One of the things that prevents us from living a completely fulfilled and amazing life is the fear of the unknown and of failure. These fears are often secondary to low self-confidence and low self-esteem.

If you are like me, you wonder how can you face your fears and build your confidence to TRULY begin LIVING. Believe me, there is a difference between being alive and actually LIVING.

Fortunately, there are things that can be done to increase our self-confidence. By altering some unhealthy habits, combined with trying our hands and new things, we can positively influence our lives, our self-image and most importantly our self-confidence, which will ultimately increase our ability to face our fears head on and improve our quality of life.
I am not offering a cure to being afraid, nor am I telling you that you can wave a magic wand and change your life in one day. However, I am offering suggestions that will make those things you once feared seem a bit silly and innocuous.

If you are somewhat reluctant to believe that the quality of your life and self-confidence can be altered, I want you to try a few of my suggestions anyway, even if you believe they will not make a difference.

1. Change your "blueprint". All of us have one-a "blueprint" or the "story in our head." It is our model of what our lives should be. Tony Robbins says our blueprints are often wrong for us, our situation, or it's somebody else's blueprint for us; and even if we do succeed, but it does not match our blueprint, we do not feel fulfilled.
Luckily, we can either change our lives or change our blueprint. In most cases, changing a little bit of both is essential.

2. Think Positive: I could never quite grasp the concept of optimism, and always wondered how positive people remained so, even in a world where things aren't always so ."peachy." One day I had an epiphany - Being optimistic does not mean you do not have negative thoughts. Optimism is the ability to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. This requires you to become aware of your thoughts at all times. I like to think of negative thoughts as nasty little viruses. If I allow negative thoughts to fester for too long, they will begin to multiply and eventually infiltrate my entire thought process. However, if I zap that bad boy with a positive thought-or an antivirus, those annoying viruses are not even allowed to affect my thoughts (and my attitude).

3. Dress Presentable and Groom Yourself: These are seemingly obvious, but a warm shower and a nice hairdo does wonders for my confidence. On days when I am feeling "yucky", I force myself up and into the shower, put my hair in a nice up-do and SMILE. It is amazing. Typically, our outward appearance (the way we are dressed and groomed) can have a significant impact on the way we feel. So, dress nicely (nicely does not necessarily mean expensive), cut, comb or brush your hair and STRUT YOUR STUFF!

4. Know (or create) your Principles: Some people call these principles "values". It is paramount to be familiar with the values from which you operate. They are essentially the foundation upon which you choose to build your life. They ultimately affect your attitude, your code of conduct, the way you spend money, your views on relationships, your work ethic, etc. Now think about your core principles and values. Do you stand firmly and act upon them? Why not? Should they be changed or amended?

5. Be kind and generous: I am a firm believer in the Law of Reciprocity. Some call it Karma or sowing and harvesting. Offering a hand to those in need, having an attitude of servant hood (which involves giving, not being taken advantage of, abused or taken for granted) can do wonders for your own morale and the morale of those whom you choose to give.

6. Set Small, Attainable Goals and Achieve them: We often attempt to tackle large, seemingly impossible tasks and goals and just as often fail. This in turn discourages us from attempting anything similar. I recommend setting small, attainable goals; goals that you know are possible.and ACHIEVE THEM! Nothing beats that feeling of accomplishment. It motivates us for success and inspires us to set progressively large goals.

7. Exercise: Exercise is by far one of the best things you can do to improve not only your physical health, but also your mental health. Exercising just thirty (30) minutes a day has proven to reduce stress; boost happy chemicals and improve self-confidence. So, get up off the coach, go for a walk and give your confidence a well-deserved and much needed boost!