Last December, I wrote the first part of this post about developing habits to gain more confidence. Here’s the second part of the post which completes what is supposed to be the 12 habits we can develop one at a time each month for 2014.
30 Day Challenge
I learned about the 30 day challenge from Steve Scott of Develop Good Habits who attributed this idea from Steve Pavlina. Accordingly, Pavlina copied this from the software industry’s trial version. That is, you do not buy into the habit until you graduated from the test period.
Once you pass this, you know whether the habit is for you or not.
Likewise, this 30 day period is critical in testing how much one can endure doing something that one is not comfortable with or the opposite which is the separation from something comfortable.
The 30DHC gives you an “out” if you don’t like the new habit. At the end of the month, you can decide if it’s worth continuing. What’s funny is your average habit is easy to maintain once you’ve done it for 30 days. – Steve Scott, Develop Good Habits
Anyone who has taken this seriously and have chosen a habit to develop for the month?
I have to admit I failed! There is no denying and no pretension. This is a public confession that I have not practiced what I preached. Or should I lessen the self-accusation by saying it slipped due to some personal challenges?
As you probably all know, we have a new baby in the family and so my wife and I have been busy with the baby stuff – birth registration, baptism, accessories, etc. Not to mention the sleepless nights to feed my little princess. Oh well, I know this is absolutely no excuse.
But then again, it is never too late.
Late as it may be, as of this writing, I have decided to take the challenge with Habit #1 (in part 1 of this post): Start the day with a strong affirmation. I shall update you with developments in real time on our Facebook page (click here) and the report story in this blog some other time.
The Next 6 Habits
Here goes the last part of the 12 habits. 6 habits you can develop this year that can help you gain more confidence. Try them one month at a time. Each habit can be easy or difficult depending on you. All, in my opinion, are challenging in different degrees for the shy and the introvert.
#7 Start meaningful conversations
Although many of us are afraid to start conversations or simply do not like cheeky talk, getting deep into a conversation allows you to establish a better rapport to the one you are talking to specifically someone important to you, your family or your job.
Meaningful conversations do not just allow you to practice and further develop the art of talking, but it also allows you to get the hang of making a conversation and being comfortable with it. Eventually, any signs of fear or lack of confidence disappear with the passing of time as you sharpen the skill of conversation.
Do you want to know more about meaningful conversations? Check this out: 10 Tips to Making Meaningful Conversations
#8 Make self-esteem boosting body postures
Studies have shown that postures such as those that open up the body and space activate a sense of power and produces behavioral changes in the individual.
Hence, a number of postures tend to be helpful for our positive development.
Examples of positions or postures that help boost confidence are: Arms outstretched which is said to increase our confidence brought about by an increase in testosterone level; Sit up straight which by itself gives a good impression but also because of the appeal it gives; Hug which is said to help produce oxytocin.
It does not take a minute to make a body posture to trigger happy confidence. In fact you can do it right now!
More interesting resources on body postures: 5 Body Postures That May Actually Boost Self-Esteem
#9 Practice speaking in groups or big audiences
Many of us will not be able to run away from presentations, talks and training in front of a group or huge audience. It is then just fitting that we find resources to be able to sharpen our skill in public speaking.
Sometimes even if we are considered an articulate speaker, we end up with silence in front of a big group during a meeting afraid to be caught on the spot. In other situations, we are called on stage and we just fumble on the thought that everyone else is looking at us.
Practicing speaking in front of an audience or a group trains us to face many people, tackle spontaneously difficult questions and most importantly, address the anxiety happening inside of us. If we get used to this, we are ready for our fans!
#10 Use breathing and relaxation techniques in discussions
It is generally known that breathing and relaxation exercises help slow down the body and quiet the mind.
These exercises help recollect the mind and allow body awareness which as a consequence synergize the mind and the body together. This predisposes one to a better mood and confidence.
“Place one hand on chest and the other on your belly. Take a slow, deep breath, sucking in as much air as you can. As you’re doing this, you’re doing this, your belly should push against your hand. Hold your breath and then slowly exhale” – Relaxation Techniques, University of Maryland Medical Center.
This is one easy habit that does not only help you improve confidence but release tension and reduce stress!
Here’s more techniques: Get Hypnotized, Hack Self-Improvement
#11 Share your good and bad story to someone
Yes. Sharing your story is a good way to express yourself and earn the support of a trusted family member, relative or colleague.
Make it a habit to share your experience to a buddy whom you can consider as your performance partner- someone who will play your watchdog when you slacken on your goals, the same one who will encourage you when you feel like giving up and also understand what you are going through and give no judgement at all.
Do you want to know more about support system and feedback? Check this out: Boost Self-Improvement Results with 20 Minutes a Day Exercises
#12 Count your achievements daily
In Madelyn Burley-Allen’s Managing Assertively, there is a self-assessment where you will be asked to pick three things that you like about yourself among those statements that you rated ‘True’. I am reminded of this exercise in relation to counting your blessings or your achievements.
There are things that we take for granted and do not realize we have stepped on other’s foot by leaving your responsibility to them.
If you think about it, there are a lot of things that we already do as part of our confidence and we do not realize it.
Hence, it is not just about knowing what you want. It is also about knowing what you have accomplished. You need to feed your ego with pride. And this can only come with the accomplishment of something.
Ask yourself, what did I do today that has made me a stronger and more confident person?
More to read: A Bucket List of Things to be Proud Of
Will you take the challenge?
How many of you will take this seriously? How many of you will probably sit there and wish you could do it “if only…”? How many of you hesitate due to difficulty?
Dip into the river of challenge and see yourself eventually swimming with confidence. Why not try the route I am taking – choose the easy ones first? My recommended easy habits are:
- #1 Start the day with a strong affirmation
- #6 Spend quality time with positively affirming friends and family
- #8 Make self-esteem boosting body postures
Which habit is easy for you? Which habit is most challenging? Which one would you do this month?
No more analysis paralysis. I give you five minutes to choose and commit to this by making a comment below or shooting me an email here through this link: contact
Photo Credit: Xuan Che