I still clearly remember this powerful moment when 10 year old me, my hair in a golden braid, first read a quote from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Years later, I realized that this quote still held residence in my mind. It had changed my life without my realizing so. Barrie wrote “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
In my life, I’ve gone through so many trials and tribulations that I often asked myself “How do you survive and still have the energy to smile? Are you becoming a dragon that grows two new heads for every one cut off?”
My heart didn’t turn to stone, however. I simply learned to accept challenges. I’ve learned to let go when necessary. I’ve learned to believe in my dreams and my gut instincts. I didn’t consider myself self-confident quite yet. I thought self-confidence was in direct conflict with humility. I still loved the moments when I had doubts, as they challenged me to look deeper within myself to learn and listen. Ironically, at some point I noticed that people who were repeatedly attacking my self-esteem were quite aware of my natural self-confidence and my potential, even if I wasn’t. More than aware, they were threatened by its very existence.
When you are courageous and determined, faithful and fearless, and understanding, it can change your life. This knowledge carries a confidence that cannot be duplicated. The good news is, it is entirely within your grasp.
1. Make your decision and put yourself in control.
Only you can unlock your potential. You have to want to share yourself with the world to a degree in order to appear self-confident. You have to be comfortable with yourself, because building your self-confidence on the words and actions of others is building on rented land. Recognize your worth. Evaluate where you are and where you want to be. You’ll realize that no matter what your goals, self-confidence is an important tool in getting there.
2. Put yourself together.
It starts internally. You have to evaluate your perception of yourself, take it, and improve it. Once it’s in a healthy space, let the external follow suit. Looking good will help you feel good. It’s amazing what a shower and a new outfit can do! When you’re out and about, continue to carry yourself with confidence. Mind your posture. When you’re talking to someone, work on making eye contact as much as possible. Speak slowly. Rushing through what you have to say makes you seem like you aren’t confident in what you’re saying. It also makes you more likely to be asked to repeat yourself, which embarrasses many and causes your confidence to take a hit.
3. Eliminate negativity.
This will take time and practice on your end, but it will make all the difference. Pay attention to your inner dialogue. Instead of thinking of every bad thing that could potentially happen, challenge yourself to think of three good things that can come from any situation you’re in. By forcing yourself to see the positive, you’ll see how much more attainable it is without negativity clouding your judgment. Once you’re seeing and thinking positively, put that positivity into action. Make it part of your everyday. Spread positivity to those around you. You’ll find yourself identifying people who are in the position you once were in. Don’t hesitate to pay it forward, and don’t forget to smile!
4. Always be prepared.
Self-confidence and preparedness go hand in hand. You’re never quite sure about something you’re doing for the first time, but you know there are plenty of things you can do flawlessly. Regardless of what area of your life you are working on, put in the work to see the results.
5. Make changes to your attitude.
The way you approach things absolutely affects the outcome. When you feel yourself stuck, evaluate your attitude toward the situation. If you find yourself complaining constantly, shift your attention to solutions. If you’re taking things for granted, humble yourself by expressing gratitude or volunteering.
I had the chance to make every possible mistake and in turn, figured out how to recover from them. Once you believe in the dreams your heart holds, you realize there is life after mistakes. You gain an unshakable, unbreakable self-confidence. It is my greatest pleasure to teach my daughters to be self-confident and self-aware. Confidence attracts people. It’s what everyone is looking for, and it’s yours to have if you want it.