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Self-confidenceWhat is self-confidence? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, confidence is a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers . . . Confidence is also about confiding, or sharing some inner thoughts or feelings. Self-confidence includes this self-confiding.

Self-confidence resides within you and includes a sense of conviction or deep belief. To have conviction you must be convinced, or truly believe something. In this case, it is conviction and belief in you. Many people base their confidence on their abilities, but you can also base it on the truth of your own experience. If you have this strong belief you will be much more convincing to others with your words and actions. This means that a person with conviction is more believable and influential to others.

Self-confidence will positively affect your relationships because others will perceive you as having a sense of purpose. Inner purpose and conviction contribute to inner strength. The basis for this is having a strong grasp of what is true for you. When you know your truth, you are not easily swayed, shaken or discouraged by others or by challenges, and you do not need others to prop you up or to take the lead.

Having confidence does not prevent you from being considerate to others. It is not the same as arrogance. The ability to listen and respond to others is there as well. In fact, you can respond honestly if you understand your own position as it relates to theirs. Self-awareness and relational ability work together – you have to know yourself in order to be present and to be in relationship.

Now you know that self-confidence stems from a strong belief in oneself. But how do you develop this belief? You can work on developing your abilities that are important to you (the outer, in-the-world method) which might take a long time and a lot of effort, OR you can can focus on honoring your inner truth. Here is the secret: You already know yourself better than anyone else does. You are really the only expert who can report on what is happening on the inside of you.

Here are some steps to developing greater self-confidence using the speedy, inner method:

1. Remind yourself that you already have access to all the knowledge you will ever need in order to act with conviction, because it is self-knowledge.

2. Watch out for blocks. You may be blocked at the point of knowing your inner needs and desires. Getting in touch with your feelings and desires means slowing down or stopping long enough for them to register. Rushing from one thing to another will make it very difficult to get in touch with your inner needs. Take frequent breaks from your outer activities to check in on the inside.

3. All that remains is to pay attention to all of that inner knowing and to give it the importance it deserves. This is where more blocks can come in – you may have an inner voice that is self-doubting and makes you second-guess yourself. If this happens, you need to tell this fearful voice to “stop” when it come up, and to move out of your own way. It can sometimes be difficult to tell which voice is your authentic inner voice, and coaching can help you discover your truth.

4. If you do feel blocked because you doubt the significance of your feelings and desires, and tend to put the needs of others first, consider this question:

What is trying to come forth through you?

You might think of your purpose as coming from a source beyond your small, personal self. This may make it easier to feel trust that it is okay to move out of the way and allow the energy to move through you. Think of yourself as a vehicle for something greater to move through you: let go and allow life to flow.