The 7 Steps to Increase Your Confidence

Confidence is often described as the belief of performing something successfully. Basically, it is the feeling of certainty to be able to accomplish a given task.  We need confidence in our lives to achieve various objectives.  Beginning at birth, we start to develop our confidence without being aware that we possess it.  When a child is taking their first steps, they are exhibiting confidence in themselves to take their first steps.  As we all know, at that age children exhibit different levels of confidence than their counterparts.  The people who surround us play a vital role in developing our confidence.  Do you remember when you were learning how to ride a bicycle?  As I recall, it was a little bit of a struggle for me.  My father was very encouraging and eager for me to learn how to ride; on the other hand, my mother was very cautious and apprehensive that I could sustain a significant injury.  I eventually learned how to ride and the more I practice it, the more confident I became.  Confidence is something that needs to be practiced and exercised on a regular basis.

 

As we continue to grow, life presents different challenges before us and we must always exert our confidence to excel or overcome these challenges. Confidence plays a vital role in our everyday lives.  It is our lack of confidence that could have serious repercussions in the paths that we take. An insufficient level of confidence could be the deciding factor, if we get the job that we want or whether another candidate gets it. Do  have the confidence needed to speak to that special someone that could be your life mate? You may have all the knowledge and facts, but if you don’t have the assurance to communicate to large crowds will you ever be noticed?

 

Fortunately, confidence can be learned and improved upon, if we are willing to put the time and effort.  I have listed 7 essential steps to increase your confidence and start seeing results.  These are the building blocks needed to build a steady foundation. Once these 7 steps have been mastered, you can always add specific additions, tailored for your distinct needs.  If you have any questions or need specific attention, I am always available, via e-mail.

 

  1. Get rid of the fear of failure. Fear is the direct adversary to confidence.  It is necessary to release yourself from all negativity and fear, as it will always hold you back from realizing your full potential. If you surrender to fear you will never take any chances and actualize your goals. Colin Powell said it best in his quote, “It is no secret to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure”. When we fail, we learn from our mistakes and comprehend that we need to make certain corrections to succeed. If we fail at something, embrace it as an opportunity to try again.
  2. Think positive. When you think positive you diminish the fear of failure.  Yes, you may fail, but you may succeed.  When we think positive, we automatically set our sight on the favorable outcome. An accurate example of this can be seen in the sports world.  When athlete  get interviewed prior to a sporting event, the majority are always talking about how prepared and how “pumped up” they are to win.  You hardly ever see an athlete who comes with an attitude of  defeat.  A good coach will encourage and energize his athletes. When you have your game face on, people will respect you and take you seriously.  If you envision the goal, you will be more apt to succeed.  One of my favorite lines from the movie “Boiler Room” is when Ben Affleck’s character is training a bunch of you recruits to become brokers. His inspirational line to the new brokers  is, ” Act as if.” He further elaborates, ” act as if you are the president of the company.” This character wants the recruits to exhibit confidence by acting as someone who has succeeded in their business. Back to my athletic analogy, when an athlete is up-and-coming he is often compared to legendary great in their field.  This is done to instill an image of comparison to to a well known and respected icon. The athlete then sees themselves as following in the footsteps of greatness.
  3. Focus on the solution. This relates to thinking positive, by focusing on the outcome instead of the journey to get there; it will yield better productivity.  If all you think is about the difficulties and bumps on the road, it will start to discourage you from continuing forward.  It is necessary to find motivation to finish the process and reap the rewards.  Do not dwell on the setbacks, but focus on the comebacks.
  4. Setting goals. This particular point seems to give people the most problem. We need to set realistic goals that are obtainable.  It is often best to start off and work you way up.  An example of this is writing a book.  If you set out to write a book, it is better to start by writing individual chapters than trying to write the entire book, all at once.  It is necessary to set deadlines, in order to ensure progress.  Instead of saying I will write my book by August 2012, it is more realistic to say I will have chapter 1 done, in three weeks. It is also advisable to write down your goals as a measure of accountability.  When you set a goal on you calendar, you will see it every day and remind yourself of what needs to be done and how much time you have left to do.  I also find that it has been helpful to me, to include other people in my goals.  When my wife and I go to the gym, we share our goals with each other. My wife started a running program, she would constantly tell me how much she ran and how much further she would run the next time.  This gave her the sense of urgency to complete her goal that next time that she ran.  If  she did not accomplish her goal, I would encourage her and make suggestions how she can improve on her run.  A very good  and personal friend of mine, Mr. Robert McEntee, has a similar blog titled “The Power of Belief Magic” and recently wrote a remarkable article called “Goal Getting Made Easier”. Here is the link http://www.beliefmagic.com/goal-getting-made-easy.
  5. Be knowledgeable. Regardless of what goals you have set, it is necessary to be well informed and knowledgeable of  the subject matter.  If you are applying for a supervisor’s position, that you need to be well aware of what your duties will include.  If you are doing a presentation or report, then be prepared and diligent about your material.  If you are an athlete competing, then be aware of your opponent’s strength and weaknesses.  The more prepared and knowledgeable that you are, the easier it will be to obtain your given goal. Having a well-rounded knowledge of current events or specific topics related to your goal, will make it easier to hold conversations and communicate assurance in the matter.
  6. Increase your competence. Once you have mastered a particular task, it is necessary to continue practicing and improve upon it. It is always necessary to sharpen your skills. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, ” Outliers: The Story of Success”, he talks about the 1000 hours of practice. It basically states that the more you practice, the better you will become at whatever you do.  This could be applied to musicians, computer programmers, athletes and just about anything, you can imagine.  The closer you get to the 1000 hours of practice, the greater the mastery of the subject you were doing.
  7. Appearance. Your appearance speaks in great volumes about you.  If you look disoriented, distressed, sloppy, unapproachable and unorganized it is very difficult to convey a feeling of confidence.  A well-dressed, well groomed, eloquent speaker with a friendly disposition transmits a sense of assurance.  A great example of this takes me back to my days as a police officer.  There was a number a of con artists that would pry on unsuspecting victims.  The common denominator in all of these perpetrators was the fact that they would dress the part of the person that they portrayed to be.  A common con that they would pull, would be the well dressed  European traveler that won the lottery, but due to their immigration status they would not be able to cash in their winnings. The  catch would be that they would give the victim the winning ticket, in return for act of faith of a substantial amount of cash.  The victim would go and try to cash the ticket, they would then be advised that it was fake.  In the meantime, the finely dressed con man would have disappeared with their cash deposit.  When the victims would come to make a complaint, the best description they could come up with is how well dressed they were.  These criminals are well versed in the fact that the way you dress exudes confidence.
If you take the seven steps into consideration and implement them in your lives, you will see  your confidence level rise.  As I mentioned before, these are just the basic building blocks and they could be tailored to any particular situation.  A highly confident person is geared to be successful and bring promise to themselves and those around them.  I hope you have found this article helpful and always love to hear your comments and personal stories.

3 Responses to The 7 Steps to Increase Your Confidence

  • Elizabeth Montanez says:

    Love it. We sometimes get so involved in our daily lives that we sometimes forget that life is full of test and trials and we just have to have faith and belief to pull us through. Belief in ourselves through positive thinking is very powerful because you project that and its sort of contagious like a yawn or a laugh.

    • Gsal says:

      You are 100% right, Liz! We need to train ourselves to be positive and confident in our ability to overcome obstacles and challenges. As in anything in life, it is better to be prepared, instead of being caught unaware. These techniques can be applied to any circumstance and as I stated in the article, practice helps us master this skills. Thanks for the comment!

  • Evelyn says:

    Sal this is so inspiring. This reminds me of Steven Covey the 7 habits of highly successfull people. I love Steven Covey we use him a lot in many trainings in the business world, but he is not really about Business per say but about motivating, inspiring, and setting forth the better part of you which creates a successfull person in any career. Your words are so true and real. These 7 steps are the fundamentals for life doesn’t matter what your career is in, its about the individual person creating a clean and welcoming path for life. Ihae been very successful all my career as a sales representative because I followed these 7 steps. No matter how things turn out look to the brighter side and how can you improve it to be better. Keeps a smile on your face optimism will always keep you healthy of mind, body, and soul.

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German (Sal) & Milja Saldarriaga
Fort Mill, SC
sal@magicsecretsoflife.com

I am available for lectures, consulting, life coaching, motivational speaking, interviews and appearances.

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My Life Experience

  • Retired New York City police officer
  • coping with heart disease since 1996
  • had defibrillator/pacemaker implanted in Oct 2003
  • had Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted in September 2009
  • Received heart transplant September 2010.
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