"How did you build self confidence?" This question was asked of me recently when I was recounting my journey from a shy, quiet, and socially awkward boy to an outgoing, fun-loving, and confident man. It occurred to me that while I had figured out how to nurture my own self-confidence, others are struggling with theirs every day. I don't like this at all.
Everyone deserves to be self-confident and happy with themselves. You live with your perception of yourself 24/7 and it pervades every aspect of your life. If you are unhappy with yourself then it will manifest across your life - jobs that you hate, relationships that are no good for you, and friends that aren't very good friends.
The perception you choose for yourself, good or bad, is how you showcase yourself to the world. If you choose to showcase yourself as a loser then that is how the world will see you. How can you expect the world to treat you better than how you treat yourself?
With that in mind I decided to share my tricks for building self-confidence and becoming the person that you've always wanted to be. The first technique I recommend for building self confidence is to use positive affirmations.
These are the stock weapon for most players in the self-help, personal development, and motivational industries, and they are so prevalent for a reason - they work.
Most people like to use affirmations as a tool to remind themselves of the good and positive things in their life. While this certainly is a big part of affirmations it fails to address the need to foster the traits that you might not currently possess but wish to in the future.
Affirmations are about both of these - reminding yourself of your existing positive traits but also encouraging personal growth towards developing new behaviours.
Some quick tips for writing your own affirmations
- Target all aspects of yourself - physical, personality, relationships, leadership etc.
- They must be uplifting - you must finish reading them with a big smile on your face.
- Be ultra-positive, even if you don't 100% believe it at the time.
- No negative words, even if they are double negatives (e.g. "I am beautiful" is much better than "I am not ugly")
- Repeat them to yourself in the mirror - tell yourself how great you are.
- Read them to yourself every single day (preferably twice a day)
Unsure where to begin? Just pretend that you are a crazy groupie (your number-one fan) who is so ridiculously in love with you that they think that everything you do is awesome. Then start writing all the good things down with that completely biased point of view. The positive should start to flow soon enough.
Example affirmations from my past
But I cannot expect you to actually do this if I don't lead the way can I? So I dug through my old notebooks to find some of the early affirmations I wrote. Here are some samples:
- I am a sexy, smart, and funny man.
- I give myself permission to be the person I want to be.
- I am cool, calm, and confident. I am always in control.
- I am so talented that I can do ANYTHING I want to.
- I deserve great relationships and fantastic friends.
- My life is great!
Got the picture? Interestingly I read through those affirmations of mine and I realise two things - firstly; they are all second nature to me now which is great, but the biggest thing I notice is how my life has taken some new directions based on them. For example, as I began to develop my self-confidence and believe my own affirmations I met Sophie, a fantastic and wonderful woman who I fell in love with. I have no doubt that our relationship would not have been so successful had I not turned my self esteem around with affirmations.
Affirmations work so why not give it a go? Maybe you'll meet someone special too. ;)