It has been almost half the first month of the year and the fire of New Year had gone down. I can still see resolutions, goals and all that change cliché that happen every start of the year.
I intentionally waited for this time before sending this post as I knew everyone is overwhelmed with the idea of change in this time around. As for many of us who are challenged by low self-esteem, shyness or lack of confidence, it is an extra effort to make a resolution.
Why is that so? It is because, we do not just make resolution to change and do them. We also need to face the difficulty of getting into the limelight, face our fears and eal with the outside world.
How can you achieve a bold goal of speaking up in front of an audience? Or make sales call to that challenging client? Or finally talk to that wonderful person you wanted to go out with? Or talk to your boss for an initiative? Or talk to your “significant other” about your relationship?
There are so many things we desire. But because of that fear of rejection, often times imagined, we are not able to get our goals accomplished. We always back out.
Here’s another chance to get things done. The way to do it is not just do it. You also have to practice, practice and practice.
“Practice makes perfect”. By the time you swim and nail down a goal, you would have been confident enough. But first, try these 5 exercises and see how you can fire up your confidence this year!
#1. Strengthen old ties.
Your family and friends were the foremost ground where you learned about relationships, conversations and interaction. And they still are. This is the root where you have learned to feel secure and confident. This is your first base.
Reach out to your family and friends – the ones who make you feel good about yourself and who make you feel loved. Go back to your roots no matter how busy you are. Make the effort.
If you can be there physically, do it. I am sure many of you have tried to go home or visit old friends during the holidays. Cherish them. If you were not able to, find another time. If you cannot physically be with them, use technology to reach them!
Talk to them. Tell them how you care about them. Ask questions. Tell stories.
By making this first vital step, you have secured yourself a piece of self-confidence.
#2. Meet new friends.
Who said meeting new friends have to be strangers out there? People are all around you. Those people in the office that you do not talk to simply because you do not work with them directly; those regular faces in the gym; those friendly neighbors you so long wanted to talk to but never had the chance.
Why haven’t you talked to these familiar faces?
It used to be that meeting friends came from your natural environment – in school, in your team at work or among your families. But as you grow older, and as the world become more advanced, there is less time to meet up and enjoy being with people or even working and talking with them!
Nowadays, you just have to go out and make the effort to make friends!
Reach out to that person you meet in the office pantry and start a conversation; Share an equipment with another guy in that gym and ask about some exercise; Talk about the weather while walking and meeting a neighbour. Start something!
#3. Indulge in social clubs and organizations.
This is where you really got to meet new faces, or should I say strangers. But you have to get out there if you want to get used to being comfortable with the world.
Join an organization that can help you build your speaking confidence such as Toastmasters. Check out the Meetup website and find your passion – maybe about sports, business or some hobby? Get to your local church and see the clubs or groups organized where you can help out in some charity.
There are many clubs and organizations that can surely help you socialize and be better. Some does not even cost anything.
By going out there and meeting new people, you become comfortable speaking to unfamiliar faces, unexpected behavior – whether good and bad. You learn how to get along with it and get used to it.
#4. Find pro bono work.
Just like joining a charitable foundation or church group, finding a pro bono work or volunteering is something fulfilling. But it does not end there. By sharing a piece of your skillset, you help others and help yourself.
Think of an area or skill where you feel good or confident about. Like any adult, you are good at something and therefore you cannot say you do not have any confidence at all – not even at any particular area. Use that area where you feel your best.
Usually, because you are offering your services that you do well, you do yourself a favour by using that power of confidence to help others. And in doing so, you are developing more confidence in other areas by using an area where you are good at as a base.
#5. Catch up on your learning.
With the fast-paced innovation in technology and gadgets, we are all so overwhelmed by how much information and entertainment we get. And yet, how many are really useful for us?
Don’t be carried away by the tide. Stop wasting too much time on Facebook, online games or one of those viral videos that really do not mean anything!
Check where you can enhance your learning on your profession or career, on a particular language or on a particular subject of interest.
Read books? Sign up for a free course in Coursera? Invest on a training online or face-to-face?
By doing so, you enhance your skill set and knowledge, allowing you to be able to talk more, contribute to discussions and be an important resource in your family gatherings, at work, among friends or in any organization you are into.
Boost your Confidence in 2015
Just like a physical workout that drains fats and toxins in your bod and build muscles, use these exercises to drain shyness and fear away and grow boldness, assertiveness and happiness in you.
Remember that no power develops without training.
First, practice. Then you get comfortable doing things you are afraid of doing. Then that’s the time you start to say just do it!
These exercises are my challenges for you in 2015! If you are really want to commit to this, be accountable by sending me an email and share me what you will do to improve your self-confidence.
Reflect and share with me which of the above exercises will you do? Anything to add? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Photo credits: Adam Grabek