17 Baby Steps to Big Confidence

Sometimes I wonder how a communication expert gets the nerve to suggest how people can live better — with greater clarity and confidence.

Here’s the thing: the people who fear public speaking simply manifest their fear in a very specific way. The rest of us also deal with fear, but not in a way that affects our presentation skills overtly. Nevertheless, fear is a success inhibitor.

That’s how I got to see myself as a confidence and clarity kind of gal.

No matter where you are, your performance gets better each time you have more confidence in yourself. More confidence = take more risks (and face it, everything worthwhile is risky) = more wins in life.

So here are some easy ways you can become a more confident person.

1. Exercise 4 to 6 times a week.

2. Stop comparing yourself to other people.

When you notice that you’re thinking how someone does X so much better than you do, simply remind yourself, “Why do I like to put other people on pedestals?”

3. Go to bed early one night a week.

4. Make a oh-so-private list of 20 things you really enjoy.

5. Keep track of your past home runs. Better write them down somewhere.

6. Read the story of The Little Engine that Could.

7. Take a small risk and do something out of your comfort zone.

This could be calling someone, asking someone for a favor, taking a kick boxing class, ordering something for lunch you usually don’t eat.

8. Start describing yourself as a confident person, even if only when you talk to yourself.

9. Start a blog.

10. Sign up for a cooking class.

I’m taking one next week with Chef Ulak from Charleston’s Caviar & Bananas. My chef friend Nancy Waldek gives great classes in Atlanta. If you want to get a beautiful recipe with kitchen tips from her every Friday, click here.

11. Make a list of the people who seem to knock your confidence down. Make a note to be careful around them. (You know they don’t mean harm but you gotta take care of yourself.)

12. Think of people you consider to be really confident. Follow them on Twitter.

13. If you could have 5 different careers, what would they be? Write those down.

14. If you were the person you really wanted to be, what would you think about? Write down those thoughts and think them!

15. Start a mastermind group with 3 confident friends.

If you don’t know anyone with whom you can start a mastermind group, get a coach. You can start with a 3-month experiment and see.

16. Call someone you’ve been meaning to call.

17. Read The Velveteen Rabbit. Remember that you’re real.

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