I’m no Law of Attraction believer, but it was rather cool and spooky this weekend when I was thinking:
“I’d really like to have to take Sunday and Monday off and spend it with my wife, but I’d also like to publish a blog post”
In fact I was just on the verge of starting to write one when I get sent a guest post ready to plug and play!
Coincidence, or was the Universe conspiring on my behalf?
I’ll let you decide, although to be honest if it were going to bother conspiring at all I wish it could conspire for something a bit bigger next time, say a small Caribbean Island?
Today’s guest poster is my first anonymous poster and cannot leave his real name because of one of the following:
- He’s in some form of ex-employer dispute
- He knows people really will be trying to sue him for a lack of originality (see below)
- He’s Batman
The answer is at the end, but don’t tell him I blew his cover and for our purposes today we shall call him Cloud Stepper.
Confidence – How I Went From Zero To Hero in 4 Easy Steps
Would you like to be more confident?
In a moment I’ll describe my own personal recipe for boosting your self esteem.
It’s a sweet recipe which contains plenty of sugary energy, some tough iron and a fair sprinkling of nuts.
This post probably isn’t going to blow you away with originality, but repetition is the mother of mastery and lot’s of people don’t apply this stuff, so read it and apply it.
I’m not guaranteeing these techniques will work for you. They worked for me and hopefully you’ll find them helpful too. If this isn’t good enough, please sue me.
Instead, I recommend you see which bits of my story resonate with you, and just ignore the bits you’re less keen on.
We’re all individual, you special little snowflake!
Oh and yes, these techniques also take practice. So if you’re after a miracle cure to suddenly make yourself into Mr/Miss Perfect for your date tonight, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Please don’t do what most people will do – don’t just read this article, feel slightly enlightened for 5 minutes and then forget all about it.
Make the effort to try these techniques. I think you’ll start noticing a difference after just a week or two of persistent practice.
Confidence is something everyone wants, and dozens of books have been written about it, yet strangely many people still find it hard to obtain.
Frankly, that’s because most of the advice out there is shit.
When we’re teenagers, we’re encouraged to, “Just be confident,” and “Believe in yourself“.
But this is like a rally driver handing over the keys of his highly tuned racing machine to someone who’s never been behind the wheel before and saying, “Just drive! It’s obvious“.
I used to suffer from social anxiety a lot (Tims note: That link takes you to a page where you can download my free book on dealing with social anxiety).
It’s a common problem. I used to turn down parties and nights out because I just felt too worried and anxious in front of other people.
As a natural introvert, I had to build myself up to being sociable. I found that socializing drained my energy quickly, and after a while I’d need to be alone again to recharge my batteries.
But since mastering the techniques I’m about to tell you, I no longer feel quite so introverted. I look forward to socializing and parties. I feel comfortable with small talk (even though I still find it slightly awkward at times). I feel far more relaxed around other people.
Surely that’s something everyone wants?
Now, I hate personal development articles which are full of padding and could make their point in a quarter of the words. So let’s cut to the chase – which techniques have helped me be more confident?
1 – Stop Giving A Shit About What Other People Think
Matthew Kimberley’s excellent book, “How To Get A Grip” (al) really hammered this point home for me.
I’m not a mind reader and I don’t have a crystal ball. Most of the time I haven’t got a clue about what other people really think about me.
Yet I used to torture myself by worrying about how I was perceived. My advice – stop caring.
To you, this may sound unthinkable and maybe a tad ridiculous. But bear in mind it’s given a huge boost to my happiness, well-being and confidence.
So… approach it with an open mind. Just tell yourself, “I don’t give a shit what X thinks about me any more. And I never did understand why his parents were so cruel to name him after a letter of the alphabet. Poor guy”
It takes practice and persistence, and it’s a slow gradual process, but after a few months I think you’ll realize it was worthwhile.
2 – Stop Criticizing Yourself
This self help gem has been around since the dawn of time, yet I used to be one of those people that found this technique easy to know but much harder to do. So many of us persist in beating ourselves up constantly.
So here’s my advice – JUST. STOP. IT…. PERIOD! Every time you catch yourself criticizing yourself, just tell yourself you’re not going to do that any more.
No need to make a big deal out of it, just let it go.
Release that inner criticism like it’s a helium balloon that a parent at a toddler’s birthday party unwisely placed in the hands of their 3 year old.
Strangely, after a while you’ll feel like it’s you that’s getting lighter.
3 – Pat Yourself On The Back
Thanks to Tim, I’m a firm believer in the power of aligning with your core values.
But for me there’s something even deeper and more powerful than values.
For me, it’s a powerful primeval force, like the sea smashing against rocks or a red hot lava flow.
Here it is: In everything I do, I want to feel proud of myself.
Tims Note: Sounds like a strong core value of ‘pride’ to me ;-)
Now, I’m not that keen on affirmations myself. They just feel a bit fake to me and hard to believe.
However, I definitely think it’s worth watching out for opportunities when you’ve done a good job. There’s no need to go overboard with self-praise, remember it has to feel believable.
For example, this morning I just finished painting a the fence in our back garden. So I just took 5 seconds to say to myself, “Well done, you’ve done a good job“.
This made me smile, feel instantly happier, and over time it boosts my confidence
4 – Lean Into Your Discomfort
Again, this is some really common advice which many people still fail to practice:
“What we resist, persists”
Doing meditation has helped me to get better at just accepting things as they are, without grasping after positive feelings or resisting negative ones.
Instead, I try to “Just be” and sit with those uncomfortable feelings. Paradoxically, by practicing acceptance in this way, those negative fears and worries become far less bothersome. It’s really cool!
So, if there are certain situations, people or events you’ve been avoiding, I’d recommend you face that fear head on and start actively putting yourself in the situations you’d most like to avoid.
Start small, and remember not to be hard on yourself if you don’t turn into a social butterfly overnight!
When you combine this idea with the other 3 techniques above, you start to increase your tolerance levels for those unpleasant situations.
You start to believe that maybe the things you felt uncomfortable about actually aren’t so bad after all.
Remember, all these techniques take time, practice and patience with yourself. But they’re worth it!
Please try them out, and if they work for you, I’d love it if you left a comment below. I’d also love to hear from people about their own personal recipes for confidence.
What works for you? Let me know in the comments below.