Confidence is like chasing the elusive rabbit.
It's hard to find.
You search and search and search. You find tools and tricks to help you catch this rabbit.
Once you finally do, the rabbit pumps its heart, pounds its legs and tries with all of its might to be set free. It has a life of its own and will battle until it can be free once again.
Confidence, I find, is tough to capture and sometimes even harder to retain. It can elude you for months or perhaps years. You can be chronically depressed and experience a number of days with the lowest self-esteem imaginable.
The tricky thing is, when you're that deep in a hole, you sometimes don't notice how deep you really are.
Throughout the years, I have found many tricks, secrets and hacks in developing self-esteem and confidence that I would like to share below.
1. Create a “Batman” to your “Bruce Wayne.”
Or Superman to Clark Kent. Hulk to Bruce Banner.
You get the idea.
When I’m feeling low and inferior in social settings, I tend to create a superhero/alter ego for myself.
When I was in college (I went to a big state University) I was afraid to meet new friends. I introduced myself to everyone as “Duff.” I was a word I just liked the sound of. Duff was cool, calm, collected, sure of himself and poise. Before too long, even Jon adopted the characteristics of “Duff.”
2. Take a few punches to the face.
Figuratively speaking of course.
Though literally might help as well.
When you are experiencing a lack of confidence, it is probably due to lack of experience. When you fall over and get knocked in the face, you learn what to do (or not to do) the next time the situation presents itself.
3. Wear the red nose of the clown.
Life is absurd.
Like, completely absurd.
When you peel the layers back on the ridiculous of life, sometimes all you can do is smile and shake your head. So why don’t we do this with ourselves? We take ourselves unbelievably serious.
So serious, that when we do make a mistake or act a fool (which is inevitable) extreme embarrassment ensues which results in lower self esteem and confidence. When you trip over yourself and embarrassment seems on the horizon, own what you just did (even if you have to fake it). Own the ridiculousness and use that as fuel for the context. You are absurd, I am absurd, this world is absurd. Laugh at it.
4. Manage your expectations.
When we build something up and it doesn’t get delivered, we sink.
We stumble into a pitfall of despair.
I know, a lot of the time I blame myself for the expectation falling through- even though it may be of some external force. I’m not saying don’t set goals for yourself and don’t reach for extreme heights. Understand that your expectations (and the holding on to them) can have a drastic effect on your esteem levels.
5. Get up and take action.
Action breeds confidence. Stagnation breeds anxiety.
How many times have you caught yourself being the cartographer of your goals?
What do I mean by that. You plan and plan and draw up the “map” of what you’re going to do but never take action. Instead of being the cartographer take action and be the explorer. Get down to the front lines. Hack away at the foliage of the jungle. Make mistakes. Fall into the quick sand. Be fueled by the exploration and curiosity.
6. Find your suit of armor.
What do you feel good wearing?
It could be anything really (of course the remains within the societal laws- sorry… opportunity for nudity here).
Finding your suit of armor means adhering to the style that makes you feel invincible. Maybe you are a well tailored suit kind of person. Maybe you wear a lot of jewelry. Maybe you sport the classic Adidas track suit. Whatever it is that makes you feel comfortable.
7. Try and relax every once and a while.
Feeling pent up breeds anxiety. Anxiety breeds insecurity. Insecurity is the antithesis of confidence.
When you try and wrap everything in life around your finger it can build a sense of being that is overwhelming. Work your tail off, don’t get me wrong. Every once and a while, take a break from it all.
8. Introduce yourself to everyone around you.
You are one mind and one body.
That mind and body combination is a force. In order to utilize that force and use it to build your confidence, you must make your presence known where ever you go.
If you’re at the coffee shop, introduce yourself to the barista. If you see a new person in the office, be the first to introduce yourself. If you see a beautiful girl at the end of the bar, go ahead and say hi. This builds confidence and self esteem because you don’t sit idle waiting for life. You build life.
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