- “It’s safe for me to go to Juba. It’s safe for me to go Bujumbura. It’s safe to…”
- “It’s safe for me to compete with a Tanzania. It’s safe for me to Challenge a Uganda in English. It’s safe for me to be faster than a Kenya.”
- “It’s safe for me to ask that girl/guy out. It’s safe to be social. It’s safe to…”
2. Ask yourself: “What if…?”
When you’re insecure, you might find it hard to even think of the possibility of success. Yet if you can’t imagine it, you won’t be able to reach it.
However, you can open the window of imagination by asking yourself “what if?”
- “What if I can actually get that new job?”
- “What if I can learn Kiswahili?”
- “What if that new boy/girl likes me?”
By asking “what if,” you by-pass the blockage of fear, and gradually start imagining how life will be when you get what you want. It’s an immediate confidence booster.
3. Take a deep breath.
Taking deep breaths works. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. Right when you hands are sweating, just before you ask for that raise, take a deep breath, shake your hair and do it!
4. Prepare and practice.
Preparation is 80% of success. When you find that insecurity holds you back, it might be high time for you to prepare more.
- Afraid of your job interview? Practice interviewing with a friend. Over and over. Again and again.
- Afraid to go work outside your country? Before starting anything, review the possibilities available, imagine how it feels socializing with foreigners in your country.By the way, I didn’t say preparation would be easy. It’s not. That’s why it’s 80% of success!
- Afraid of dating? Watch a dating movie or read a dating book. Build up your confidence by saying “hi” to strangers. Next time you see your cute neighbor, smile.
The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel, the less you will worry about “the next step,” and the more “in the moment” you will be.
Now, you are not supposed to prepare indefinitely; preparation can easily become procrastination if you do too much of it. At some point, you will have read enough books, done enough research, watched enough videos. You will be ready to start applying your knowledge. Just start.
5. Take your superman posture.
Did you know that your posture affects how you feel? Well, it does. Power postures increase testosterone among other hormones, says Harvard researcher.
So stand up straight. Imagine you are superman for a second. How would your posture be, if you indeed were superman? Yup, that’s right. Hold it. Hormones kick in, and the confidence goes up. Nice!
6. Do the things you know you should do, but don’t.
Postponing what you want to do only makes you think you are a loser. What does this do to your confidence?
So next time you’re thinking, e.g., “I know I should get back to exercise,” pause. The more you don’t go back to exercise, the more you’ll have proof to distrust yourself and your abilities.
I know it’s not really rational to think bad of ourselves just because we don’t follow through with something, but believe me, at moments of low confidence, rationality is not our strong point.
So if exercise is the case, just do 3 repetitions of squats right away. Or, enroll in Exercise Bliss. Or, call your gym and book your membership.
If cleaning your garage is on your to-do list, then throw away just one thing, right now. Or, schedule one hour of de-cluttering. Just stop reading this article right now and do it.
The moment you take this one tiny step, you’ll immediately feel happy with yourself. You’ll replace feeling guilty, with self-satisfaction.
You don’t need to go to the end to be happy–you just need to take one step. That’s how you build self confidence in you and your abilities.
7. Visualize it. Feel it.
Your confidence will reach its best, when success is “the next logical step.” When you reach this place that getting what you want feels as natural as the next logical step, then success is yours.
But how do you reach “the next logical step” level? It’s a combination of preparation, thinking “it’s safe,” asking “what if,” and then once imagining success starts feeling normal, visualizing and feeling your success. Feeling as if you already have what you want.
Warning: If you try to visualize but fail, then that means you are one step earlier, at the preparation stage. Say to yourself that “it’s safe.” Ask “What if.” With every step you take you, build more and more confidence.
8. Let it go.
So you have prepared. You know exactly how to ace that job interview. You’ve practiced it 1000 times.
Now it’s time to let it go. Thinking about it even more will only cause you unnecessary stress. Take a deep breath, and do something else. Your time to shine is on its way.
9. List your past successes.
Sometimes when we suffer an attack from ourselves – you know, when that voice in our heads goes wild telling us we’ll never succeed – it’s super helpful if we’re already prepared with counter-arguments. That’s why listing your past successes can make a difference in whether your own self-critic wins or just stops talking.
Your past successes are the best ammunition against your own self-critic. But, you must already have this list, before the critic strikes! Again, preparation is 80% of success.
And now, you are good to go bila uoga! You are unstoppable. Kwaheri!