Sunday, February 20, 2011

The First Steps to Self-confidence

Have you ever been in a social situation and watched as someone moved confidently across a room and engaged in conversations effortlessly? Ever wish that was you?  Confidence is a mindset.  Some people come by it naturally and others actively build their confidence until it is as natural as breathing. 

Think it can't be that way?  That is where you have to start.   You don't have to KNOW it can work, you just have to believe that it CAN work.  As stated in my previous post,  self-esteem and confidence go hand in hand.  Building one will build the other.  Confidence or lack of it is the outward manifestation of the level of your self-esteem.

Once you accept and believe that self confidence CAN be learned, you open up your mind to adopting strategies that will allow you to build your confidence and integrate it into your being.  It takes consistency to build a habit but once formed a longer time to break one. Start small. Something manageable. 

When was the last time that you were excited about walking up to someone that looked down in the dumps?  Smile.  That is the first and most important thing about self-confidence.  Inside and outside of a relationship smiling is the number one thing that will make social interactions easier and more enjoyable.  You might not feel like smiling but do it anyway.  Think of it as an experiment.  Try it at the next social function you attend and see what happens.  This is one way to recognize that self-confidence can be learned.

When we are learning to build self confidence, as with anything else we learn, it is vital to pay attention to the self confidence of others with the attitude of learning from those people.  Take your self out of the mindset of “I am not self-confident” into the the realm of “I am learning self-confidence”.  You are studying this as you study anything else that interests you. Personal coaches and life coaches are one resource for learning these behaviors.  They are like a teacher at school.  You are learning strategies for life that once put into action will bring you a happier, fuller, more productive life.  That is the life we all want.

To be self-confident you need to be able to recognize specific attributes of self confidence in other people.  You need to recognize what self-confident people do.  Then you need to learn how to do those things.  Smiling for most people is something that we do at some point every day.  Self-confident people smile more. Happier people smile more.  Smiling attracts positive interactions which increase confidence and self-esteem.  And that of course makes you smile more.  Self-confident individuals smile more in all aspects of their life.  They smile more when they are on their own because it is from the inside that they are happy.

For those of you that may be too shy yet to go out and do this in a public place. Try it with your close friends and family.  If they ask you why you're smiling you'll realize that it is noticeable.  Most times you will get a smile back.  

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