Karen Darrin

Last week, I shared 6 Steps to Boost Your Self-Confidence.”  The steps were:

  1. Visualize yourself as you want to be.
  2. Do one thing that scares you everyday.
  3. Question your “Inner Critic.”
  4. Set yourself up to win.
  5. Stand tall.
  6. Forgive yourself.

I received so many “thank you’s” from that post, that I decided to share four more “turtle steps” that you can start doing right now — all designed to improve how you see yourself.

1.  Accept compliments.

Think about the last time someone offered you a genuine compliment. What did you say in response? Did you instantly start explaining all of the reasons you actually didn’t deserve that praise?  Accepting compliments can be awkward. You don’t want to seem arrogant, so instead you start drawing attention to your own faults and shortcomings to inject a little more humility into that conversation.

But, here’s the thing: When you know you worked hard on something and are pleased with the overall result, you’ve more than earned the attention and appreciation of others. So go ahead and accept that compliment and reply with a simple, “Thank you.”

2.  Stop diminishing your achievements with “but…”

Similarly, adding the word “but” to any compliment or achievement diminishes its value.

You landed that job you wanted . . . but you knew the hiring manager. You put together an awesome project update . . . but it would’ve been even better if you had a little more time.

Sound familiar? I know that I’m guilty of making excuses like these for why my own accomplishments aren’t that great. But why invest the time and energy to shoot down your own achievements? Skip the “but” and instead focus on the first half of those sentences. They’re way more rewarding.

3.  Ignore negative criticism.

My mom use to tell me, “Opinions are like noses. Everybody has one.” If someone has shared their opinion of you and you don’t find any nuggets of value in their feedback, ignore it. Do not dwell on someone’s warped view of you. I would bet you don’t respect them anyway.

Try thinking of something more positive and remind yourself about the skills you do have. The reason this works is because it’s the brain cycles you waste on something negative that tends to lower confidence. Ponder the positives!

4.  Find people who will boost your self-confidence.

I’m convinced the best way to build confidence is to find people who know how to encourage you and build you up. Jim Rohn said,

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Who do you surround yourself with?  If you tend to hang out with people who criticize you (and others) too much, that’s going to kill your confidence. Find new friends who more emotionally intelligent.  Unfortunately,  there are many adults in the workplace who remain stuck in mean school playground behavior. Notice them and make another choice. Consciously select individuals who you respect and admire and find ways to spend more time with them.

By practicing these simple steps, you will boost your confidence level. Don’t waste time lashing out at yourself or letting others treat you badly. Find people who are living the way you want to live and start spending time with them. Let them mentor you. Notice (and stop) diminishing your accomplishments. Change how you talk to yourself. Own your achievements and soak in the compliments, especially the applause you give yourself.

CALL TO ACTION:  Would you like to become more confident? Let’s brainstorm strategies together. Schedule a Free 30-min Consult or email me at karen@karendarrin.com.

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