4. Examine Your Strengths And Evaluate Them Rationally
The best way to identify your strengths is to take some time and think back over your entire life. Starting from your childhood, try to find memories of each significant accomplishment in your life. Regardless of who you are, I promise that there will be many. This is one of the best steps when it comes to building your self-confidence.
Don’t down-play anything. If you feel good about it, it matters. Write it down. If you won a foot race in 3rd grade and you remember the great feeling you had afterward, include it. Did you get the job out of all the 5 people that were interviewed? Include it. Compile a list.
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This will be something that you will refer to often (at least weekly) to remind you that you are actually quite capable of success. Focus on and highlight the ones that are the most important to you.
5. Analyze Your List
Now look at the list and think of it in terms of the things that you are currently comfortable with and the things that still make you uncomfortable. Are you able to see any trends?
You should begin to see where your strengths lie. What are the things that you are good at? Write these ideas down as well. We all need to be acutely aware of our strengths when we set out to accomplish any significant goals.
6. Develop A Plan
Another crucial piece of the process is the development of a tangible and clearly defined plan. This will help you measure and bear witness to the progress you make which will, in turn, reaffirm your belief that your efforts are paying off. By following a plan, you will learn how to be confident systematically and develop strong habits.
Your plan should outline your goals. Start by brainstorming a list of things that you feel that you could not handle comfortably but that you hope to be able to handle with ease in the future. These are your specific goals.
Include any accomplishment, even the ones that seem insignificant. For instance, I used to feel a little awkward when asking strangers for directions or help. I wanted to be able to approach and speak to anyone with confidence and so I would add this to my list.
Don’t be afraid to include the tough ones as well like asking for a promotion, giving a speech to a room full of 1000 people or asking the girl or guy down the hall out for dinner. Now put them in order from easiest to most difficult and focus on accomplishing each one before moving on to the other.
Each small accomplishment will earn you some amount of improved self-confidence that will help you to approach your goal, and achieve the next. Each accomplishment is a building block towards building self-confidence.
7. This is “Textbook” Goal Setting
You will move through these accomplishments from easiest to hardest over time and each time you achieve one, just like accomplishing any goal, you will reward yourself by knowing forever that you can do this. These small triumphs will never go away. They are stepping stones along your path.
Every time you move forward to another goal, consider how to apply your strengths to the situation to make it easier. “Work smart not hard” still applies whenever possible. Work on each step until it becomes as comfortable as an old hat.
To this day, I still sometimes find myself asking people whom I don’t know for directions or assistance, just to talk to them!! The things that we practice become a habit.
Have you ever heard the phrase “fake it until you make it?” The idea behind it is simple and lends itself well to building self-confidence. By practicing something enough and putting yourself out there, you will begin to incorporate these activities into your life in such a way that they become a habit. They become easy. They begin to define you.