Confidence building is simple, it means acting confident to look and feel confident. Self-esteem follows and if one practices the basic skills on a daily basis, one can enjoy a better life, cope with challenges and achieve greater potential.
‘It doesn’t matter how things are in your life right now,’ says Paul McKenna in Instant Confidence, ‘it can all change in a day’. That day could be today, it’s up to every individual to decide if they wish to make the change.
Body Language and Dress to Reflect Self-Esteem and Confidence
Everyone can control body language to some extent, starting with posture, standing tall, head up, shoulders back, centered and well balanced. It’s best to practise in front of the mirror and remind oneself throughout the day.
The way one sits is equally important, avoiding slumping, fiddling or crossing arms or legs, all of which betray insecurity. Walking in a purposeful manner always looks good, whether it’s work or leisure. Confident people stand out of the crowd by the way they walk.
Attention to grooming and dress is another valuable tool to improve self-esteem. That doesn’t mean spending lots of money but choosing what suits and makes one feel good. Whether it’s hairstyle or jeans, colours or shapes, crystals, silver or gold, emphasizing strong points will distract attention from less flattering parts.
Communication Skills for Confidence Building
Dress and body language play an essential role in confidence building but life coach Gael Lindenfield also recommends good communication skills. This begins with paying attention to others, practising eye contact, addressing people by name, listening and empathising by using a similar vocabulary. It’s all about creating a good impression and building one’s own confidence in return.
The next step is learning to be assertive. That involves saying ‘no’ when appropriate, politely but firmly, giving reasons if need be, but without being drawn into an argument. A firm decision often brings respect but if it doesn’t, perhaps it’s best to look elsewhere.
Finally, it’s important to keep cool, however difficult a situation may be. Weak people lose their temper, confident people manage frustration and anger by holding their ground and keeping to the issue in hand. No side tracking, no shouting.
Life Skills to Boost Self-Confidence
When successful communication and body language begin to boost confidence, it becomes easier to decide what one really wants from life. This isn’t about daydreaming but making decisions and planning accordingly. Achieving goals pushes confidence to new heights but they must be personal and have a time scale.
Setting goals is one thing, achieving them another, but positive thinking will help bridge the gap. It’s essential to stop negative thoughts as soon as they appear and better still, practise standing in front of the mirror, reminding oneself of past, present and future achievements. Such affirmations repeated twice a day will increase confidence with surprising momentum.
Staying in one’s comfort zone is tempting but doing something new every day is good practice, whether it’s trying out a recipe, taking up painting or buying white roses instead of red. It’s all about accepting risks and increasing confidence step by step to pave the way for big life changing decisions.
Finally everyone should aim for balance between work, relationships and personal relaxation. Confidence means paying attention to body and mind, looking and feeling good, using all the tools at one’s disposal, from body language and communication to setting goals, taking risks and enjoying a balanced life.
Assertive Communication Skills: Acquiring Assertiveness Skills
Individual behavior can be divided into two major categories namely victim behavior and non-victim behavior. Being assertive correlates with non-victim behavior whereas victim behavior can range from submissive to aggressive behavior.
Types of Victim Behavior
Aggressive behavior refers to when individuals react impulsively and do not contemplate what to say or how to react.
Submissive behavior refers to when individuals find it difficult to say no to others to protect their own interests. Submissive individuals do not react to what is happening around them.
Passive/submissive-aggressive refers to those individuals who keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves until some event provokes an emotional outburst. These individuals vacillate from being aggressive to submissive according to circumstances.
Origins of Behavior
Individual behavior is the summation of one’s emotions and thoughts. Feelings and emotions together with one’s thoughts influence an individual’s self-concept. The latter, in turn has an effect on one’s behavior. Hence, one’s self-concept is the origin of an individual’s behavior.
Definition of Self Concept
Self concept is defined as the summation of self image and self esteem. The former refers to how one perceives himself or herself, whereas the latter refers to how one values himself or herself.
Knowing how one reacts to other people’s behavior and to upcoming circumstances assists individuals in understanding better what they think and feel and how they behave in certain circumstances. As a result, it will be easier to understand how certain behavior affects others.
An individual’s reactions to circumstances often reflect how he or she perceives him/herself. Thus being aware of one’s reactions assists in learning to change where it is necessary and react accordingly to how one is feeling without hurting either themselves or others.
How to be More Assertive
Assertiveness can be obtained by attempting to adhere to the following rules of assertive behavior:
- Do not be afraid to express your personal likes and dislikes;
- Do not be embarrassed to talk about your accomplishments;
- Do not be shy to approach people you would like to know;
- Do not let others take advantage of you;
- Do be friendly and outgoing with others;
- Do accept compliments graciously;
- Do use eye contact when speaking to others;
- Do express disagreement in a non-aggressive manner; and
- Do expect to be treated with fairness.
Building self-esteem and building self-confidence is the first step in becoming more assertive and developing a positive and assertive self-concept. Nobody is 100% assertive and sure about him/herself. Too much sureness of oneself usually results in aggressive or passive behavior. Being assertive is a learning and dynamic process.