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Seven steps to being highly confident

Seven steps to being highly confident

How you feel about yourself can affect how your day and your life goes. If you are feeling down about yourself, you exude that to others. People may give you a wide berth, since your negative energy is something they just don’t want to be around. So how can you be more positive and come across as confident?

Here are seven steps to a more confident you.

 

  1. Make a list of your strengths.

It doesn’t matter if there are people that are better than you. It only matters that you know it is a strength of yours. List everything you can think of: you know how to drive a car and ride a bicycle. You know how to use a computer, check your email, write documents using MS Word, create a spreadsheet, and make a PowerPoint presentation. You know how to buy groceries and put together a healthy meal. You know how to clean your home and do your laundry. May be you can paint, play a musical instrument or have other artistic talents. May be you are a good listener or problem solver. May be you are in a loving relationship. Think of your past successes. Make a list of all of it. Put it in a safe place where it won’t be discovered, maybe carry it with you, so you can give yourself a confidence boost any time you want one.

 

  1. Take care of yourself.

How you treat yourself is how others will treat you. Be kind to yourself. Have a routine that includes regular sufficient sleep, daily hygiene starting with a shower that wakes you up and refreshes you. Dress well. How you look has an effect on how you feel and how others perceive you. Make time for breakfast to start the day out right. Try to get some exercise every day, even if it is only a twenty-minute walk around the neighborhood. Try to eat moderate portion sizes and include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Consider meditating or yoga as a form of relaxation.

 

  1. Learn about your body language.

When you walk hold your head high and your shoulders straight (no slouching when you walk). When you are talking try to become aware of what facial expressions you are making and what your hands are doing. You could try and hold a pretend conversation in front of the mirror or ask a friend to give you feedback on your non-verbal communication. With practice you can project confidence instead of emotions such as nervousness, anxiety or boredom. Nothing portrays confidence as a relaxed stance, speaking loudly and clearly, and making eye contact.

 

  1. In conversation, learn to listen.

People love to talk to someone who is interested and who listens to what they have to say. Ask questions about things you genuinely want to know about and then listen. Look for the best in others and sincerely compliment them. When others ask you questions, learn to get to the point or tell a short interesting story that illustrates your point.

 

  1. Learn to handle rejection.

Rejection is an inevitable part of life. Realize that often rejection isn’t personal. If you are asking someone to get together for lunch and they say ‘no’, it may not have anything to do with you. They may already have plans or they are overcommitted and need the time to work on something. If you are asking someone to buy something from you, again a ‘no’ in all likelihood has nothing to do with you. They may have no need for what you have to sell, they may not have the money to buy what you have or any other number of reasons why they say ‘no’. Don’t take it personally. On the other hand, rejection may be personal. Try to accept that not everyone wants to spend time with you or buy from you. Find others who do want what you have or want to spend time with you.

 

  1. Learn public speaking.

Being confident when speaking in front of a group is a major coup. It can be learned. To learn more about that topic read my article from May 22, 2014, ‘Fear of Public Speaking? No Problem’ In fact I know of someone who was a stutterer but learned to speak in public without stuttering. You can overcome your fear of public speaking.

 

  1. Practice entering new environments.

Whether you start a new job or join a new group, entering a new environment can affect your confidence. Decide to be outgoing and introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Be sincerely interested in what others have to say and use your conversational skills. This is a chance to make a favorable first impression.

There are many steps you can take to build up your level of confidence. Pick one and stick with it for a while. Notice how your skills and confidence get a boost.

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Fear – Gratitude for your Fears?

Fear – Gratitude for your Fears?

How do you deal with fear?

Today’s Theme: Fear

You are afraid. Feel it.
What are you afraid of? How does that protect you? How does it get in your way? Does it stop you from acting? Do you have any phobias? Are there thoughts that keep you paralyzed, tasks or people you avoid at all cost? Things you get angry about?

The book “The Gift of Fear” was very enlightening to me. I started to see fear from a new perspective. In one example they had interviewed rape and abduction survivors. Pretty universally, the women had a “creepy feeling” about that “nice stranger” who helped them with carrying their groceries and insisted on bringing them into the apartment or car, …. But they ignored that feeling. And they got hurt – life-alteringly.

So – first of all – fear is your friend.

Story – Sink or Swim

My sincere thanks to Fran for suggesting that I share her story.

My very dear friend Fran is a swimmer! Now! She just said it the other day. I think it’s the first time I’ve heard her say that. She was elated when she said it. And I am elated for her.

See – for the first 1/2 century of her life Fran had wanted to learn to swim. She took lessons. She made sure her kids had lessons and learned to swim. She, on the other hand, became more and more frustrated and afraid of the water. When they taught her to float, she would sink. She also has curvature of the spine and it affects how she feels her legs and how they respond differently from what she thinks she feels. She was right to fear the water. It was not a safe environment for her. There was a lot to overcome.

For probably the first ten years of our friendship I didn’t even know that Fran wanted to learn to swim. Then one day we talked about my daughter and I being featured on the NBC Weekend Today Show for the 35th anniversary of Title IX: mother and daughter – swimmer and diver, both on university teams. I shared with Fran how I taught my kids to swim very early. My youngest could already swim under water when he was still using a pacifier. When I’ve taught swimming, I’ve always gravitated to the most difficult and fearful students. —- So we, Fran and I, hatched a plan.

And the rest is history. Today, and for the rest of her life, Fran is a swimmer! She loves to swim!

Call to Action and Why This Matters

Do you have a deep desire? Is fear stopping you from attaining something you truly want? May be, like Fran, you have tried and tried, and failed and failed, and almost given up? Don’t give up. Keep looking for the right kind of help. You can do it!

For Fran swimming is now her favorite exercise. It doesn’t feel like a workout. It feels like play and she loves it. Here is how she got there:

1. Get help you trust: She needed an expert whom she trusted. Someone who cared and had only her best interest at heart. She was frustrated with her lack of progress once we started her lessons. But I knew she was on the right path and let her know that.
2. Feel Safe: She progressed very slowly at first to make her feel safe in the water: using float belts, going only in as deep as she felt she could risk it, clinging to the wall. I was standing right beside her all the time. There was no judgment, only encouragement.
3. Get Curious: Start playing, get curious, moving and feeling the resistance of the water, how it affected her movements. Differences of moving on land and in water: learning and feeling, playful curiosity.
4. Courage: As she got more comfortable over a period of months, she was able to get in the water without me. It took great courage the first time she went to the pool without me. She told the lifeguard to watch out for her in case she got into trouble. She was afraid and yet she knew she was now safe enough to take that next step.
5. Persistence: As time went on, Fran found other teachers. Many were able to help her progress in different ways. Some didn’t work out.
6. Confidence: She developed the confidence to keep going and the knowing that she could learn to swim – despite setbacks.
7. Repeat: Along the way there were other fear hurdles to overcome. Other things to do to feel safe, get curious, and courageous steps to take.

What would you like to be able to do? Who can help you get started – safely?

Taking it Farther

• We respond in different ways to fear:

  • Try to ignore it – may be at our own peril
  • Fight: get angry (hiding fear behind anger is very common)
  • Flight: run away from it, avoid it
  • Freeze: paralyzed with fear; fading into the woodwork; being a wall flower; being invisible; lack of action; procrastination; indecisiveness

What’s your preferred way of dealing with fear?

• Realize that fear has kept you safe from real or perceived harm. Fear is your friend.
Learn about fear. One of the books I recommend: “The Gift of Fear”.

• Get very clear on something you really want. Going beyond fear, shifting from fear to curiosity, are “muscles” that take time to develop. Start with something small or something you have a deep desire to achieve. Having a deep desire will help you through the times when you want to give up.

• Whatever you want to achieve, do it with someone, get support from someone who cares deeply about you and wants you to succeed.

There are also the seemingly “irrational fears”. — There is so much more I could share with you.

Contact me

Want more help? I’m here for you. Tired of holding yourself back? Get support. Call to get yourself into a coaching program. Have questions? Call to get answers. Edith at 847.913.3900

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