Overcoming confidence killers

Quashing your own confidence is a bad habit to slip into and most of us inadvertently do it from time to time. Identifying the problem and stopping it reverses the process and your confidence bounces back to top form in no time.

Two sources of confidence killer exist:

✓ You: When someone pays you a compliment, do you accept it or blush, ignore it, or play it down? Accept it, is the right answer; any other response either shows a lack of compliment etiquette (see Chapter 9) or a willingness to knock your own confidence. When listening to your conversations, do you notice that you add negative comments about yourself at the end of sentences, such as 'stupid me', 'well, that would happen to me', and 'I'm useless'? If so, get a friend to stop you mid-conversation whenever you're being negative to break the habit of putting yourself down.

✓ The people around you: Do you have a friend, relative, or colleague who has little digs at you, even in jest? Your subconscious doesn't have a sense of humour, so it processes them all as fact and gradually persuades you that you are as stupid and useless as they tell you. Negative people are emotional vampires; they suck the vitality and confidence out of you. Staying away from them or persuading them to modify their language and behaviour to be more positive are the only ways to deal with these people. If the person in question happens to be your best friend, then perhaps you need to put your friendly flirting skills to good use and find a new one. Unlike puppies, best friends don't have to be for life.

Not-so-lucky Lucy

Lucy had just started at a new school. Unfortunately, the boy she sat next to made snide comments whenever she answered a question wrongly and constantly told her to put her hand down in class as she wouldn't know the answer. His poisonous attitude gradually crushed Lucy's confidence. Following a word with the teacher by her parents, the boy was moved. Apparently, he was actually a nice lad, but he'd been brought up in such a negative atmosphere that he thought this was the way people behaved. He's since modified his behaviour and is more confident himself, and Lucy's confidence gradually came back once she was away from his toxic attitude.

Continue reading here: Using confident body language

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