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Published on December 2, 2020

6 Surefire Tips to Build Self-Confidence That Is Unstoppable

6 Surefire Tips to Build Self-Confidence That Is Unstoppable

Aren’t we all just supposed to “fake it till we make it“? Isn’t that the key to success, how we should build self-confidence? Millions of books proclaim this diatribe each year. We’re told to plaster on a smile, don the latest fashion, and give ourselves positive pep talks in the mirror each morning.

If you’re anything like me, you have read hundreds of self-help books and tried to catch the confidence bug. You might have even tried to tap into your inner Tony Robbins and cover your apartment with thousands of positive post-it notes. But, after about a week of positivity, you don’t feel more confident. In many ways, you feel more confused.

Building self-confidence isn’t a formulaic process––it’s an individual process. It has to feel right and comfortable. It should fit like sweatpants, not skinny jeans. This means that, if we want to improve ourselves, we have to know and accept ourselves.

If you’re tired of decorating your home with inspirational quotes or adding one more self-help book to your collection, this article is for you. I’ll give you the six practical tips that you need to build self-confidence and self-acceptance. Let’s get you started on this journey.

1. Accept Who You Are

You will never receive enough applause or accolades that will make up for your insecurity. If you want to build self-confidence, then you need to own who you are and learn to stand up tall in your shoes before adding more accessories to your personality. After all, confidence is not about being the most decorated; it’s about being comfortable in your skin.

If you want to build self-confidence, then you need to take the time to celebrate your distinct personality. Take a moment to learn about your strengths and your weaknesses, and be at peace with where you are––even if it’s not where you want to be.

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Self-confidence starts with accepting yourself––your strengths, weaknesses, and even your quirks. In many ways, it requires you to embrace your entire being. In essence, it’s giving the world your whole self and asking for nothing in return.

2. Accept That You Will Be Terrified (and That’s OK)

We all remember spelling bees when we were kids. We would listen intently and pray that we wouldn’t forget all the letters. As we uttered our guesses, our knees knocked, our peers stared, and sweat beat down upon our brow. This moment was torture––for everyone. It was terrifying having to stand in front of our entire classroom and scramble letters in rows.

Self-confidence isn’t a cure to fear. It’s not a unique combination of pixie dust that makes us invisible to conflict or struggle. In many ways, fear is the only way to experience self-confidence. Isn’t that great news? Okay, it’s not the most fantastic news, but it is comforting.

Think about it. If you want to get that promotion, you have to face your fear. If you audition for the lead on Broadway, you have to belt out Aida, even if you voice cracks. All of these moments are glorious because of fear. If there was nothing to face––no barrier to climb––then you would never experience the joy of success.

Self-confidence occurs when we embrace the fear and allow it to compel us forward.

3. Make Peace With Your Past

Take a moment to stand still and look back. Where you are now is not where you were––and that is a powerful thing.

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There’s something powerful about perusing through old photographs. We might cringe over our fashion choices and laugh at our crazy hairdos. However, we also experience the nostalgia of going back in time. For better or for worse, we can’t escape our journey when trying to reach our goal.

If you want to build self-confidence, you need to be willing to accept your past, even the parts that you want to forget. You might want to burn the negatives and forge ahead, but to move forward, you have to find peace with your past and your present.

Self-confidence is not pretending or performing––it’s making peace with who you were, who you are, and who you will become. In many ways, it’s accepting your experiences, taking responsibility for your mistakes, and figuring out how to move forward with healthy habits.

4. Be Happy for Others

One of the most significant ways to build your self-confidence is to celebrate someone else and take the pressure off yourself. Bask in the excitement of a friend or a colleague.

We all want to be happy for those around us, but it’s easy to be jealous. Sometimes popping another bottle of champagne for a friend seems like a monotonous chore.

If you struggle to celebrate others, you’re not alone. You’re not selfish; you’re self-conscious, and there’s a big difference. It’s impossible to applaud your friends or your colleagues when you can’t even accept the person staring back at you each morning.

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Many of us were raised in households to believe that accepting our strengths means being prideful. We learned to shy away from the spotlight and refuse credit for a job well done. There’s nothing wrong with being reserved, but if your preference for privacy projects upon those around you. You’re not humble; you’re raining on someone else’s parade.

Allow people around you to shine, and be their biggest fan. When you lift others, you celebrate their strengths without judging their weaknesses. When we take the time to be happy for those around us, it helps us celebrate our own victories build self-confidence.

5. Be Willing to Put in the Work

If you’re hoping to absorb and build self-confidence through the pages of another bestseller, I have one word of advice for you: put the book down and grab those weights, run on the treadmill, or lean into that stretch.

Here’s the deal: Self-confidence isn’t easy; it takes work. It doesn’t come in a Flintstone vitamin; it comes through sweat.

Building self-confidence requires everyone to workout, but not everyone will be working out the same way or at the same pace. Remember, building self-confidence is not about beating the competition. It’s about accepting who you are, improving yourself, and learning to trust in your knowledge and capabilities.

6. Don’t Let Your Childhood Scars Write Your Story

All of us have childhood scars, but we don’t have to carry them with us as adults. Even if you had a perfect childhood, your self-confidence was influenced by your personal experience.

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No one can claim your story, but all of us can empathize with some form of childhood struggle.

Our childhood experiences have influenced our psyche, our self-perception, and our ability to build self-confidence[1]. However, if we’re willing to see ourselves holistically, we’ll be able to live our lives authentically. It’s important to understand your journey as much as your goal.

Take a moment and write down everything that comes to mind when you receive compliments. Do you dismiss them? Do you base your entire self-worth on them? Write down your reactions and then process the reasoning behind your response.

You can do this exercise with a therapist, a trusted friend, or even on your own. If you’re willing to go back in your past and address your scars, you’ll be able to have a greater understanding of yourself and not be rocked by compliments or criticisms.

When you’re grounded in who you are, you’ll be able to experience life without fear and, ultimately, write your own story with self-confidence.

Final Thoughts

If you want to build self-confidence, remember that it’s a process. Don’t hurry to the finish line to get to the end of the race. If you take the time to accept yourself, fail forward, embrace the journey, and give yourself grace along the way, you’ll have everything you need to be more self-confident.

Take today and figure out who you are and who you want to be, and don’t lose your identity in the process. If you utilize these tools, you won’t have to fake it till you make it––you can make it without losing yourself along the way.

More Tips on Being Self-Confident

Featured photo credit: Etty Fidele via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dr. Colleen Batchelder

Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and Leadership Strategist | Executive Coach | Dr. Batchelder teaches business leaders how to create corporations where Millennials want to work.

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Published on November 30, 2020

How To Let Go of Fear And Become Unstoppable

How To Let Go of Fear And Become Unstoppable

Do you sometimes find yourself paralyzed by fear? Fear appears to each person in various forms. You might begin to feel a sense of dread, develop a headache, or feel nauseous. Anxiety causes us to overthink situations, which stops us from taking action. Fear can most definitely hold us back from reaching our maximum potential. When this happens, the best thing to do is to let go of fear.

What would you be able to accomplish if you lived without fear? Here are some tips to help you overcome them and become unstoppable!

1. Plan It Out

Do you find yourself pressing the snooze button regularly? Or does it feel like you’re wasting time in a job you don’t love? As you follow your dreams and create new plans for the future, you might begin to fear failure and become hesitant.

Having a plan in place will help you overcome this anxiety. As the saying goes, “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” Set achievable objectives that will bring you closer to your goals, and stay committed to your plan. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from realizing your dreams.

2. Use Stress-Relief Techniques

Being in fear-filled situations can put significant strain on the body. If you are afraid of the dark, you might start to feel tightness in your chest, a dry throat, or have difficulty breathing.

When stress overwhelms you, try repeating affirmations like, “I’m going to be okay,” or “This moment will soon pass.” Create a mantra that is grounding and helps you release fear.

You could also listen to calming music. Peaceful sounds from nature or the ocean are known to relax the muscles. Moving your body is another way to work through anxiety—go for a walk or stretch.

Here’re 7 Stress Management Techniques to Get You Back on Track.

By learning to manage stress, you will feel more in control and empowered.

3. Talk to Friends and Family

Do you have a fear of being alone? After work or on the weekends, do you worry about having nowhere to go and nothing to do? We are social creatures, and it can be difficult to be by ourselves for an extended period of time.

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The next time you are feeling lonely, reach out to a family member or best friend. Having support to lean on will lift your spirits and help you feel less isolated.

If you are stressing out about a job interview, call a friend or meet up beforehand. Talking through worries in advance will help you feel more confident and at ease. Having an uplifting “go-to team” before an anxiety-inducing event makes all the difference.

4. Write Down Your Fears

What are your fears—small spaces, flying, rejection, or success? Identifying phobias is the first step in learning how to manage and eliminate them.

For example, if you fear snakes, come up with a plan to help you overcome that anxiety. You might look at pictures or play with toy snakes. Eventually, you can try to hold a real one. So, make a list of your worries—big and small—then, set realistic goals. Develop a step-by-step plan to work through each one over time.

5. Picture the End Result

Imagine being mid-flight when you feel turbulence jostle the plane, and the seatbelt sign comes on. You suddenly grab the armrest and can’t catch your breath. Up in the air at 35,000 feet, weather conditions might be unpredictable and leave you with a fear of flying.

The best way to overcome this is to visualize your destination. Picture the smiling faces of your loved ones waiting for you at the airport. See yourself relaxing under the hot sun on your island vacation. Close your eyes and imagine you are crossing the finish line. Think of how great you will feel once you arrive and how proud you will be for overcoming the fear.

Learn more about How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

6. Celebrate Success

Are you worried about the future and getting that big promotion or reaching your goal weight? Rather than concerning yourself with what is to come, celebrate your wins.

Even if you don’t get the promotion, remember that you are doing a job you love and moving closer to taking the next steps. Maybe you didn’t lose the full twenty pounds, but at least you lost some of it so celebrate!

Ordinarily, we tend to focus on what is not working rather than on what we have accomplished. Make a list of your achievements and celebrate how far you’ve come. Find the victory in everything you do and take pride in your triumphs.

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7. Practice Makes Perfect

We have all been there before. You walk onto the dark stage, and the spotlight blinds you as you look out at the audience. Suddenly your mind goes blank, your palms start sweating, and you hear loud thumping in your chest. You might feel a wave of panic as you frantically try to remember your speech.

At some point in time, most everyone experiences stage fright. So, how can you prepare?

Weeks and days beforehand, rehearse what you want to say. Review it repeatedly in the mirror until you have it memorized. On the day of your speech, have some critical points written down that you can refer back to as you speak. Knowing what to say in advance will give you the confidence to let go and overcome the fear.

8. Stay Open to Change

Imagine you are driving and discover the roads are all closed. Suddenly, you are forced to take a detour. How do you react when plans don’t go your way? Do you panic or get frustrated?

The fear of missing out or losing control of a situation can overwhelm the body and mind. Rather than worrying or getting angry, keep yourself open to the possibility of something new. The best course of action is to go with the flow.

Let this opportunity take you on a new adventure. Be open to the unexpected, and trust that life will unfold just fine.

9. Create Your Safe Space

Do you fear confined spaces? If so, being in an elevator may stress you out. The next time you find yourself in a panic, try mindfulness or meditation. A big part of letting go of fear is listening to your soothing inner voice.

Mindfulness will help minimize the fear of being restricted. When you meditate, you enter a safe place. Close your eyes, imagine the vast blue ocean, smell the salt in the air, and listen to the seagulls. Focus on feeling boundless and free. Instead of imagining negative things that could happen, visualize that you are solid and secure.

No matter what you fear, learning how to relax and turn towards a positive mindset is key.

10. Remove Yourself From the Situation

Imagine you’re enjoying a quiet meal with a friend when suddenly, you hear the sound of glass breaking. You might feel a jolt of adrenaline and become panicked. These types of experiences can trigger your “fight or flight” response.

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When you feel overwhelmed, try to keep your mind from running loose. If necessary, excuse yourself from the situation and step outside until you feel calmer. When we are in high-tension situations, it’s beneficial to acknowledge available options and keep reminding yourself the moment will pass.

11. Have Courage

Do you chronically dread work or mentally run through the monotonous day filled with repetitive tasks? Maybe you haven’t felt a sense of purpose in years. Are you worried about leaving your current job because there might not be anything better?

Life is meant to be experienced, so summon your courage and embrace the unknown by focusing on what lies ahead. Determine what will make you happiest, and keep your eyes on that goal. You may find that your most significant accomplishments are right around the corner.

12. Take a Deep Breath

Maybe you have a terrible fear of needles. Every time you’re at the doctor’s office, you look away while the nurse sanitizes your skin to deliver the shot.

Instead of focusing on what’s going on in the moment, try taking four deep, slow breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Try picturing yourself warm and safe, maybe cuddling with your furry friend. Deep breathing is grounding and helps us through scary moments. Just close your eyes, stay focused on the breath, and try to release the fear.

13. Have a Plan B

Let’s say you’re watching a movie at home when suddenly, the power goes out. Do you sit in the dark wondering when the lights will come back on? Are you worried about food in the fridge spoiling or your cell phone dying?

Having no idea what to do next definitely causes fear. The antidote is having a course of action—a plan B—to feel prepared.

In case of emergencies, have candles, portable chargers, or even a backup generator for you and your family. Purchase or prepare an emergency backpack, and always keep food and water on hand. Having a contingency plan will give you comfort, and it helps you take back control of the situation.

14. Trust Yourself

Have you ever been to the top of a tall building and looked down? Did you feel a wave of dizziness and suddenly grab onto the rail? You are not alone in this reaction, as many people are afraid of heights.

There are times when we climb too high and find that we don’t know how to get down. The best thing you can do in this situation is to believe in your choices. Take a deep breath and trust that you can navigate your way back to safety.

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Find the confidence within to have faith in your resourcefulness. Imagine how proud you will feel after facing your fear and bravely overcoming it.

15. Talk to People Who Have Been There

Perhaps you are launching a new business and feel worried about failing. Maybe you don’t know how to get started or how much your expenses will be. After pouring your entire savings into this venture, you might begin to wonder if people will even want your product.

Rather than focusing on all of the what-ifs, get advice from thriving business owners. Find entrepreneurs who went through your same worries and ask them for advice.

Successful business owners usually want to pay it forward and speak to others about their achievements and losses. This will fill you with a new sense of motivation and purpose to achieve your goals. Seeking advice from those who have been where you are will help you overcome your fears.

16. Take Action

Picture this: You haven’t cleaned out your garage in a while. As you start organizing, you move a box and a giant black spider jumps out at you. Your eyes widen in shock and you start trembling. You need to clean, but you’re terrified that there are going to be more spiders.

Rather than living with a cluttered garage, consider wearing gloves and layering your clothes. Find comfort in knowing that a couple of spiders will not hold you back. Take back your power by taking action. Think about how accomplished you will feel after conquering your fear.

17. Reward Yourself

Do you dread going to the dentist and hearing that high-pitched drill and scrape against your teeth? One way to overcome fear is to have a reward ready at the end of the journey.

After your appointment, treat yourself to a delicious meal, or order something you’ve eyed online. Knowing there is a reward in place will give you the incentive to push through when you want to give up.

You Might Be Wondering…

How will I remember these tips when fear strikes? It is important to first focus on regulating your body’s stress response, then trust your instincts and take action. When you can work through blocks that hold you back, you grow as a person. You can create your own path and live life to its fullest.

So, use the suggestions in this article to help you navigate anxiety-filled moments in life and let go of fear. Set a goal to list out your worries, and create a plan to eliminate or reduce them.

Being unstoppable means letting go of fear and taking back your power!

More Tips on How to Let Go of Fear

Featured photo credit: Frank Alarcon via unsplash.com

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