How to Develop Self-Confidence
What’s your most important mental asset?
Have you ever considered doing an inventory of your mental assets and liabilities?
I’m going to suggest to you that SELF-CONFIDENCE is your greatest asset.
Now let me explain: To succeed at anything in life, whether it be – you wanting to become the top salesman within your company, or the best soccer player on the team, or the top student within your faculty, you will NEED confidence. A colleague at work was telling me just the other day “Confidence always comes before any Noteworthy Achievement.”
Now let’s see what creates confidence: Sport yes, Martial Arts, Exercise? Those are all great ways to develop Confidence. Public Speaking – being able to speak confidently to a group of people is one of the best ways to develop your confidence. But in this blog I’d like to let you in on something else, another discovery that I’ve made regarding developing World-Class Confidence.
But before I do that I want to paint a picture for you:
Imagine a young 20-something year old man, shy & timid, and he avoids eye contact when he greets you. And now imagine there’s another young man, the polar opposite. This one is gregarious and confident and reaches out his hand to greet you enthusiastically “Good Day Sir, What’s your name?”. His eye contact is strong, he has a firm handshake, and he makes you know he is there. Now you might say – Some people are just shy and others are just confident, you know it’s their character.
But I’d like to challenge you on that and here’s why – for a big part of my life I was that shy young man who struggled with eye contact. And look I mean sport has helped me somewhat, but outside of sport I’ve discovered something which I believe to be the strongest thing I’ve ever discovered when it comes to overcoming your lack of confidence, and here it is – It’s your MENTAL PROGRAMMING.
It’s what you and others tell you to be true about yourself. That shy guy I was just telling you about his mental programming was very negative – he had a very poor self-image.
Here’s how I ended up with that negative programming: When I was growing up I was often told “You’ll never amount to anything”, “You no good”, I was told “You a Problem child, You Clumsy, You’ll probably end up in Prison”. And all these negative programs were told to me over & over, and they obviously took root in the fertile garden of my mind. Whether I was all of that or not isn’t important. What’s important is that all that negative programming I received, which I’m sure some or most of you also received, that negative programming created this weed type thought in my mind that created that young man that was timid and struggled with eye contact. Cause as much as I wanted to fit in, and as much as I wanted to be liked, I had this underlying mental programming that told me I wasn’t good enough. Now for the most part I think I’ve overcome that negative programming, although I still slip back into it from time to time. But I’m definitely much better than I used to be, and I want to tell you why.
Just as much as you and I are programmed by our environments, meaning our peers and the adults we were surrounded by while we were growing up, the minister, the teacher, etc. Just as much as they installed some of this negative programming in us, you and I still have the ability to take control of our own programming through our own “Self-Talk”.
Have you heard of the book “Think & Grow Rich” by the author Napoleon Hill? On page 52 in this phenomenal best-seller Hill describes what he calls a “Self-Confidence Formula”, something he suggests will help you and I overcome our lack of Self-Confidence. He suggests we repeat this formula, which is basically an affirmation. He suggests we repeat it aloud to ourselves every day until the positive thought impulses (in this Formula) reach our subconscious minds. His theory is basically this: if you tell yourself something often enough you’ll eventually begin to believe it. Here’s that formula word-for-word, read it carefully and you tell me if someone who repeats this often enough to themselves will or will not develop Self-Confidence? Here it is:
First. I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my Definite Purpose in life. Therefore, I DEMAND of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.
Second. I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality. Therefore, I will concentrate my thoughts for 30 minutes daily upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture of that person.
Third. I know through the principle of autosuggestion that any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it. Therefore, I will devote 10 minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of SELF-CONFIDENCE.
Fourth. I have clearly written down a description of my DEFINITE CHIEF AIM in life. And I will never stop trying until I have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.
Fifth. I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure unless built upon truth and justice. Therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness and cynicism by developing love for all humanity because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself.
I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory and repeat it aloud once a day, with full FAITH that it will gradually influence my THOUGHTS and ACTIONS so that I will become a self-reliant and successful person.
Now some people are naturally confident without needing a formula like this right?
My feeling is that these naturally confident people were raised by confidence building parents, or confidence building teachers, or coaches, but they are in the minority right?
For the rest of us who need to improve our confidence, we have Hill’s formula. And if confidence is what you after I’m going to encourage you to repeat this formula to yourself (with feeling) every day for the next 60 or 90 days and see if you can pick up a marked improvement in your confidence as a result. Maybe, just maybe you’ll become that gregarious, confident person with an outstretched arm eager to meet everybody in the room.