The Five Steps I Used To Defeat Low Self Esteem and Build Confidence
By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
I suffered tremendously from low self confidence in my growing up years. I was a brilliant student uptil Grade 6 until I encountered a teacher in Grade 7 who shattered myself confidence for a long long time. As a result of the constant disrespect and abuse of this teacher, my so called school friends also turned on me and started thinking of me as someone who deserved that disrespect because if the teacher thinks I am no good, that must be true!
I went through a considerably tough time during my teenage years with an incredibly low self esteem and having virtually everyone against me. What I went through is a long story and you can get more details about in the article – The One Change You can make for tremendous self confidence.
In this article I am going to share with you five key ways in which I overcame my lack of confidence and developed a lot of self esteem. If you are having confidence issues in your life, apply these tips and see your life change as well.
1) Focus on Your Strengths
When I was very young I thought I lacked talent, it seemed like whatever I wanted to do, everyone else seemed to be better at it. I was not very tall, I was not good at sports, after class 7 and my experience with that teacher, my self esteem was so low that I started performing poorly in studies. I had not discovered my own strengths and talents and was constantly comparing myself to others. It was only later when I saw how good I was at certain things that many others were not did I come to the realization how gifted I was.
I was good at speaking, I was great at writing, I was knowledgeable about a lot of things that a lot of people have absolute no clue about, YES even when when I was not doing well at school. Now it’s another thing that all of that wasn’t being taught in school or in the syllabus but hey the fact that I knew all of that definitely meant I was knowledgeable!
The root of low self esteem is people judging themselves by all the things they aren’t good at. When you start judging your self-worth based on that one thing you are amazing at, and there always is, you will start realizing how unique and gifted you are. There is no one like you.
The truth is each one of you is incredibly gifted on different areas. Just like you are to learn something from me, there is a lot I can learn from each one of you. Whether you believe that or not, that doesn’t really matter, it is still true. However, if you do not believe it you will never be able to reap Super Success through your gifts and talents!
2) Change the Environment
Your environment plays a huge role in dictating the kind of self confidence you end up having. Those who are in an environment where they are encouraged and motivated end up having a great self esteem. Those who are berated and made to feel worthless usually end up having a low self esteem.
In my growing up years, the kind of environment I encountered in my school was incredibly unhealthy to me and consequently I suffered a lot because of it. The ball was set into motion in Grade 7 and then it just kept rolling until it finally came to a halt in college.
The two changes in environment that helped me tremendously was 1) Going to America where I was treated with respect by the professors even when I was not doing well. Even though I faced a bit of racism here and there, it was nothing compared to what I experienced at school
The second change was at my college in India where I experienced a much healthier environment and quickly once again become one of the best performing students in academics. All it took was changing the environment, regaining my self esteem and I was back to my old self.
Take a look at the environment in, are you in a toxic one where people only want to put you down? Consider quitting it and moving on to a healthier one. Quitting this unhealthy environment will require a lot of courage but the price of staying in it will be unbelievably damaging to you. Find an environment that gives you the respect you deserve and you will find yourself becoming much more happier and experiencing much greater life long success!
3) Seek Inspiration From Others
One of the keys that helped me tremendously to regain my self confidence was reading self help books and going through the real life stories of great achievers who had to face tremendous ridicule in their early years.
I was particularly impressed with the stories of people who faced ridicule at every step of their goals and yet their supreme self confidence deflected all the negativity.
I read stories of religious figures such as Buddha and Christ. They were ridiculed at every stage. Then i read the stories of great people in modern times such as Edison, Einstein, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King who too were opposed in their mission. All of the people mentioned went through troubled childhoods as well due to various different reasons and yet none of that stopped them from achieving what they wanted in their adult life.
It was also not just great figures from history, but even many famous living people had the same stories to tell, about how they were made to feel like they were worthless as a child and yet the moment they managed to escape that negative environment, their success knew no bounds. I knew if these people could break free from the shackles of a low self esteem in their childhood and go on to become supremely confident, I could do it as well!
My advice to you is the same. Start reading about your heroes, chances are you can relate a lot in your life to what they went through. If they can break free, you can too!
4) Adapt the right body postures and language
Your body posture plays a tremendous role in self confidence. A study showed that People who slouch and curl up start feeling less confident after a while and those who stand straight and adopt “Power Postures” end up feeling more confident. This study actually showed these different postures actually changed the level of the body’s testosterone levels and testosterone has a direct correlation with how powerful you feel.
As a child I used to slouch quite a bit. Even today, I will admit that if I am particularly upset I sometimes curl up and automatically I begin feeling even worse. On the contrary, I adopted power postures of standing and sitting up absolutely straight, keeping my arms open or keeping them on my waist (Like Superman!) I felt a huge surge of power and confidence within me. I almost feel like I radiate self confidence and regularly use these methods before I speak to an audience.
So what are some of the postures you can use or avoid for confidence?
1) Keep your arms open and out of your pockets. If you have to keep your arms on the side, keep it on your waist or hips.
2) Keep your chin up parallel to the ground. But don’t look so up that you begin looking snobby!
3) Walk Straight with your shoulders pulled back.
4) Shake hands firmly, but don’t make it a competition. Some people shake hands as if they want to crush the other person!
5) Keep doing things over and over again until you overcome whatever you fear.
The biggest key to overcoming what you fear and becoming confident is to do it over and over again.
This works in two ways – The first way is that the brain desensitizes itself to the fear. When you do something you are afraid of, your brain may freak out the first time, but as you do it over and over again it desensitizes itself to the fear. Over a period of time, what used to scare you tremendously, hardly bothers you. In psychology this is called, facing the fear is called an exposure. By facing what you are scared of you actually change your brain. Your brain stops overreacting to what it used to see as a threat and starts accepting it as a very normal situation.
As a child I was quite afraid of ghosts and this fear continued until teenage years. It only finally went away when I was in America and stayed near a supposedly haunted dormitory for several months. I even stayed there almost all alone for ten days when all the other students went home or to other cities during a break. I never saw any ghost but I overcome the fear I had in my head.
The second way doing something over and over again helps is that, if the thing in question is a skill you actually get better at it the more you do it. The better you get at it, the more confident you become to handle it.
When I was young I was terrified to speak in fronts of groups of people, but I overcame the fear one step at a time. First I spoke to small groups of people, then I spoke to larger and larger groups of people until the fear disappeared. But it was not just about the fear, it was also about the skill. The more I spoke the better I became at speaking and improved my skills as a speaker. Because my skills as a speaker improved, naturally I became much more confident at public speaking!
Hope these five tips have been useful to you. If you implement them in your life, you are sure to become much more confident. However, all of the above is theory and while theory is useful it is implementing it that leads to real change. Check out my upcoming workshop Build Super Confidence For Super Success, where I will go into all these topics into much more detail, PRACTICALLY help you implement many of these steps and make you a part of an emotional and engaging experience where you come out super confident and ready to take on the world!
The outcome would be that not only would you get information, you would learn how to practically apply that knowledge. You will also learn various ways in which you can ensure that confidence lasts in the long run. I am going to help you out even after the workshop to ensure the results you get are long term, because the workshop will only a success in my eyes, when you get long term success from it!