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Self confidence vs. worldly challenges

BY READERS DIGEST

1st Jan 2015 Life

Self confidence vs. worldly challenges

How do you remain confident no matter what the world throws at you? No one’s saying it’s easy, but here are six ways you can boost your self-belief.

What you tell yourself matters 

While receiving positive feedback and compliments on your achievements and ability is great for self esteem, try not to be too swayed by other’s opinions or popular notions of what constitutes success. Accept all praise with grace and modesty, but focus on what you believe in and cherish your personal hopes and ambitions. 
 

Consider past achievements

Learning from our past mistakes is one thing, but it’s also important to remember when we have succeeded – no matter how small our personal triumphs. Jot down any past and more recent achievements and read them through on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be anything major, but acknowledging past results is a good way to give your self-confidence a lift.

 

You can do it too

Noting the success of others is fine and can be inspirational if used in a positive way. Sometimes, however, we can allow ourselves to be intimidated by the success of our neighbours or worse, we become envious. Instead of resenting a colleague’s success – especially if you think they are less qualified or experienced than you are – tell yourself you can do it too, and go for it.

 

Body language speaks volumes

Be aware of your posture and your body language in general. If you’re slouching on the outside, chances are you’re sagging internally as well. You may think that body language only influences the way others see you, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Your posture, facial expressions, and the way you walk all sends signals to your inner self, and the messages you send your own nervous system are up to you. Stand tall, smile and walk straight (even if you have to fake it) and you’ll be sending positive signals to everyone, including yourself.

 

Talk the talk

As with body language, speech too can have an impact on confidence. If you mumble to the world, you feed that inner voice lacking in self-confidence. Practise speaking clearly and loudly enough to be heard without shouting. If you’re planning on talking to your boss, making a presentation, or simply have difficulty speaking up among peers, rehearse what you want to say in front of the mirror for a few minutes at night and first thing in the morning. You may feel a bit self-conscious at first, but stick with it and you’ll feel your confidence start to build.
 

Encourage yourself!

Some of us are great at encouraging others and are generous with our praise, but when it comes to ourselves we can be our own harshest critics. If you tell yourself you’re rubbish often enough, how do you expect to feel? No one’s saying to be unrealistic and high-five yourself at every turn, but try and deploy a few internal phrases when appropriate. Tell yourself “way to go”, “good work”, “nice one”, and start building self-confidence.

If you act and feel self-confident, you’ll cope better with most of life’s challenges along the way.

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