According to author and poet e.e. cummings, one of the hardest battles you will ever fight as a human being, is being yourself in a world bent on making you like everybody else. In two previous posts, I shared the importance of understanding your personality type’s unique wiring. You can read those here and here.
Now that you know more about your basic temperament, I want you to be YOU boldly and without apology. I don’t mean arrogantly, I mean confidently. Here are 5 steps you can take toward being more confident today.
1. Embrace BOTH your strengths AND weaknesses
I heard someone say once, everyone is made up of strength and struggle. No one gets a free pass from the things that we wish were different about us. Rather than pretend that you don’t have any areas of struggle or, worse yet, beat yourself up about it (I cover that next) embrace both sides of who you are.
It is both your strengths and your weaknesses that make you who you are so stop fighting and start embracing all parts of you. Celebrate all of you, even the not so pretty parts. Play to your strengths, shore up your weaknesses so they don’t become liabilities and dance the dance of life more confidently.
2. Avoid negative self-talk
I don’t know about you but sometimes words fly in my head toward myself that I would never say to anyone else. In fact, I would chew somebody out for saying those words to someone I loved. I know I’m not alone. The negative self-talk has to stop.
You are your first best friend, or rather you should be. You cannot be kinder to a friend than you would be to yourself. Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself about yourself. Are you calling yourself any negative names? Are you constantly criticizing your body? That kind of madness has to stop.
You do yourself a disservice when you spend your mental energy beating yourself up. Nothing is gained by putting yourself down all the time. Instead, accept that you are flawed but so is the person next to you that you think is so perfect. Be intentional to speak only kind words to yourself. Replace every negative thought with a positive one and watch your confidence grow.
3. Stop playing the comparison game
Closely connected to negative self-talk is the comparison game. No one wins in the comparison game. It’s a lose-lose all the way around. You feel bad about yourself and you’re either angry at or jealous about the person you’re comparing yourself to. Anger and jealousy are not healthy emotions to have stirring around inside you.
A better way is to celebrate the other person. I remember once experiencing a fair amount of jealousy about a woman in my circle. I had only just begun learning to celebrate as a way to counter jealousy and I decided to put it into action. She was getting married so I threw her a bridal shower. Celebrating her that day helped to take away the jealousy I was feeling.
That woman you think is so perfect? She’s not. Let it be okay that she is who she is and you are who you are. Get out of the comparison game once and for all and start being more confident in YOU.
4. Learn to say Thank You
When someone gives you a compliment learn to just say thank you. If you are like most people when someone c0mpliments you, you dismiss it almost as soon as you receive it, if you even receive it at all.
Someone says you look pretty and you respond with some variation of how crazy they must be because you’ve gained “x” amount of weight or you didn’t put on any makeup today or you’re having a bad hair day. If you do receive the compliment, it’s followed by a quick justification of some sort that “it was no big deal” or you “didn’t really do anything”. Women in particular are prone to this behavior.
Every time you dismiss a compliment you diminish your value. Each down play is a silent blow to your confidence. So start receiving those compliments. Start saying thank you, with no extra words behind it. If you’re feeling really sassy, you can do what my friend Becca does and say, “Thank you, I know” :) That one might be too big a step for you but you can start with just saying thanks and leaving it there. I dare you to try this out today and see yourself being more confident as you do it.
5. Keep Growing
Keep stretching yourself by learning new things. You might be surprised to discover a hidden talent or a new passion. Whatever the case, an important part of being confident in who you are is to keep growing. Don’t be afraid to get outside your comfort zone a little or a lot.
Daring to do scary things grows you because you discover how much more there is in you than you realize. Learning this about yourself helps you stand more confidently, so look for opportunities to do something that makes you uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy like going skydiving, it could be as simple as talking to a stranger at a party or networking event. The point is for it to feel uncomfortable for you. Do this and your confidence will certainly grow.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but if you start with these 5 steps I can almost guarantee that you will be more confident in who you are. The world needs you to be you so what are you waiting for?!
Is there anything you add to this list? I would love to hear in the comments below.
If you are ready to step more confidently into who you are and want some additional support, I have opened up my calendar for a few complimentary coaching sessions. I’d love for you to take one of these spots. You can click here to schedule directly on my calendar. I look forward to talking with you.