Author | Photo Chayene Rafaela

How to Ditch the Negative Self-Talk & Get Self-Assured

The dictionary defines the word confidence as “a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances” and the “faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way.” In all of these characterizations, there’s one thing in common, quite literally: the notion of “one.” Fundamentally, confidence speaks to singularity and individuality. It’s an internal mindfulness representing a person’s state of being. It’s an attitude. A conviction.

As Henry Ford famously asserted, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Given the key role confidence would seem to play in one’s ability to achieve and ascend in the workplace, and life in general, why do so many lament that they would like to be “more” confident and self-assured if not entirely fearless? Throngs of studies cite a societal “confidence crisis” that’s ostensibly resulting in opportunity loss across the board—for individuals, couples, families, business departments, companies, societies, and economies at large.

Interestingly, cultivating confidence is easier than one might think and the importance of striving to do so cannot be understated, given the extent to which we as individuals affect the collective. In fact, Dawn Hunter (founder of the VINE Training Academy) has developed certain methods to transcend chronic uncertainty and pessimism—the kind that undermines our advancement and keeps people stuck in the status quo.

Here are her tactical tips that you can start enacting right now.

Recalibrate the Cranium
Science wins. We now know that our brains are infinitely capable of dramatic change given the right tools and time. A mindset makeover is possible. Utilizing the power of our subconscious minds, it is factual that one can makeover the mind in 90 days. In fact, we know that it takes only 30 days to make or break a new habit with subconscious training. Hypnotherapy is a powerful system of accessing, directly, the mind’s hard drive system. One only has to dedicate the time for the shift, about 1 hour a day to hypnotherapy drivers, and conscious refocusing on the new goal will win. Sticky notes and daily phone reminders, along with a specific-focused hypnotherapy, will literally reboot the brain.

Seek Strategic Mentorship
Humans are social for the most part, and who our “tribe” is, generally, is who we are. Seeking the “who you want to be” is a tactical success move. Just as you choose where to drive your car and end up at that destination, so too, can you drive your life and end up in another part of town, with mentorship alliances. Seek and ye shall receive. Ask and ye shall get. Step out of your comfort zone and ask for a mentor. Successful people like to share that knowledge, but you must be dedicated to hearing and following. No one wants to mentor a know-it-all, so sock that attitude away and be open, new, young-in-mind and a sponge. Be open to learning and mentorship – it can be a fast track to success.

Tame the Toxicity
We are all too fully aware of negative nellies, those people that never see the good or successes in life. Some are family members. To move towards your new success and goal, you must snip out the pessimists. We are social beings and our tribe can influence us in many subtle ways. Be aware of your surroundings, who is influencing you and get rid of the negative ones. Literally snip them out. If they are family, let them know you are on this new path and they can be there in your wins only if they are supportive. Otherwise, you need to take a break and can see them on designated holidays for now. When you reach higher, you may actually influence them to seek higher goals.

Perfect your Presence
We all know about PR, public relations. How you are seen the world takes some thought and focus. When you are putting yourself out there to create a persona for your business or career, it matters how you present. Decide on who you are as the brand leader and focus your PR around this main goal. Dress the part, act the part, and then control your imagery with good photos and design. We live on social media these days and with the amazing ability to create ourselves, we also have to monitor ourselves. Follow the old rules of grandmothers everywhere: “If you have nothing good to say, then say nothing at all.” Meaning, if you have nothing good to post, write or show that isn’t increasing your brand presence, then don’t. Think before you post.

Be Assertive, Not Annoying
Now this depends upon where you reside. What might be assertive in New Jersey could be deemed annoying in LA. Regional differences are real and if you plan to be a global brand, its best you learn to Geo Target. Go getters are typically assertive types but use social graces to achieve their goals without being rude or annoying. Notice and learn your audience, Geo target. Perhaps a phone call at 6 a.m. is fine for a day trader in New York, but it would really piss off a California resident that works in the music arena. So make sure you craft your assertiveness to the audience. And always remember your manners. Remember what mom said? “Use your manners.”

Maintain Your Composure, No Matter What
We all remember that commercial for deodorant. Never let them see you sweat. So true. No one wants to see someone lose it in a professional setting unless it is the brand. Like the crazy chef on TV that always berates his clients. Even that brand, though, still doesn’t resonate well in the long run in person. Learn DBT skills, well established Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. It teaches self-management and is a highly effective system to not lose it and de-escalate. It has been proven in DBT that with practice, one can gain incredible self-composure skills in the face of alarming panic. Self-management is the key as one cannot control her outside environment totally. Losing one’s composure is also a way to lose credibility, so fight the urge to say anything negative on social media or in person. Keep it clean and cool.

Exude Strong Character – Traverse with Vision and Values
All great leaders have this quality. Vision and values stick to your core and do not waiver to change with the wind. Remember that diamonds are created under enormous pressure. Learn tactics on how to maintain your core values in diversity or aggressive environments. Take a martial arts class to develop self-discipline and confidence. Yoga has been shown to increase core strength and mental stamina. Always take the high road and stay solid. In the end it will circle back to success. A child discussing a parent will look back as an adult in admiration and practice those qualities learned over years of solid values. This is how we create our core competent selves. Virtue and values win in the end.

When creating a habit out of any of the seven strategies above or, better, any of them in combination, situations can be approached with less (or dare I say zero) fear, intimidation, dread and anxiety. Instead, you’ll be better prepared and inclined to assert ideas and solutions with greater ease, polish and poise. You just might gain the kind of calm and quiet confidence that exudes equanimity and commands respect. That’s one helluva upside. Go for it. You got this.

Merilee Kern, MBA, is an influential media voice and lauded communications strategist. As the Executive Editor and Producer of The Luxe List International News Syndicate, she’s a trends expert and industry voice of authority who spotlights noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers.

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