Surprising secrets to developing a confident attitude
Have you ever felt anxious about asking someone on a date? Confronting a difficult colleague at work? Maybe you worry that you’re not bright enough? Attractive enough? Or you worry about rejection or making mistakes in your career?
The thing is, developing a confident attitude isn’t about suggesting you become a performing seal, or an angel, or change who you fundamentally are. It’s about motivating you to step up your pace, take an honest look at your behaviour, shortcomings, reactions, thoughts and limiting beliefs. It’s about changing what isn’t working for you and forming a strong relationship with yourself.
Here are eight surprising secrets to developing a confident attitude:
1. Drop the nice factor
Don’t allow people to walk all over you. You may not be as confident and competent as you wish you were, but you are not as weak and inept as you think you are. Think of people you respect who say no in a non-aggressive way and visualise for seven days yourself behaving like them.
2. Praise your strengths
Concentrate all the time on your good points, your talents, your kind heart, your cheerful nature, your wit, thoughtfulness. Identify the strengths that others say they see in you. Stop focusing on your shortcomings and failures. Write down all your good points for 30 days.
3. Learn the language of assertiveness
Watch people you admire and study how they act assertively. Let go of negative attitudes as they will attract negative responses. Let go of being manipulative as that will make others resentful and resistant. Stop being moralistic as that will force people to act out of obligation and guilt. Instead be positive, direct, specific and honest.
4. Stand up for yourself when others are irrational
Let others know you refuse to be verbally abused. Do not blithely act as though you are not angry - by doing this your anger and conflict will remain buried and unresolved and people will view you as a pushover. Have the courage to avoid and even walk away from toxic people, regardless of emotional attachment. Start standing up for (and defending) yourself.
5. Change your attitudes and intentions
If you change the way you think and change the words you speak, you will quietly define your own reality and not buy into everyone else’s. If you witness your thoughts without judging them, you will slowly achieve self-acceptance. You will begin to realise that your perception of others is a reflection of yourself and that your reaction to yourself is your awareness of yourself.
6. Kick the self-criticism habit
Research shows that 90% of us criticise and judge ourselves. Many of us wouldn’t get away with (let alone dream of) speaking to our friends the way they speak to ourselves.
Having a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem results in making incorrect judgements and evaluations of yourself. It means you belittle, berate and slam yourself for not being good enough. The paradox is that you affirm that you are not good enough and there is something inherently wrong with you, and you then start to convince yourself you are a loser.
7. Respect yourself
Self-acceptance is a very important component of self-confidence. Unless you accept yourself, you can’t have self-confidence. You need to embrace yourself as you are right now, regardless of your past, your mistakes or your weaknesses. A big misconception of self-acceptance is that you need to like everything about yourself. That’s not the case here; we don’t have to like everything about ourselves. Self-acceptance is different from self-approval.
8. Trust your intuition
Reclaim your power and learn to practise self-mastery, stepping out of childhood belief systems that no longer serve you. When you become your own master you become best friends with your inner voice and become comfortable with being in charge of what you think, do and say. When you learn to trust yourself, you develop strong inner security. You let go of the opinions of others (unless you find them helpful) and you stand by your convictions in the face of adversity.
Make it happen. It’s your time to shine.
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