I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else.
I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.
In the third and final segment of A Guide to A More Confident You, I discuss how you can develop and nurture strong personal identity. I would like to begin with sharing the following metaphor on the importance of how embracing your authentic self increases your capacity to develop and nurture a strong identity. You can read the first segment here and the second segment of this guide here.
Dare to Be Authentic
An acorn dreamed of being a beautiful pine tree when he grew up. The acorn was given a book on positive thinking and he diligently read it, following all the advice on using positive thinking to achieve its dream. But as the acorn grew he felt himself changing into something very different from a pine tree. The acorn accumulated every book on visualization and change that he could find. He followed the exercises faithfully. The acorn spent hours visualizing himself as a pine tree. But despite all of his efforts, the acorn grew into a massive oak tree.
The lesson in this metaphor is simple: be your authentic self. You have certain God-given talents that are unique to you. As you embrace these talents wholeheartedly, you will become the expression of the person you are divinely designed to become. There is no one else walking planet Earth with your unique gifts. To reach your fullest potential, you must not waste precious time trying to be what you are not. If you're an oak tree, you don't want to waste a lifetime trying to be a pine tree. You want to become the greatest and most magnificent oak tree you can be. God has given you a tremendous gift. It can transform your life and the lives of others. God can arrange all kinds of things on your behalf, but, he will not override your free will. You've got to develop the faith and find the courage to express the seeds of greatness within you.
Dare to Be Bold
Your life has a purpose. Your purpose involves the use of your strengths, passion and experiences. It is intended to contribute value in the lives of others and be an expression of God's love and power on the Earth. We, the members of the human race, need you to be bold enough to be true to who you really are. This is the only way we can create a collective consciousness that represents the goodness dwelling in each of us. The change we want to see in our families, communities, state and country starts with a personal commitment on our part to change ourselves. We need to take responsibility for developing our unique talents so that we become the individuals that can manifest the positive change we want to see in our lives and the world. Together, we can create a tipping point to unleash greater measures of the power in all of us. Identifying and staying connected to the strong dwelling within you makes this possible.
Remember Your Strong Moments
Developing and nurturing a strong personal identity involves paying attention to those moments in your life in which you were able to overcome challenges and succeed. During each of these moments you displayed a certain mindset and set of behaviors that enabled you to press on and prevail in the face of challenges. Identifying and making a connection to the authentic manner by which you have been able to manifest new possibilities and succeed in life provides you with clues as to how you can continue to build a strong identity and authentic success. In the following confidence building tip segment, I share a key strategy for building and sustaining a strong and confident identity.
Confidence Building Tip #3: Nurture an “I Am Strong” Identity
Take a journal, notebook, or tablet and write down the strong moments in your life. The will to do springs from the knowledge that you can do. The practice of remembering strong moments in your life helps to nurture a strong sense of self. Remembering strong moments in your life when you were able to take on challenges and overcome them, when you exercised faith and displayed the mental and emotional fortitude that enabled you to maintain a state of determination until you accomplished a specific dream and goal, it is these moments that serve as a foundation from which you can build and nurture a “Yes, I Can” attitude towards your present aspirations.
Oprah Winfrey states, “...Rather than depleting yourself with judgments about what you haven't done, who you could have become, why you haven't moved faster, or what you should have changed, redirect this energy toward the next big push – the one that takes you from enough to better. The one that takes you from adequate to extraordinary. The one that helps you rise up from a low moment and reach for your personal best.”
Occupying Your Strength Zone Builds Self-Confidence
Research has proven that there is a direct correlation between the level of satisfaction we experience in our personal and professional lives and the amount of time we spend involved in activities that spark our passion and engage our areas of strength. Our strength zone reflects those activities which we find ourselves positively anticipating and looking forward to doing. It is demonstrated in tasks we pick up quickly and find ourselves so involved in that we lose track of time.
Begin to notice the relationships and activities that “light you up” by engaging your mental, emotional and physical energy in ways that satisfies your soul and strengthens your courage and confidence. Those tasks and activities that “light you up” increase your willingness to contribute your ideas, knowledge, and skills towards the success of any endeavor. These relationships, tasks and activities represent moments in which you were occupying your strength zone. Start to look for ways in which you can increase your interaction with people and engage in tasks and activities that “light you up.” Tom Rath, author of Strength Finder 2.0 says, “You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” This is an important truth because so many people fail to get to know themselves, so they proceed to work at becoming someone they are not.
Imagining new possibilities and occupying your strength zone requires that you become attuned to your innate passions and strengths. More often than not, tasks that come naturally to you represent your strengths. When you spend time engaged with people and tasks that support the expression of your innate strengths, you will feel much happier, satisfied and confident.
For me, investing in my personal development on a consistent basis through classes, seminars and workshops and online business programs supports my commitment to sharpening my personal and business skills which increases my effectiveness and as a result, builds my self-confidence. Learning new stuff that is relevant to my goals and applying it to see what type of results I will get from my effort have always excited me. You may be the completely opposite or somewhere in between. The point is, knowing yourself helps you develop your unique ability and build your confidence in a way that is authentic to you.
Ask yourself: How has my ability to prevail in prior circumstances equipped me to pursue new possibilities in my life? What were the lessons I learned about myself and how strong I am? How can I leverage my experiences and alter my approach towards my current circumstances with a stronger sense of what I'm capable of doing and worthy of experiencing in life? Your answers to these questions provide you with clues from your own life as to how you can create success that is unique to you.
The main objective of this guide is to encourage you with the belief that confidence is a learned behavior that you can acquire and sustain. Taking a proactive approach towards nurturing your self-confidence begins with accepting who you are and your present capabilities to maximize your present moments as you pursue bigger and more audacious goals. Developing a stress hardy mindset by demonstrating commitment towards your goals, perceiving your obstacles as challenges with benefits and initiating personal control over that which is within the realm of your influence strengthens you from the inside out. The practice of remembering strong moments in your life when you demonstrated the faith, focus, fortitude and foresight necessary to prevail over previous challenges serve as a foundation from which you can build a strong and confident identity.
Remember, your identity is influenced by beliefs you have about who you are, who you are capable of becoming, what you can do, what you are strong and smart enough to handle and what you are worthy of experiencing. Transforming your limiting beliefs and negative self-talk with an empowering perspective of yourself increases your deserve level and helps diminish self-sabotaging behaviors creating internal roadblocks to your success. As you cultivate positive beliefs about your ability to achieve your aspirations and initiate purpose-driven actions relevant to their accomplishment, each win that you secure, no matter the size, will inspire you to believe that you can be more, do more and experience more in life. As a result, you will exhibit a strong sense of personal power and a greater degree of confidence.
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