In this article, we will talk about how to build a high level of self-esteem.
There is a quote by Maxwell Maltz that perfectly explains how our level of confidence can influence every aspect of our life:
Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-brake on.
I don’t know about you, but I love this metaphor.
There’s no better way to explain how a low level of self-confidence can significantly limit our potential — and consequently prevent us from living our life to the fullest.
On the other hand, a healthy and high self-esteem can lead us to places we have never dreamed of.
Here are four strategies you can use to develop a healthy and unshakable self-confidence.
How to Be More Confident – Strategy #1: Try Power Posing
According to social psychologist Amy Cuddy, “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel that confident — can boost feelings of self-esteem, and might have an impact on our level of success.
Now you might ask, “How can I actually do it?”
As explained in the TED blog, power posing simply means adopting the stances associated with confidence and power — chest lifted, head held high, arms either up or propped on the hips.
Also, keeping this position for at least two minutes can help you feel more confident and improve your mood.
Also, here’s Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk, in case you’re curious and want to watch it.
#2: Speak Slowly
Think before you speak, pronounce not imperfectly, nor bring out your words too hastily, but orderly and distinctly.
— George Washington
When you speak slowly, you not only seem more assertive and calm, you also end up appearing and feeling more confident . Probably because truly confident people tend to speak slowly.
It amazes me how through our behaviors and habits we can have a positive impact on our mind. And as coach Marianna Kilburn explains, our body language can directly influence not only the way others see us, but also how we perceive ourselves.
This means that if we want to increase our self-esteem, behaving as if we already feel confident can help us reach this goal.
This is probably why the saying “Fake it till you make it” is so popular.
#3: Show Yourself What You’re Capable Of
Years ago, when I began to read content about personal development and time management, I started to use a daily to-do list.
Using a to-do list is probably the most common advice you can find on any self-improvement website. However, it was something completely new to me.
So the first day I completed all my daily tasks, and crossed all the items off the list, I felt really good about myself.
I couldn’t believe a simple habit like that could give such a positive boost to my self-confidence.
The thing is I was showing myself I could be more productive and get more done than I used to.
Something as little as setting realistic short-term goals and consistently reaching them can keep you motivated and help you develop a healthy level of confidence . By doing that you repeatedly show yourself what you’re capable of.
#4: Work on Your Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs are what hold us back from being the best version of ourselves.
And they are what impede us from unlocking our potential. However, working on overcoming them is possible.
The first step to actually get rid of a limiting belief is to identify it.
For example, if you just started to work in sales and you think you won’t close any deal, that will probably affect your performance, right?
So the first and most important step to take here is to recognize and acknowledge that limiting, pointless belief.
Once you know that idea is limiting you, what you can do is challenging it . And this is the second step of this process.
To challenge a limiting belief, what you can do is to ask yourself smart questions. For example, “Who said I can’t sell anything?” “If Tom closed fifty deals last month, why can’t I do the same?”
The key step
The last step is, as Svetlana Whitener wrote in Forbes, to use empowering beliefs — so that you can finally overcome your negative, limiting beliefs.
An example of using empowering beliefs is the following.
Selling is all about convincing someone to buy something from you. If your limiting belief is you’re not good at convincing others, it may be hard for you to sell your product.
A good way to overcome your limiting idea is trying to remember and write down all the times you convinced someone to do something.
At that point you can tell and remind yourself, “I convinced X to do Y, I also convinced Z do J, so if I want, I can close fifty deals, like Tom did last month. I can definitely do it.”
You can also tell yourself, “Of course I haven’t closed any deal yet, I’m new here. I’m going to learn from my colleagues. I’m going to observe them for weeks, or even for months. And I’m going to take some sales and negotiation courses online. In a few months I’ll become one of the best in my team.”
Do you see the mental shift here? You’re not only telling yourself you can do something, you’re also thinking how you will do it.
How to Be More Confident and Build Unshakable Self-Esteem: Recap
To summarize, these are the four practical ways you can be more confident and build healthy self-esteem, while feeling good about yourself:
- Try power-posing;
- Speak slowly;
- Show yourself what you’re capable of;
- Work on your limiting beliefs.
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