You look at confident people and feel a tinge of envy. Because sharing their talents with the world always comes naturally to them. And they don’t seem to beat themselves up about tiny little ‘missteps’. Instead, they have this sense of ease that draws others to them – that makes things happen for them.
You tell yourself that you just weren’t born with that sort of self-confidence. If you did, your life would be that much easier. Things would happen for you too.
Truth is, like any skill worth having, self-confidence can be learned. Chances are those self-confident people you admire had to practice that skill until it felt natural to them.
A great way to practice self-confidence is by asking yourself some deeply meaningful questions. Here are four questions that are guaranteed to supercharge yours self-esteem.
1. What’s the story I’m telling myself?
I used to believe I was intrinsically flawed. Like a rotten apple among a barrel of shiny, crunchy ones, I was different – in the worst possible way.
Every time there was a disagreement or someone criticized me, I’d get this deep, dark feeling. It was all my fault– I was innately flawed; they blameless and flawless.
Holding onto a damaging idea like this is like inhaling a slow-spreading poison. Why would you apply for that new job, start marketing your art or start dating again if you’re intrinsically flawed?
But you’re not intrinsically flawed. You have flaws. There’s a huge difference. Realizing this crucial distinction boosted my self-esteem overnight.
So how do you see yourself? As a human being with strengths and weaknesses, like everyone else? Or as someone who is rotten to the core?
You only have one life. Don’t let an outright lie ruin it for you
2. What can I add to my tool kit?
If you were building a shed and realized your old hand saw wasn’t up to scratch, you wouldn’t throw in the towel, declaring yourself a failure for not being inherently unable to build a shed. No – you’d go out and buy or borrow a better saw.
Sometimes the reason you can’t do something is simply that – you don’t have the right tool in your kit yet.
People who thrive know that they can learn just about any skill they need to get ahead in life. When faced with something they can’t do, they don’t beat themselves up. They embrace the challenge to learn something new and see it as an exciting adventure.
What handy new skill could you add to your tool kit today?
3. Is this the full picture?
I can’t believe I lost that client. I’m such a bad business person. I’m such a bad person, period. And I didn’t remember to switch on the slow cooker this morning so now we don’t even have dinner. I can never do anything right.
Welcome to the low self-esteem spiral from hell. You notice one thing that went wrong, tie it directly to your self-worth, then start grabbing at every other thought that ‘proves’ that you suck and roll them all together in a great big ball of negativity, until the whole thing sends you hurtling downhill, into the very depths of despair.
This all feels very real while you’re in it. But is it?
Our feelings are great at convincing us that they’re our reality. But what if you could step outside your feelings for a minute? What would you notice?
It could be that there’s an economic downturn and companies all over the country are trying to cut costs. There’s the fact that your client was in dire financial straits to begin with. What does any of this have to do with you being a terrible person?
Next time you’re faced with an upsetting situation, instead of being engulfed in the low self-esteem spiral from hell, stop for a minute. Allow yourself to feel your feelings. Watch them come and go.
Once you’re feeling calmer, allow yourself to see things in perspective. It will make all the difference to your self-esteem.
4. How does this story end?
Your story is not over. Because you’re the one who gets to write it – and you get to do that until you take your last breath.
One of the best ways to develop self-esteem is to take control of writing your own story. And one of the best ways to take control is just to start.
Don’t worry about making it perfect – just go for it. Yes, you’ll make mistakes along the way – that’s a normal part of life. Never let the fear of failing stop you from the joy of accepting each new challenge – no matter how scared you are.
Wherever you have steered your ship in the past, you always have the chance to steer it in a new direction. So take control of your ship today and enjoy the adventure ahead!
Start writing your story
Don’t worry about making it perfect – just go for it.
Imagine feeling self-confident every day. Picture walking out of your house in the morning feeling like you’ve got this. Imagine being that person you’ve always admired – the one other people look up to for their seemingly effortless sense of ease and confidence. Not arrogant or conceited, just quietly confident in their skin. Aware of their own worth.
You can learn to be a more self-confident person. Like every other skill, it will take practice. And you’re good at practice. You’ve already come a long way, constantly growing as a person.
As you keep asking yourself these four questions, you’ll notice that things used to send your self-confidence plummeting don’t have much of an impact anymore.
Eventually you’ll look at yourself and realize that you’ve become the kind of person you’d always admired from afar – a self-confident one.. There’s no greater gift – and you can give it to yourself today.