One of the common threads I found in the 177 self-made millionaires I studied was the aura of confidence each exuded. My visceral reaction was that self-made millionaires must all have been born with some innate self-confidence; something hardwired into them from birth. I would later learn, after completing my nearly two-year analysis of my data, that I was wrong. What these self-made millionaires all had in common were certain daily habits that boosted their self-esteem and infused them with self-confidence.
My study of daily habits has taken me down many holes that I never imagined I would explore. One is neurology – how the brain works. When it comes to self-esteem and confidence, there are certain daily habits that light up the reward center of the brain. The reward pathway begins in the center of the brain in a region called the ventral tegmental area. Here, special neurons release the neurotransmitter dopamine, which gives you a jolt of pleasure and makes you feel good. In order to make sure you repeat this behavior in the future, the reward pathway is connected to areas of the brain that control memory and behavior. Whether they knew it or not, those self-made millionaires had forged certain daily habits that were lighting up the reward center of the brain, infusing them with self-esteem and an abundance of confidence. What were those daily habits?
- The Daily Habit of Learning Something New – Your brain loves novelty. It loves to learn new things. Each time you learn something new, your brain rewards you. And this boosts self-esteem and confidence.
- The Daily Habit of Overcoming the Fear of Risk – Most people avoid taking risks. Risk spells danger. Risk forces you outside your comfort zone. But self-made millionaires refuse to succumb to the fear of risk. They move outside their comfort zone. They take risks. Every time you take a risk and survive, your brain rewards you. And this boosts self-esteem and confidence.
- The Daily Habit of Producing a Desired Outcome – Achieving goals is about producing a desired outcome. Self-made millionaires pursue desired outcomes. Every time you realize a goal and produce the outcome you desire, your brain rewards you. And this boosts self-esteem and confidence.
- The Daily Habit of Overcoming Obstacles – When we are faced with an obstacle we have a choice. Overcome it or succumb to it and move around it. Those who overcome it, succeed in life. Those who move around it, make a habit of avoiding obstacles life throws in their way and never reach their full potential. Self-made millionaires don’t move around obstacles – they attack them and overcome them. Every time you overcome an obstacle, your brain rewards you. And this boosts self-esteem and confidence.
- The Daily Habit of Persistence – Winners never quit and quitters never win. When you persist and do not quit on yourself, your brain rewards you. And this boosts self-esteem and confidence.
- The Daily Habit of Productivity – When you accomplish those things on your to-do list that are directly related to your goals and dreams, you get closer and closer to achieving those goals and realizing your dreams. When you are productive in the pursuit of your goals and dreams, your brain rewards you. And this boosts self-esteem and confidence.
Self-esteem and confidence are created by our habits and are not innate. In order to become more confident, you must create specific habits that light up the reward center of the brain. When you do, your brain will reward you with more self-esteem and confidence.