Open Your Heart . . . and Let it SOAR

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Building Your Self-Confidence

The key to being able to accomplish our goals in life is having unshakable self-confidence and a belief in ourselves. Without confidence, we would never have the courage to apply for jobs, go to college, or even commit to a serious relationship. We may find ourselves holding back on pursuing our dreams, sabotaging our own efforts, or even refusing to try at all.

Building up our self-confidence doesn't have to be a daunting task; it can actually be quite fun. It may take time and practice before we see big results, but if we keep at it, we will eventually notice positive changes.

Try these suggested techniques to jump start your own self-confidence, and be on your way to creating success for yourself.

Use creative visualization – Rest your mind and imagine a situation where you are confident and successful. Go over the details thoroughly in your mind. What did you do? What did you say? You can also try to remember a time in the past when you acted with a lack of confidence. Go over the situation in your mind, changing whatever details you would need to alter the outcome to a desired one. Visualize yourself strengthening your self-confidence and acting the way you wish you would have acted. Don't judge yourself - simply re-create the situation and envision yourself with strong self-confidence, and having the outcome be better.

Practice affirmations – Believing you have what it takes to be successful in life means embedding it so far in your subconscious mind that you can no longer deny it. One way to accomplish this is to practice affirmations that make you feel empowered and strong. Write down statements such as "I can do anything I set my mind to," and "Nothing can hold me back." Say these nightly before bed, and any time during the day when you feel fearful or hesitant, and they will stick in your subconscious, which will ultimately remind you of these truths when you need them the most.

Act "as if" – This is similar to creative visualization, but a little more specific. Pretend you are already what you want to become. Do you want to lose ten pounds and fit into your old jeans? Picture yourself ten pounds lighter, and actually take the time to imagine what it is like to slip those jeans on. Take in all the senses of being ten pounds lighter. On a side note: Did you know that basketball players who visualize the ball going into the net prior to throwing it are far more likely to actually make the throw than those who don’t? It’s true.

Graciously accept praise – When people offer you praise for a job well-done, accept politely and don’t add any negative comments. For instance, if a friend compliments your new hairstyle, say "Thank you," not "Thanks, but I think it looks funny." People almost always mean what they say, especially if they say it unprovoked. Don’t second guess their praises of you. If you graciously accept, the result is that you will appreciate yourself just as much as others appreciate you.

Finally, allow yourself to believe you have the ability to accomplish anything, and you will be rewarded with feelings of confidence and courage. Remember that your thoughts have tremendous power! If you believe yourself to be confident and strong, guess what? You will be.

Loving yourself is the key to believing that you can do anything, so frequently pat yourself on the back to affirm what you knew was true all along: you can do it!


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