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5 Essential Elements of Natural Self-Confidence

5 Essential Elements of Natural Self-Confidence

Do you find yourself wishing you had more self-confidence?

I know what it is like to look around and see people who appear to have all the self-confidence in the world, while you are silently suffering with self-doubt.

Of course, those very people you envy probably look at you in a similar way — hiding their own doubts and wishing they had it all together.

Silently suffering in self-doubt often inspires goals to be more confident. Interestingly, self-confidence is not an achievement. It is the a natural outcome under certain conditions.

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The following five elements of self-confidence address those conditions. When you are in line with these principles, you cannot help but be more confident!

Here are the 5 essential elements of natural self-confidence:

1. Know your limits.

Interestingly, knowing what you can’t do is an important element in knowing what you can do with confidence. I remember as a young and nervous counselor that much of my hesitation came from thinking I needed to be able to work with and cure anyone of their psychological problems.

Over time, of course, I learned which people I work best with and which people I need to refer away. What a relief! Admitting to myself that I cannot work with just anyone was a huge confidence booster. I was no longer afraid to pass on a case, and I approached the people I could work with knowing I was well-equipped for the job.

Are you lacking confidence because you are biting off more than you can chew, or pretending you know something you don’t?

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2. Know your values.

Values are indicators of what is important to you. When you know your priorities, you can focus on them and pass on everything else.

When you are not clear on what is important in your life, something happens that undermines your confidence — you typically turn to others to determine the agenda. This naturally puts you in a one-down position.

3. Get skills.

Confidence is often tied to competence, as it should be. I want the pilot of the plane I am riding in to be confident. I want his confidence to be based squarely on his level of skill. If he doesn’t have the skill to fly, he should lack confidence.

And the same goes for me in my life. When and where I don’t the have skill, I am okay lacking confidence. It is possible to lack confidence in spite of having an appropriate level of skill, but competence is always a factor.

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4. See others as people.

Often we feel inadequate because we see others as ‘more than’ and ourselves as ‘less than’ by comparison. We see others as having it all together and not suffering the way we are. This is rarely true.

As soon as you get to know someone beyond the public persona, you soon discover a plethora of struggles that are the hallmark of the human condition. Everyone has their cross to bear. When you tune into this fact, you will get better at seeing people as people — we are all in this together! Understanding this comes as a relief and happens to build social confidence.

5. Act!

When all is said and done, you need to just go for it! Confidence builds as you take positive action and begin to see positive results.

Take these elements of natural self-confidence and meditate on the ones that you resonate with. Take your understanding of them to a deeper level and watch your confidence grow.

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Align yourself with the above and feel your self-confidence slide into place!

If you find yourself resisting the process of gaining greater self-confidence even though you know what it takes, then you may very well be prone to self-sabotage.

Self-sabotage is an entirely different issue that you should learn about, as it could be the only thing in your way!

More by this author

Mike Bundrant

Co-Founder @inlpcenter, which offers NLP training and life coach certification to students in over 70 countries.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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