13 Ways to Build your Self Esteem and Confidence Using Benjamin Franklin’s Virtues

Do you want to build your self esteem and confidence?

Hello, I’m glad you have come. Welcome.

I know you are probably skeptical, in fact you are likely to be so skeptical that you could be about to make a bit of a mistake.

That mistake could cost you unless you can take responsibility for raising, building and growing your confidence and self esteem. It’s all here waiting for you to pick it up. If you will.

Thanks to you sir am beggining to build confidence in myself. Thanks alot.

Before we go on though I wanted to tell you something. I was just watching a TV show about Shovels, it was groundbreaking stuff.

I can’t understand why no-one thinks that’s funny.

Hello, I’m Ian Dove and 3 years ago I was feeling pretty bad about myself. Which, If I’m honest was pretty usual in those days.
Nothing I did seemed to go right and I didn’t have the confidence to make the changes I knew I had to.
I was always getting in trouble at work and felt like I was going NOWHERE.

In these situations It’s no use pulling your hair or gnashing your teeth, you have to DO something.

I wanted to build myself up, grow my confidence and boost my self esteem.

But, I had no clue about how to do it.

Wind forward to today; I now work for myself, have no boss to tell me what I’m doing wrong and feel confident about my future. My self esteem is through the roof. Oh, and I’m writing a book.

And here, I’ll show you exactly how I did it.

But first, I have a confession.

You see, I didn’t invent the system I have been following for the past 3 years. I discovered it. Modified it. Built on it.
And started using it, every day.

Waaay back in 2015 I read a book called “How I raised myself from failure to success” By a Man named Frank Betcher.

I would like to tell you rush out and buy it but I’m not going to do that. I’m afraid that most of it is dull dull dull. Tales of insurance salesmen aren’t thrilling.
Anyway, bear with me, there is a point to this.

The book begins with Frank getting fired.

Not a good start, I’ll agree.

Frank was in minor league baseball, but he had a problem with Enthusiasm. He Didn’t have any.

So, he lost his job.
This is what caused him to vow to be ‘Enthusiastic’ in everything he did.
Now, Frank was a bit sneaky, because I was coming to the end of the book and almost falling asleep.
Then he revealed exactly what he had been doing.

Something that woke me up!

Fast!

Frank revealed what he had been following. It turned out to be a modified version of Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues.

The Benjamin Franklin Thirteen Virtues factor.

Now, before you roll your eyes and groan let me tell you about an important, little known fact about Benjamin Franklin.

At the age of 21 he arrived back in America from England (it wasn’t the USA – yet).

He was; broke, had no prospects and nowhere to live. But he had a plan, or the loose beginnings of a plan that he had worked out on the 11 week voyage. A plan he would use to build a new life.

By the age of 28 he was by all accounts, wealthy.

In a short Seven years he had built himself up from nothing to being one of the wealthiest men in Philadelphia.

You will agree with me that’s pretty incredible, isn’t it?

If you are anything like me, you will want to know how he did it.

That’s smart, I like your thinking!

How did he do this?

Franklin tells us about the ‘Thirteen Virtues’ in his Autobiography.
In fact, he credits the system to building his success.

And that seems to be more than a good enough reason for us to take a look at it.

Franklin’s list is as you might expect, a little out of date.

A Few secrets about building confidence and self esteem.

Now, before we go any further, this is the time to let you in on a little secret.

Well, not so much of a secret as a clarification of the obvious.

Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues is all about building Moral Character.

But to have a good character, you have to have good self esteem (the belief that you deserve the respect of others).

Before you can build self esteem you have to have self confidence (the belief in yourself).

Does that make sense?

Self Confidence ⋙ Self Esteem ⋙ Good Character.☑

When you practice the 13 virtues you gain both Self Confidence and Self Esteem as well as Character.

Pretty good deal. ☑

Here are the 13 in the order that we do them (remember, this got updated from Franklin’s and Betcher’s
versions).

Our 13 Virtues.

  1. Enthusiasm – “Be fired with enthusiasm, or you will be fired with enthusiasm”.
  2. Silence. – “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
  3. Planning – “If you don’t know where you are going you will end up someplace else”.
  4. Keeping your Word. – “Because you will know.”
  5. Waste – Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. Action – Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. Truth – Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  8. Bodyswap – See things through others eyes.
  9. Moderation – Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. Upgrade – Think differently about yourself. Dress Smart. Feel Better. Think :- I can, I will, I do, I DARE!
  11. Let Go – Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Games – get out there, interact. Encourage open competition.
  13. Humility – Think for a moment about oxygen. Are you grateful for it.

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You can see that if you master these 13 ‘Virtues’ then you AUTOMATICALLY grow Confidence and Self Esteem?

What follows is a section with much more description of each of the Virtues. Can I suggest you share this post or bookmark it so you can come back to it? Or better still leave your email on the form and you can start to practice the Virtues right away.

1. Enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is by far the highest paid quality on earth. Probably, because it is one of the rarest; yet it is one of the most contagious” – Frank Bettger

That’s true isn’t it? If we get into an enthusiastic crowd we become enthusiastic, so how can we build this enthusiasm?

If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic” – Dale Carnegie.

Yes, all you have to do is to ACT ENTHUSIASTIC.

And this is the root of the well known saying “Fake it until you make it”. Pretty soon you start to feed off of your own enthusiasm and if you keep it up, it soon becomes a habit. You can’t help feel more confident when you are enthusiastic.

Try:

  • Smiling – even if you don’t feel like it.
  • Get excited when you meet people.
  • Throw yourself into tasks and projects.
  • Find a way to get yourself ‘buzzed up’

Show your enthusiasm but don’t mention it to others.

‘BE’ enthusiastic, people will notice, and some, will start to treat you in a different way.

Success, is going from failure to failure, without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

build confidence and self esteem word cloud

2. Silence

Creating and using silence

Imagine you’re late – again.

You sneak in the back way hoping to get in without being seen or getting caught.

And you walk straight into the exact person you were trying to avoid.

This is exactly what happens to Marty McFly in the Movie “Back To The Future”.

He’s late for school. His girlfriend Jennifer intercepts him and they go in another way. Only to run straight into Mr Strickland who is a Strict Disciplinarian.

Strickland delights in dishing out his ‘nickels worth of free advice’ to Marty.

He says: “No McFly has ever amounted to anything in the history of Hill Valley”.

Not exactly something to build up his confidence and self esteem is it?

But his reply is exactly the right attitude.

Oh Yeah? well, things are going to change.

So, here’s the scoop.

There are people around us, like Strickland who feed us negative thoughts. I’m sure you know a few.

If we want to grow and feel more confident about ourselves we have to reduce exposure to these people.

Don’t let someone who has given up on their dreams talk you down and out of yours.

Think: I Can, I Will, I do, I DARE!. THAT will really boost your self esteem.

3. Order and Planning.

What is your Mission in Life?

Don’t have one?

I’m not surprised – 95% of people, don’t have a mission.

If you don’t have a mission then you will find yourself working on someone else’s mission.

But what do we mean by mission?

A mission is something like:- Building a business. Becoming a famous actor, or author. Starting a charity, or a religious centre. Or becoming the best in the world at a sport or music or anything you want.

You see it is personal to you, and it must mean a great deal to you.

Belief is everything – you must believe that this is your purpose – something you HAVE to get done.

I cannot tell you what your mission should be but I can help you to discover it.

First get your mission clearly defined.

Then, you will see what activities are bringing you closer to your goal. And what activities are taking you further away from it.

It doesn’t have to be a world changing thing. It could be something like losing a lot of weight, getting a dream job or buying your own home.

Here’s how you can begin –

Take some of that silent time we have been practicing. Mix it with a bucketful of enthusiasm we practiced the week before – pace up and down if you have to – it works for me.

Think up every dream, hope and desire you can. Write down EVERYTHING you can think of that would be the greatest thing if it happened. – remember, there are no wrong answers.

Everything, no matter how big or small, empty your mind.

You don’t have to show this to anyone, get excited for yourself and empty your hopes and dreams onto the paper.

I know it’s difficult to think if you are not used to it but let the enthusiasm carry you through.

Remember! smile to yourself – act enthusiastic – imagine you have won and Olympic gold medal – how does that feel?

Then get that list out of your head and on paper – you’ll feel positive and energised after you do this.

There will be something there. Something that you fear but also find strangely compelling and attractive.

Build on that.

That’s your mission – But only you can decide.

4. Word

What do we mean by word?

Let me tell you about a man who appeared on live mainstream television in his underwear!

Now, let me say right away that I’m not a soccer fan myself.

No Ma’m, Not Me!

Many People, love it. In some archaic tribal throwback to prehistoric times it can be very ‘them and us’ between teams.

Fans even more so – almost like going into battle against an enemy – though in a friendly way.

Anyway.

Born in the City of Leicester in 1960. Gary Lineker played 194 games for his local team Leicester City. He scored a total of 95 goals for them in his seven years as a profesional player at the club.

He then played for Everton. Barcelona. Tottenham Hotspurs and a Japanese Team called Nagoya Grampus Eight. – before retiring in 1994.

He also pulled on the white shirt of England a total of 80 times, scoring 48 goals for his country.

He is still England’s top goal scorer at the World Cup with 10 goals to his name.

The point is he had a lot of credibility and a large following and so…

After retirement he became a TV presenter with the BBC. – presenting their flagship soccer show ‘Match of the Day’ (MOTD).

But he never forgot or lost his support for his beloved Leicester City.

Poor Leicester, they always tried – they were the most earnest triers out there – never won a thing though.
Every season between August and May the English league operates. and poor old Leicester City never won a thing.

On Monday 14th of December 2015 (halfway through the season). Leicester City beat Chelsea to go top of the League.

Lineker sent out a tweet:-

“YES! If Leicester win the @premierleague I’ll do the first MOTD of next season in just my undies”
9:54Pm 14 Dec 2015.

That year, for the first time in it’s long history Leicester actually won!

Yes, they were still at the top of the league at the end of the season meaning they had won the championship.

So this is about keeping your word.

and Lineker did what he said he would do; presenting the first show of the new season in his undies.

Did he look foolish? Yes.

Did he feel humiliated? Yes.

Did he gain the love and respect of millions of people? Yes.

He showed the world a brave face. Went on national television Feeling humiliated. And that these were not as important to him as keeping his word.

By doing what he said he would do when he said he would do it, he raised his profile confidence and self esteem.

Look for ways to keep your word:

If you say you will do something, make sure it gets done.

If you say you will be somewhere at a certain time, be there.

Avoid the temptation of falling into the ‘everybody does it’ excusitis.

IMPORTANT BIT: you do what you say you will do when you say you will do it because; if you don’t, you will know it.

think about that.

People tell me they want to build their self esteem and confidence. They want to be happier. But have this laissez faire attitude to things. They turn up when they want and do something later than they said they would do.

People respect people who keep their word, and you should practice it too, but only for your own sake.

Because YOU will know it.

5. Waste

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself.” Benjamin Franklin.

This time we’re trying not to be wasteful. Material things, edible things and cashflow. Yes it’s time to think GREEN.

or if you don’t like those terms, let’s call it guarding your resources.

Do you need all those shirts? or all those dresses?

Look at all your junk. Do you REALLY need it?

Must you have coke? what’s wrong with water?

Why not walk to the shop or even use your bicycle.

Recycle, re-purpose, make do and mend.

Reducing unnecessary waste in your life, think of the resources you have available to you.
Like some of the other virtues we’ve been looking at it is a little bit hard to see where the benefits lie.

Being Self Confident and building up self esteem means guarding your resources. There is no use in practicing the virtues if your mind is full of ‘stuff’.

6. Action

No, I’m not about to wheel in Arnold Shwarzenegger or Bruce Willis so put that out of your mind.

The way we want to think is more like the Nike slogan ‘Just Do it’.

You see there are a lot of people who are trying to get things ‘perfect’ so they can go ahead with their big thing.

They talk, and read, and watch videos, take courses, attend seminars and acheive………… Nothing.

Your mission, your goals, your dreams are all redundant. They are unless you take action towards making them happen.

You actually have to stop thinking about the thing and start DOING it.

Some people never begin because of Fear. They’re afraid it won’t work, they’re afraid it will work. Hey I’ve been there myself a couple of times. They need to build confidence and self esteem.

You have to suck it up and dive in.

One of the greatest success secrets is that; successful people fail.

They begin a thing and fail, then they try again – fail again they keep doing this until they get it right.

Then People call them ‘lucky’ and assume they are just filled with confidence.

sound familiar?

When Thomas Edison was inventing the lightbulb. He made over 10000 experiments. He discovered the most effective way of producing light with electricity (at the time).

When queried about this he said: “I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb

The Wright brothers in perfecting flight. It was only the two of them. They could try a design, note it’s failings and make changes fast. Unlike some large corporations that were attempting to do the same thing. Bogged down in procedures and design approval changes.

Into dating? You know someone who always seems to be getting dates, no problem, you wish you knew their secret.
I’ll tell you their secret – they talk to people of the opposite sex. – try it, find someone – anyone, and start talking to them.

Try a line or two, ack, not easy is it? nevermind there will be someone else along soon, try again. dive in, sweep your fear aside and ‘just do it’

keep trying until you feel very comfortable talking to people. Then you can start talking to people you fancy for a date. But hey remember, don’t worry if you fail, you’re still learning and, yes, there will be someone else along very soon.

Remember: Fail Fast and keep trying.

THAT is taking action and it can propel you farther than you can imagine.

7. Truth

Honesty is one of those things that some people are very ‘crafty’ about. Yet it is great for your self esteem.

They are quite happy to complain about something ‘extra’ on their restaurant bill. but something ‘missed off’ is not raised.

They think they are ‘winning’ by doing this, by getting the better of someone or some organisation.

Dumb.

If you want to build a strong self esteem be confident and strive for success then you must be honest.

If you can not break the habit of telling ‘little lies’ then your reputation with yourself will suffer.

But it’s not only your reputation with yourself that is at stake. Have a look at the quotation below and see how important this is.

Worry about your character, not your reputation. Your character is who you are. Your reputation is who people think you are.” – John Wooden

Good news for you here of course. Building your character is exactly what the Thirteen virtues is all about – get after it.

8. Bodyswap

Or. Walk a mile in another’s shoes before you judge them.

You can have no idea what the other person is going through. You have no idea where they come from or what their past present and future experiences are.

Empathy enables us to ‘imagine’ what it could be like to be that other person, to see the world the way that they do.

Many people have a ‘tough exterior view’ but may in fact be not at all tough on the inside. Actually they might be very anxious and put up a ‘front’ to protect themselves.

Try to see through this. For instance, if you meet someone new, and they appear hostile, that hostility is nothing to do with you. It is how they have interpreted something that has happened to them. and projected it onto their lives.

If someone cannot be civil and pleasant to a stranger then they are best left to their own devices.

Forgive people their faults, they may not know they have them, or may not care they have them.

But consider that things aren’t working out for a reason that you may not understand.

1. Be curious about people.
2. Use your listening skills for clues.
3. Try to understand the ‘rules’ they are using.

For instance, you meet a young lady who is Pregnant with her first child.

She may be, Frightened, Fearful, Worried, Anxious, or Angry.

Or she may be Happy, Welcoming, Hopeful, Energised.

Consider these positions when you meet people. and if you can envision their point of view you will be able to find a middle ground you can both use to build a relationship.

9. Moderation

“Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve”. Benjamin Franklin

Or in other words practice self-control.

Don’t say those hurtful nasty words, find another way.

Do you speed on the highway? I bet you arrive stressed all the time.

What happens if you come across an example of bad driving? Does it enrage you? Why? What did you profit by losing control of your emotions. The only real result was the way that you interpreted something. In the big scheme of things that doesn’t matter at all and you upset yourself.

Why not accept that the world and life don’t run how you think they should a lot of the time.

I’m a great believer in the state of ‘flow’.

Beware: Some call this ‘going with the flow’ and that’s all very well but some people use it to take no responsibility.

Hey, look, I know where I’m going and I have a pretty clear picture in my mind of what I want and how I’m going to get it. If I find myself in a situation where it feels like I’m headed ‘upriver’. Where the going is tough, I try to step back and ask if I’m going about it all wrong.

Sometimes it’s better to drop what you were trying to do for that day and pick it up later.

Watch out for your extremes, ask yourself, is this taking me closer to my dreams or further away?

10. Upgrade

Nothing will have a more positive effect on your self esteem and confidence. Than actually working on it
yourself.

Do not look to others to raise you up or give you praise.

Be your own chief cheerleader.

You may not be aware of this but you are always talking to yourself.

‘Oh I’m so useless’
‘I’m so Fat’
‘I’m ugly, no-one will love me’

And many similar things. You must stop doing this.

But it’s hard to do that. Sometimes this negative self talk get’s programmed into us from an early age.

We can again work on this problem by using some specific tools.

One very effective way is to actually talk to yourself (you probably don’t want anyone else to hear you).

You can say things like ‘I love myself’ or ‘I like myself’. – yes. I realise that doing it will ‘weird out’ most people.

Now this must of course join with moderation. Because if unchecked too much ‘self talk’ can turn into Narcissism. And that can make you look very arrogant and brash. – the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

One of the best phrases that I use is ‘I can, I will, I do, I dare!’ putting emotion, feeling and emphasis into it, I find it very effective. Try it out for yourself now.

But there are other excellent ways to ‘upgrade’ yourself. – getting a haircut or having your hair done. Wearing a jacket, suit or dress. Wearing some nice polished shoes.

Don’t do it to show off, do it for yourself to feel some pride and confidence in your appearance. – It really does work.

11. Let Go

Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about something anymore. It’s realising that the only thing you have control over is yourself.

Some people allow themselves to be consumed by past, perceived, wrongs.

And the most important word there is perceived. Because it is how you interpret what happens that makes all the difference.

Take these steps.

1. Make a decision to let it go.
2. Discuss your pain with a close friend.
3. Stop blaming others for what happened.
4. Focus on what is ahead of you and what is happening now.
5. Forgive everyone including yourself.

by doing this you are ‘walking’ yourself through the grief process. Helping you to put it behind you and then to move on.

Day-to-day wrongs can also affect our mood, if the bus is often late, don’t let such a minor inconvenience get to you. Talk to others waiting or read a book.

Learn to step over the things that ‘can’ go wrong on a daily basis. after all you were half expecting them anyway – weren’t you?

12. Games

I’ve called this section games, but I don’t expect it to be strictly about games, it could be going to a club or seminar.

The thing is, if we are working on our goals. Trying to think better about ourselves. Working on sincerity and truth. How to build up our self esteem and how others look at things then there is little time for games and activity.

But there are very good reasons for moving ourselves. Physical activity invigorates the body. It gets the blood pumping around in the right way and oxygenates us.

Also, getting out and meeting new people. Getting you to come out of your comfort zone does you good and gives you confidence.

Find out all the local sports centres.

Go and swim, play badminton, cricket, baseball, soccer, play chess.

I love running and here in the UK there is an organization called ‘Parkrun’ (parkrun.org.uk). It is a voluntary organisation which promotes 5km runs in public places for free, once a week.

There are local runs all over the world. if there isn’t one in your area, why not contact them to see if you can start one in your local park.

5km is a good distance, not too far that you can’t manage it but not too short that it won’t do you any good.

It’s also VERY easy to begin. Look up the ‘couch to 5k’ project. This will give you a guided program of exercise. It will get you from sitting on the couch to being able to run for a complete 5km.

Achieve THAT and you will be building Confidence like never before.

Get out there in whatever way you choose and be active.

13. Humility

Can I ask? What are you Grateful for?

What’s that? ‘Nothing’?! awww c’mon you must be grateful for ‘something’.

How about the oxygen you breath that keeps you alive and well? Are you grateful for that?

what about the water you drink.

Got a brother? Sister?

There is a lot to be grateful for in this world. Showing that gratitude can give you a sense of place in the world.

Try this: Why not write a letter to someone you haven’t seen in a long while. a friend or someone you knew at School or College perhaps. Maybe a distant relative you haven’t heard from.

Most of the values we’ve been looking at build you up and for most people that’s great and what they need. But if we go too far and forget ourselves we can become too ‘big headed’ and ‘arrogant’. which is kinda counter- productive wouldn’t you agree?

So Practice a little humility. Let people finish what they want to say before jumping in with your own thoughts.
allow them the dignity you owe them and they deserve.

How to use this system to build your confidence and self esteem.

Now all that remains is to tell you exactly ‘how’ we practice the Thirteen Virtues.

By Email.

Yes, you will get an email every day.

It contains thoughts based on the theme for that week eg ‘Moderation’ for instance.

Because of the structure of Benjamin Franklin’s thirteen virtues. You get to go through them all 4 times a year.
That’s 4 Cycles of 13 weeks.

That way, you visit each of the virtues for 4 weeks in any one year.

You came looking to boost up your confidence and self esteem, I hope that I have done that for you. But my dear wish is that you join the virtues. Don’t leave your confidence and self esteem to chance. Leave your email in the sign up box below to build grow and boost.

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