by: Don G / @lbdStreetFashion
Believing in yourself is a must.
Self-confidence means having realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc. Mastering self-confidence is extremely important because nearly every aspect of our lives require it. We each control our level of confidence daily. So many people struggle to find it never obtaining true success. It’s very difficult to become successful if a person lacks self-confidence.
Self-confidence is absolutely critical to building the life you want. When you learn this skill other people begin to respect and like you because you radiate belief in yourself. Confidence gives you the ability to get right down to it, to grow a backbone, to look people in the face and tell them the truth, not just the shit that they want to hear. When you lack self-confidence, you avoid confrontation, you water down your responses, you tell people what they want to hear instead of the direct truth and you slowly give away your power.
Those who truly have confidence in themselves don’t have to pretend to be something they are not. They are happy, and confident in themselves and their abilities. They are aware of their strengths and their weaknesses, and they accept the good and bad about themselves completely.
Society wants you to believe that self-confidence is created from the approval of others. They want you to believe that vanity is the key to getting the things you want and being a part of the “cool” crowd. This is why you see so many people attempting to gain self-confidence by hitting the gym every day (for vanity purposes, not health reasons), conforming to society’s idea of fashion (skinny jeans, and over sexualized garments), spending money on material possessions they are lead to believe they need, and reliance on news and social media to tell them how and what to think. Society pressures people who lack confidence to seek validation in the approval of others and so these type of people run in circles trying to please person after person in hopes that they will one day feel like they are enough.
If you only feel good about yourself whenever you have been accepted and approved of by another individual, you can never be free. This mindset will always make you a slave to what you should do and who you should be never truly allowing you to get in touch with who you really are.
The path to mastery lies in self-acceptance and self-validation. What you might normally consider confidence is nothing but a false bravado used to mask hidden anxieties and fears.
True confidence isn’t ego. It is the complete acceptance of oneself, faults and all.
When you release the idea of trying to become who you should be, you gain a new sense of freedom. You stop trying to please everybody, you begin to take control of your decisions, you begin to say no to things you don’t want to do and you begin to not care what anyone else thinks. This beautiful state of mind gives you the ability to begin following your own ideas and opens the door to you becoming who you were meant to be instead of fitting into the mold everyone else has for you.
As corny as it sounds, human beings are like snowflakes where no two of us are even remotely alike (I told you it was going to sound corny!). We each have a unique blend of strengths, talents, weaknesses, characteristics, life experiences, and so forth.
We are each so different from one another that it would be incredibly foolish to try and be like anybody else. We are each our own masters and we must identify this mastery and develop it if we are to ever be fully fulfilled.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “There comes a point in every man’s life when he realizes that envy is ignorance, and imitation is suicide.”
Think about that for a second… Jealousy is ignorant because we each have our own individual strengths and to wish for someone else’s strengths is silly. Imitation is suicide because by trying to be somebody else you kill your true self in the process.
You are a unique and talented individual with an extraordinary amount of you qualities. Look inside yourself and try and identify where you might cultivate your own mastery. Stop trying to be someone else.
Take some time with a journal and a pen and begin searching for your true self. Who are you and what can you become? Find where you could excel if you tried and you will find your true calling, your master path.
True happiness lies in the realization that you yourself are enough. Your acceptance is the only acceptance you will ever need. Nobody else’s opinion really matters. Recognize this and do your best to share it with the world.
All advancement of any kind has always depended upon an individual sharing his unique mastery in a way that others could also benefit from. It is selfish of you to hold your true self back in order to blend in. You hide the light inside because you are afraid of it’s radiance. Don’t fear your glory. Your responsibility is to shine your light as bright as you can showing by example that it’s okay for others to do the same.
Marianne Williamson so accurately described how most of us are living our lives today:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Self-confidence works just like a muscle. It grows in direct response to the level of performance required of it. Either you use it or you lose it.
Master Move Action Steps:
- Speak up and speak confidently. Don’t save your ideas for post-meeting emails to your boss. If you have a seat at the table, show that you deserve it.
- Walk into a room like you belong there. Smile, hold your head up, make eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and don’t mess with your outfit. First impressions are made in seconds, and they are based predominantly on non-verbal cues.
- End thoughts as statements, not questions. If your voice goes up at the end of a statement, it sounds like a question and conveys uncertainty.
- Eliminate the words “I think” before a recommendation. “I think” is a subliminal disclaimer that your idea might not be a good one. State your recommendation as though it is fact and others will consider it more seriously.
- Become comfortable with silence. After articulating a recommendation, let the idea percolate. Be comfortable letting your audience thoughtfully consider your point. Don’t fill that thinking space with chitchat.
- Be present. Listen first, and then formulate your response. Pay attention to the people in the room. Are they confused, interested, distracted? Base your next statement on their cues, not the thought you’ve been waiting to blurt out.
- Find a way to say no by saying yes. We’re accused of taking on too much, and never saying no. There is an eloquent and productive way to say no. It could simply be that saying yes means you must put another project on the back burner. Lead with the yes, and follow up with the caveat.
- Practice speaking in front of a large room. The only way to keep that warmth from coming up your neck and into your face when you present is to do it over and over again. Eventually, it will become second nature.
- Do your research first. Lead with the facts. Knowledge inspires confidence. And knowledge confers authority onto your recommendations.
If you want to develop a true skill then develop your self-confidence. It will get you paid, it will open the door to happiness, it will help you inspire others. You need to master this skill.