Whenever I try to look back to the “Golden Years” of my 20s, I see two distinct halves of that time in my life.
The first couple of years were defined by my feelings of anxiety and self-doubt. After all, I was living a life I didn’t want for myself and didn’t have much drive to change my trajectory.
But when I think back to my later 20s, I suddenly see a different me.
The difference is pretty striking:
I finally realized what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, embraced it, and began living the life I had always wanted.
At long last my lifelong dream came true—I was an entrepreneur.
I wouldn’t be enjoying my current success today if I continued operating with the same mindset that plagued my early 20s.
A lot of this has something to do with the confidence I gained growing older.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that gaining confidence in myself set the course for personal success.
I felt like the whole world belonged to me, that I was entitled to only the best things in life.
This was incredibly useful to me as an entrepreneur, as I slowly but surely started surrounding myself with like-minded people.
The networking opportunities it presented definitely opened a lot of doors I never could have imagined.
Here are 10 things I have learned along the way, all of which you can use to develop a confident and successful mindset:
1. Focus Solely On Your Success
An inherent part of success is estimating how much you’re advancing as compared to those around you.
Although we know that this habit is unhealthy, we keep indulging in this insecurity because it feels natural.
As it often turns out, we end up weakening our own self-confidence due to the negative affirmations we have for ourselves.
The first step to establishing a confident outlook in life is forgetting other people.
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the version of yourself you wish to become.
Strive to become the prospect you, and no one else.
2. Prepare For Anything And Everything
Success is more of a process than a phenomenon: you are presented with an opportunity that requires action.
This action has to be effective enough to transform this opportunity into a real benefit.
To avoid wasting opportunities, spend your time building your character.
Prepare well and keep in mind that success can strike at any moment.
And when it does, you’re likelier to reap better rewards when you come prepared.
3. Set Clear Goals
Clarity and assurance inspire confidence.
How else are you going to pursue your passions if you’re not sure what they are?
Ask yourself: what is my purpose in life? What do I hope to achieve with work?
Knowing the answer to these questions will give you a sense of direction, offering you a clearer view of the necessary steps towards progress.
4. Positive Thinking Helps
Some might say that negativity and pessimism are keys to success as they help you recalibrate your position in the world, but we all know that it does nothing but drain your self-confidence.
Try a different approach.
Revel in the things you’ve achieved instead of wondering about missed opportunities and perceived weaknesses.
In other words, pay attention to what works, and forget those that “could have” worked.
5. Act Out Confidence
Truthfully enough, it’s hard to start being confident if you have nothing to be proud of.
The trick is to convince your brain that there is something to be proud of, even though said thing is non-existent.
The answer is in acting.
Faking your confidence will allow your brain to develop this habit, and eventually turn it into a mindset.
Soon enough, you will act confidently without any conscious effort.
6. Treat Problems As Opportunities
Let’s face it: there are more setbacks in life than successes. It’s certainly disheartening to keep pushing forward when it seems like all else is proving you wrong.
Trust me, when you’re entrenched in problems, the only way to go is up. When you’re encountering difficulty, focus on finding ways to solve it in order to become a strong leader.
As you become better at solving problems, you gain confidence in yourself and your skills, and eventually become better at finding more solutions.
7. Treat Fear As A Catalyst
As goal pursuers, it’s inevitable for us to hear a negative voice that makes us second-guess everything we do.
Rather than retreating to a far corner because of fear, use it to prove yourself wrong.
The key is making sure that you move past your fear and use it as motivation.
The more you succumb to this fear, the harder it is to ignore feelings of self-doubt.
On the other hand, actively fighting these will give you better self-confidence and teach you to ignore these negative feelings.
8. Like The Way You Look
It’s true that confidence has a lot to do with how you feel about your body. When you think you look good, you feel confident about interacting with other people.
Exercising regularly, shopping for well-fitted clothes, and eating healthy can improve the way you feel about your body.
In turn, this will lift your spirits, which translates to you being more comfortable in your own skin.
9. Trust In The Power Of Body Language
It’s similar to the principle of “faking it ‘till you make it”. When you’re feeling glum, happy, or angry, it becomes evident in your body language.
Your posture changes and the way you interact with the world becomes affected by your mood.
Try acting confident for a change: pull your shoulders back, sit up straight.
Walk into a room like you own the place. Pull a few poses in front of a mirror and observe how quickly your mood follows your body.
10. Capitalize On Your Strengths
Probably the most important part with maintaining or establishing confidence is focusing on tasks that you can achieve.
More specifically, taking on roles that you have a clear advantage over.
While it’s important to try and achieve holistic growth, you might find better (and faster) results by playing with your strengths.
Instead of trying out new roles that would require more training and confidence on your end, engage in activities that would highlight your existing capabilities.
Baby Steps Are The Key To Long-Term Success
Success and confidence can’t be achieved overnight.
If you’re determined and slightly impatient like me, the most you can do is take things slowly. Do things one day at a time.
Change the way you dress, the way you talk to people. Keep taking action until you build momentum so strong that you feel more secure with each step that you take.
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