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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

5 Steps to Building Confidence That Is Unshakeable

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5 Steps to Building Confidence That Is Unshakeable

Building confidence is not about ability; it’s about belief. Ayn Rand wisely said,

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

As evidenced by Rand’s quote above, a healthy sense of belief in oneself can go a long way in making you into a confident person.

Belief and confidence are like the chicken and the egg, inextricably linked in such a way that it doesn’t really matter which one came first because they are both essential to the other’s existence. When building confidence, we must believe, and to believe we must be confident that what we believe is right.

No one is born confident. Your confidence and beliefs are shaped by your lived experiences, including failure and disappointment that can cause you to question everything you thought you knew.

When you question your beliefs, it directly affects your ability to be confident. However, it is almost certain that you will fail and be disappointed from time to time. Therefore, knowing how to maintain your confidence in the face of those low points is paramount[1].

In an effort to help you avoid the destabilizing effects of failure and disappointment, here are 5 steps to building confidence that is unshakeable.

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1. Create a Strong Personal Belief Statement

A strong belief statement, or affirmation, can be a game changer. Your belief statement should be both a distillation of your beliefs and a statement of encouragement that reminds you of your capabilities. You should feel good and empowered when you say your belief statement to yourself.

An example of a belief statement is: “I fearlessly succeed, no matter the circumstances, and remain victoriously affluent.” The statement speaks to an ability to overcome life’s failures and disappointments while still accomplishing whatever must be accomplished.

In order to create your belief statement:

  1. Take 10 minutes to write down some challenges you have faced thus far and any themes that keep coming up in your life.
  2. Spend 10 more minutes generating some possible beliefs statements (1 or 2 sentences each) that sum up your ability to overcome those challenges.
  3. Spend 5-10 minutes saying the statements you have created out loud.
  4. Choose the statement that evokes the most positive emotion and confidence in you.

When you have finished, memorize this statement, write it on your bathroom mirror, or carry it in your pocket to reference when you need a pick-me-up. Frequent recitation of your belief statement out loud or internally will start to lay the foundation for building confidence in the long-term.

You can learn a few other tips on building self-belief in this video:

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Through repetition we gain facility. The more you practice being confident, the more confident you will be.

There are things that you already know you are good at or are capable of. Those past events can be helpful as you practice being confident, especially when it provides evidence to support the belief that you can do anything((Kingston University: Self-confidence at work: understanding and developing the construct)).

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Any time you believe you can accomplish something or deliver on an expectation, that is an opportunity to practice confidence. Simply expressing your confidence out loud to yourself or others can have a truly transformative effect.

The act of verbalizing your true self-confidence immediately gives a positive belief more weight, and sharing it with others allows them to validate and support you in that belief. When they echo their confidence in you, it will help you in building confidence in yourself.

If self-talk isn’t doing the trick, try tapping into the power of body language with power poses. Striking a power pose has been shown to increase levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol, which, combined, will push you to take more risks and feel less stress while doing so.[2]

Start building confidence with power poses

    You have to strengthen your confidence like a muscle[3], otherwise you don’t stand a chance when life hits you with unexpected disappointment.

    3. Surround Yourself With Confident and Competent People

    You are a reflection of both the people you spend time with and your environment. Therefore, making sure that you’re spending time with people who exhibit confidence in themselves is important. They are modeling behaviors that are beneficial for your growth.

    Watching others exercise their confidence despite life’s challenges will help deepen your belief and confidence in yourself. Their presence will not only serve as a reminder of how to be confident in tough times, but it will also remind you that you are not alone on this journey, which is the best positive feedback you could receive.

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    4. Keep Track of Your Wins

    The internal critic can get pretty loud and aggressive when you are dealing with self-doubt, which can snowball into an all-out assault on your beliefs and make building confidence difficult.

    We tend to be very good at remembering what went wrong but not as great at remembering what we did well. Keeping a record creates an archive of valuable data[4].

    When you have your wins written down, you can always refer back to them as tangible examples of your capabilities, bravery, and accomplishments. Your inner critic will be hard pressed to negate such compelling examples of your confidence in action. These examples are great prompts to reconnect with your confidence and exercise that muscle.

    5. Trust in the Greater Universality of Life

    Trust, here, refers to a deeper knowing that allows you to experience a deep faith that leads to confidence.

    When you trust that there is something greater in store for you and that everything happens for a reason, then you are able to tap into a sense of acceptance when things go awry. This naturally helps you build greater self-confidence and makes it easier to get out of your comfort zone from time to time.

    There is a beauty in your individual spiritual experience that is unique only to you. Many things are unknowable, including the future. However, what you do know is that you are here on this planet with millions of other people, all trying to live their best lives and bring something of value to their community.

    You can trust that you are dedicated to doing what is necessary to move along your journey to self-realization. You can trust that, up until this moment, you have allowed yourself to be guided to where you need to be — whether by intuition or by something else.

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    Cultivating a deep trust in the universality of life and the things we know to be true is an invaluable anchor for our confidence.

    Final Thoughts

    Building confidence is important for achieving your goals, and many people feel anxious about that process. Ultimately, what we believe about ourselves affects our confidence. We have all heard the old adage,

    “If you don’t think you can, then you won’t.”

    It may seem like an oversimplification, but it’s not. When you believe in yourself deeply, and the belief is rooted in deep trust, there is very little that can shake your confidence. Practices like those above will help you feel more confident and accomplish what is possible every day.

    More Tips on Building Confidence

    Featured photo credit: Xan Griffin via unsplash.com

    Reference

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    Awilda Rivera

    Success Coach - Author - Speaker - Yogi - Advisor

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    Published on October 14, 2021

    How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

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    How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

    Do you ever worry about being exposed as a “fraud?” You’re not alone. It’s actually quite common for people to feel like imposters. In fact, approximately 70 percent of people admit to having experienced impostor syndrome[1] at some point in their lives — a Twitter poll found that 87 percent of people have experienced this.[2] Even successful and famous people like Tom Hanks, Howard Schultz, and Natalie Portman suffer from imposter syndrome.

    But, what exactly is imposter syndrome. And, more importantly, how can you silence it?

    Originally coined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., ABPP, and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., the term “impostor syndrome” describes symptoms that include being unable to internalize accomplishments and being afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

    The individual may also be plagued by chronic self-doubt and believe that they’re unqualified for success despite evidence to the contrary. Inadequacies, fears of failure, and disbelief that success is a matter of luck or timing are also common.

    If you don’t address this phenomenon, feeling like an impostor can prevent you from achieving ambitious goals. Moreover, those experiencing these feelings tend to over-prepare or procrastinate — which obviously hinders productivity and reaching goals. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, imposter syndrome prevents you from pursuing new challenges and opportunities.

    Do you feel like you’re suffering from impostor syndrome? If so, don’t beat yourself up. After all, there are effective ways to overcome these feelings in a healthy and proactive way.

    1. Don’t Hide It.

    “Firstly, acknowledge it,” advises Claudine Robson,[3] the Intentional Coach. “You give strength to imposter syndrome by letting it continue to peck away at your confidence unchecked.” It can only be banished if you acknowledge it as soon as possible and break the silence.

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    “Then you need to separate your feelings from facts,” Robson adds. “One thing imposter syndrome does very effectively is to mix up your perceptions of reality.”

    If you can, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. “Recognize when you should — and when you should not — feel fraudulent,” she says. Appreciate and acknowledge the task, intellect, and insight that have led to your success.

    You might even be able to take action by recognizing that the reason you feel fraudulent is that you’re new to a task. “That gives you a path forward; learning is growth, don’t deny yourself that.”

    2. Implement the STOP Technique

    In her book Cognitive Enlightenment, Melinda Fouts, Ph.D., outlines a technique to overcome imposter syndrome using what she calls the STOP technique.

    “STOP is an acronym for ‘silence the oppressive player,” Fouts explains in Forbes.[4] “You need to eradicate this tape that is playing 24/7, whether you are conscious of it or not. It plays loudest when we are tired, hungry, or feeling defeated.”

    Steps to implementing the STOP technique and rewiring your brain are as follows:

    To replace the tape of not good enough, you need a “launch sentence.” “I’m more than good enough” would is an example of a solid launch statement.

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    Put your launch sentence in prominent locations, such as your car’s dashboard or computer. How come? The reason is that as the tape plays, you won’t be able to remember your launch statement.

    Continue to say “stop” until you recall your launch sentence, says Fouts.

    Put your launch sentence into your own words and pontificate.

    While going about your daily tasks, like while driving or exercising, practice your launch sentence so you can recall it when you need it in the future.

    “I am told this sounds simple and it does,” she adds. However, this technique is challenging when your negative tape is playing. You will not want to replace the tape every day while your brain is rewiring itself. “It is these moments you can’t give up.”

    3. Distinguish Humility and Fear

    When it comes to hard work and accomplishments, there’s humility, and then there’s fear. In other words, having a high level of competence can lead one to discount its value occasionally. However, as Carl Richards wrote in an article for the New York Times,[5] “After spending a lot of time fine-tuning our ability, isn’t it sort of the point for our skill to look and feel natural?”

    The problem is that we feel unworthy from time to time. But, as Seth Godin explained in a blog post,[6] “When you feel unworthy, any kind response, positive feedback or reward feels like a trick, a scam, the luck of the draw.”

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    Feeling worthy without feeling entitled is possible. And, finding the right balance between them is critical for overcoming impostor syndrome. “Humility and worthiness have nothing at all to do with defending our territory,” Godin continues. “We don’t have to feel like a fraud to also be gracious, open, or humble.”

    4. Keep a “Brag Sheet”

    When you were sending out college applications, did you build yourself a “brag sheet?” If not, here’s a clean description from Shawna Newman,[7] “A brag sheet is very similar to a student resume – it highlights your accomplishments, key experiences, leadership skills, and employment throughout your secondary education.” In short, “it’s a quick reference guide with all the details and achievements for someone trying to get to know you better.”

    While it may be awkward at first, you can apply the same concept when coping with imposter syndrome. Just compose a list of your accomplishments, activities, skills. That’s it. Just remember Godin’s advice and also be humble and gracious.

    As an added perk, besides being an effective way to talk myself up, I’ve also found that this has helped me stop comparing myself to others. Instead of harping about other people’s milestones, I’m honing in on what I’ve done.

    5. Celebrate Wins, Period

    Speaking of accomplishments, they shouldn’t be categorized as small or big. After all, you feel as if you don’t belong when you have imposter syndrome. So, the more you celebrate your wins, the more confident you’ll become.

    Furthermore, accept compliments without qualifying them and practice listening to praise every day. Finally, become kinder to yourself by saying at least one kind thing to yourself daily. And, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

    6. Assemble a Legion of Superheroes

    “You know how corporations have a board of directors to — in theory — make them stronger, maintain checks and balances, leverage resources, and help advance the organization’s vision?” asks inspirational speaker, speaking coach, and creative consultant Tania Katan.[8] “Why not assemble your own board of directors to leverage resources to help make your career stronger, keep you in check and balanced, and advance your vision?”

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    “My friend Alison Wade, president of conferences, training, and consulting at Techwell, calls her personal board of directors her “front-row” — those are the people she invites to sit spitting distance from the stage, cheer her on, challenge her, and review her performance,” Katan writes.

    As for Katan, she calls hers a “legion of superheroes.” The reason? “I dig the idea of joining forces to do good in the corporate galaxy.”

    It’s important to have a diverse group of individuals who will defend you. Ideally, they should be varied in all dimensions, such as cultural background, way of thinking, and skills.

    Katan recommends that you meet together frequently, whether if that’s once a week or every quarter. “Share your experiences, fears, creative ideas, aspirations,” she adds. “Celebrate each other’s accomplishments.” You also need to both support and challenge each other. “Discover what you are capable of doing when you combine your powers.”

    7. Visualize Success

    Follow the example of a professional athlete by imagining yourself crushing that presentation or project. You’ll enjoy the relief from performance-related stress. And, more importantly, it can help you avoid focusing on the worst-case scenario.

    Final Words of Advice

    While there’s no single formula to cure imposter syndrome, the tips listed above are a start. After all, your success depends on your ability to fight the negative effects of it. For example, feeling unworthy over time can lead to crippling anxiety and depression if left untreated.

    If you’ve tried the above, then make sure that you speak to someone about what you’re experiencing, whether it’s a mentor, peer group, or licensed professional. And, above all else, there’s a place at the table for everyone — no matter what your inner voice is telling you.

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    How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

    Featured photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider via unsplash.com

    Reference

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