Don't dance around the perimeter of the person you want to be.
Step in fully and completely.
Confident people realize the story that they tell themselves about who they can become, what they can do, what they are strong enough to handle and what they are worthy of experiencing shapes their identity. They are confident because of a strong sense of self that is nurtured by an empowering identity of who they are and who they believe they can become. Developing a confident identity isn't about your race, gender, circumstances or past; it's about the beliefs that make up the story you tell yourself about yourself and the courage that you demonstrate to pursue new possibilities in your life. In this three part series, A Guide to A More Confident You, I will share insights and strategies that can help you become a more confident person.
Develop A Confident Outlook
Confident people think and approach life proactively, which means you may have to make some fundamental changes in the story you tell yourself about what you are capable of and get comfortable with the temporary discomfort that occur as you take steps to pursue new possibilities in your life. View your self-confidence as a major key to unlocking the doors of how your want to live, today and in the future. Every time you challenge a limiting belief about what is possible in your life with a renewed sense of your strong and who you are able to become, you will begin to embody a greater sense of confidence that will have a ripple affect in each area of your life. In part one of this series, I discuss the role self-acceptance have on your ability to become a more confident person.
Confidence Building Tip #1: Accept Yourself
Self acceptance is a cornerstone for living with more confidence. It involves having realistic expectations about yourself and life. Self-acceptance enables you to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. It allows you to walk with a loving awareness of your humanity, it's goodness and flaws. Self-acceptance enables you to embody your strengths to lead a life that is in concert with your core beliefs, values and priorities. You recognize that you don't have to be a carbon copy of someone else to live a confident and successful lifestyle. Self-acceptance requires an awareness of your strengths and weakness, your goodness and flaws. It empowers you to have a strong sense of who you are, who you can become, what you can do, what you are strong enough to handle and worthy of experiencing. Self-acceptance inspires you with a desire to be a full expression of your authentic self. Self-acceptance doesn't happen when you hate the person you are. It happens when you love yourself enough to believe that you can do better and deserve better. Loving and accepting yourself naturally leads to an increase in your self-confidence.
Believe You Are Worthy of Experiencing Better in Life
Pat Pearson, author of STOP Self-Sabotage points out, “We don't allow ourselves to have what we want until we believe-truly believe - that we deserve it.” Getting out of your own way and manifesting more of what you truly want in life begins with the journey of accepting yourself while expanding your beliefs and feelings about your self-worth and what you deserve to experience in life. Your beliefs about what you are worthy of experiencing in life influences how you treat yourself, determines the relationships you get involved in and the manner in which you value the time and life energy spent to generate the money you earn. Your sense of worthiness shapes your career path and the goals you pursue and achieve in life. It even effects the level of fortitude you demonstrate when faced with setbacks and how quickly you get back on track.
When you were a baby you didn't have no question about your right to be loved or held. You made no apology for wanting what you wanted or feeling the way you felt. As you got older, something began to happen. Pearson writes, “Our innate sense of being worthy to express our feelings and need starts to get lost as we mature. Instead of believing we deserve love just for “being”, we lower our self-esteem and try to earn approval and love by “doing”. We begin to think we must earn love, and so we give up our real feelings to meet the approved image. As we get older, we start to shrink our beliefs about our own abilities.” Somehow, everyone else seems to be able to get what they want in life while you continue to circle the same circumstances and repeat the same patterns. Overtime, these experiences began to diminish your self-esteem and confidence.
Raise Your Deserve Level and Stop Self-Sabotage
Be encouraged you can raise your deserve level. Pearson writes, “In order to increase your deserve level, you need to take possession of your feelings as clearly and as authentically as you can. When you integrate and honor both your thoughts and feelings, you have complete permission to have what you want.” Your beliefs about yourself and what you deserve to experience in life is linked to your sense of self-worth. What would you say was the level of deserve expressed in your family while you were growing up as a child? Were you permitted to express your feelings or required to stuff them? Did you feel that you were loved no matter what with unconditional love? Or, did you feel that you had to “earn” the love of your parents, siblings and extended family? What was the story that you held about your sense of worthiness as a child? How is any part of that story repeating itself in your relationships, health and wellness, personal finances, education and career? In which of these areas do you need to raise your beliefs about what you are worthy of experiencing to achieve your present aspirations? Confidence in what you believe about what you are worthy of experiencing in life begins with your beliefs about what you deserve. Transforming your limiting beliefs into empowering self-talk and aligning your behavior with the person that you need to become to manifest the dreams and goals that you desire to experience is a surefire sign that you believe that you can do better and have better in life.
Lessons from the Wizard of Oz
In the movie the Wizard of Oz, it takes a life and death challenge for each of the main characters to realize that the very thing they want from the Wizard already exists within their capacity.
The Scarecrow doesn’t think he’s smart enough to endure difficulties, and yet all alone he’s the guy with the logic and reasoning that guide the group to make the right choices.
The Tin Man thinks that he’s worthless because he was made without a hart, except that his compassion for others and his passion for not giving up are what keep everyone going.
The Cowardly Lion is ashamed that he lacks courage that should accompany the “King of the Beasts” but when put to the test, he acts with courage in the face of fear. It’s the Lion that steps forward with the real cojones to confront and exposed the man behind the curtain who has assumed a role of power that he doesn’t deserve.
The Lesson of the Ruby Slippers was that the whole time Dorothy struggled to get home, thinking only the Wizard could help her, when she actually had the power to do so all along. Her ability to understand the power of what she already possessed was obscured by her fear.
Ask yourself: How am I demonstrating a lack of self-acceptance towards myself? What is the dominant story I'm telling myself about what I'm worthy of experiencing in life? What fears are preventing me, like the main characters of the Wizard of Oz, from tapping into the the strength that I already possess? What are some small steps that I can begin to take that will help me reduce the anxiety I feel towards manifesting new possibilities in my life?
Expressing your full potential will require that you accept yourself. Accepting who you are, as you strive to express more of your unique ability is pivotal to becoming a more confident person. It necessitates that you value your present abilities so that you can leverage them to manifest new possibilities in your life. Recognizing the numerous influences that has shaped your beliefs about what you deserve and is worthy of experiencing sheds light on automatic response patterns that may be influencing you to self-sabotage. Self-acceptance is a key principle to maximizing your present moments. Optimizing your present opportunities to grow and develop your talents enables you to cultivate the foresight to embrace growth strategies that increase your capacity to be more, do more and build your confidence.
Create a Confidence Booster Jar/Box. Purchase a Mason jar or small gift box and label it, “Confidence Booster”. Get a pack of post it’s or cut blank sheets of paper. On each piece of paper write down those times when you overcame an obstacle, bounce back from a setback and accomplished something you were very proud of. For the next 30 days, read one of your notes out loud to yourself to affirm your ability and self-worth and boost positive thoughts and emotions about yourself. Make it a daily ritual by placing more positive notes in your “Confidence Booster” jar/box. Share this idea with a family member and friend. Perhaps you can write positive notes about each other and swap them. Allow this simple, yet powerful practice become something nice that you do for yourself on a daily basis.
Next week in part two, I will share why and how strengthening your inner-self is essential to developing and sustaining self-confidence.
What are your thoughts about how confidence or the lack thereof has affected your success towards a goal? Share your thoughts below.
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Champion for Your Success
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish
My new book, Get Unstuck Now. can help you develop a stronger sense of yourself which will increase your self-confidence and happiness.