Possessing self-confidence will never cease to lose its value. We all want it! Nailing a job interview, forging new relationships, or pursuing our lifelong dreams can all be impacted by our level of confidence. And you’ll never hear someone ask “How can I be less confident?”
We read books, listen to podcasts, and attend workshops or webinars in an effort to take our self-confidence to new heights. But sometimes, the answers truly lie within ourselves.
Have you ever taken the time to reflect on your own behaviors and how they may be detrimental? I’m talking about actions so habitual we don’t even give them a second thought. Is it possible we’re robbing ourselves of our own confidence without even realizing it?
You may have already guessed it, but the answer is absolutely yes. The good news is, once you’ve identified the problem, it can be fixed. To start, here are three common behaviors which stifle our self-confidence and how to correct them.
1: Focusing on what you DON’T have.
· I don’t have enough money.
· I don’t have the time.
· I don’t have the resources or connections to move forward.
· I don’t have the knowledge to pursue this.
How often have any of these sentences crossed your mind?
When you focus on the things you seemingly lack, you are attracting more of the same. You are reinforcing negative thoughts and therefore, bringing personal growth to a screeching halt.
Instead, make a conscious effort to manifest gratitude: focusing on what you DO have. Before I go to bed each night, I write down three things I’m grateful for and recite them when I wake up. It can be as simple as having a great cup of coffee that morning or getting the chance to catch up with a friend during lunch. None of life’s simple pleasures are too small.
When you spend more time focused on what you DO have, the negative thoughts take a back seat in a big way. Slowly, your brain will become hardwired to maintain that optimistic attitude and revert to focusing on the positive instead.
2: Surrounding yourself with negative people.
· Maintaining relationships with self-deprecating people
· Grabbing lunch with a colleague who always finds something to complain about
· Continuing to stay with friends with someone despite their negative attitude
· Attending networking events with pretentious crowds just because they have connections
We’ve all fallen victim to one or more of these predicaments.
The company we share is a deliberate choice and we have the power to change it. It’s no secret that time is precious and it should only be spent with people who bring out the best in us.
Getting rid of the toxic people in your life requires a considerable amount of personal reflection. During all your interactions this week, ask yourself “Does this person add an element of positivity to my life?” Think about how good you feel around a person who exudes joy, good energy, and kindness. Self-confidence increases tenfold when you make the conscious decision to surround yourself with these types of people each and every day.
3. Trying to fit in.
How often have you:
· Refrained from vocalizing your opinion in meetings due to fear of negative responses from others
· Purchased clothing that’s on-trend despite not fitting your personal style
· Suppressed your feelings or emotions in the hopes of appearing “normal”
· Followed suit when a friend made a destructive comment about themselves
Being “different” can be intimidating for anyone and can certainly have a negative connotation in given situations. But what about thinking of the word in a new light? Being different in ANY way is unique. It’s what makes you so special. It differentiates you from every other person on this planet and should be celebrated.
In meetings, be that person who goes against the grain and shares a new idea or approach for a project. If all your friends wear black and you feel most comfortable in bright yellow – wear it! When you catch yourself holding back and trying to fit in, stop to remind yourself, “I am unique, I am special.” Repeat it as often as you need to and you will see the belief in yourself grow.
Ultimately, self-Confidence is like a muscle.
The more we work on it and exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Taking the
necessary steps to cultivate change will make all the difference.