In last week’s blog  we stressed the importance of self-confidence. Self-confidence is so important in every aspect of our lives, but many of us struggle to find it. People who have it find success more easily than those who don’t. 

The good news is that you can build or bolster you self-confidence.  In other words it can be learned or at least bolstered.  Before we talk about ways to building self-confidence, we should understand that the core of self-confidence is build from a foundation of competence and self-esteem.

Confidence is based on mastering skills and achieving goals in our skill areas.  Confidence is knowing that if we learn and work hard in our skill areas, we’ll succeed.  Confidence gained from successes result in accepting greater challenges, and persistence in the face of adversity; therefore, success breeds confidence.

William James, famed American philosopher and psychologist, first coined the term self-esteem, in his 1890  seminal work The Principles of Psychology.  James, often referred to as the Father of American Psychology, suggested that self-esteem can be measured through a ratio of goals and aims to attainment. We’ve written about self-esteem twice this year on March 6 and March 11 .   

Now that we’ve laid some ground work let’s mention a few of the main points to bolster self-confidence.

1.     Recognize strengths and weaknesses.  Build on your strengths but work on your weaknesses.

2.     Find the right balance.  Too little confidence and you won’t step out of your comfort zone and take risks.  Too much confidence and you’ll tend to overextend yourself, take too much risk, and fail badly.  Build greater self-confidence with success.

3.     Believe in yourself. Norman Vincent Peale said, “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful.

4.     Use affirmations and positive thought.  The late Lou Tice said these are ways to train your mind for accomplishment and success. They create the mental environment in which your mind agrees that what you desire is not only possible but achievable. Condition yourself with positive self-talk.

5.     Surround yourself with positive people.  Limit association with negative people and never allow others to make you feel inferior. Surround yourself with positive people and those who will be supportive of your success.

6.     Set meaningful and challenging goals.  Don’t be afraid to set challenging goals.  Once achieved set more challenging goals.  Goal setting and achievement are the surest ways to build self-confidence.

7.     Rebound from mistakes or failures.  Realize that no one is perfect nor do they always succeed.  Learn that our journey through life is full of bumps.  When mistakes or failures happen treat them as learning opportunities.

8.     Mentor and help others achieve success. When you’re making a positive difference in others you’ll realize that you are a positive force to others.  Others will seek your advice and counsel which will be a tremendous boost to your self-confidence.  

9.     Avoid perfectionism. A desire for perfectionism paralyzes us and keeps us from accomplishing our goals.  Instead strive for excellence not perfection.  Realize that progressive discipline beats postponed perfection so don’t procrastinate.

10.   Don’t compromise your core values.  It might be tough at times, but if you don’t have principles that are central to your believe system, you will always be in conflict.  

Think about it.