I had the privilege and opportunity last week of participating in a 4 day confidence and leadership seminar. The principles are based on Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques and how our brains process information. It was nothing short of amazing!s
One of the biggest things that I learned was the power of the words I use and how they are directly related to my confidence level. Our self-talk, when monitored and changed can drastically improve what outcomes we get in our lives.
For example: Instead of saying “I HAVE to go grocery shopping”… tell yourself “I GET to go grocery shopping.” You may be wondering how subtle shifts in your language can improve your confidence but it does! No one wants to be told they HAVE TO do anything! So why do we tell ourselves we HAVE to do anything? It drains our positive energy when we HAVE to do something and doesn’t support more confidence.
Also, focusing on switching out words that communicate by using negative words to those that communicate using positive works is possibly an interesting insight to how we see ourselves..
For example a big one that many of us use is saying, “No problem!” What is more powerful and builds positive energy is saying, “All good!” instead. Try it! It really works… We would rather our minds focus on “good” instead of “problem”.
We played a game over the four days called “Switch”. We were all given 20 poker chips and if we caught anyone using lower energy or negative words to communicate we would say, “switch” and they would have to give us one of our poker chips. It caused a quite a shocking awareness to how we speak.
“Have confidence!” is one of the most essential pieces of advice you’ll receive in life that makes no sense if you’ve never done it. You know what confident people look like, the advantages they get, and that it’s something worth emulating. How do you get there, though? What is Confidence Anyway?
In the purest sense, confidence is knowing what you’re good at, the value you provide, and acting in a way that conveys that to others. Contrast this with arrogance which typically involves believing you are better in a particular area than you are, or low self-esteem which involves believing you’re less valuable than you think. The closer your self-assessment is to that reality in the middle, and the more you behave accordingly, the closer you are to displaying healthy confidence.
sWhy does this definition matter? Because if you want to raise your confidence to a level that helps (rather than harms) you, it’s important to know what you’re aiming for. Blindly thinking positive won’t necessarily help, and it’s possible to go too far.
The Real Things You Can Actually Do to Improve Confidence
One of the first things I would suggest is to become very aware of the words you use when you talk to yourself and others. This will help you see where your focus is. Is it on building yourself up?
I would contend though, that talking about confidence is about as useful as explaining quantum mechanics via interpretive dance. It takes a minute to understand the difference between confidence and arrogance. If you have a confidence problem, what can you actually do about it? “Be better,” isn’t practical advice, so what can you do to practice?
I thought I would share two of the things I learned to immediately (besides switching your words) and when used often will also gradually build more long lasting confidence.
1. Work out: The effects of working out on your confidence are so overwhelming that it can’t be understated. When you exercise, your body releases a cocktail of endorphins that make you feel pretty good as is. When you’re done, you have tangible proof that you’ve done something constructive and everything in your body is programmed to second that response. If you keep at it long-term, the results of a healthier body become more and more visible.
2. Research how to dress better: If you’ve never looked at your wardrobe, you may not realize the dramatic effect it can have on your confidence level. This week at Miss Teenage Canada we are expected to be “on point” the entire time. This dramatically improves how we act and present ourselves.. and overall what our self-confidence comes across as. No one can deny how good it makes you feel when you put on that new outfit!
Underneath it all, most of this advice centers around one theme: making you feel better about who you are. It may not make make you 100% confident overnight, but if you work at it, it will pay off.
As always.. leave a comment below! And thanks for visiting my blog!