The thing is, unless you proactively curate for your life (work, home, personal), you get the default settings, which don’t include a lot self-confidence. Adult human beings are not naturally confident. Our survival mechanisms keep up on alert for threats to our existence…confidence is a learned behavior!
Without significant self-confidence, your dreams vaporize and life is not much fun. (Hence a $9+ billion anti-depressant industry.)
Don’t think you have to be a Big Mouth (we do love Flaming Extroverts!) to be self confident. Here are some common symptoms of low self-confidence:
- perpetual low energy
- give up easily
- critical of others
- overdeveloped sense of entitlement
- poor self-care
- too eager to please
- poor communication skills
If you lack self-confidence, you’re thinking you don’t deserve better or that you’re not capable of making what you want come true.
The opposite of self-confidence is not arrogance; a confident person knows her flaws (and what’s ridiculous about her) but believes she can (eventually) learn anything she puts her mind to. That attitude makes you more resilient;resilience + persistence = higher achievement.
Curate your life for MORE self-confidence. You really are worth it. That means paying attention to what you pay attention to and what’s in your ambiance.
1. Curate celebrations. Remember the innate human negativity bias means your “normal” focus is on what’s wrong with you and your life. That’s why you have to take the action to reverse this bias, and celebrate all the tiny and not-so-tiny accomplishments and good fortune of your day.
You are built to live in fear of the tiger. However, the only tiger you’re likely to see is in a zoo. Adapt according.
So it’s 2014, you didn’t win the lottery and you’re over 30 and still not a millionaire. What about your health, your home, the fact that you get up every morning and give it your best? What about finding the quarter, snagging the unexpected account and getting taken out to lunch at your favorite restaurant?
What did you accomplish so far this month? Look for evidence to make 2014 Your Best Year Ever! If you start now, I promise you’ll find what it takes to make that statement come true.
Celebrate anyway you want. At least write down your wins!
2. Curate your environment or ambiance. Stay away from news reports and negative people. Remember it takes 5 positive comments to offset the negative feeling of a criticism.
Clean up your mess, keep your car clean. Make sure your spaces have things that make you smile.
Listen to music that energizes.
3. Curate movement. All emotions are expressed in your body. If you don’t move it, you’re accumulating negative energy.
Breathe. Flap your arms. Go for a walk. Take the stairs. Move your booty!
You don’t have to dance to be confident, but it’s highly recommended.
4. Curate experiments. If you want to try something and you’re scared, re-frame it as an experiment. Try something new in your next presentation….as an experiment. Apply for the job….as an experiment. Go to the networking event….as an experiment.
So no matter what happens, if it’s an experiment, you just look at the results and learn. Learning new things builds confidence.
Note: you’re never done with building self-confidence. As you grow, you take on bigger challenges that require….more confidence.