Self-confidence is a character trait commonly held by leaders in almost every field, from sports to business to politics. The air of assurance that surrounds self-confident leaders helps them convince others to carry out their plans and implement their strategies; it inspires trust and devotion.

Some people are born self-confident. They’re the exception. Most trusted leaders have developed their inner strength and self-assurance through the course of their lives.

The self-confidence you’re seeking may come to you in time. But you don’t have to wait, there are things you can do to develop self-confidence.

  • DO set challenging and realistic goals – Decide what it is you want to do and define reasonable steps (mini goals) that will lead you to accomplishing the main goal.
  • DO stay positive – Believe in yourself, remember that you have excellent qualities and abilities.
  • DO practice – Athletes know the value of practicing. So do musicians, people who learn new languages, and many others. Many things simply require repetition to master.
  • DO think and act confidently – If you see yourself as being successful, you’ll make quicker progress towards your goals.
  • DO learn from your mistakes – If you challenge yourself—if you try to extend your abilities and move out of your comfort zone—you will make mistakes. Expect them and take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. What can you do differently, do better, next time?
  • DON’T be mean to yourself – Many people are their own worst critics. Recognize and analyze your mistakes, look for things you can improve, but don’t beat yourself up.
  • DON’T listen to others if they don’t believe in you – There are people who will point out your mistakes and your flaws. There are people who don’t think you can achieve your goals. Don’t listen to them. They don’t really know what you’re capable of.
  • DON’T expect to be successful your first time – See “do practice” above. Few people can do difficult things the first time they try; most people stumble before they learn to walk.
  • DON’T be afraid to seek help – Athletes have coaches and others who help them master certain skills. Similarly, you’d be wise to get tips and wisdom from someone who has the ability you’re trying to master.

For 14 years, Brian Mitchell was an NFL star (Washington Redskins 1990-1999, Philadelphia Eagles 2000-2002, and New York Giants 2003). Since leaving the NFL, he has developed a successful career as a television and radio host. How did he do it? He set goals and worked to accomplish them. If you are part of a group that would benefit from Mitchell’s inspirational presentation about the values of reputation, self-confidence, and more, contact him at 703-688-2399.

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