Confidence is necessary to reach your full potential and to realize your dreams. Without confidence, negativity will act like a weight, and drag you down, never allowing you to climb higher.
I have never met a happy and successful person who struggled with a lack of confidence. However, I have met many people who are sad and living in regret who have very low opinions of themselves. Confidence and success are unquestionably linked powerfully together.
How To Gain Confidence
Confidence comes from positivity, preparation, and what you spend the majority of your time thinking about. Let’s examine each one…
I have never met a confident person who is negative. Confidence and negativity are oxymoronic. You simply cannot have both. The good news, is that you can become positive anytime you want to.
As I wrote last week, one of the best ways to become positive is to practice daily gratitude. Become a thankful person. Be aware of the blessings you have, regardless of how small or common they may be. When you are thankful, dopamine is released in your brain, causing you to feel better. When you feel better, you become naturally more positive.
When you are prepared, you become more confident. As an example, I assigned my Leadership class to report on an influential historical leader. They researched, then presented their information to the class all in the same week. My students didn’t realize it at the time, but they were purposefully being placed in an uncomfortable environment. When you are uncomfortable, your confidence disappears. Because of a lack of preparation, I expected the presentations to go rather poorly. I was correct.
My students were expected to present for five minutes without looking at their notes. Because of their lack of preparation, they simply couldn’t. Students stumbled on their words, looked at their notes, and looked flustered at the front of the class, trying desperately to meet the five minute requirement. Most failed. A week is simply not enough time to prepare and gain the confidence needed to succeed.
As a follow-up assignment, I gave my students the opportunity to recover and experience success – they were to teach the class about something they could do well.
The first student, who struggled mightily presenting about Abraham Lincoln, taught the class how to make a paper throwing star. The presentation was excellent. The student made eye contact with the audience, spoke with enthusiasm and excitement, assisted others, and energized the room. The difference? PREPARATION. The student had known how to make a throwing star for years. In essence, they had prepared for years for this presentation, they just didn’t know it at the time.
The lesson is, the more you prepare yourself, the more confident you become. Spend time reading, learning, and developing your intelligence and knowledge every day.
Many people focus on what they “need” to fix about themselves. They may not like their hair, weight, height, intelligence, or skill set, and will replay those negative thoughts all day. The key is to delete the negative recording, and REPLACE it with a positive recording.
Negativity will fill all voids in your life. That is why you cannot simply delete the negative recording. When you delete the negative, a void appears – your brain needs to focus and think about SOMETHING. If you don’t fill the void with something else, negativity will once again rear its ugly face. YOU MUST FILL THE VOID WITH POSITIVE THOUGHTS.
Ask people close to you and those whom you trust what your most admirable qualities are. When you discover the great things others see in you, play those recordings. Have them on repeat, and never press pause. Place positive words and affirmations in places where you can see them often – like your phone, your mirror, and bedroom. The more you are reminded of who you REALLY ARE, the more confident you will become. Confident people believe they are awesome and capable! They may have negative thoughts from time to time, but those thoughts are quickly deleted and replaced with positive affirmations about whom they really are.
Confidence Versus Arrogance
I have heard many people say they feel “bad” about repeatedly telling themselves about how awesome and capable they are, because self-confident affirmations make them feel arrogant. If this is you, delete this thought process from your mind IMMEDIATELY!
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of arrogance is, “an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner.” Arrogance is manifested OUTWARDLY IN AN OVERBEARING MANNER. Confidence is a strong self-belief. Arrogance is telling everyone ELSE how awesome you are.
The difference between a confident person and an arrogant person is attitude. Confident people know who they are and don’t need to tell others about it. Arrogant people need to feel validated by telling others about how great they are. By definition, constant positive self-talk is confidence, not arrogance.
As you have learned, a confident person is positive, prepared, and strong in their thinking. Spend this week increasing your confidence by practicing daily gratitude (3 items of thankfulness is a good start), preparing yourself by studying, reading, and learning at least 20 minutes a night, and speaking three positive words about yourself to replace the negative recording.
Your confident, future-self will thank you for the hustle you show today!
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- Be sure to read my other leadership posts. Check back every Sunday for the next article that will challenge you and prepare you for a life of impact and success.
- My book, “Seeds of Excellence for Teens: 24 Life Principles For Those Who Want to Stand Out From The Crowd“, is available on Amazon.