"Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy."
- Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
Have you ever noticed that the most successful people--like the ones listed in Fortune's The World's 50 Greatest Leaders--seem to truly believe in their own abilities?
You can tell just by watching and listening to them that they know that the world will benefit from their ideas, innovations, or inventions...so they're not bashful about showing them. Even if it means they'll face some criticism along the way.
And have you ever wondered where they find that type of bullet-proof confidence? The same type of conviction that forces them to keep going until they achieve whatever it is they set out to do...no matter how many hurdles are placed in their way?
More importantly, why is it that you haven't located that same type of confidence in yourself?
Well, it may be because you're looking in the wrong place.
Are You Sitting on "Acres of Diamonds"?
Russell Conwell, the founder of Temple University, was famous for his "Acres of Diamonds" speech and, if you've never heard it, the story goes something like this...
There was a farmer who lived in Africa and, by all accounts, he was extremely successful and wealthy...and he was feeling great about where he was in life. That is, until one day when a guy came to visit him and started talking about all of the people who were getting insanely rich from discovering and selling diamonds.
All of a sudden, the farmer felt like he was actually very poor and he went to bed that night feeling very badly about himself. He felt like he was completely worthless.
That's when he thought, "I'm going to go out and find those diamonds for myself!"
So, he sold his farm and wandered all over the continent for years with no luck. He never discovered "his" diamonds and eventually went broke, which is when he threw himself into a river and drowned.
Now, here's where it gets interesting...
The man who purchased the farmer's land, was out walking around the property one day and he came upon a small stream in his yard. In it he sees this really unusual beautiful rock, so he picked it up and took it back home, where he placed it on his mantle.
The next day, a priest came over to visit him, saw the rock, and said, "Oh my god! Do you realize what you have here?"
The farmer replied, "No, I just found it outside in the river. There are hundreds of them out there."
The priest said, "That's the biggest diamond I've ever seen in my life!"
The farm turned out to be one of the richest diamond mines the world ever knew.
What's the point of this whole story?
The first guy was sitting on a fortune, but instead of looking for it in his own backyard, he went out searching. But he never found it, because he was looking in the wrong place the entire time.
Where Confidence Really Comes From
It's inside of you, which means that if you're searching for confidence from external sources--via praise from your manager or customers, acts of love from a spouse, or accolades for a "job well done"--you'll likely never find it. Because that's not where it is.
The thing about confidence is that it affects so many different areas of your life.
According to the National Association for Self-Esteem, what you think about yourself influences your educational abilities, your ability to make moral decisions, and even your health.
All of these can affect your levels of success, which makes raising your self-confidence critical to reaching your true potential with the fewest roadblocks possible.
So how can you become more confident?
3 Ways to Boost Your Confidence (Today!)
Since true self-confidence comes from "the inside," there are things you can do right now to create the level of self-worth you need to do all of the magnificent things you want to do:
1. Pay Attention to Your Posture
Research conducted by Ohio State University found that the way you carry yourself--your posture--can greatly affect your level of confidence.
Specifically, this study involving 71 students found that if you stand or sit with your back straight and shoulders pulled back, you'll likely put more weight on your positive traits. On the contrary, when you spend your days slouched forward, you'll have an easier time believing negative things about yourself.
This makes paying attention to your posture critical to improving your confidence and having more faith in what you're able to do. So be sure to check your body's position regularly, readjusting it if you notice that you're leaning ahead, leaving you with thoughts about yourself that aren't as positive as you'd like.
2. Get Some Exercise (Regularly)
Psychology Today shares that one way to boost your self-esteem is to get your body moving...often.
By working out regularly, not only do you feel better health-wise, but you also feel better mentally.
It's like, by pushing your physical limits, you develop this "I can do it!" attitude that seeps into other areas of your life too.
Get out there and get moving. You'll feel better when you do!
3. Remember Your Accomplishments
It also helps boost your self-confidence when you take a moment to reflect on all of the great things you've already done in your life.
Look back and consider all of the times that you felt really good about something you were able to achieve. Maybe you earned an award at work, solved a relationship problem at home, or something completely different.
Let your memories of those types of events push you to do more great things today.
And if you're worried that your head will get too big, don't. As confidence coach Steve Errey says, realizing your accomplishments "is not egotistical, it's healthy."
Do these three things today and you'll be on your way to a higher level of self-confidence tomorrow.
Your acres of diamonds await you...