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Top Ten Keys to Self-Confidence

28 October 2010 15,534 views No Comment

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Every month my office gets a newsletter/magazine issue of The Leader. In October 2010’s issue was some great personal development advice on self-confidence. The top ten keys to self-confidence was adapted from an article “The Top Ten Keys to Self-Confidence” by Sharlene Talbott, MSW, who is a people skills coach, trainer, and public speaker with more than 20 years experience in helping people achieve their self-confidence, communication, sales, and relationships.

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. Malcolm S. Forbes

If you have the keys to self-confidence, you’ll be able to open doors of opportunity that you were convinced were locked – at least to you. So why not uncover the keys, learn how they work, and open those doors? Here are 10 keys. Once you’ve mastered them, those doors will open much easier.

1. Understand how self-confidence works. Self-confidence is a necessary ingredient for success. It sells. It’s something you can sense a bout a person upon entering a room and is evident through body language and speech. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. It’s important for you to know that you can create self-confidence. You don’t have to be born with it – everyone is capable of learning how to be incredibly self-confident.

2. Make your confidence goal a priority. People who can achieve their goals are highly motivated to do so. If you tell yourself you should, could, or would if…then your desire for confidence may remain, but your achievement of it stays just a dream. Once you’re committed to your goal, only then can you begin to make it a reality.

3. Change the way you think about yourself. You must change the image you have of yourself. Are you aware of what you’re thinking before and during times you don’t feel confident? If it’s negative, you must reprogram your mind. Choose to think positive thoughts.

4. Speak positively. Do you carefully choose what you’ll say before you speak? Most people just dump whatever they’re thinking into their mouths. We hear more negative messages throughout the day than positive ones unless we make a conscious effort to do so. Thinking and reacting follow one another. If your thoughts are negative, your speech will reflect it. You choose how you will react to what happens to you in life and you will create what happens next, according to your thoughts, words, and actions.

5. Change your body language. You’ve heard the expression, “actions speak louder than words.” Body language speaks volumes and is always believed more than what we may say. Closed postures, folded arms, and lack of eye contact give negative messages. Open postures , eye contact, ad smiles are inviting and encourage interaction.

6. Change your voice tone. Thirty percent of communication has to do with the tone of your voice. Record your voice and listen to it. What changes to your voice would make it sound more confident? Listen to others who you admire. How do their voices communicate confidence to you?

7. Change situations that support your lack of confidence. People either pull you down or build you up. If you find that you’re in a situation where you’re discouraged rather than encouraged, you’re allowing someone else to influence or determine your destiny. Give yourself the opportunity to grow and be happy. It’s your choice.

8. Practice confidence. You must act as you have confidence before you’ll have it. You’ll be creating new habit patterns for yourself. You’ve heard the expression, “fake it until you make it.” You have to act as if you have confidence. Practice what a confident person would say or do to achieve it.

9. Plan confidence-building situations. It’s much easier to practice building confidence in new situations with people who don’t know you rather than with people who already know you and have pre-conceived opinions of you. There’s less stress on you, too.

10. Focus on achieving your dreams. Lots of people have a dream – but too many people give up on them. They simply stop trying because they don’t possess the confidence to continue. An obstacle or two is enough for some. Others are puzzled as they try one avenue after another with little success. Those who are willing to learn the skills to confidence and success will succeed. Aristotle said, “What we have to learn to do we learn by doing.” Experience is the best teacher. There are only two ways to learn something. The first and most common way is by trial and error. The second way, which is much faster and easier, is to discover your answers from someone who has already learned those lessons and helped many others do the same.

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