Confidence is self-trust. How far we trust ourselves decides about our results.
A former trainer of mine, Lester Karrass, famously said:
"In business and in life - you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate."
The less faith you have in yourself, the weaker will you negotiate. You will settle for little. We ask for what we feel we are worth.
People who lack confidence will neither ask nor get much from life.
I put together for your 8 simple tips that allow you to increase your confidence and start re-negotiating with life.
I will admit that the “simple tips” are a comprehensive collection of self-growth exercises. “Comprehensive collections of sometimes difficult exercises that require persistence and effort” was just too long for the headline (;
Perhaps I even smuggled 2 tips in 1.
Then again … flashy one-liners rarely take you places. My guide has the potential to do something for you – if you allow it.
"I am good the way I am, even though I am not perfect."
Self-acceptance means to embrace yourself with all of your mistakes. The price question is: How can you implement a mindset of self-acceptance into everyday life?
I have an effective exercise for you, but it will take practice.
Think of something about yourself you strongly dislike and that bugs you regularly. It could be:
"Even though I .................... I am ok and right and worth the good things in life."
With “good things” I mean for instance: love, respect, abundance, recognition. The sentence reflects a fundamental fact of life that should be internalized to increase your feeling of self-worth – and achieve the results you want.
If only perfect people deserved the good things, nobody would deserve them. Because nobody is perfect. You're not. I'm not. The person you look up to the most is not. Richard Branson is not. Not even the Dalai Lama.
An example of a self-acceptance mantra:
"I know who I am and where I stand."
Self-awareness helps to stay calm and relaxed in a difficult situation. Self-aware people can act sovereign.
They handle negative feedback in a constructive manner. Moreover, they act more than they react.
When they consider something important, they will make it a subject of discussion.
Why can they do it? Because they know:
"I am how I am and that is how I am."
The better we can accept and embrace who we are, the more authentic we become. With confidence and self-esteem, it allows us to show more and more often who and how we are.
Without being ashamed of ourselves and that we are how we are. It becomes easier to say: “What you think about me is your problem and not mine.”
Authenticity directly results from self-acceptance. It works the other way around too. If I dare to show how I am, my self-acceptance will increase.
If this concept is frightening to you, you can start out small. Start by showing the real you to a selective group of people you trust. Own your fear, weakness, mistakes, and things you wished were different. Talk about your feeling of shame and display your vulnerability.
You quickly see that you feel a new dimension of connection with your counterparts. Showing vulnerability creates a connection that could not be deeper. But careful: Start with people you trust.
The more often you practice authenticity, the more you will learn to accept yourself.
Write a list of all the things you feel ashamed of. Put the demons on a piece of paper. That has a cleansing effect by itself.
Then sort the list from “less terrible” to “most terrible”. Practice moving more and more items to the “less terrible” section. Admit how you are and accept it more and more.
In conversations, you will notice that many people deal with the same issues you do. Commonality creates connection and has a healing effect.
I will not lie to you. That takes guts and not everyone will appreciate you. But you will earn respect from the people that matter and learn to accept yourself, which will lead to more power and happiness.
"I deserve the good things in life."
We all have needs.
"I treat myself like a good friend."
There is one more thing that helps us to increase our feeling of self-worth and genuinely accept us: kindness towards ourselves and self-care. It means nothing else than treating yourself with care and kindness. Just like you would treat a good friend. For instance:
"I know what I can do and what I cannot do (yet)."
Difficulties with self-acceptance are most often related to our focus. You know about the half-full and half-empty glass. Even optimistic people can be cruel and unforgiving to themselves.
Every person has strengths and weaknesses. Ugly and pretty features. We have no problems accepting this duality in others.
Many of us focus primarily on our ugly spots. Our shortcomings, imperfections, and weaknesses.
Take off your glasses and put on a better pair!
You need glasses that allow you to not just see everyone else in a realistic light, but also yourself.
The first step is the realization that you are wearing glasses that make you look ugly. Glasses that prevent you from seeing your wonderful and pretty features.
The glasses have perhaps been built by signals from your childhood, past relationships – painful experiences of all sorts.
Every person has talents and strengths.
Your task: Switch glasses and go on a hunt. The hunt for what is great about you. A few questions that can help:
"I am true to myself."
Earlier, you read how important it is to know who you are. Part of this is to know what is indispensable to you because that provides you with inner strength.
It's not enough to know your values. You also have to live up to them, live them and defend them. If we don't do that, we will soon lose self-respect.
If I live my values as good as I can, my self-respect will grow. It's critical to follow your inner voice.
But how do you know what is of crucial importance to you?
If I refuse to produce plastic waste, support Greenpeace and march against environmental pollution, “environmental protection” is one of my values.
If I take care of my loved ones each day, focused on making everyone's life as good as I can, “family” might be one of my values.
There are so many values. Tolerance, togetherness, fairness, autonomy, success, harmony … and, and, and.
We all have values. But we are also confronted with situations that make us question our values. That tempt us to compromise or even give up on them.
It's only human to buckle from time to time – and to forgive yourself for it. It is even better to hold up your values and adjust your life accordingly. 100% is not always possible, but we should strive for it.
That is the way to go. How can I achieve that? Ask yourself:
"I take charge of my life."
People with a high level of self-esteem solve their problems. That does not mean they are invincible superheroes, but that they attempt to find solutions to their problems. They are accountable. They don't put their head in the sand and wait it out.
Not only that, but they don't wait around for a hero to rescue them and make their issues go away.
Not only that, but they tell themselves: “Dang. That s .... and can't continue like that. Therefore, I will take action.”
If you take care of your issues (starting with simple ones for quick rewards) your self-respect will increase. Because you are doing something for yourself. Because you are important enough to yourself to stand up for yourself and hold yourself accountable.
Starting with the concerns that are simple and easy to solve: take care of your difficulties. One after the other. That creates confidence and self-respect.
"I take my time and stay on it."
Yes, I know. This article has numerous ideas. And each of them is ambitious and cannot be implemented in a day.
Therefore, one thing is essential: Do not implement all ideas at the same time. Instead, pick a single idea and try it.
When you played with it for a while, and it becomes a habit, pick the next one. As they say: “The longest journey starts with the first step”. And every step brings you closer to the finishing line. It's tempting to change everything at once.
Sadly, lasting change does not work like this.
Patience, discipline, realistic expectations and persistence are key when it comes to making impactful changes. We must not forget that implementing new habits and beliefs requires our brain to change, remove neural pathways that do no longer serve us and replace them with new ones.
Therefore: Start small, stay on it, enjoy small successes. Change another small thing, continue to be persistent and enjoy your progress.
Repeat until the changes have become habits, automatism.
Yes, that can take a few weeks and months. Things that crept in over the years cannot change in a day.
It's understandable that we want to make changes quickly. “Change your brain in 10 days” will not work, just as “lose 20 pounds (ca. 9 kg) in 3 days”.
My advice is: Take the first step to more confidence, self-acceptance, and self-esteem. Enjoy the ride, and you will see: It's worth it.
And this will help you: PROJECT CONFIDENCE