Contrary to popular phraseology, you cannot ‘demand’ any measure of respect worth claiming. Trust is a dividend invested in and earned one act at a time. Charismatic magnates such as Richard Branson, Mark Cuban and even real estate mogul-cum-President of the United States Donald Trump accrued the powerful confidence of their peers upon foundations of both superb acumen and unmistakable panache all their own, and each paved their way one deal at a time. Those who overdraw their balance of credence among colleagues find themselves with few allies when success or failure hinges on leadership that inspires unshakable faith.

Fortunately, every moment offers an opportunity to win over the world around with small, effortless touches guaranteed to build up quickly and quietly into sweeping conviction in your abilities. Don’t wait until even the next instant to start steering your fortunes by influencing the trust of others. Start by shifting your thinking now. Right now.

How Do You Carry Yourself?

The way you dress can convey a pivotal personal confidence in your own competence, knowledge and influence. Researching a valued client’s office environment, company image and core values can astutely inform your ability to emphasize the emotional comfort of your counterpart across the negotiating table. Never neglect your posture, either; slouching when engaging customers, clients or colleagues contributes to perceptions of laziness, insecurity or disinterest. Consciously roll back your shoulders and elongate your spine while keeping your head neutrally positioned and your chin subtly raised.

What Is Your ‘Best’?

The wisest managers in the world often actually captain their enterprises with judicious care. They zero in on the things they do best and employ savvy experts to manage everything else. Just as importantly, they know that their ‘best’ possible performance can and inevitably will vary. They may not be as sharp when sick as the are in perfect health. Extenuating circumstances may throw wrenches into outcomes even from one moment to the next. Ultimately, they let go of errors once they have learned what they must to ensure they won’t repeat those mistakes. They then embrace responsibility with a sincere apology, rectify the outcome and proceed to the next order of business without dwelling on failure.

Have You Taken Your Eyes Off The Future?

It takes minutes at a time to tune your focus anew on your personal aspirations and draw down on the goals that drive you and your business. If you can immediately acknowledge the value of great and small accomplishments alike within your personal scope of professional and individual growth, you might come away amazed at how completely you ultimately counteract negative energy around you with an air of confidence and gratitude. Whatever you do, knowing that you performed to the immediate best of your abilities will render worrying about the future almost entirely moot. After all, you’ve done all you can with your brightest goals in mind. What more could anyone ask?

Do You Play As Hard As You Work?

At some point, your body and mind will give out under the weight of week after week working 60 hours or more without rest. It doesn’t matter if you schedule entirely unplugged walks alone in the park after lunch, carve out some all-important playtime with your pets or children, or pencil in an appointment personal training session or group-exercise class at your neighborhood gym. Prioritizing an investment in your friends, family and non-work interests will revive your drive to face one challenge after another.

What Don’t You Know?

Familiarize yourself with this one phrase, because you will eventually need it: “I don’t know.” More importantly, make a habit of combining it with a game-changing additional clause: “I don’t know, but I can find out.” The advisors, colleagues and friends you trust most will no doubt be enthusiastically invested on some level in witnessing your own success. Whether it affords them the emotional satisfaction of simply seeing you happy or your professional advancement benefits them from a business standpoint by positioning an ally in a more influential station, they probably know there is something to gain by helping you overcome your challenges and strengthen your outlook through their keen objective insights.

What you don’t know can cost you. What you learn will almost assuredly grow you.

What Is Your Relationship With Risk?

There’s plenty to be said for playing to the strengths you foster within your comfort zone. With that in mind, growth flows from embracing the unknown with an open-mindedness toward virgin ideas, technology, practices and environments. All life is dynamic. Even if we stand still, everything forges forward eventually widens the gap between us. We fall behind. It is indistinguishable in outcome from actively moving backward. Stepping into uncharted territory may challenge us with failure, but we can only grow so much before further advancement requires knowledge and experience not found within our little complacent spheres. We are far better served reaching out to others who can help shore up expertise and understanding of the terrain we do not possess and acknowledging that even what we know today as our ‘comfort zone’ was once entirely foreign country.

Do You Have 100 Days To Lose?

Does the name Jia Jiang ring a bell? If not, set aside some time for an open-minded Google query. No man ever has or probably ever will have quite as much fun letting failure punch itself out. When one potential investor’s rejection left him at a lifetime low, he boldly sought to desensitize himself. For more than 100 days, he made one outlandish request after another of people around him, purposefully setting himself up for failure everytime. Even if you cannot afford to spend more than three months deliberately taking ‘no’ for an answer, there is a profound lesson to take away from this intrepid enemy failure: every loss leaves you with less worst-case-scenario unknown to fear. Once you familiarize yourself intimately with rejection, there is substantially less it can do to stop you from pursuing what you want.

Have You Set Yourself Up For Success Lately?

When was the last time winning came easily? If it never has, you may have been missing out up until now. You can dismantle even a seemingly massive undertaking into smaller interconnected goals you can accomplish swiftly. With each conquest, your confidence will mount until you feel more than qualified to tackle the more daunting objectives. To really build up some steam, track your achievements with a visible lists to remind you that you are actually riding a winning streak. Screw the ‘to-do’ list. Fixate on your ‘I did it’ list if you want to fortify your confidence with compounding results.

“To establish true self-confidence, we must concentrate on our successes and forget about the failures and the negatives in our lives.” — Denis Waitley

Too many people are discouraged about their abilities because they set themselves goals that are too difficult to achieve. Start by setting yourself small goals that you can win easily.

Once you have built a stream of successes that make you feel good about yourself, you can then move on to harder goals. Make sure that you also keep a list of all your achievements, both large and small, to remind yourself of the times that you have done well.

Instead of focusing only on ‘to-do’ lists, I like to spend time reflecting on ‘did-it’ lists. Reflecting on the major milestones, projects and goals you’ve achieved is a great way to reinforce confidence in your skills.

What Have You Done For Others Lately?

If you want to forget about your own anxieties and failures, remind yourself through actions how empowered anyone can feel by expressing gratitude for what we have and uplifting others. There was no doubt a time when a mentor or teacher raised you above your own weaknesses. If you follow the inspiration to pay that support forward, you will automatically bolster your personal confidence by reminding yourself that you are no more deserving of happiness than anyone else. A rising tide raises all boats. The people you better will most likely one day contribute to a more enlightened, stronger world around you. As a bonus, you can look at it all and know it bears your fingerprints.

Confidence is no arcane magic. It is not a destined superpower bequeathed to a subjectively select few. Happiness is your right. In fact, it is the order of everything around you that what you put forth will thread itself through everything and everyone around you. Choose style. Choose bravery. Choose integrity.

Choose to be different.

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