So how can you teach yourself to be more confident? Here's Blalock's advice:
The average person has 65,000 thoughts each day, Blalock says, and 85 to 90% of them are negative; like worry & fear. "They're warnings to yourself," Blalock says. It makes sense. If you touch a hot stove (or try Extreme Ass-Kicking Hot Sauce) our brain wants to make sure we never, ever do that again. But this survival mechanism works against our success because it causes us to focus on fears rather than hopes or dreams.
Be aware that your brain works this way, and keep that negativity in proportion. "What you have to realize is your thoughts are just thoughts," she says. "They don't necessarily represent objective reality."
2. BEGIN AT THE END
"There are so many people that I've asked, 'What do you want to do? What do you want to be?' and they would say, 'I don't know,'" Blalock says. "Knowing what you want is the key. Everything else you do should be leading you where you want to go."
3. START WITH GRATITUDE
Begin the day by thinking about some of the things you have to be grateful for, Blalock advises. "Most of the 7 billion people in the world won't have the opportunities you do," she says. "If you start out with that perspective, you'll be in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day."
4. TAKE A STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
There's a funny thing about comfort zones, If we step outside them on a regular basis, they expand. If we stay within them, they shrink. Don't get trapped inside a shrinking comfort zone. Push yourself to do things that are outside it.
5. DOGS BARK AT THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT
When you run into opposition, there's probably a good reason; you're getting traction. Keep negatives in perspective. If you are being challenged, you are probably challenging status quo.
6. STAND UP..AGAIN
"It's not failure that destroys our confidence, it's not getting back up," Blalock says. "Once we get back up, we've learned what doesn't work and we can give it another try." She points out that the baseball players with the biggest home run records also have the biggest strikeout records. Taking more swings gets you where you want to go.
7. CHOOSE YOUR COMPANIONS WISELY
Your outlook (negative or positive) will be the average of the 5 people that you spend that get the most of your time.
8. DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Preparation will boost your confidence. Have to give a speech? Practice it several times, record yourself and listen. Meeting people for the first time? Research them, and their company, on the web and social media. "If you're prepared you will be more confident," Blalock says. "The Internet makes it so easy."
9. REST & EXERCISE
There's enough evidence that getting enough sleep, exercise and good nutrition profoundly affects your mood and your effectiveness. "Just moderate exercise 3x each week for 20 minutes does so much for the hippocampus and is more effective than anything else for warding off Alzheimer's and depression," Blalock says. "Yet it always falls of the list when we're prioritizing. While there are many things we can delegate, exercise isn't one of them."
"This one is so simple," Blalock says. "Deep breathing saturates your brain with oxygen and makes you more awake & aware. It's very important in a tense situation because it will make you realize that you control your body, and not your unconscious mind. If you're not practicing breathing, you should be."