Do you marvel at people who seem highly confident and self assured? Would you like to be one of those highly confident people? Achieving that may seem impossible if you are struggling with feelings of worthlessness, but believe me when I tell you that anyone can become more confident.

Adopting new behaviors can effectively reprogram how you feel about your own abilities and personal worth. Usually, your behavior is a reflection of your beliefs about who you are and what you think you are capable of, but this process can also run in reverse.

So, if you want to change those beliefs and become more confident, you can start by adopting behaviors that will send powerful new signals to your nervous system.

If our actions are not supported by our current beliefs then those beliefs will begin to lose their credibility. This opens the way for new beliefs that are being validated by the signals coming from our new behaviors.

While it may sound somewhat complicated, it is actually very simple to do, and the benefits can be felt almost instantly. It really comes down to this; when you talk and behave like a highly confident person, you instantly feel more confident. As you continue to feel more confident, your perception of “self” changes, and perception is where beliefs come from.

With that in mind, let’s consider seven behaviors that can help help you feel more confident and capable. We should also note that motivation is closely linked with confidence. So as you grow more confident you will also become more motivated. You may already be doing some of these steps, and that’s great. If so, then this will serve as a valuable reminder, but if not, I suggest you begin ASAP.

1. Project confidence and self-esteem. You know the old saying, “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” That is a good reason to look others directly in the eye and greet them with a smile on your face. Direct eye contact and a smile project a sense of self-confidence. In addition, your posture, bearing, gestures, and gate, tell others (and your own nervous system) that you are a confident person. Body language is a much more powerful way of communicating confidence than anything you have to say.

2. Use your words to reinforce your confident image. When you meet someone new, whether in person or over the phone, always give them your name. Leading with a personal introduction underscores the feeling that you respect yourself, and that they should pay attention to what you have to say.

3. Be willing to accept a compliment. Don’t minimize expressions of honor from others. Instead of trying to sidestep a compliment, be gracious and appreciative. Giving plays an important role in life, but so does the ability to receive. When you accept a compliment graciously, it provides others with an opportunity to experience the joy of giving. It’s a sign that you are confident in yourself and genuine in your modesty.

4. Avoid self-promotion. Bragging comes from a lack of self-confidence and a desire for external approval. Conversely, genuine modesty is a characteristic of someone who is confident in, and secure with, who they are. People who brag are calling attention to themselves because they don’t feel worthy of respect. It’s like wearing a sign that says “please notice me and tell me that I am special?”

5. Keep the conversation positive. Avoid turning your problems into everyone else’s problems. Do this by not making problems the centerpiece of your conversation. Talk positively about your life and the lives of those around you. Train yourself to be aware of, and to move away from, negative thinking. Take notice of how often you complain and work to eliminate that tendency. When you are tempted to criticize or complain, find a way to turn your thoughts in a positive direction before you speak.

6. Counter doubt with positive action. Everyone’s confidence gets rocked from time to time. Dwelling on difficulties and disappointments will only make matters worse. The best antidote for doubt is to increase your level of productive activity. When your self-confidence is under fire, don’t sit around over analyzing the situation, do something. When you are busy taking action, your mind will be focused on solutions instead of problems. Maybe you can’t solve the problem immediately, but you can start working on it immediately instead of just thinking about it.

7. See everything as an opportunity. When you choose to see setbacks as opportunities your whole perspective shifts toward the positive. Your ability to create this shift will make you feel much more confident in yourself. I like the saying from the movie The Ultimate Gift, “I’ve lost everything 3 or 4 times, it’s the perfect place to start.”

Everyone fails to produce their intended result sometimes, that’s how we know that it’s time to adjust our course. It is not a reflection of our value as a person, so don’t take it personally or let it rattle your confidence. If you feel that tendency, go for a walk and practice steps 1 and 2. Implement these 7 behaviors and soon you will be one of those highly confident ones that you once marveled at.

With love from the Trench Kitchen,