Build Confidence and Destroy Fear
“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”-Mahatma Gandhi
We have all faced times when the lack of confidence in ourselves makes us lose something that we want. This low self-confidence and self-esteem may show up as fear or as simple inaction. Confidence needs to be built slowly, one small step at a time. Here are five key steps which will help you bust through that fear and destroy the limitations and self-doubt that have been holding you back from your true potential.
1. Action cures fear. Identify and isolate your fear and take constructive action. Scared of public speaking? Make a toast at a friend’s wedding. Inaction strengthens fear and corrodes confidence.
2. Exude positivity. Make a conscious effort to deposit only positive thoughts in your memory bank. Do not dwell on negative experiences or allow negative thoughts to morph into mental monsters. If you feel good about yourself, you will become more confident.
3. Keep things in perspective. Remember that people are more alike than different. Get a balanced view of the other person and try to develop an understanding attitude, particularly when you are in an uncomfortable situation. This builds confidence when talking to new people.
4. The experience of failure makes it easy for us to give up, letting fear and self-doubt win. But if you persevere and keep striving for your goals, you will be able to destroy your fear of failure and push past your limitations. Practice does make perfect.
5. To think confidently, act confidently. Research has shown that faking confidence can actually lead to the real thing. The more scared and unconfident you feel, the more confident you should act. David Schwartz recommends five specific behaviours we can use to build confidence: sit in front, make eye contact walk faster, speak up (offer your opinion) and smile.
It is not fear itself that is the problem, but how we react when faced with it. For some people the fear is motivating. For others it creates a state of complete paralysis. People who overcome fear view it from a position of power, and may use words such as “excited” to describe the emotion rather than labelling it negatively.
Life is full of challenges and there are times when it’s difficult to keep our self-confidence up. Sit down right now and make a list of all the things in your life that you are thankful for, and another list of all the things you are proud of accomplishing. Once your lists are complete, post them on your refrigerator door, on the wall by your desk, on your bathroom mirror–somewhere where you can easily be reminded of what an amazing life you have and what an amazing person you really are.
Finally, remember those wise words of Lao Tzu: “Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.”