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Everybody occasionally struggles with self confidence. But some people have continuing low self esteem. Their lack of confidence serves as a big obstacle.

Have you ever thought: “How could I have been so stupid?” Or, “I was so dumb in that meeting.”

If you have low self esteem, it’s very likely you aren’t happy with yourself. You don’t feel worthy and you’re harshly self critical.

You’re also overly critical of others, and you dwell on other persons’ negative comments about you. Then, you appear to be selfish and distrustful, which is why cynicism results in low pay.

Low self confidence prompts you to look for approval from others. This means you are indecisive and engage in self-doubt.

You might be very good at what you do, but you can still suffer from a lack of confidence, but inadequate social skills hold you back.

As a result, you don’t achieve enough success at work or in your personal life. Irritability causes you to sabotage relationships. This, in turn, decreases your self esteem.

Here’s another sign of low self esteem: You become an over-achiever. You constantly push yourself and you become a workaholic.

This turns into stress. Stress and self esteem are related. A person becomes stressed from depression and mood disorders.

If any of this rings true for your situation, it’s time to transform you. If you become emotionally and physically healthy, you’ll find it easier to ward off stress.

Admittedly, self confidence doesn’t guarantee success. However, you must build a foundation for self confidence to stand a chance in life.

How to build greater confidence:

1. Do a personal inventory of your strengths and weaknesses

List your successes and write them on paper. Think about the skills you used. Keep the list handy for when you feel low.

List your shortcomings and fears. Itemize the skills you need for improvement. Develop goals, and an action plan for growth. Go to any lengths to learn. That includes getting the right mentor.

2. Face your fears

As you encounter situations that make you feel fearful, face them. Don’t avoid them. By staring down your fears, you’ll realize you’re stronger than you thought.

3. Change your thoughts

You are a product of your thoughts. Don’t participate in the office water-cooler gossip. If you have a habit of thinking negatively, stop.

Look for the silver lining in every situation. Nothing great has ever been achieved by a lack of enthusiasm.

Don’t ask yourself “what if” questions, such as “What if I don’t get this job?” Instead, imagine yourself being successful in your job interview.

In other words, change your mental exercise program – don’t jump to conclusions.

“When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”

-Joe Namath

4. Dress as professionally as you can

It isn’t necessary to buy expensive clothes, but if you concentrate on your appearance you’ll feel better and you’ll inspire confidence in you from others.

5. Use good posture

For the best body language, stand and sit erectly. If you stand or sit with slumped shoulders, you don’t look confident nor will you feel it.

Oh, and don’t forget to position yourself with good eye contact and listen intently when someone speaks to you.

6. Write affirmations

Affirm your talents. Write a list of your of your strengths and goals. Recite the list in front of a mirror – often. Keep the list in full view and read it often.

7. Use gratitude at every opportunity

Instead of focusing on your problems or failures, focus on the 90 percent that’s actually working in your career and life.

Develop a gratitude list. List everything for which you feel grateful – your skills, successes and relationships. Keep this list handy, too.

8. Be happy for others

Make it a point to congratulate others at their successes. Complimenting people will make you feel better and will enhance your relationships.

If you look for the good qualities in other people, you’ll project positive qualities as friend, associate or family member.

9. Take a front row seat at every opportunity

Don’t cowardly sit in the back in meetings. Sit in the front row. You’ll develop more self esteem. Others will notice your confidence.

10. Physical activity

If you’re physically fit, you’re less likely to feel insecure, less energetic and unattractive.

If you make working out a habit in early mornings, you’ll feel better and you’ll develop a positive energy and confidence.

11. Volunteer

To get out of your depression, remember the world’s filled with people who are less fortunate than you. Stop thinking solely about yourself.

Look for ways to help others. The more you contribute to the welfare of others, the more rewards you’ll receive in developing your skills, recognition and self confidence.

12. Participate in group discussions

Speak up at least once in every meeting. Look for ways to positively contribute. You’ll be better regarded by your boss and co-workers.

By making an effort to speak up at least once in every group discussion, you’ll become a better public speaker, more confident in your thoughts, and will be recognized as a leader by your peers.

For that matter, take advantage of every opportunity to give speeches.

By becoming a better communicator, you’ll be more confident in a myriad of ways such as enhancing your career, giving a speech, negotiating, and in building healthier relationships.

Here’s how:

1. Speak slowly

People who speak quickly aren’t usually perceived as authoritative. Their enunciation and diction often suffer.

In turn, by speaking slowly, you’ll be more easily understood and you’re less inclined to make a misstatement.

2. Pause

If you pause in speaking, it will help you. Pausing helps you to collect your thoughts. It gives more credibility to what you have to say. You’ll project more authority and confidence.

Indeed, the most powerful public speakers succeed with the power of pauses.

3. Posture

In addition to the above points about posture, it will enhance your breathing and the quality of your speaking voice. Good breathing is important.

People who know how to speak from their diaphragm, benefit from a resonant voice.

4. Pitch and tone

Vary your speech pattern and pitch. Avoid speaking in a boring, monotone style. Listeners will find you more interesting.

Use your diaphragm to speak in a lower tone of voice. You’ll have more authority; hence, more confidence.

5. Arms and hands

Body language with the strategic use of hands – in conjunction with your statements – will help you get your points across.

Save your hand movements for your most impactful sentences. Your audience will be attentive.

Become proficient in these things. If you do, you’ll become more hopeful, which leads to confidence for career success. Keep it going, and you’ll build a fire inside you that can’t ever be extinguished.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

7 Steps to Become Great at Thinking on Your Feet — Have you ever been at a loss for words? For example, when asked a question, have you been tongue tied in a sales presentation, while speaking at an event, in negotiations, during an interview or a staff meeting? Getting tongue-tied is not a fun experience.

Communication – You Can Train Yourself to Stop Stressing — It’s OK to be nervous before giving a speech or when you’re entering an important round of negotiations. Feeling pressure is one thing but allowing it to morph into stress and tension is another. When you allow this to happen, in a sense, you’re giving away your personal power, which inhibits your performance.

Make More Friends at the Office with 6 Etiquette Tips – In many companies, good etiquette is nonexistent and office co-workers fail to make friends of one another. Lack of trust and turmoil is seemingly evident everywhere. You don’t have to like everyone, but it’s best to be respectful, and assertive versus aggressive. That makes for good office relationships.

To Give a Great Speech, 9 Tips to Manage Your Nervousness — If you get nervous even at the thought of giving a speech, join the crowd. You’re not alone. Many people get nervous because they fear criticism, embarrassment, failure and/or rejection. But if you learn to manage your nervousness, you can give great speeches. Here are nine tips.

Learn to Give a Speech Like a Business Pro with 8 Tips — It’s OK to be nervous before giving a speech in public or speaking in a meeting at work. Feeling pressure is one thing but allowing it to morph into stress and tension is another. The good news is you use stage fright to your advantage, if you learn to train yourself to stop stressing.

“When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”

-Joe Namath


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.