A famous American tennis player, Arthur Ashe once said « One important to key to success is self-confidence, and an important key to self-confidence is preparation ». What is self-confidence? For one, it’s the biggest differentiating factor between people who obtain what they want and those who don’t.
Self-confidence is all about believing in your intrinsic unique value, your abilities and power, no matter what the situation you are in. It is essentially the combination of self-awareness, self-belief, positive-mindset and emotional intelligence. The good thing is we can grow in self-confidence – and become more successful and happier – by changing certain mindset habits and developing new ones. The mindsets you need to develop in yourself in order to become a highly confident and successful person:
Habit 1: Focus on your strengths
Highly confident people know what they do best and what their biggest strengths and assets are. They are well aware of their strongest traits, their achievements, their talents, and what they do better than others.They tend to focus on their biggest qualities and what they can do, instead of their flaws and what they can’t.
Habit 2: Think positively
Highly confident people have developed a habit of catching negative thoughts before they can have an effect on their mood, feelings and performance. They consciously replace those negative thoughts with positive, empowering ones.
Self-confident people focus on a positive vision of what they want – while feeling appreciative about what they’ve already achieved. In other words, they do not lose sight of what they already have in their lives. Gratitude and optimism are two mindset habits that are essential to practice to raise one’s self-confidence. Try a simple exercise of setting aside 5 minutes every day to mentally list everything you can be grateful for in your life, including past successes, achievements, unique strengths, loving relationships, positive moments. Affirmations is another powerful way to re-educate your mind and turn around counterproductive negative thoughts that make you feel like a loser.
Habit 3: Positive self-talk and self-compassion
Highly confident people have turned their Inner Critic into their Inner Cheerleader, a supportive positive inner voice. They are gentle and compassionate with themselves instead of being harsh. Highly confident people don’t indulge in the negative self-talk as they are fully aware that it makes them feel bad and stops them from getting what they want. Their self-talk reflects their belief in themselves. Similarly, they do not compare themselves and their abilities and worth to others, realizing it’s a road to misery.
Habit 4: Stay true to your values
Highly confident people have high integrity. They know their core values and stick to them. They practice acting and being heart-centered, keeping their Ego in check and knowing there is no need to be right all the time and that life is not about winning. They welcome others’ opinions and input and are not afraid to admit being wrong. At work and home, they stick to what’s important, to what matters most and focus on impact and contribution (to the organization, company, society in general), and not on themselves.
Habit 5: Manage your emotions. Do not judge.
Highly confident people are in touch with their emotions and know how to manage them. They are able to process their painful feelings faster and then release judgement (of others’ and of unpleasant situations). They don’t blame others and practice personal responsibility over their actions and consequences. This emotional mastery allows them to take little or nothing personally, and to stay calm and composed even in the most uncomfortable situations.
Habit 6: Find courage to act.
Highly confident people understand the value of action over thought or talking. They do not wait for their fears to disappear – they never do. Instead, they confront fears and consistently find courage to act despite the fears. (Yes, having an Inner Cheerleader helps!)
Remember this quote by Woody Allen: “People used to always say to me that they wanted to write a play, they wanted to write a movie, they wanted to write a novel, and the couple of people that did it were 80 percent of the way to having something happen. All the other people struck out without ever getting that pack. They couldn’t do it, that’s why they don’t accomplish a thing, they don’t do the thing, so once you do it, if you actually write your film script, or write your novel, you are more than half way towards something good happening. So that I would say is my biggest life lesson that has worked. All others have failed me.”
Habit 7: Practice mindfulness.
Highly confident people stay in the present: they let go of the past and don’t dwell on what happened. Theyremain calm and relaxed while dealing with uncertainty, knowing they’ll be able to deal with any unexpected situations as they crop up. Being good at uncertainty allows them not to worry about the future. They are adaptable, focus on what they can do in the present and enjoy the process, rather than attaching to a particular outcome. They also listen to their intuition.
Habit 8: Don’t fear mistakes
Highly confident people are not afraid to fail. Thanks to the positive self-talk and non-judgemental atittude,they see mistakes and failures as positive learning experiences and as an inevitable part of life. Having learned from a mistake, they quickly get back on the path of moving forward towards their goals.
Habit 9: Assert themselves
Highly confident people are excellent communicators. While they are usually excellent listeners, they also speak up and assert themselves. They are not afraid to say « No » and set healthy limits when needed. With a non-judgemental mindset, they choose asking questions and clarifying, rather than making assumptions about other people’s intentions. They seek compromises whenever they can, because they are not interested in winning at another’s expense.
Habit 10: Take care of health and appearance
Highly confident people take good care of their health. They exercise to stay fit, eat healthy and get enough rest. They know that physical fitness has a big impact on self-confidence : if you are out of shape, you are likely to feel insecure, unattractive and not energetic. They also make sure to dress sharp and with style, as dress is part of the overall image we convey to people around.
In conclusion, none of the mindset habits above are unobtainable. With practice and determination, you can develop each one and re-educate your mind. Remember that the way others perceive us is based on our self-perception. Start with increasing your self-awareness, self-belief and raising your emotional intelligence.