By Nancy Mramor Kajuth Ph.D.

Many people ask me how to believe in, love, and accept themselves. It is an important question; without self-love and acceptance you cannot maintain a long-term vision and learn to walk in your own shoes. Knowing who you are and which shoes fit the best comes before setting out toward confidence. So begin with some soul-searching.

Very simply, set achievable goals.   Research on self-esteem shows that taking small steps toward goals is critical for achieving long-term success. You can have a series of these goals, leading to a big goal, but start with the first one.  Acknowledge the completion of each step, telling yourself what it means, increasing your self-esteem toward each level of your vision.

Understand the difference between inner and outer success.  Outer success is often based on accomplishments and the attention that you receive regarding them.  Yet even major accomplishments may not be seen by others, leaving you feeling empty.  If you give yourself credit for them, accepting the qualities and strengths within you that led to success, then the benefit becomes long-lasting. Otherwise, you will judge yourself on your last accomplishment and will need to immediately start meandering toward another one.  Take time to see where you have walked and let it become a part of you before you continue on your path.

Listen to how you maintain your confidence in yourself with or without success.

When things go wrong or you miss an opportunity, what do you tell yourself that it means?  What is the answer to eternal confidence?  Being mindful of what you are feeling and thinking by using mindfulness techniques is the beginning of the journey.  Becoming more mindful in daily life changes the way you view events and brings about a real conscious life that is not measured by false visions of success.

Use mindfulness to lead to silence. The soul of confidence comes from the time you spend in a meditative state of silence, where you are in touch with your true self. This is where love and acceptance reside.  The effort to set achievable goals, to understand the different types of success, to learn mindfulness, and finally, find of a period of silence, results in a place where confidence is true to who you already are, before you take any steps at all.

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