Project Even Higher Confidence By Eliminating These 10 Behaviors
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What makes someone “high value?” It’s not rooted in how much they make, or what they look like, how many friends they have, or their relationship status…High value people simply decide to recognize their own worth and show up in the world accordingly.
They project their confidence in their own value through the things they do, of course, but equally as important are the things they don’t do. The behaviors they don’t engage in. The things they don’t tolerate both from others, and from themselves.
Let’s discuss some of the things that you should stop doing in order to feel (and appear) more secure in your own worth:
1: Trying to convince others of your value.
First thing’s first — people who are secure in themselves don’t have to tell other they’re secure. That act, in itself, signals insecurity.
They’re not trying to convince others that they’re worthy of attention, or praise, or — most of all — love.
If you’re secure in your own value, the very nature of this security is that it doesn’t need to be proven at every turn.
The people who you allow into your life should recognize all of the amazing things about you without you needing to tell them. And, if you do find yourself trying to convince them to like you, or love you, you’ll soon find that this begins a vicious cycle of instability in your relationships.
You’ll always feel as though you need to remind them of your worth, or keep proving it over time in order to keep them in your life.
People who truly see you for who you are don’t need a reason to love you. They want you in their life just as much as you want them in yours.
2: Using “minimizing” words.
This is a small thing that makes a big difference.
Odds are, you may not even realize you’re doing it — but once you become aware of it, it’s something you’ll notice all the time. The good news is, this is the first step to improving it.
Here are two words you should eliminate from your vocabulary immediately:
“Just” and “only.”
“I’m just saying…”
“I was only wondering…”
These words, though small, make a big impact. When you insert them into statements or questions, it sends a message of uncertainty or timidness.
“Well, I was just asking…”
No, dammit — you were asking because you deserve to know the answer. Because you’re curious. Because you need the information.
Backing off and using words that minimize your intentions or the seriousness of a statement is communicating to others, and to yourself, that you’re questioning the validity of your own words as you’re saying them.
Consciously do your best to remove these words from your lexicon, and pay attention to how much more certain you sound.
3: Downplaying your own abilities.
You’re in a meeting at work and someone brings up an idea that you had about a new proposal.
The room erupts in conversation, excitement, praise for what you’ve come up with…
Your immediate reaction is:
“Oh it’s just something that came into my head.” (See point #2).
“It was only a suggestion, it’s okay if we don’t want to implement it. (#2 again…)
Whatever the response is, if your initial reaction is to downplay the achievement you’ve just made, you’re walking a fine line between being humble, and genuinely doubting your abilities and contributions.
Being humble is important, but so is having the confidence to step up and accept credit where it’s due.
This situation, or any others like it, provide a great opportunity to simply say “thank you,” or to include praise for others who worked with you on the same project. That is how we show grace and class in the spotlight.
The same principle applies to any area of life — a friend is bragging about you to someone who’s interested about you, your spouse is singing your praises, or you are reveling in your own accomplishments…
You’ve worked hard. You’ve put in the effort. There’s nothing brash or braggadocios about graciously accepting the results.
4: Giving people too many “second chances.”
Listen, I understand that (sometimes) people deserve the benefit of the doubt. Everyone makes mistakes, remorse is real, and I do believe that people can learn and grow. My entire coaching philosophy is built on the belief that people are capable of improving.
That being said — there are second chances, and there are 12th chances.
If someone consistently betrays you, or hurts you, or chooses to violate your boundaries (more on this later), then letting them go is a matter of self preservation and self worth.
A second chance is a gift that you can choose to give if you so desire, but upon doing so, you must be honest with yourself about the resulting change in behavior (or lack thereof).
5: Living in the past.
We all have a past, and that past has made us who we are today. For that, there is gratitude to be shown — even for the challenging and checkered pasts, because those teach valuable lessons in strength and resilience, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.
Similarly, healthy and stable pasts are also sources of gratitude for obvious reasons.
Neither of those pasts, though, necessarily dictate your future. And, nor should they.
Just because things went wrong back then doesn’t mean they’ll keep going wrong forever.
Just because things went right back then doesn’t mean they’ll keep going right forever.
Letting your past dictate your future shows a lack of confidence in your abilities to create the story that you’re living.
High value people know that the life they live is up to themselves, and they are sitting in the driver’s seat.
6: Wallow in the shame of your own mistakes.
Alright, so, you messed up.
Congratulations! You’re human!
Mistakes are part of life, and we’ve all ridden that emotional rollercoaster more than once.
“James, you don’t understand, this was a big mistake.”
Maybe so…but as the old analogy goes — it’s not falling into the quicksand that gets you, it’s staying there.
People with a strong sense of self worth acknowledge and accept the reality of their mistakes, but they limit the amount of time they spend feeling shame about it, and move more quickly to actions that create a solution.
7: Sacrifice your boundaries for others.
This tendency can manifest itself in any area of life, but most often in intimate relationships, as they’re the most emotionally charged.
When we become absorbed by the excitement and passion of meeting someone new, it’s easy to “let things slide” more than we usually would.
Maybe it’s true that they’re not really that big of a deal — but we get into trouble when we turn a blind eye, or completely ignore, something that grows in severity over time…eventually becoming an albatross.
Your values, your beliefs, the treatment you will and will not accept — those are the emotional boundaries that you’ve set for yourself.
When someone encroaches on those boundaries or completely violates them, you are faced with the duty of enforcing the boundaries themselves. Expressing your disapproval, pulling back from them, drawing the line in the sand for what you’re okay with.
If you choose not to enforce those boundaries, they become nothing more than a wish, or a hope, that someone will magically begin treating you as you deserve.
Standards and boundaries may be the clearest and most important signal of high self-worth. Knowing one’s own value.
It says: “My mental health is more important than your toxic behavior.”
8: Waste time on negative people or things.
Part of recognizing your own value, is protecting your time.
Your time is your most valuable resource, because it can only be spent once.
I used to be of the “say yes to everything” philosophy. The more experiences, the better! Right…?
Well, not necessarily.
Clarity around your identity, purpose, and mission (more on this coming) is imperative to understanding what (and who) is right for you — and what isn’t.
There’s no sense in accepting that invitation, or agreeing to that date, or attending that event…if you know it’s not in alignment with your values or the best ways for you to invest your time.
This is part of setting boundaries, because it requires saying “no” sometimes, and saying “no” can be a powerful way to protect your time, energy, and mental health.
9: Neglect their mental, physical, or emotional health.
I, myself, have been guilty of falling off of a gym routine, or indulging in far too much takeout, or sitting around for too long during the day (between writing for hours per day and coaching calls with clients, much of the day is sitting).
I say this to make sure nobody feels shame or guilt around falling off of the wagon now and then, we’ve all done it.
However, self worth is what gets you back on the wagon.
It’s what refuses to let one’s health suffer in ways that impede quality of life.
Self worth refuses to become sluggish, lazy, disinterested, or lose its mental sharpness.
It holds a higher standard, as I mentioned earlier, for what it accepts from itself just as much as what it accepts from others.
10: Fall victim to negative self-talk.
The internal narrative that plays in your mind quite literally creates the reality you live in.
It tells you (literally) what you think of yourself and the world around you.
It defines your abilities, it defines your relationships, it tells you how you feel about people and what you believe you’re capable of…or, not.
For many people, it’s a passive and instinctual experience that feels like it’s out of our control. These thoughts enter our mind and we accept them as reality.
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not smart enough.”
“I’m not good looking enough.”
“I’ll never be successful.”
“I’m not meant to find love.”
For some, a whisper. For others, a scream. For all who experience these thoughts, though — a roadblock.
If we tacitly accept and believe these statements we subconsciously tell ourselves, the decisions we make in life will reflect them.
In other words, we act in alignment with what we believe.
If we don’t think we’re good enough, or smart enough, or capable of achieving “the thing,” we won’t even try “the thing.”
The story ends before it even begins.
Those who recognize their own value, though, refuse to fall victim to these passive thoughts.
They acknowledge the feelings, examine them, and then decide how to alter the storyline to serve themselves.
Perhaps they’re not good enough…at the present moment. But, what skills can be learned? What knowledge can be obtained? What chances can be taken in order to become good enough?
That is how we rewrite the story of our lives.
That is how we decide who we are going to become.
That is how we take the driver’s seat on our own journey.
That’s why it’s called self worth — because it’s up to you, not anyone else.
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Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on building limitless confidence and healthier relationships, James has accumulated over 39 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.
James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.
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