Most people have suffered from low self-esteem and a lack of confidence at some point in their lives. It could have been throughout childhood or high school, or it could currently reside with you today. I know I can relate, as I was extremely shy and introverted throughout my early years in life and spent a copious amount of time learning as much as I could about developing my self-esteem and confidence. As a result, that work I've spent on developing this area of my life has served me tremendously.
How Would Your Life Change With More Confidence?
I can say that for myself, my entire life has changed once my levels of self-confidence improved. To be more specific, I immediately began socializing more and suddenly had the courage to be able to interact with others and network, which resulted in more success and an improved dating/social life. I began taking massive action towards my goals and new projects/businesses, as I had no self-doubt or self-limitations act as an obstacle towards my success. Having more self-confidence allowed me to enter a fitness competition and transform my body, whereas my former “afraid” self would have doubted my ability to do so and got in the way. I could go on and on and on, but it's pretty apparent that anyone who is successful has some degree of confidence.
Not only that, but with higher levels of self-esteem you love and value yourself more. You feel happier and appreciate yourself. You have more to give and contribute to others, simply because you have a higher self-image and are more in a place of abundance, rather than scarcity. As a result, people are more attracted to you and WANT to be around you.
What Is Confidence?
A confidence is nothing more than a feeling of absolute certainty. When you say that you are CONFIDENT about something, you're basically saying that you feel CERTAIN about it. For example, how confident are you that you can tie your shoes? My bet is pretty confident. But, were you always capable of tying your shoes? Most likely not. So, how did you become confident in doing so? You became confident tying your shoes through repetition – you did it again and again, and eventually you became confident that you could do it.
As I said, confidence is a FEELING. The same goes as anxiety, fear, or self-doubt – these are all FEELINGS, also known as emotional states. If you can access that feeling of confidence with tying your shoes, then why couldn't you have that same level of confidence in other areas of your life? The truth is, you can.
Your self-esteem and self-confidence are directly related. In my opinion, self-esteem is measured by how much you love yourself. The more you love yourself, the higher levels of self-esteem you have. I'll explain below how you can gain more self-esteem and confidence.
How To Have High Self-Esteem And Be Confident
You can gain more confidence simply through experiences of the past. For example, if you approached a member of the opposite sex and you were successful in getting a date with that person, that experience would serve as a “reference” point and you'd feel more confident in the future. Make sense? The same goes if you built a successful business from scratch, that experience would serve you in your next business as you'd have more confidence to jump in it.
Experiences are crucial. The more experiences or references we accumulate, the more confident we become. Sometimes the experiences don't have to be directly related to another. For example, I have done some crazy things that I've been terrified to do in my life. I've been skydiving, walked over fire, been scuba diving, travelled to sketchy parts of the world by myself and lived there, public speaking, acting/imrov classes, and approached strange women on the streets. By facing these fears and overcoming them, they act as a metaphor in my life. You begin to think, “Wow, I just did that? What else in my life did I think I could not do that I can now overcome?” You begin to challenge your self-limits and become more confident in your ability to make anything happen.
2) Changing Your State
The other way to gain more confidence is by changing your emotional state. Every emotional state is controlled by three factors: Physiology, Focus and Language. For example, if you're feeling scared or nervous, there's a certain way that you use your body, there's certain things you're focused on, and you're saying things to yourself that are causing you to feel that way. How would someone stand or use their body if they were scared or nervous? They'd most likely have their head down, be pacing back and fourth, have shallow breathing, and have a quiet voice. For their focus, they'd most likely be focusing on times in the past when they failed or be focused on it not working out. In terms of language, they could be saying things like, “This isn't going to work” or “I'm not good enough.”
To be confident, you could simply stand that way you'd stand if you were confident – head up, shoulders back, smiling, breathing fully, and centered. You could also begin focusing on it working out and begin remembering all the amazing times you were successful. For language, you could start saying to yourself, “I can do this!” and “I am amazing!”
As simple as that sounds, you will immediately begin to feel more confident in doing so. If you condition this daily, it will become automatic and apart of you.
Two Simple Exercises That Will Change Your Self-Esteem And Confidence
I want to finish off this blog post with two powerful exercises that will immediately change your self-esteem and confidence. I personally have used these throughout my life and use them whenever I need that extra boost. Give them a try.
Here's how it works: Take out your journal and a pen, and simply write down as many successes in your life as you can possibly think of. Spend at least 15 minutes doing this.
Now, you may be able to think of a few off the top of your head and get stuck like most people. This is because you're only focusing on the big things. I don't even know you and I can list at least 10 things that you're successful at. For example, you woke up this morning. You brushed your teeth. You got dressed. You ate breakfast. And so fourth. You successfully did these things, but you most likely didn't give yourself credit for it! The purpose of this exercise is to fully acknowledge yourself and “polish up your memories” so that you begin to stack your successes in life, which will give you more confidence.
Make sense? Now spend up to 15 minutes doing this, trust me, it'll make a difference!
As I mentioned earlier, I look at your self-esteem as being measured by how much you love yourself. The more you love yourself, the higher self-esteem you have. That's why when you overcome a challenge or do something you're proud of, you love yourself more and have higher self-esteem. Whereas if you procrastinate or are lazy or violate one of your standards, you often beat yourself up and have lower self-esteem. This exercise is a simply way to give yourself more love and to boost your self-esteem.
Here's how it works: Simply go to the mirror and look deeply into your eyes. Focus on your eyes for a few long seconds, feeling your soul. This might feel uncomfortable or weird, or it may be exciting – stick with it. As you're staring at yourself, you're going to say:
“Stefan, I thank you, I appreciate you, and I love you.”
You're going to change your name obviously, but you'll repeat that to yourself a few times. This is powerful – you're giving your soul what it craves most. You're acknowledging yourself and giving yourself that love that you've been craving your entire life – and your self-esteem will improve as a result.
I recommend doing these exercises everyday for at least a week and see the results. I personally continue to do these and thought I'd share them with you – they are game changers! Let me know how it goes for you. 🙂