Asked what she would like me to write about on the subject of "wealth," friend and regular reader of my Huffington Post articles, Anna, responded:
"A Wealth of 'Confidence,' with the ability to continue to use that strong intuition or instinct we all feel, and to trust it and follow it."
Not everyone asked, "What does wealth mean for you?" comes up with, "Money."
Confidence grows from the inside out. It means "with - faith or trust, to have full trust." Confidence comes from being authentically who you truly are. Put another way: know yourself, be true to yourself.
The natural intuition or instinct we have gains strength as we use it. It means being willing to honor yourself over and above the opinions others might have. If you live or work in a community that is very dependent upon appearances, superficial values or gaining the approval of others, then it is more difficult to be true to your authentic self, which knows what is best for you.
In such a culture, it takes great courage to be true to yourself. However, the costs of denying your truth can prove very expensive. What do I mean by that? If you depend upon outer influences for your guidance or direction in life, you ignore your own inner compass. You could exhaust and stress yourself in the search to prove to others that they are "right" by agreeing with them rather than by listening to your own truth, trusting and honoring it.
When you can trust yourself, you will find it easier to trust others -- to do whatever they may do. Becoming more inner-dependent will afford you wonderful strength, clarity and peace of mind and yes, greater self-confidence. Trusting yourself will also increase your capacity for using your intuition.
Here are seven ways to build your confidence. I am sure there are many others. Let me know how you get on.
1. Breathe, relax and smile.
Even if you do not feel confident, looking that way helps. For the confidence that connects you to others, first get connected with yourself. Steady breathing can do that.
2. Envisage positive results for yourself.
Watch how you speak with others. That is to say, "fearing the worst" will set your imagination off on a downward spiral, away from confidence. Do you ever notice yourself talking in negative terms? As in, "What if this, that or the other disaster happens?" Until something has happened, it has not.
In my experience, life is a malleable thing. We can imprint our positive focus and intention upon it. Expect the best and you may find that it happens. I like to say with any vision I hold, "This, or something even better for the highest good of all," as a safety clause and being open to more that I cannot see at the time.
3. Get a confidence mentor.
A confidence mentor is one who can help you stay on track. If you are feeling low in confidence, this person can help to remind you of your value and worth and the importance of your life goals and intentions. This person is likely to be positively oriented themselves, expansive and happy to support you. Helping to support you could prove to be a gift for them.
Do not be shy to ask for assistance. None of us is alone. Be open for encouragement when you need it. Even a silent wish has in my experience produced the perfect people, seemingly "out of the blue." It may be less what they say and more who they are that helps me to stay confident.
4. Recall those times you did well and were proud of yourself.
Those times could include a small success at school when your teacher and friends praised you, a competition you won, a garden project at which you excelled, art work which was appreciated or a time you reached out to help another person in need. Return to those moments of fullness and contentment, knowing your own goodness of action and intent.
5. Stand on your value and significance.
Are you engaged in what feels meaningful and important for you? At work, in your community, at your church or free time? You are very wealthy in resources of love and wisdom, and perhaps you have yet to fully discover your personal assets. We all have tremendous wealth within us. It is not an ego trip to be aware of what you have going for you, especially if you are using what you have to benefit others in some way, professionally or otherwise.
Your life is a gift. As you give it, you will see yourself that way. Giving builds your confidence to be more, to do more and to receive more -- at any age or stage of life.
Do one brave thing today. Yes, that one. It could be a tricky communication you have been avoiding. It is not about putting your own, or anyone else's life in danger. Find a way to connect to your heart, such as thinking about a loved one, and from that place of loving within you, speak your truth. The truth spoken in love never hurt anyone.
Taking positive action to challenge your doubts and fears has a way of rewarding you with greater energy and confidence.
7. I am most confident when I ...
Complete the above statement a few times, learn from what comes to mind and put it into practice.
How do you build your confidence? I would love to know -- and to learn from you! Please leave a comment or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org