Building your confidence is all about adopting great habits. Genuinely confident people understand this.
The biggest mistake that confidence seekers make is believing that confidence is bestowed on you one day, and then everything is easier. Confident people refuse to engage in the nine confidence-busting habits listed here, instead choosing to adopt the opposite behavior.
Below are nine habits that you need to give up if you want to reap the tremendous rewards that come from confident living.
1. Comparing Yourself with Others
Mark Twain said that comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison is also the thief of confidence.
Confident people don’t go around comparing themselves to other people as a measure of how they stack up. Confident people learn from others. They seek mentors and coaches. They make sure they connect with others who can help them grow. But, they never, ever get caught up in the comparison trap.
When you compare yourself to others, you’re not focused on the unique strengths and talents you have. Comparison only undermines your sense of self. It breeds feelings of insecurity and jealousy. It also isn’t effective, as you only get a partial glimpse of reality. When you’re comparing yourself with others, you never know the whole story; hence, what you’re seeing is at best an incomplete picture of others anyway.
2. Living in the Past
You cannot change the past, only learn from it. Confident people are not focused on the past; they’re focused on the present and envisioning what they can create for the future.
Dwelling on the past–whether it be on great things that happened or not-so-great things that happened–robs you of your ability to drink in the opportunities of today. Successful people don’t do it, and if you want to be more confident, neither should you.
3. Needing Others’ Approval
You can’t be an approval junky and be confident at the same time; life just doesn’t work that way.
If you let another person’s praise be the only thing that lifts you up, then get ready for their criticism to tear you down. Who wants to be on that rollercoaster ride? Not confident people!
When you long for the praise and admiration of others, then you’re seeking confidence from outside of you, not within you. Confidence is an inside job. No one can bestow it on you.
4. Indulging in Self-Bashing Self-Talk
Truly confident individuals take control of their internal dialogue. They use their self-talk to build them up, not tear them down. They affirm their strengths, capabilities, and positive outcomes in their lives.
Do confident people ever have thoughts of self-doubt? Of course, they do. They just don’t set up a tent and linger there. They understand that uncertainty is a part of being human. They’re not 100% certain they can always succeed, but they are certain that being brave is better than cowering to internal fears. They understand that positive self-encouragement is the fuel for success, so they never allow themselves to get stuck in ongoing critical self-talk.
5. Resting on Your Laurels
Confident people keep learning and growing and achieving. They celebrate their wins but never rest on their laurels.
Confident people are people of action. I could go on and on about this, but isn’t it obvious why action is the hallmark of confidence? Confident people aren’t afraid to make things happen; in fact, they insist on it.
7. Saying “Yes” All the Time
Confident people understand the importance of setting and enforcing healthy boundaries. They know that saying “No” is not a bad thing; it’s often necessary and confident people bear no guilt for saying “No” to others.
8. Acting Out of Jealousy
Those with confidence aren’t jealous of others’ successes. They applaud other’s wins. They celebrate them. Confident people understand that others’ triumphs do not diminish their own accomplishments. They know there is plenty of room for everyone to succeed.
9. Stop Learning
Confident people are lifelong learners. (Arrogant people might not be, but never confuse arrogance with confidence; they are NOT the same thing!).
One of the reasons confident people are so confident is that they are continually building their knowledge and skills. Subsequently, they are avid readers. They also attend classes, seminars, and conferences, and join mastermind groups where they can connect and learn at the same time.
Remember, these people do feel fear–they just refuse to accept a life that’s paralyzed by that fear. Instead, they step up and create the lives they want to lead. Feeling confident is not some pipedream that’s out of reach for you; it’s well within your grasp.