Monday, April 20, 2015

A Guide to Creating Confidence

I recently gave a speech for my local Toastmaster's on being confident, and I thought I might share the overview of it with you. These are all things I've done to gain confidence, and I hope you find them helpful!

So without further ado, here are some challenges you can give yourself to help gain confidence.

Spend time with yourself.
When you do this, make sure to remove all distractions. You might be surprised when you do this how little you actually do know about yourself. I've found that knowing exactly who you are is an instant way to gain confidence. A few practical ways to do this are:

  • Write a list of likes and dislikes, and then define why you like/dislike those things.

Pretty simple, and self explanatory, but very helpful.

  • Spend quiet time listening to God.

This one helps you learn more about your spiritual personality, which is also (if you are religious) a big part of who you are.

Step outside of your comfort zone.
Wear, say, or do something that you like, that you wouldn’t normally share with others. This one helps you to realize that what other people think doesn't matter as much as you think it does. Another instant confidence booster.

Say no, and don’t regret it.
Don’t let others pressure you into participating in something you don’t enjoy just because “everyone is doing it”. When you become more comfortable with your decisions, you become more confident. Of course this doesn't mean you can bail on obligations just because you don't like them. Rather what I mean is; don't pile your plate with little stuff you don't enjoy. Learn to say no sometimes. An example for me is that my youth group often plays a lot of games. Sometimes, I don't like those games, and so I don't play. I used to let them guilt trip me into playing, and then I would be miserable. But I learned that when I said "no thanks" every once in a while it was a very freeing thing that brought confidence.

“Don’t settle. Don’t finish bad books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.” –Chris Brogan

 Stop over-criticizing yourself.
Recognize areas for improvement in yourself, but also recognize that those areas do not define your worth. You are more than the mistakes you make, or the flaws you have. You have things you're good at, and it's okay to focus on those things and love those things about yourself. It's always good to have some self love!

“What you believe about yourself on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside.” -Unknown

Ask God for confidence
This one is more pointed at Christians, but pray for the Lord’s assistance. If you pray he will answer. Just be prepared for the situations that will come your way. He will deliver, whether you're ready or not!

“For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.” Psalms 71:5 (NIV)
I hope that was a bit of help to you all! Now go out and be confident!

“Confidence is like a muscle: The more you use it, the stronger it gets.” -Unknown

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