How to Improve Self-Confidence: You Get What You Ask For

Be specific about what you want © Erik Back 2011

Have you noticed what happens when you walk into a shop? A sales assistant will greet you and ask if you need help finding what you need. If a sales assistant does not approach you, you will seek one yourself. When you get the attention of a sales assistant you will ask: “Do you have that green thing I have been looking for?” The sales assistant confirms and goes to fetch the green thing you have been looking for. You are very excited and pay on the spot.

This is a simple case, but imagine what would have happened if you were not specific about the colour? Would you get a blue one or a red one? If you ended up buying a red one then you would be unhappy because you really wanted at green one, but you did not ask for it! The secret about how shops work is to ask for something and a sales assistant will provide it for you.

Life is the same; if you are unhappy about your life because you never seem to get what you what, then it is because you forgot to ask for it. So, ask for what you want; be specific and express yourself in positive terms. First of all you have to make clear to yourself what your needs are and what you really want to achieve in life. Because if you do not know then who does?

Next step is to use positive terms and trust that you will get what you ask for. Mind that when an opportunity presents itself it may not look like you expected it to look. If you have a negative focus you risk getting what you do not want. E.g. if bad drivers in the traffic annoy me, and I keep complaining about it, then all I will meet in traffic is bad drivers. Why? Because that is where my focus is and I miss to see the opportunities I get to avoid bad drivers, like driving another route, leaving home 15 minutes earlier etc.

Another example: Your family asks you what you wish for Christmas and you say that you would like a book. You point out that you do not want anything by author XX and especially not by YY because he is really bad. At Christmas you get a book by author XX or no book at all. Why? Because it is difficult for your family to remember if you liked this author or not and since they do not have other specifics to choose from you get something you do not want.

You have to be very specific about what you want and you have to communicate that in you speech, body language and attitude.

How to Improve Self-Confidence: Stop Worrying

Worried bride © by spaceodissey

Worry is a negative way of thinking that will bring you to a dead end. There are two kinds of worries and that some people prefer to distinguish the two by calling one for worries and the other for concerns. Both worries and concerns are thoughts about what might go wrong in the future, but worries are problem oriented and concerns are solution oriented. Worries are also thoughts about past and present events.

You want to switch from worry to concern and to do that you need to understand the difference between the two. Worries are always about things that are out of your control. E.g. earthquake, weather conditions, inflation, unemployment, catching a cold and what other people decide to do.

The latter is the most important to understand; you cannot control other people; there is absolutely no way you can make sure that other people do exactly what you want them to do. The only thing you can do is take precautions that prevent negative future events as best as you can. E.g. locking your door to prevent burglary. Those precautions are within your control; thus, these precautions stem from a concern.

Ask yourself: Is it possible to take precautions for something that happened in the past? The answer is no, of course. If something has already happened you cannot prevent it, you can only prevent future events, but you can learn from the past events. E.g. if it rains you would bring an umbrella because last time it rained you got wet.

Worrying is a mental habit that you can do even without noticing and that habit can be self-destructive. Worries tend to go in circles and they never end; you can sit and worry about one thing and suddenly the worries carry on new worries, because there are always unforeseen things that can happen. If you are caught in a viscous circle of worries then you will stagnate; you have to break the circle of worries.

Here are three steps to switch from worries to concerns:

  1. Is the problem within your control?
  2. If yes, then what actions can you take?
  3. If no, then what precautions can you take?

How to Improve Self-Confidence: Radiate Confidence

Cascade © by dvs

I will start this series about self-confidence by giving you some specific actions you can take to improve your self-confidence instantly. Mind that radiating self-confidence does not mean that you are self-confident but people will perceive you as such. It is a way to help you feel more confident.

Other people’s judgement will help you feel more confident. What you send out is what you will get back. If you have a negative attitude, people will seem rude and negative, but if you have a positive attitude people will seem friendly and helpful. Thus, by radiating self-confidence people will strengthen your belief in your own abilities.

Ask yourself how you would like to be perceived by you social environment. Be true to yourself and be realistic, because you will only be able to radiate you true self. You cannot choose another personality. Now make yourself visible and let people see who you are and let them help you fortify your belief in yourself.

E.g. if I want to be really good at making scrambled eggs and I am afraid of failing and keep out of the kitchen and never take part in any kind of cooking, then it will be hard for people to perceive me as a good scrambled eggs cook. What I have to do to get closer to my goal is to look for situations that are close to my goal and to communicate my ambitions. I could start buying loads of eggs and books about scrambled eggs and tell my friends about my ambitions. I can dress like a scrambled eggs cook and use symbols that associate with scrambled eggs.

The confirmation and acknowledgement you harvest from your environment will strengthen your belief that you can do this. Here are a few things you can do to let your environment help you being more self-confident:

  1. Dress sharp. Show people that you care about how you dress. Do not buy expensive clothes but think about colour combinations and make sure your clothes are clean and presentable.
  2. Walk faster. Keeping a good pace makes people think: – This person knows where he his going!
  3. Good posture. Keep your head up, straighten you back and keep your shoulders back.
  4. Motivate. Give yourself a motivational speech every day.
  5. Be grateful. Say thank you and remind yourself of all your past achievements and successes.
  6. Smile!
  7. Compliment other people. If you bring out the best in other people, they will bring out the best in you.
  8. Be visible. Sit in front and stay in the centre. Walk in the middle of the street.
  9. Look up! – And in the eyes of others.
  10. Speak up. At least once in a discussion or social gathering.
  11. Work out. Keep a fit body that will help you keep a good posture.
  12. Contribute. Give what you have to give and do not worry if it is perfect. E.g. you receive a drawing from a child; the drawing is hideous but you are grateful because of the act of giving. People will receive what you have to give if the act of giving is genuine.

11 Traits of Successful People

successful business woman on a laptop © by Search Engine People Blog

Do you know what characterises successful people? There are some things that really successful people have in common and I have made some research and found some important traits that you can adopt. I have made a list with eleven traits and to each item there is a corresponding article; just click the link. Most of the articles include steps to action.

  1. Know where you are going. If I do not know where to go then what would the point of travelling be? I risk ending up somewhere I do not want to be.
  2. See opportunities. If you follow all the others then you will miss opportunities. To see them you need to break routines and take the lead of your own life.
  3. Monitor progress. Not knowing how you progress can be demotivating. You need to know where you are and how far you have to go.
  4. Positive focus. What do you find more stimulating, negative or positive stories? Positive people are much more interesting.
  5. Self-confidence. If you want success you want self-confidence as well; you have to believe that you have the ability to reach your goal.
  6. Listen and learn. During life you pick up knowledge and skills. What you know and do is something you have learned. If you want to develop you have to listen and learn.
  7. Be persistent. Never give up! If you really want something and you have a strong belief that you will reach your goal then keep trying.
  8. Demonstrate willpower. Sometimes you have to do things you do not want to do in order to reach a long-term goal. This is where you need willpower and just do what needs to be done without getting distracted.
  9. Take responsibility. You should be careful when you express your discontent. People cannot do anything about your complaints but you can take responsibility for the things you are unhappy about.
  10. Network! To get what you want you need other people to give it to you. Do not think you can do everything yourself; you need people to help you.
  11. Take action. Do you think that successful people are perfect people that sit around analysing? Well, they are not! Successful people make more mistakes than anyone else because the take action.

How to Be Successful: Take Responsibility

Preparing for the crowds later in the day © by MoBikeFed

It is easy to be unhappy and have a negative focus. Negative events have a greater impact than positive events have. That is why you should be careful when you express your discontent. People cannot do anything about your complaints; well they could, but they will not. Why not? – Because they are not interested, they are not the ones complaining about it!

You are the one who is displeased; consequently you are the one who have to take the responsibility. If you do not want to do that, then stop complaining and leave it. Yes, it is annoying that the sea goals are screaming in the morning, but if you are not going to do anything about it then stop bothering your family and friends with you complaints.

When you experience something you do not like, then consider the three basic choices you have: Accept, leave or change. If you accept the situation, then do not focus on the problem anymore, just let it be. If it troubles you too much and you choose to leave, then do so, but do not bother the people that like things as they are. Your life will be miserable if you choose to complaint instead of doing something about the things you do not like.

Successful people make the third choice; they take responsibility and they take action to change the situation to something better. E.g. I am not happy about our government at the moment, and I have to admit that it is extremely difficult not to express my discontent. But I have to ask myself what good does it do that I complaint about the government to my friends? – Nothing! I should go into politics and try to actually do something to change things to the better, but I do not have the time nor do I fancy being a politician; then what should I do? – I have to accept and acknowledge that the majority of the population is happy with our government and change focus to something else.

3 steps to take responsibility:

  1. Define what displeases you.
  2. Discover what you really want instead.
  3. Put focus on and your energy into what you want.