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Once I get this new promotion, my friends will be impressed, I will be making more money, and I will feel confident, says the internal dialogue of the average person. One of the biggest mistakes we all make in life is looking outside of ourselves to build self confidence.
Whether we are looking for reasons to be happy, to be loved, to be appreciated, or to be confident, we will always struggle if our source is conditional. If you are having to look outside yourself, it will always be reliant upon something out of your control.
For instance, you feel very confident when the person you adore says something very nice about you, or when you are wearing your favorite outfit. These are things that you must rely on, and they are not always guaranteed to be there. Do we really want to put our happiness and confidence in the hands of someone, or something, else?
If this is the case, your confidence will always be something just barely out of your reach, because it is controlled by things outside of your control.
After all, no one ever reaches their goal and stops right there. If you believe you will be confident, if only you got that promotion, then you might be satisfied for a minute, but soon you will be looking for the next big thing.
We are insatiable, us humans. Which is a good thing. It keeps us moving forward. Since we will never be sustainably satisfied by outside things, we must become satisfied and content, fully, some other way.
From the inside, out.
The only way to fully take control of your confidence, and feel it as fully and as deeply as you’d like, whenever you’d like, is to close your eyes, shut out all outside circumstances, and look within yourself.
Below, I will list some exercises you can use to help get you there. You can get there as quickly, or as slowly, as you choose. And for more strategies to build your self confidence, look into these great books.
3 Exercises To Build Self Confidence
#1. Visualization For Self Love
It’s a fact. How you feel on the inside, changes how you physically feel on the outside.
Visualizing yourself in the most positive light is a master key to confidence. Visualize yourself in a bright light. Dancing, smiling, loving, and radiating any and all feelings you wish you radiate. Think about how good you feel, and how good everyone feels by just being around you.
Really feel it.
Heck, perhaps be so bold as to write all of this down to refer back to when you need a reminder, and to continuously add on to.
#2. Change The Way You Talk To And About Yourself
Changing your self-talk is a great way to change the attitude you have towards yourself.
My friend once pointed out to me that I would say something profound, with confidence, then second guess myself and ruin it by adding a little, “…But that’s just me,” at the end. He would stand up and correct me, making me say, “ And that’s ME.” It was strange and intense. A slight arrangement of some seemingly unimportant words. But it really did make a large difference in how I felt.
To notice when you are talking down about yourself is very important. One easy way to do this is by paying attention to your body language. First, find out what you do when you are feeling unconfident and insecure. Arm crossing and head scratching are both common tendencies. When you do this, pay attention to what you are thinking about yourself, and why. Then, correct it.
#3. Gratitude Attitude
Sometimes, we get caught up on little things, and forget all of the greatness that we have. Try being more mindful about yourself. Try starting with this, when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Write (or think) about 3 things you are grateful for and appreciate about the following.
Your Mental/Emotional Self
- I am resilient
- I laugh a lot
- I am not afraid to show love to strangers
Your Physical Self
- My hair color
- How easily I tan
- That cute freckle on my left foot
Your Past Achievements
- The giant cliff I jumped off
- When I aced that algebra test
- When I stood up for my cousin, to my big scary uncle
After this simple warm up, you may notice your mind shifting into the next gear, starting to think of much more than the asked for 3 things. Continue! Continue writing down things until you think your hand is going to fall off.
You can start as simple as saying that you are grateful for your eyes for giving you the gift of sight, to being grateful for how compassionate you are and your readiness to help others, to being grateful for the fact that you now feel comfortable singing out loud while walking down the street.
This will help you to feel brighter, and lighter, like that person you have been visualizing.
Loving And Appreciating Others Is The Best Thing We Can Do For Ourselves
The more love we project out to the world, the more love comes back to us. It’s a beautiful cycle. We feel good when we lift others up and when appreciation is flowing out of us. Now, we mustn’t project love simply for the sake of getting it back, but because we can feel it strongly in our chests, starting to grow, and pouring it out onto others.
The trick to build self confidence is for it not to be contingent upon anything, or anyone, but yourself. You already have all of the love and confidence you need within yourself.
[Photo Credit: Unsplash]