Makeover Monday: Got Confidence?

The long-awaited BlogHer’09 conference is this week! After months of planning and anticipating, scrimping and saving, I’ll finally have the opportunity to meet some of my fellow bloggers and chat Live! In Person! I’m looking forward to two days of learning and laughing.

But as much as I love meeting new people, I still approach these situations with a little bit (or a lotta bit, depending on the event) of apprehension, wondering how I’ll be perceived by others and hoping I “measure up.” Years of frequently being “the biggest girl in the room” will do that to a person. (A few of you may know where I’m coming from with that.)

My confidence level is actually pretty good right now, but just to be on the safe side, I’m dragging out my bag o’tricks to make sure it stays there. If confidence is an issue for you, feel free to join me in slaying the savage beast!

7 Ways to Build and/or Maintain Your Self-Confidence

Inventory Your Assets – They’re the things that make you uniquely YOU, the qualities and characteristics that draw other people to you. You have them in abundance. I wouldn’t allow you to read my blog if you didn’t. The way we see ourselves often affects the way other people see us, so list the things that make you special and worth knowing. Review your list daily, several times a day if it helps.

Use Instant Replay – Remember a time when you were successful at something. It might have been a work project or helping a friend resolve a problem or getting your kids through a difficult situation. Recalling those times will help cement the notion that you HAVE experienced success before, and there’s no reason the trend can’t continue.

Imagine the Worst – Give yourself a finite amount of time (5-10 minutes or so) to visualize the worst that could happen. Work through all the possibilities. Blow it way the hell out of proportion. Of all the things you come up with, I’ll bet the only one you probably couldn’t handle would be a worst case scenario that ended in death. I’m serious. If I think about BlogHer, the worst thing that could happen is that I drop dead of a heart attack when I walk in the door. Anything else seems rather minor in comparison.

Act the Part – There’s absolutely nothing wrong with acting confident until the real deal catches up with you. I remember a story that was used in workshops of days gone by about a young girl being pushed down onto her school bus seat by her brother and his friend. Every time she started to get up, they pushed her down again. And again and again. Finally she was still, but with her fists clenched tightly, she scowled at the boys and shouted, “You can push me down all you want, but I’M STANDING UP INSIDE MYSELF.” That’s all acting the part is, standing up inside yourself.

Clean Up Your Language – Now is not the time for I can’t or I’m not or I’ll never. Or any of their cousins, for that matter. It’s perfectly okay to acknowledge your limitations, but take care to phrase them properly. I’m building, I’m trying, I’m working toward–these are all honest, but positive and filled with possibilities. (This is my personal toughie.)

Visualize Your Success – I use this one a lot, as it’s part of every goal-setting project I’ve ever undertaken. In this case, take a moment to close your eyes and see, with your mind’s eye, the confident version of yourself. Do it enough times and it starts to merge with reality. The neat thing is that YOU don’t even break a sweat!

Smile – So simple. So effective. When you feel your confidence slipping, smile, smile, smile. And then hold on tight for the surge of endorphins. Smiling makes you feel better about life in general.

Those are just a few of my tricks for maintaining (and sometimes resurrecting) my confidence level. Feel free (read: I’m begging you) to share any of YOUR techniques.

Wishing you all a marvelous Monday!