Those photos, those videos… That Instagram image, that Facebook post, that LinkedIn update, that YouTube vlog…
You can’t seem to do anything these days, without bumping into someone’s triumphant sharing (some might say, OVER-sharing) of their personal and professional success.
They may credit many different factors in their recipe towards accomplishment.
But hands-down, the number one reason people express their potential, develop in their careers and honour their own unique blueprint is self-confidence.
Which seems unfair, because some people seem blessed with a seemingly never-ending supply of it, while others feel lucky if they can experience that magical state once in a very rare while.
Which is why, when I work one-on-one with my young professional mentees, developing their self-confidence is one of the primary areas we target together – and the results are impressive.
From better sleep, to better relationships, to improved health… all the way to enhanced appreciation and promotion by their employers.
Everyone can develop self-confidence, including, if you’re reading this with doubts, YOU. Here are nine keys to boost your self-confidence in just 30 days.
- Target excellence
The famous Jim Rohn used to say that ‘Good’ was the enemy of ‘Great’. And he was right.
If you target mediocrity, or staying average, then you’ll never experience the satisfaction and deep self-belief and self-appreciation that comes with targeting excellence.
Of course, the journey towards achieving the highest standard in anything is not for everyone. But if you’re reading this blog, it’s because you know, in your heart, you’re not going to be satisfied with merely ‘good enough’, or sticking only to ‘what works’.
The heart of an innovator and a high-performer is to challenge themselves to go beyond the benchmark for ‘good’ that’s taken for granted by those around them.
Have a look at who has the courage, imagination and commitment to target excellence in your life. Keep them close to you, and find honourable ways to distance yourself from those who are complacent. Do this for 30 days, and make it a habit.
- Reclaim your appearance
We shouldn’t judge on appearance. But the reality is… first impressions count a lot in our fast-paced, competitive societies.
Now, I’m not advising you to go and splurge on designer clothes if you’re on a limited budget, but I AM advising you to spend better care in how you look.
Looking and feeling better includes sorting out your diet (no more unhealthy ‘snacks’ and junk meals), daily exercise (you don’t need a gym membership – there are unlimited free workout ideas on the internet) and, yes, saving up for quality items of attire wherever your budget allows.
One pair of high-quality shoes, a smart, well-tailored suit, a clean and professional hair-cut goes a long, long way – professionally and personally.
And it will sky-rocket your confidence on every occasion.
- Make friends with discomfort
The dreaded comfort zone. So familiar, so appealing, so… well… comfortable.
But if you want to grow your confidence over the next month, you have to find creative reasons to go (or should I say grow) beyond it.
Here are some suggestions:
Set a date to have that difficult conversation with your manager, where you bring up the topic of why you’re not getting the support you need in the office, or why you may have been passed over for promotion or a raise.
Commit to taking part in some event that will require you to work hard – perhaps a charity sporting event – or perform some action before others that you have so far resisted doing – such as public speaking.
Of course, you don’t need to do this on your own. In contrast to coaches, a dedicated mentor will actually take you by the hand and go on the journey with you.
Either way, make moves to get beyond your comfort zone over the next 30 days. Your confidence will thank you for it.
- Expect good things
The hardest thing about hard things is oftentimes our own mind-set. And high performers, sooner or later, discover mind-set is the alpha and omega of making personal progress and cultivating unshakeable self-confidence.
Sometimes this is easier said than done. Most of us will go through hard times at some point or other in life. And at such times, it’s hard not to make caution and pessimism our default setting.
But that’s part of the challenge of the next 30 days, if you know you suffer from negative thinking and you’re honest enough to admit that it erodes your confidence, your ability to feel ready to handle the challenges, the unexpected difficulties or crises.
You don’t have to do it alone. Part of getting to a growth mind-set, where you see difficulties as opportunities and actively search to see things in a positive light… is finding the people who will support and add to that mind-set.
Expecting good things requires you to check-in with your thoughts and mental patterns, find positive ways of interrupting the negative self-talk and maintaining access to the people who will help keep you in the plus and not the minus side of the landscape.
You will see that cultivating a positive attitude where you deliberately expect good things to come to you, over the next 30 days (and, okay, beyond!) will grow your self-confidence radically.
- Chase gratitude
What’s even better than getting ready for good things to come to you? It’s actively going towards reasons to feel grateful.
That’s right – over the next 30 days, I want you to chase gratitude.
Not just passively, reluctantly, grudgingly try to make yourself feel grateful (particularly hard to do if you’re experiencing challenges in daily life)….
But actively setting yourself that target of running after opportunities to feel grateful… as if you’re pursuing a particularly interesting or attractive person.
Trust me, as paradoxical as it may feel… the more gratitude you can allow yourself to experience, the more things you will find to be grateful about. And the benefits, other than self-confidence and good health… will be a new feeling of optimism.
And if you can get to optimism, you can dial down fear, reservation, insecurity, and, over 30 days, discover a new level of self-confidence!
- Write down your goals
This is a big one for me and is a critical part of the work I do with my mentees, in helping them design a sequence of steps towards achieving breakthroughs they desire. And, yes, growing their self-confidence.
Writing down their goals. When we work together, every mentee has to do that.
Because something magical happens when you write down something that your heart, mind and spirit truly desire…
You immediately either see the truth or the illusion behind the target you’ve just set down.
And if it’s an illusion – i.e. a goal that you’ve told yourself you want, but which is not actually aligned with your heart’s desire… then hanging on to it will erode your confidence (because you’ll lack the ‘heart’ to achieve it, and this, in turn, will undermine your ability to feel confident).
Meanwhile, if what you’ve written down truly represents what you wish to accomplish, then your spirit will respond with love to seeing your commitment printed, in your own writing – a kind of contract you have just made with yourself.
And from that love… will grow the passion and motivation and, yes, confidence, to achieve it.
Write down the goals that are precious to you and read them every day over the next month, and see how it jump-starts your self-confidence.
- Cultivate influence – be a connector
Influence has always been important to personal and professional progress, which is why Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People remains a foundational text on the art of growing your reach and impact on others.
Influence is also one of the characteristics of super achievers, as identified by high-performance gurus such as Brendon Burchard.
But what exactly is influence?
The way I define it is as: influence is being seen as an authority with integrity in a particular subject or area, who is also a talented and generous connector.
As long as you are visible (and cultivating visibility) before people in the areas of life that you consider to be aligned with your personal goals…
And those people see you as someone with both integrity AND authority (i.e. a higher level of ability) in that area…
AND you are generous in introducing people in that network to each other, or bringing more people into that network…
(…in other words, showing that you are willing to serve and benefit that network…)
Then your influence will grow, and with it, your sense of confidence.
Try putting people together, or selflessly introducing friends you know to each other, for their benefit, over the next 30 days, and their gratitude and respect will boomerang back to you… in the form of self-confidence.
- Celebrate others
This is a huge one.
Like it or not, we all have human moments, where other people seem to us to be having a good and happy life… whereas perhaps, for us, at that particular moment, life is actually being very tough.
Perhaps we’ve just broken up with a partner or going through a bitter divorce.
Perhaps a parent or loved one is suffering with ill-health or a terminal illness.
Perhaps… no matter what we seem to do… we are encountering setback after setback in our professional life, with no hope or clues as to how to turn that situation around.
At such moments, it’s especially hard to feel genuinely happy or pleased at someone else’s personal or professional success, accomplishment or good fortune…
ESPECIALLY if in areas where we ourselves are feeling a tremendous lack.
But I promise you… a person who cannot genuinely celebrate others’ successes, will always feel insecure about their own self-worth and with feeling equally deserving of the universe’s blessings.
Conversely, by sincerely praising and feeling happy when others in your life succeed, and by actively celebrating their success… you will not only attract to yourself the people, events and opportunities that you yourself desire, but you will also powerfully rendezvous with your own sense of confidence.
Because people who are happy for others, have far less room in their minds and hearts for self-doubt and low self-esteem – the opposite side of the coin, from self-confidence.
So, celebrate others over the next 30 days, and light up the self-confidence in your own heart. Good things are on the way to you as well.
- Embrace generosity
Finally, following on from celebrating others’ successes… I want you to practise generosity over the next month.
I’m sure you’re already a generous person.
Perhaps you are an active volunteer for good causes, or give of your time and money to serve others, or offer a listening ear to those in trouble or who need support.
Whatever you already do in terms of generosity… over the next 30 days, do more.
Don’t worry about how much more. Or what form your generosity takes. It doesn’t really matter. What’s important is to find new excuses to act with love for someone without expecting anything in return.
Bonus points if you get no credit for such generosity, or you don’t even know the person that you’re being generous to.
The universe pays attention, and in the meantime, you get to feel good about yourself.
Actually… you get to feel great about yourself.
Because generosity is a happiness that goes down to your bones, and reminds you that you are precious human being, with your own unique blueprint of talents and gifts.
Giving to others – whether in the form of time, resources, support or simply in keeping people in your thoughts while wishing them well – connects you to what is highest inside you.
Among which is, I promise you, is the profound confidence to go after your dreams.
To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com