Everyone wants to be strong, intelligent, confident, and incredibly adept at everything we attempt. Yet everything we do is clouded to some degree by uncertainty and fear. We fear we will make mistakes, we fear we will be rejected, and we fear outright failure. No matter how confident we may outwardly appear, every one of us has inner demons we must battle.
What we forget – or fail to realize at all – is that each one of us has special qualities and talents that make us unique. We cannot excel at everything, but each one of us excels at something. Sometimes we need reminders that allow us to change our self image and see our own talents and abilities as the rest of the world sees them. Most of us are far more critical of ourselves than anyone else is, and we need to be reminded of our own special abilities.
Next time you find yourself needing a boost in confidence, try doing these exercises to remind yourself that you are indeed special and worthy.
- Look at Your Own Heroes: Think about the people you have looked up to and admired in your life. These could be fictional characters in books, on television, or in the movies. Or they could be real people in your life, who have helped you and guided you along your path to self improvement. Think about the qualities these people have that you admire. Determine which actions they took that embodied the characteristics you value – trust, strength, honesty, determination.
Once you have decided who your personal heroes are and why, examine the actions you have taken in your own life. Find things you have done that demonstrate each of those qualities you admire. Find ways in which you have the same characteristics as your heroes, and ask yourself what positive changes you can make to enhance those qualities.
- Listen to How Others are Described: For a period of a week, take notice of how your friends and family describe others. Particularly pay attention to how they describe people they admire and look up to. Make a list of both the positive and negative qualities that are discussed. At the end of the week, compare your characteristics with those on your list. Take note of the many positive traits you have in common with those who are looked upon favorably by your friends and family. Take notice as well of the negative qualities you share, and determine how best to change those behaviors into positive attributes.
- Identify Your Fears: Many times you may behave in certain ways because you are trying to compensate for fears. You may be trying to overcome insecurities, you may fear growing old, or you may fear failure. Trying to hide such fears can often lead us to behave in less than desirable ways as we try to outwardly appear stronger, braver, and more capable.
Rather than fall into this trap, try to identify those fears that cause you to behave in a manner you may not be proud of. Then try to determine ways in which you can either overcome your insecurities or behave in a manner that is truer to the values you wish to exude. The next time you find yourself in a similar situation, allow yourself the opportunity for self growth by employing the new behaviors.
Taking the time to identify your personal heroes and find areas of comparison allows you to realize that you, too, have many positive attributes. Rather than get pulled down by uncertainty, mentally reaffirm to yourself that you share many strengths and abilities that your own role models possess. Doing so will not only give you the confidence to achieve your personal goals, but it will allow you to realize that you are a hero to someone you know.