When I was in my late teens a friend of mine, an elite athlete, gave me the most profound, yet simple advice that changed the way I would view myself forever. He told me:
“If you don’t think very highly of yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to think it of you.”
Translation – It means that we alone are responsible for building self-confidence.
We cannot depend upon, or wait for anyone else’s approval. We must see ourselves as worthy and capable of achieving anything we choose to achieve.
Ultimately, how we see ourselves is more important than how anyone else sees us. If we don’t work at loving and accepting ourselves, nothing anyone else thinks matters.
In a similar vein, have you ever felt that you don’t measure up to others overall? In that case, think about how many times you may have met a gorgeous man or woman and then afterwards forgot how good looking they were because they had nothing interesting to say or could add nothing of value to your perspective. I would think it happens more often than not!
Consider that in an opinion poll done by Men’s Health Magazine (1,000 American women ages 21 to 54 in two online polls) women rated traits relating to character and personality much higher than they scored those reflecting physical attractiveness.
In other online questionnaires filled out by both men and women the number one quality found desirable in someone was ‘self-confidence’. Physical attractiveness didn’t even make the top 10!
The bottom line is that what you think of, and how you project yourself, is more important than merely having good looks. Building self-confidence is not only a great way to attract others, but a great way to feel good about yourself!
Tips For Building Self-Confidence
- Acknowledge Your Uniqueness. Believe in yourself and know that you are one of a kind. In the words of Walt Whitman know:”That you are here–that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”
There is no one else like you on this planet. No one looks like you, has the same talents, experiences, or perspective as you do. You are unique and are therefore here to make your unique contribution. If we each focus on what we bring into the world to share, there can be no comparisons, envy or regret. We are here to “contribute a verse”.
- Give it Your Best. When you do the best you can, with the best of what you’ve got, you can’t help but feel good about yourself and that confidence comes through in everything that you do. Giving it your best makes you unafraid to take risks or step out of your comfort zone – both great confidence-builders.
- Persevere. Everybody has setbacks and obstacles to contend with. Don’t let them undermine your confidence. Treat them as opportunities to strengthen your resolve and then persevere.
- Overcome adversity. Overcoming adversity builds and strengthens self-confidence. The greatest songs, works of art and literary pieces have been written by those who have experienced the depths of despair, loss and emptiness and overcame them. Experiencing sadness and loss, and then rising above them, gives rise to hope and triumph. It makes you stretch and become more than you were.
- Accomplish something. Set goals for yourself and then push yourself to reach them. Self-confidence soars when you know you can do what you put your mind to. It makes you feel unstoppable. Likewise, achieve mastery. Mastery experiences are those in which you know you have worked hard and put in great effort to achieve success.
- Separate Yourself From the Event. You are not what happens to you, nor how you believe others see you. In other words, you are not defined by what happens to you, nor are you defined by how others see you. You are who you choose to be – a person of character, dignity and self-confidence.
- Confront your fears. There’s nothing that destroys self-confidence more than succumbing to fear. Everyone feels fear at various times; we’re human, however facing circumstances with courage and poise strengthens character and builds self-confidence. Put yourself out there! If you’re afraid to meet new people, attend social events, etc. – don’t stay home and fret. Doing builds confidence. Of course, you’ll feel, and probably be awkward the first few times in new situations, however, the more you do it, the better you’ll get, and therefore the better you’ll feel about yourself.
- Good looks do not equal self-confidence. Some of the most attractive people in the world are insecure and lack self-confidence. Marilyn Monroe was considered to be one of the sexiest, most beautiful people in the world, yet she lacked a positive self-image. She misguidedly allowed external factors, such as the approval of others, to determine her self worth. Good looks may help you feel good about yourself temporarily, but are by no means enough.
- Take good care of yourself. When you are in fit, in good health, and make a point of looking your best, you can’t help but feel confident. This is different, of course, from comparing your looks to others. It’s about being comfortable with you. Everyone looks good when they’re in good shape, well groomed, and healthy. You can’t help but have a glow about you when you take good care of yourself
- Learn how to give yourself a pep talk. We all have our down moments, moments of doubt, confusion and uncertainty. When that happens, we must learn how to restore self-confidence. One way is to understand that everyone goes through such moments. Another is to remember past successes, visualize the desired outcome, and keep at it! Practice makes perfect.
Self-confidence is absolutely essential to achieving success in any endeavor. You acquire it by doing, learning, accomplishing, and persisting.
Sent with Love