Let me start by telling the truth.
I didn't really write this post for you. While I might make several "you" and "your" references throughout it, I wrote this post more for myself -- a. to force myself back into the swing of posting (since my lack of blog content these past few months has been downright shameful) and b. because I've been on a confidence downer recently and need a good ol' jolt of carefully-strung, honest-yet-kind words to get me back in high spirits. My hope is that this post will also be helpful for you because it's always sweeter killing two birds with one stone :)
1. Become one with the laughter of others
We all know people won't always support our presence or our endeavors. That's nothing new. However, knowing it doesn't always make it easier to digest the opposition, doubt, and "hate" when it does come targeted your way. It can be painful. But what are you to do? There will always be a "hater" or "haters" in your life. One thing is to constantly remind yourself that "haters" are an integral part of the lives of all great figures. They serve a "good" purpose -- they make your success story (whatever and whenever that might be for you) richer because they prove you had the courage and resilience to continue to rise above, despite their presence. Here's a favorite quote of mine that I like to refer back to when the "hatorade" feels too strong:
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
While it's debatable whether this is an actual Gandhi quote or not, the message is still true to our world and one worth reminding yourself. The more you understand this natural principle, the less "haters" can affect your actions, and the more confident you can remain in yourself and your value. Consider this a "zen" way of thinking.
2. Be generous
I believe "givers always get". Not necessarily the exact thing you've given, or from the same person directly, or within a similar time frame, but the universe is auto-correcting so what you put out, you will receive in one form or another. The more you find ways to give time, energy, resources and value to other people (i.e. offering a constant listening ear to a friend, helping a colleague solve a work-related problem, going on missionary trips, etc), the more valued you in turn feel; and consequently, the people and resources you need for your personal development will find their way to you in due time. Not to mention that feeling valued is a major confidence booster.
3. Be Focused and Specific
You are designed to shine in the lane that fits your skill set, interests, and optimal environment (i.e. a thespian surrounding him/herself with the New York theater crowd, etc). The more specific and focused you can get on what bridges your talent and interest, as well as what environment encourages the best in you, the more successful you will be. This requires honest self reflection, a commitment to continuous honing in of your skills, and an acceptance that mistakes/failure aren't the end but instead are breeding grounds for learning and innovation. The more focused you are on what you want, the more effective you will be at prioritizing your time for the "right" activities to achieve what you want, and the more confident you will be in yourself/your work -- especially as you see the physical manifestations of your head, heart, and hand work start coming to life before your eyes.
4. Accept our shared humanity
We all have fears and insecurities. No one is exempt from them; some are just more skilled at hiding or disciplining them than others. A major confidence crusher comes in the form of comparison with others and a false sense that the next person is devoid of fears and insecurities while you feel overwhelmed with them. The more you understand that everyone is doing their best to manage their fears and insecurities, the more you realize that the next person is more like you than not, and the more you can confidently live and enjoy your life knowing that the presence of fears/insecurities does not have power to stop you from your desired goals and feeling fulfilled unless you allow it. Making a habit of daily positive affirmations and self-pep talks, plus being vulnerable enough to engage and learn from those who have a confidence level you admire for advice, will also work wonders.
And that's a wrap for this post. Now there are other things that can be practiced to boost your confidence however these four are screaming the loudest in my head at the moment.
Do you have any additional confidence boosters to add that work for you? I'd love to know.