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Seven Tips for Boosting Your Self Confidence

Self confidence drives your entire professional and personal life. It can shape your ability to overcome obstacles and achieve success.

Self esteem isn't something you're born with; it's something you develop gradually throughout life. "Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have," according to success guru Brian Tracy. And successful coach Vince Lombardi says, "Confidence is contagious; so is lack of confidence."

Some people seem to radiate self confidence. They can easily talk in front of a crowd of people, sell themselves at job interviews or to start an interesting conversation with people they've never met before. Regardless of the situation--whether business or personal--they appear comfortable and in control.

If you lack self confidence on a professional or personal level, there's good news. You can resolve to start building your self-esteem today. Here are seven tips to help you:

1. Think Positively. When you catch yourself thinking something negative, replace it with a positive, realistic statement. Substitute "I'll never get that job" with "I might not get the job, but I'll do my best at the interview." Or replace "I'll probably make a fool of myself" with "I'll do the best I can."

2. Take Small Steps Forward. Self confidence takes time to build, but you can start with small steps. From there, you can use your successful experiences to lead to other positive experiences that can move you along the road to recovery.

3. Emphasize Strengths. Give yourself credit for everything you try. By focusing on what you can do, you applaud yourself for efforts rather than emphasizing negative outcomes. Starting from a base of what you can do, instead of what you should do, helps you live within the bounds of your inevitable limitations.

4. Do Something You're Good At. Indulge in swimming, running, dancing, cooking, gardening, climbing, painting, writing--anything you do well. If possible, do something that holds your attention and requires enough focus to get you into a state where you forget about everything else. You'll feel more competent afterwards, which will prepare you to face bigger challenges.

5. Stop Thinking About Yourself. Low self-esteem is often accompanied by too much focus on yourself. Doing something that absorbs you and holds your attention can quickly make you feel better.

6. Take Risks. Approach new experiences as opportunities to learn rather than occasions to win or lose. Doing so opens you up to new possibilities and can increase your sense of self-acceptance. Not doing so turns every possibility into an opportunity for failure and inhibits personal growth.

7. Realize That It's OK To Fail. Dare to fail. You don't learn by doing what you already know. You have to make a step further and try new things to get better. Think of failure as a lesson-building tool. You can build on your experience to do better next time.

Remember that you are who you think you are. You can accomplish what you think you can 'no more, no less. So start working on boosting your self confidence today so you can perform at your fullest potential.

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