Does Your Confidence Propel or Sabotage You?

by Pamala J Vincent

Confidence is an inner strength that when attained doesn’t have to be talked about or placed on a résumé; it shows in a person’s demeanor. These are the people who don’t have to shove their opinions down people’s throats. They don’t need to scream from the rooftops their ideas or beliefs; it’s demonstrated in their day-to-day choices, how they handle situations, and how they manage stresses. When you spend time with these people, you walk away feeling as if you were the only one they came to see. They give energy because they have it to give. They inspire because they are inspired. They are the ones who can find joy in any situation, or at least they can turn a negative into a positive. Quiet confidence people are on-purpose people. They’ve learned from the past and are moving forward. They have an attitude that says, “Been there; done that; I’ll do it again.” They operate from an offensive position.

Confidence is an evolving maturity. Sometimes you may get to the quiet strength type of confidence because you’ve also reached the “I quit” point in your life. Sometimes when you have nothing to lose, you are better able to determine an enhanced life for yourself. However, the energy you’ll use to come to that point can have adverse health effects and cost you dearly in emotional health and/or relationships.

Here are twenty tips to move you from lack of confidence to a comfortable, confident life:

1. Learn something new. Read a book, take a class, try something you never thought you would. It will empower you.

2. Do something for someone else. Take the focus off of you; the feel-good-about-yourself enzymes you’ll stir up can carry you to the next level of You.

3. Organize something. It doesn’t have to be big; it might just be a junk drawer or vacuuming behind the couch. You’ll know it. That’s enough for now.

4. Build a bucket list and start checking things off. Hang it where you’ll see it daily. Plan to accomplish one of them a month.

5. Write a note of appreciation for someone that you know rarely gets thanked for their job.

6. Plan for success. Put your gym clothes on in the morning and place your shoes where you’ll trip on them first thing.

7. Keep a diary. Write down your thoughts. Writing has a way of helping you know what you know and bringing facts to emotional thoughts.

8. Step out of your comfort zone. If you’re an introvert, go to a book signing, a networking group, or a particular fund-raising event. If you’re an extrovert, practice sitting alone with yourself, book a hotel room alone with just your thoughts, or unplug from all electronic social media for days or — GASP — a week!

9. Work out. The movement will kick in the “I can accomplish anything” feel-good enzymes.

10. Never make decisions when you’re in a vulnerable state. Make a Ben Franklin list, then walk away from it for a day or two.

11. Make a plan of things that matter to you and how you’re going to acquire them.

12. Ask yourself who you are, what you stand for, what you won’t tolerate. Then evaluate situations where you are allowing things you shouldn’t and don’t do what you desire and change them.

13. When you’re afraid of looking foolish, embrace the idea that if you knew how little others think about others, you could move through mistakes easier.

14. Break up big projects that scare you into smaller pieces and just do the first step and then the next.

15. When it comes to fear holding you back, do whatever it is that scares you before you have a chance to talk yourself out of it.

16. Acknowledge your doubts, then train them or prepare better, then move forward anyway.

17. Ban the word “can’t” from your vocabulary.

18. Stop people-pleasing because you’re afraid of ___________ (you fill in the blank). Please people because you choose to, not because you think you have to.

19. We all run our lives and values on self-created rules. Make your rules answer to your needs today. They may have been good ideas in the past but no longer serve you anymore.

20. Insert yourself into new experiences. Multi-faceted people have more understanding of who they are.

We may move from one type of confidence to the other depending on the seasons in our life we are experiencing. If you predominately operate from a defensive spirit, perhaps understanding why will move you to a confident offensive mindset. The “why” may not be immediately clear, so move forward by practicing one of the tips above until you can determine the “why.” If nothing else works, build your bucket list, and hit the gym!

What are some things confident people do in your circle of influence that you can emulate?

*This article appeared first in The Huffington Post

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