Picture this: you’re standing in a room full of strangers, not talking to a soul. You’re hoping to make at least one connection, but can’t seem to get the ball rolling. Eventually you think, ‘This is ridiculous. Why can’t I start a conversation with anyone?’
The answer to that question runs deeper than you might think.
The literal translation of the word ‘self-esteem’ derives from the Latin verb aestimare, which means, ‘to value or appraise.’ In this article, we will explore three key ideas to help boost your self-esteem. These ideas will equip you with the confidence to successfully transition from the class room to the board room.
Why Can’t I Start a Conversation with You?
Starting conversations not only depends on your communication skills; it’s also a function of your self-esteem. While researching for my book, The Power of Approachability, I discovered several common barriers that stand in your way of doing so:
• I don’t want to be rejected.
• I don’t have anything good to say
• I will embarrass myself
• I was born shy
Yes, it can be scary. But the truth is, rejection is part of life. You can’t evade it forever. Also, assuming that you can’t handle rejection is a mistaken belief. Besides, more often than not, rejection isn’t as bad as you think. After all, what’s so bad about being rejected by someone you hardly even know? Don’t let a few no’s stand in your way of stepping up to bat again in the future.
Here are three techniques to help boost yourself esteem; either on campus on during your post-graduate job search:
Reprogram Yourself. Actions come from attitudes, which come from beliefs, which come from thoughts, which come from programming. So, every morning for one month, read a series of positive, attitude building affirmations. It might sound like a silly exercise, but this stuff works! Try phrases like:
• ‘I am a confident communicator’
• ‘Shyness is not a problem for me’
•‘I am willing to step out of my comfort zone’
Small Victories First. Small victories build momentum and validate self assurance. They pave the way for later success and enable you to take bolder action. Most importantly, they stretch your boundaries one mile at a time.
Try these ‘Victory Lap Techniques’ to increase self-confidence:
• Give toast at the family dinner table.
• Go to the mall and strike up conversations with people who won’t reject you: clerks, salespeople and cashiers.
• Call a few random companies and ask several job related questions to warm up.
Try Your Luck. Does opportunity only knock once? I used to think so. Because that’s what I’d always been told. By the media, by my friends, by my teachers, by everyone. Then, after college, I started to get lucky. Like, all the time. Lucky with people. Lucky with business. Lucky with life: I landed huge interviews on CNN and NBC, I experienced moments of online serendipity that drove millions of people to my website, even got landed the career of my dreams!
But it wasn’t luck. See, I once read somewhere that L.U.C.K was an acronym for ‘Laboring Under Correct Knowledge.’
If you want to increase your luck, try the following tips:
• Be on the lookout. Keep your eyes and ears open. Think into the future and ask, ‘What could opportunity this lead to?’
• Write them down. Keep track of your moments in an Luck Journal. You might try doing this with a partner with whom you can share your mutual opportunities.
• Evaluate. Look for trends. Figure out what you did right. Figure out what correct knowledge you were laboring under.
With these key ideas, you’ll be certain to boost your self-esteem as you transition from the class room to the board room.