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Taking responsibility breeds self-confidence


Do you feel that the boss won't like your work; that the woman who interests you won't be interested in return; that you'll look stupid trying to do those exercises in an aerobics class? Hey, you need to boost your self-confidence.

Psychiatrists at the University of Birmingham say that self-doubt begins in childhood with parents who are critical. But unless you stop blaming others, you are always doubtful.

The first and most important step comes with accepting responsibility for your own behavior. In his book The Confidence, author Walter Anderson says unless we do that, we can't build real confidence in ourselves.

When we accept responsibility without blaming others, we are also more able to accept the disappointments and losses that happen to everyone. Here's his further advice:

Get physically fit. People who exercise regularly have more confidence. They feel stronger, look better and feel better about themselves.

Play the confident role. Acting self-assured even if you don't feel that way helps you become more confident. You think differently.

Write your story. Keeping a journal of thoughts, dreams and worries helps put them in perspective. It makes plans seem more achievable. Reread the journal once a week to determine what you have to do to accomplish your goals.

Don't worry about failure. Self-confidence is not related to how well you do on every job. Failure should be viewed as a step toward achieving success.

Flock together. Join a club or group of people who have the same interests or talents as you. Everyone is good at something or interested in something.

Do something different. Try something you never thought you could do. Make a suggestion to your boss or start on a new hobby or sport. The more often you do new things the easier they become.

Work at finishing. Finish whatever you start, and you will become more confident.

Change your speaking style. Avoid self-depreciating statements and apologies. Stop saying things like, "This is probably dumb, but I think;" "Here is the report. I don't think it's my best work, but...".

By taking responsibility for yourself, and by working at self-confidence, that illusive trait will become more apparent in your personality.

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