Our friend Henry David Thoreau wrote the following passion about his experiment in the woods in Walden. Several well-known shorter quotes appear in this passage.
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
We all want to be confident, right? But how? Here are six tips for increasing your confidence.
- Believe in your brand – I know this is glib marketing-speak, but it really is important to believe in your brand. This may mean different things to different people. For some, this may have to do with physical appearance. For others, it may be the value you know you bring to the table. This can mean whatever it means to you. You have a zone, sweet spot for you. You’ve been there before. Learn to access that state on command. When you’re in that zone, confidence is not an issue. Key phrase is, “FEEL GOOD.”
- Be prepared – Yep. The scouts have it right. Nothing increases your confidence than knowing you’ve done all you can to prepare for a situation or for life in general. You don’t have to be a genius to come off as one. Being prepared can make you look like the smartest one in the room. Key phrase is “BE READY.”
- Get Better – Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend four of them sharpening my axe.” More than 100 years later, motivation gurus seized on this quote a made it a metaphor for continuous improvement. The idea is always be doing something to stay sharp or get better. It’s about making self-improvement a constant part of your game plan. Key phrase is, “FEED YOUR MIND.”
- Set and achieve small goals – nothing gives you confidence like success. A success doesn’t have to be huge to give you confidence and momentum. Set some small goals and achieve them or break up your big goal into small quickly attainable goals. Benjamin Franklin coined an aphorism. “Small strokes fell great oaks.” Take this approach and watch your confidence grow. Key phrase is, “START SMALL END BIG.”
- Begin…start…now – waiting for the confidence to do something only stresses you out and makes you question more. Nothing defeats doubt or builds confidence faster than action. Lack of confidence is in your mind. To beat it, you must get out of your mind and get into physical action. With some focus, you may have knocked out those things that made you doubt before your doubt even gets started. “ACTION IS TRACTION.“
- Trust yourself and the universe – If you’ve learned nothing else in these past 72 days, you should have learned that there is something AMAZING within you and that you are completely connected to something even bigger and more amazing. Whether you call that something the universe or God or Tao isn’t as important as knowing it’s there and it’s aligned with you. So trust. You’re FAR from small, weak, or helpless. Everything you need is right here and right now. Key phrase is, “TRUST AND KNOW.”
This is not exhaustive list of things you can do to build your confidence, but my hope is to give you some practical, actionable items that can help you build or enhance in your confidence.
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