"Take the first step, and your mind will mobilize all its forces to your aid. But the first essential is that you begin. Once the battle is startled, all that is within and without you will come to your assistance.” ~ Robert Collier

What does self-confidence mean to you? Is it the difference between just merely existing day-to-day or living the life you love? Does having low self-confidence mean that you spend more time worrying about what others thing of you, instead of how to get done what you need to do in order to have that dream life you want?

You do know that self-confidence can be learned right? No one is born with a “self-confidence gene” that I know of. (I’m sure some scientist will correct me if I’m wrong here.) What we are born with is a sense that everything is right in our world, and unfortunately it is that sense that gets eroded over time as we learn that things a) don’t always go our way, and b) others will work to undermine us in order to shore up their own confidence.

So if your confidence has taken a beating lately, what are you doing to grow it back?

Make your confidence a priority.

As someone who struggled with low self-confidence for most of my life, I can tell you that this is the most important thing you can do for yourself. No one else can do it for you, and you may find that others will feel threatened by your new self. But don’t let them stop you. You deserve to have that sense of self-worth and self-confidence, and no one else has the right to take that from you.
Here are a few ideas to get you started on the path to growing your self-confidence again:

Do at least one thing per day to build your confidence.

Find ways to incorporate building your confidence into everything you do — phone calls, connections on social media, going a little beyond the boundaries of the familiar can all help. This also helps you be more engaged not only with the people around you, but most importantly, with yourself!

Talk to yourself about your confidence.

Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, “I am a confident woman!” You are worth every bit of confidence and success you desire to have. But… until you believe this yourself, you will have trouble getting it and keeping it.
See yourself as the confident woman you are.

Use visualization techniques to see yourself confident and handling situations that would normally leave you feeling nervous and scared. Focus on what it will feel like to be that confident person you know you can be.

Keep a confidence journal.

Write down at least one thing you did every day that made you feel more confident. Keep track of your successes to remind yourself that you are already confident and that every time you act with confidence you are growing that feeling even more.

Get involved in social media.

Okay … I can hear you thinking, “she’s lost her mind” but hear me out for a minute. Social media sites can be a great starting point for growing your self-confidence because you can take small steps without having any face-to-face contact. So for the extremely shy and/or introverted person, using a site like Facebook can be a real confidence booster as you learn or re-learn how to interact with people.
I’ll tell you my story about social media and confidence another day. For now, if you want to connect with me, you can do so here: At VitaMistU.com

This may seem like a lot to think about, so I’ll leave you with one final tip.

Don’t be afraid to take a step back when you need to.

Sometimes stepping beyond the borders of the familiar can be overwhelming, so when you need alone time don’t hesitate to take it.
Being self-confident isn’t going to make you an extrovert if you’re not already one, and it doesn’t mean you have to immerse yourself in new situations every minute of the day. In fact, you need to take time out to care for yourself — because I’m betting you don’t do enough of that now — and to reflect on what you’ve already accomplished!

So… are you ready to take that first step?