Take charge of your feelings and start to overcome obstacles.
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“Having low self-esteem is like going through life driving with the parking brake on.” – Maxwell Maltz
No one is born with unlimited self-confidence. If someone seems to have incredible self-confidence it is because he or she has worked to build it for years. Self-confidence is something you learn to build because the business world and life in general can deflate it.
A negative online criticism, a request for a refund made by a client or the rejection of an investor, can lower our self-esteem. Even nasty, albeit well-intentioned, comments from people close to us can hit us.
Above all, we have to deal with our internal criticism that doubts our abilities and constantly tells us that we are not good enough. When we are bombarded by so many elements that threaten our self-confidence we need to take charge of building it ourselves.
As we teach in Skill Incubator, building a successful business requires tough skin and indestructible confidence in your ability to overcome obstacles. Here are 10 things you can do to build your self-confidence:
1. Visualize yourself as what you want to be
“What the mind can conceive and believe is what the mind can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
Visualization is the technique of creating in your mind an image of yourself that you are proud of. When we struggle with low self-esteem, we have a very poor perception of ourselves that is often not correct. Practice visualizing a fantastic version of yourself, achieving your goals.
2. Affirm yourself
“Affirmations are a powerful tool for deliberately installing beliefs you want about yourself.” – Nikki Carnevale
We tend to behave according to the image we have of ourselves. The trick to making lasting change is to change the way we look.
Affirmations are positive and inspiring statements that we make to ourselves. These are usually more effective if they are spoken out loud so you can hear yourself saying them. We tend to believe whatever we constantly repeat to ourselves. For example, if you hate your physical appearance, practice telling yourself something you appreciate or like about yourself the next time you see yourself in the mirror.
To make your brain accept your positive statements faster, paraphrase your statements as questions: “Why am I so good at closing deals?” Instead of “I'm very good at closing deals.” Our brains are biologically programmed to search for answers without analyzing whether the questions are valid or not.
3. Every day do something that scares you
“What do you think? If you are insecure, the rest of the world is also insecure. Don't overvalue the competition or underestimate yourself. You are better than you think. ” —T. Harv Eker.
The best way to overcome fear is to face it. If every day you do something that scares you and you gain confidence from each experience, you will see your self-esteem grow. So get out of your comfort zone and face your fears!
4. Question your self-criticism
“You've been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try to accept yourself and see what happens. ” —Louise L. Hay.
Some of the harshest comments we receive come from ourselves through “the voice of our self-criticism.” If you struggle with low self-esteem there is a possibility that your self-criticism has become hyperactive and wrong.
Strategies like cognitive behavioral therapy help you question your self-criticism and seek evidence that supports or rejects the things your self-criticism tells you. For example, if you think you are a failure, ask yourself, “What evidence supports the thought that I am a failure?” And “What evidence is there to reject the thought that I am a failure?”
Look for opportunities to congratulate yourself, to compliment and reward yourself, even for the smallest successes. As Mark Twain said: “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
5. Take the challenge of 100 days of rejection
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” “Eleanor Roosevelt.”
Jia Jiang became famous for recording his “breaking fear” experience in which he asked people very crazy things to be rejected on purpose, for 100 days. His goal was to become insensitive to rejection, something he deemed necessary after feeling much worse than he expected when a potential investor rejected him. Breaking fear is not an easy thing, but if you want to have fun while building your self-esteem it's a great way to do it.
6. Prepare to win
“We must focus on our successes and forget about our failures and negativity in our lives to establish true self-confidence.” – Denis Waitley.
Many people become unmotivated about their abilities because they set goals that are too complicated to achieve. Start by setting small goals that you can easily win.
Once you have built a flow of success that makes you feel good about yourself, you can move on to more difficult goals. Make sure you have a list of all your accomplishments, big and small, to remind yourself of the things you have done well.
Instead of focusing solely on to-do lists, I like to spend time reflecting on the things I have already done. Remembering the milestones, projects, and goals you've already accomplished is a great way to build confidence in your skills.
7. Help someone else
Helping others allows us to forget ourselves and be grateful for what we have. And making a difference for someone else feels great.
Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, sign up to volunteer to be a mentor, attend or teach someone else and you will see your self-esteem automatically grow in the process.
8. Take care of yourself
“Taking care of myself is never a selfish act – it is simply a good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift they put me in this world to offer to others.” “Parker Palmer.”
Self-confidence depends on a combination of good physical, emotional, and social health. It's hard to feel good about yourself if you hate your physique or if your energy is always low.
Give yourself time to create excellent exercise, eating and sleeping habits. Also, dress how you want to feel. Surely you have heard the saying that “habit makes the monk.” Build your confidence by making an effort to take care of your own needs.
9. Create personal barriers
“Never let them shut you up. Never allow yourself to be a victim. Don't accept anyone's definition of life other than yourself. ” – Harvey Fierstein.
Learn to say no. Teach others to respect your personal barriers. Take classes on how to be more assertive if necessary and learn to ask for what you want. The more control you have over your life, the better your confidence will be.
10. Shift to an Equality Mindset
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” —Marilyn Monroe.
People with low self-esteem believe that others are better or that they deserve more than they do. Instead of carrying this perception, try to see yourself as equal to others. No one is better or deserves more than you. Make a shift to an equality mindset and see how it automatically improves your confidence and self-confidence.