to push their comfort zone. Are they afraid? Sure! However, the difference between winners and losers is that winners take action in spite of fear. Whenever you push your comfort zone you expand it. Comfort zone is just like a muscle – you can’t grow it without a little bit of sweat. Whenever you do something that scares you, you make that fear smaller and become more and more comfortable with the uncomfortable. Most successful people are willing to take calculated risks and accept that certain situations will make them feel uncomfortable. However, they are aware that the potential reward is much bigger than the discomfort they may experience temporarily. Become that person.
Exercise: What is one activity that scares you? Identify it and make a conscious decision that you will do it. Set the time and face that fear.
Tip #3: Pay attention to your body language
Pay attention to your posture, because body language is a great thing you can control. Pay close attention to your body language. Be conscious of it. Don’t let certain things just happen. For example, slouching, looking down, not maintaining the eye contact. Consciously stand straight. Consciously have your head held up. These small changes can dramatically impact the way you feel.
When you walk, always walk with the sense of direction. Always walk with confidence.
Tip #4: Emulate Confident People.
Speak the way they speak, Dress the way they dress, Move the way they move.Modelling is based on the concept that there is no point of reinventing the wheel unless necessary. For instance, if you want to learn how to cook, why would you want to do it intuitively? It makes more sense to watch YT tutorials and follow the advice from a good cook book. Essentially, if something you are trying to achieve has been already accomplished by other people, don’t try to be original for the sake of being original. Instead, learn from the best and their path to success. There are so many confident, successful individuals you could learn from, including business tycoons, movie starts, coaches or even people in your own life. Do you personally know anybody who is very confident?
And now some practice.
Boost Your Confidence With This Simple Exercise.
1 – Identify a couple of confident people you admire (businessmen, movie characters, family members you look up to). The individuals you choose can be fictional.
2 – What are the characteristics that make them so confident? Is there something about their eye contact, the way they walk or speak? Which one of these traits could you adopt in your own life to become more confident?
3 – Modelling. Replicate the traits of your role models as often as possible, ideally every single day.
There is something important you can learn from great actors. Namely, if you define the ideal appearance, body language, behavior and the tone of voice of the person you strive to become and fully concentrate on attaining these attributes, you will change the way people perceive you. Most importantly, YOU will perceive yourself in a totally different way. You need to become an actor who is about to create his masterpiece. There is something powerful about “acting as if”. The more you do it, the more you become your ideal character. At some point certain traits you created as an “actor” are internalised and become a part of your core.
Daniela Russo, Life Coach based in Amsterdam
Watch this short video of Tony Robbins on Self Confidence.