What’s the state of your confidence account?
The reason I ask, is that confidence seems to be the key to the good life. Even when your bank account is taking strain, high confidence levels can change that. For instance, have you noticed how many people with healthy confidence accounts land up in leadership roles, while those who lack it often lag behind?
What exactly is this much sought after quality then, and how do we acquire it? Confidence or rather how to achieve it can be a difficult thing to pin down – like eating jelly with a fork.
Most of us are pretty confident in areas we’re familiar with, but why do some people seem so fearless when exploring the unfamiliar too? Why are their fear boundaries so elastic? Why are they not more intimidated by life’s risky bits?
Mostly, it’s because they TRUST their ability to master new experiences. Confidence is a byproduct of self trust.
Think of it like this, if you went on a safari in the African bush would you be comfortable venturing out among lions and elephants with a guide who had no proven ability to keep you from being a lion’s lunch or an elephant’s football?
I wouldn’t! I’d want to see some evidence in his guiding abilities, in the same way I’d want to research the trustworthiness of a prospective employee.
Would you trust someone who didn’t take responsibility for their words and actions; who blamed other people and situations when things went pear shaped? Would you trust someone who talked the talk, but didn’t walk it; who made commitments they didn’t keep, and made excuses for this? Would you trust someone who didn’t respect and take care of themselves, to respect and take care of you? And would you trust someone who was constantly stressed and out of control?
What if this person was you?
Here are 50 ways confident people build self trust:
1. Develop the accountability habit – hold yourself responsible for everything you say and do.
2. Become a walking advertisement for self respect in action.
3. Care – about your health, wealth, goals and personal development.
4. Give less advice – and ask more questions.
5. Risk being imperfect. There is no such thing. It’s just another way of saying I’ll do it later.
6. Be decisive. Say and do what has to be done. People-pleasing is dishonest – like a politician fishing for votes.
7. Value yourself. Appreciate yourself. How can you sell yourself to others, if you can’t sell yourself to you?
8. Endorse yourself regularly. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. You can only make others feel good when you feel good about yourself.
9. Discipline your emotions. Out of control emotions distort your thinking, and lead to irresponsible decisions and impulsive words and actions.
10. Don’t try to impress – BE impressive.
11. Get comfortable with commitment. Ducking and diving does not build trust – and it’s exhausting.
12. If you don’t know – admit you don’t know – and make an effort to find out. Nothing damages credibility faster than BS.
13. Don’t make promises, unless you intend to deliver on them.
14. Be yourself. You’re a limited edition – and anyway, everyone else is taken.
15. Stand up for yourself when necessary. It’s not someone else’s job. It’s yours.
16. Spend time getting to know yourself intimately. The better you know someone, the more you trust them.
17. Be professional and ethical – always. Would you trust someone who wasn’t?
18. Practice self compassion when you mess up or are feeling fragile.
19. State clearly and honestly what you think and feel.
20. Ask directly for what you want, need or expect. Don’t take “the scenic route”.
21. Mind your own business before you mind others.
22. Don’t assume—listen, seek clarification, information and verification.
23. Be specific instead of vague. Trust comes from knowing where you stand.
24. Be willing to risk failure. Unless you’re skydiving without a parachute, it’s unlikely to be fatal.
25. Become a solution seeker—not a problem recycler.
26. Draw boundaries—be willing to risk rejection, disapproval or abandonment when necessary.
27. Do risk assessments. Plan properly. This increases the odds of delivering what you promised.
28. Don’t lie – one small lie can destroy a mountain of trust.
29. Don’t criticize or talk down to yourself. If you do, you’ll automatically do it to others.
30. Don’t do things half assed. Go the extra mile and do it properly.
31. Listen to what your feelings are telling you; trust them. It’s your GPS guiding you.
32. Compliment yourself when you make progress or get things right. Celebrate your successes – it builds confidence in your abilities.
33. Be punctual, organized and consistent.
34. Criticism and punishment don’t bring out the best in anyone. Persuade yourself into habits that build trust.
35. Know who you really are – your strengths and weaknesses, and your core values. People don’t trust shape-shifters, and neither should you.
36. Admit you don’t know it all; and neither does anyone else. This allows you to keep upping your game and becoming more trustworthy each day.
37. Be loyal to yourself. If you betray your own trust, so will others.
38. No matter how scary it is – get started – and don’t stop. Action breeds trust and confidence like nothing else can.
39. Lead by example – walk your talk.
40. Don’t procrastinate. Not getting things done when you say you will creates a lack of trust.
41. Avoiding problems, instead of dealing with them makes you untrustworthy.
42. Justifying yourself makes you untrustworthy. If you have nothing to hide, why do you need to justify your words or actions?
43. Ditto for defensiveness. Why would you need to be defensive, if you’re being transparent?
44. Pick your inner circle with care. One person who’s watching your back is worth 100 who are waiting to stab it.
45. When you know you’re being true to you – hear the criticism, take the potshots, endure the laughter or derision – and just keep going.
46. Develop your risk immunity. Keep stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone.
47. Showcase and share your expertise.
48. Apologize when you’re wrong. Say it. Mean it. And most of all MAKE IT RIGHT.
49. Finding yourself is fine. Constantly re-creating yourself is better.
50. Being constantly stressed makes you extremely untrustworthy. It scrambles your brain, makes you impulsive, short fused and irrational, and leads to accidents, ill health, broken promises and poor decisions.
Constantly exploring what you’re capable of breaks the boundaries of what you thought was possible. In time you develop a sense of reverence for your courage. This is how self trust is built. And when you trust yourself implicitly it forms a bullet proof vest of confidence – regardless of what you have to face.
You are the CEO of your life – so act like one.
When you can stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye (as I do) and say, hell, I’d hire you in a heart beat you’ve earned your own trust!
Now you can walk out into the world and do amazing things.
And if you’re not there yet, that’s okay – I can help you.