7 Steps to Extraordinary Self-Confidence

In the last six months, we helped two executives double their self-confidence in less than a week. How? The main leverage point in engineering this change was lowering their perfectionistic standards so they could meet their own expectations and feel like “winners.”

Self-confidence is about acquiring the skills necessary to get what you need in life, and the most important skill you can ever acquire is knowing how to make yourself happy. After that, the rest is just gravy.

Here are the 7 Steps:

  1. Be your own best friend. You’re talking to yourself all day with your inner dialog. Are you telling yourself you’re a “failure” or are you telling yourself you’re a “champion?”
  2. Set realistic goals. If you constantly set unrealistic goals (e.g., “I should be able to ‘make’ another person happy–or engineer world peace), then you’ll constantly feel like a failure. Stop doing that to yourself (and your organization)! Particularly, focus on what you can control. “For true peace of mind, resign as Master of the Universe.”–Unknown.
  3. Focus on the positive. Every few seconds there is someone being murdered or a child starving to death somewhere in the world. If you focus on that all day you’ll feel unhappy and powerless. You don’t have to be a Pollyanna, but you are entitled to living a happy life while doing what you can to make things better.
  4. Take care of your body. It’s the only one you have, and it’s the foundation upon which you build your experience. It’s hard to feel confident if you’re body isn’t strong and healthy enough to acquire what you need from the world.
  5. Master new skills. Once you’ve acquired the fundamental skill of knowing how to make yourself happy, then begin to acquire other skills. The more things you do well, the more situations in which you’ll feel confident.
  6. Surround yourself with nurturing people. Do the people you surround yourself with in your personal and professional lives regularly tell you that you’re a “failure” or that you’re a “champion?” You needn’t surround yourself with sycophants, but you certainly don’t need “energy vampires” always sucking away your self-esteem.
  7. Ask for what you really want. You’re not going to get what you really need unless you ask for it in clear, uncertain terms. If you leave it to others to guess what you want, you’ll feel frustrated and powerless because inevitably they won’t guess the right answers.

High-performance habits

  1. Decide you deserve to be extraordinarily self-confident, and don’t let the fears of the inevitable naysayers dissuade you.
  2. Learn how to make yourself happy; it’s the fundamental confidence-building skill to acquire.
  3. Keep acquiring new skills and you’ll continue to feel ever-more-confident in ever more situations.
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