4 Steps To Stronger Self-Confidence
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Posted by: Dr. Alan Zimmerman
Dr. Zimmerman's TUESDAY TIP:
tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it."
Zimmerman's Personal Commentary:
A colleague of mine,
Harvey Mackay told me the story of a professor who stood before his class of 30
senior molecular biology students. Before passing out the final exam he said,
"I have been privileged to be your instructor this semester and I know how
hard you have worked to prepare for this test. I also know most of you
are off to medical school or graduate school next Fall. I am well aware
of how much pressure you are under to keep your grade point averages up.
Because I am confident that you know this material, I am prepared to offer an
automatic B to anyone who opts to skip taking the final exam."
The relief was
audible. A number of students jumped up from their desks, thanking the
professor for the break he was giving them. "Any other takers?"
he asked. "This is your last opportunity." One more
student decided to go.
The instructor then
handed out the final exam, which consisted of two sentences. It read:
"Congratulations, you have just received an A in this class. Keep
believing in yourself." It was a just reward for the students who
had worked hard and believed in themselves. They had a strong sense of
And that is, by the
way, the FIRST key to greater happiness and success on and off the job.
Personally, I've spent 30 years researching those keys, and I'm convinced there
are 12 keys that will determine how far you'll go in life, work, and
relationships. In fact, those 12 keys are the very backbone of my two-day
program called the "Journey to the
Let's delve into that
FIRST key of self-confidence a bit further. How can you build your
confidence and keep your confidence ... no matter what is happening or not
happening in your world?
1. Review the
things you did well ... every day.
Instead of dwelling
on what didn't work or the tasks you didn't finish, focus on what you did
accomplish. Don't minimize these.
And when someone
compliments you on something you did well, make sure you accept the compliment
by saying thanks. Don't respond with comments that trash the compliment
and the other person. Don't say such things as "Oh, it was no big
deal ... Anybody could've done it ... It was really nothing ... or ... Don't
mention it" garbage.
2. Become aware
of who you are ... and celebrate the good things.
Many people ... maybe
most people ... do not truly and fully understand themselves. That's
unfortunate because there is a lot of good in you that needs to be recognized
Jorge Luis Borges, a
20th century author, had it right. He wrote, "Any life, no matter
how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment -- the moment in
which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is." Find out who
you are and celebrate the good things.
That's what Sue
Reinhart, a team lead at the world's largest automobile insurance company,
did. "I love this program! With the tools you gave during the ‘Journey to the Extraordinary’ program, with your ten weeks of reinforcement
after the program, and with your ‘30-Day Self-Esteem Builder,’ I am feeling so
good about myself. My self-confidence has really risen."
3. Take control
"In the absence
of confidence, fear and worry take control. Progress is held in check and
momentum grinds to a halt." So say the authors Canfield, Hansen, and
Hewitt in "The Power of Focus." I agree.
And to make things
worse, everything you want is on the other side of fear. So what can you
do? Don't believe everything you think.
I'll never forget the
time I didn't do that. Even though I had won two "Outstanding
Faculty Awards" from two different universities, and even though I had a
successful speaking and consulting business on the side, I let fear get the
better of me when I was hired by one of the world's biggest and most famous
organizations to conduct a two-day "Presentation Skills"
seminar. I began thinking to myself, "I'm only in my late
20's. Sure, I've got a Ph.D. and a great track record, but what do I have
to tell senior managers and executives? After all, they're in their 50's
and make ten times the amount of money I make."
I got into a
self-defeating thought cycle that was probably evident when I began the two-day
program. They saw fear instead of confidence. Within an hour of the
program starting, the person in charge of the meeting said, "You're no
good. Your program won't help us. And besides, I could do a better job
of teaching the class than you." He relegated me to a seat in the
back of the room where I sat silently and watched him teach the next two
days. I was thoroughly humiliated.
I learned two
things. First, take control of my thoughts. Refuse to let fear take
over and wipe away my confidence.
Second, don't believe
everything you think. I was believing bad thoughts about myself before I
spoke, when I started the program, when I sat in the back of the room, and when
I re-lived that embarrassing situation for the next two weeks. And I
shouldn't have believed those thoughts in the first place.
About three weeks
after the program, another senior person from same organization called me in
for an interview ... to discuss the possibility of conducting several programs
for them. I immediately told him about my failure with another group in
his company so he had all the facts before we went any further in our
discussion. His response? "Oh, you're talking about Bill's
meeting. Don't worry about him and what happened. He's a real
The truth is I
probably could have done a better job on the seminar that was taken away from
me. But the bigger truth was I sabotaged my confidence and best efforts
by thinking the wrong thoughts and letting fear take control.
Finally, for the
purpose of this "Tuesday Tip," to build your self-confidence...
yourself to accomplish short-term goals.
There's no greater
way to build confidence than getting things done. So every day do
something that moves you closer to finishing a project, closing a sale, or
building a relationship. Don't allow yourself to be distracted or
Break your big goals
into smaller short-term goals. It feels great and builds confidence as
you see each smaller goal get accomplished. In fact, I'd even suggest you
print this next statement out and put it on the wall in front of you so you
read it several times a day: THE ROAD TO CONFIDENCE IS PAVED WITH WEEKLY
Perhaps the best news
of all ... you don't have to take forever to build and maintain your
self-confidence ... if you simply use the right tools. Amber Lynch, a manager
at the Complete Property Management Group learned that. She said, "I
used to struggle with self-confidence. But your affirmation exercises at
your 'Journey to the Extraordinary' program made an INSTANT and positive
difference in my self-esteem, and I continue to use this confidence in my
professional career and personal life."
Put one or more of
these techniques into practice and you will also see an INSTANT and positive
Take two minutes at
the end of each day to review the good things you accomplished that day.
Do this for a week, and notice the good feelings and good results you get.
About the author:
© 2014 Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman
As a best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional speaker, Dr. Alan
Zimmerman is focused on "transforming the people side of business."
His keynotes and seminars are noted for high content, high energy, and high
involvement that transform people's lives and the companies where they work. To
learn more about his programs and products, or to receive a free subscription
to his weekly Internet newsletter, go to http://www.DrZimmerman.com.
Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Internet
newsletter, the 'Tuesday Tip.' For your own personal, free subscription to the
'Tuesday Tip' ... along with several other complimentary gifts, go to www.DrZimmerman.com.
Copyright© 2014 Zimmerman Communi-Care Network, Inc.