“Action is the high road to self esteem and confidence. Where it is open, all energies flow towards it. It comes readily to most people and its rewards are tangible.” Bruce Lee
If there is one thing in life you can never have enough of, it’s confidence.
It permeates into every nook and cranny of your existence. Your job, your friendships and your marriage. But it seems as if far too many of us are lacking in it for some reason or another. It is because the images we see in the media seem to hold everybody to such a high standard or perhaps its deeply rooted in some misfortune or relationship from your past.
Regardless of why, the fact is confidence is essential to our personal growth and happiness and its never too late to grab yourself a healthy dose of it.
Here is my top 10 list of ways to gain more of it:
10. Win the daily battle – Each day that you lift your leg out of the bed and place your foot on the ground, you enter the game of life. You’ve heard “Carpe Diem” about a billion times right? It means “Seize the Day”…..so why aren’t you? You don’t have to see the whole road, just 10 feet in front of you. So begin each day by saying I’m going to win it. And that could mean anything, it’s really up to you.
9. Take a self inventory– Look in the mirror. To some, it’s a place of fear. To others, it’s a place they spend too much time. I neither expect you to be afraid or to be a narcissist. But I do want you to look at it. No sound. No distractions. No make up. No pretense. Spend 3 minutes making eye contact with yourself from time to time. Look at the intricacies of your eyeball; get deep into the colors and texture. Find your soul, your “humanness” if you will. And when you do this, realize that you have one chance to make this life work. You’re no different than anybody else; the only thing that separates the haves from the have-nots is seeing the real value in whom we are.
8. Take a poll– Sometimes we are our harshest critics; our own worst enemy; not giving ourselves enough credit for being extraordinary in our own way. So ask some friends, a relative or your spouse, “What is special about me?” or “Why do you admire me?” Allow others to feed your spirit and boost your confidence. I bet you’ll surprise yourself with the feedback you get.
7. Body Language– This is a biggie! Are you paying attention to your posture? Noticing how you enter a room? How do you stand during a conversation? Probably not aware of it are you? Well, my advice is to become a master of it. Shoulders back, chin up, entering a room with your eyes open and a smile on your face. When you’re speaking to somebody, be relaxed but ground yourself, your power in anything comes from your core (belly area) and your hips. Regardless of male or female, we want to assert ourselves as confident and that begins with your body.
6. Replacing negative thoughts with empowering ones – How many stories are in your head? Truthful ones, and ones that you’ve created. Next time you find yourself feeling less confident or even depressed, stop and ask why. Does the thought or feeling have grounds for approval or is it you overthinking your own self? This isn’t anything new, any self help book will talk about this technique. Tony Robbins has made a career on “pattern interrupt”, replacing negative thoughts or habits with positive ones.
5. Dress for success. Knowledge is power but so it a well tailored 3-piece suit or a little black dress. . Designer Yves Saint Laurent once said “I have always believed that fashion was not made only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them and give them more confidence“. This is true for both male and females. So go out and find your confidence with style and dress the part. With all of the high fashion outlets like Nordstrom Rack and Off 5th (two of my favorites) you don’t have to break the bank to look amazing.
4. Take a course in Martial Arts– Yea, that’s right. If it sounds silly or out of your comfort zone, it’s even more reason to do so. Martial Arts is all about self discipline and self confidence. Learn how to take somebody down physically and watch how your posture changes. I watched my four-year old daughter grow her confidence every day by going through the discipline of Tae Kwon Do. It is the original self-help guide.
3. Take Action – How appropriate that we follow up No. 4 with a quote from the greatest martial artist ever. Bruce Lee once said, “Action is the high road to self esteem and confidence. Where it is open, all energies flow towards it. It comes readily to most people and its rewards are tangible.” Taking action, even small action, helps prove to oneself that life is moving in the right direction. We test ourselves each day, and often the test is simply one of taking action, whether it be picking up a phone or a dumbbell, the consequences of action are results and movement, even if it isn’t always positive, its still movement.
2. Exercise – Every day we are presenting. Regardless of your profession, you present yourself to the world each day. I think we can all agree that the body you present in makes a significant difference in ones confidence. So the physical part of looking leaner, perhaps with more tone or muscle is a no-braniner when it comes to building massive amounts of self esteem. And guess what, its free. Running, walking, push ups, dips…you cant use money as an excuse. And further more, aside from the physical part, the endorphins and mental rush you get after an intense or even moderate sweat or pump go a long way in signaling to yourself that you’re ready for whatever comes your way.
1. Faith – If you’re embedded in your faith, then there is confidence. Because you who know God and walk in his path know what he has promised you. As evidence, lets look at one of the most popular verses in the bible Philippians 4:24 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”. How bout Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I with help you. I will uphold you with my righteous hand”. Surely some of you were reading with anticipation toward No.1 and may be disappointed with the answer. Perhaps you were expecting some grand truth about enlightenment that would change your world. Well, I assure you. You got it