How to Boost Your Self-Confidence Every Day
Henry Ford, Marcus Aurelius, and Norman Vincent Peale knew how to handle self-doubt.
Henry Ford with Model T, Hotel Iroquois, Buffalo, NY 1921, Wikimedia Commons (public domain)
We all get into ruts from time to time.
Maybe we get a sense of complacency as we settle in to a routine. Or perhaps we stumbled on a project or commitment, and recovery seems a little more difficult than usual.
A more common occurrence is that we spend too much time on social media, seeing the happy faces and perfect scenes that our friends post, and we compare it to our own unfiltered lives.
In any of those circumstances, your self-confidence can take a hit.
"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right."
— Henry Ford [tweet this]
Let me share a bit of a personal story.
As a small business owner (I'm the principal of Scott Monty Strategies, where I advise brands and executives on building better relationships and improving experiences), I often work in isolation. Meaning that I don't have the same kind of regular interaction with colleagues I might have in an office setting.
That means there's not a lot of opportunities for feedback (well, other than the kind comments I get on my newsletter, podcast and posts here). Absent that, self-doubt can begin to nag, which has the potential to be defeating.
But there are a few things I've noticed that change the tenor of that thinking right away:
Talking with a trusted friend or colleague — by Messenger, text, phone, or video — does wonders. True friends know your capabilities and can set you straight.
Asking for feedback from a variety of sources and balancing the positive and negative.
Recognizing past failures and understanding what went wrong. Because through that, you'll learn to keep the same thing from happening again.
Thinking more positively. It sounds trite, and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale even wrote a book about it (The Power of Positive Thinking), but it works. An early mentor once told me that I needed to believe "I have arrived" as I approached new assignments. And it worked.
The great philosopher emperor Marcus Aurelius believed in this self-talk. So much so that he kept a daily journal of his thoughts. We now know it as Meditations, one of the most widely read and appreciated works in western philosophy.
“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.”
– Marcus Aurelius [tweet this]
This isn't necessarily just a personal exercise, either. Reflections on how you've interacted with your team: your direct reports, your peers, your manager, your customers. On tasks you've completed or added to your list.
When we take the time to reflect on what we thought, how we acted and interacted, it can lead us toward where we need to be.
So, that angry tweet you sent, that conference call where you "multitasked," or that project you procrastinated on — all of those are worthy of deeper reflection and documentation.
Is what you did and said today who you want to be?
The choice is entirely yours.