The self-help shelves of any book shop are crammed with books about self confidence, but I actually don’t think it’s all that complicated. I think that if you make habits out of these five tips, then you’ll find your self-confidence grow without any additional effort from you because, after all, we know that if you try to be confident you can easily come across as a pain in the rear end, and no one wants that!
1. Cultivate a sense of gratitude: I know, I know; this is what everyone says, but you know what…? It works! If you are alive and reading this, then you already have two things to be grateful for. Start adding to the list as things occur and write them down.
2. Keep a Journal: On the subject of writing things down, keeping a journal helps you to get thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto the page. The simple act of writing and then reading what you’ve written takes your thoughts through a different part of your brain than when you’re just stewing on them. This more holistic processing is great for anxiety and for testing out those nasty false beliefs that can be so paralysing and which are so destructive of confidence.
3. Eliminate Cognitive Dissonance: Cognitive Dissonance is a term that describes the gap between how you think things should be and how they really are. This is the cause of most mental distress and totally destroys confidence. Using a very wise friend, a coach or a mentor to help you to test out what you think about yourself, and to sort out a set of values and a purpose-driven vision for your life will send your confidence through the roof!
4. Nurture a spirit of service to others: Once upon a time, as a very young priest, I had personal issues and poured my heart out to a wise elderly colleague, who listened kindly, gave me great advice and then said: “Right, now go and visit someone who needs your kindness!” I’ve never forgotten that. Giving of your time and your kindness to others boosts your confidence no end. (Warning! This does not mean being a doormat, or putting everyone else first. It’s about giving to others out of your store of love and kindness. If you follow the other tips, you’ll have plenty to go around.)
5. Develop Humility: True confidence is expressed humbly. The word ‘Humility’ has its root in the Latin word ‘humus’, meaning ‘the good brown earth’. Keep your feet firmly rooted in a really firm understanding of yourself; your wonder and your woes. Be honest with yourself and about yourself. Again, tips 1 - 4 will get you well on the way!
Since Homo Sapiens emerged as a species, you’ve been 500,000 years in the making. Show up and show yourself. The world is waiting!