1. Stand tall with your head up

The first step to being confident is to look confident. You look confident by walking head up, chest out, shoulders back. People are visual creatures and perceptions can be changed by holding yourself accordingly. If you can make this first step you can begin a positive feedback loop. Look confident even if you do not feel it. Other people may notice this and perhaps change their own manner.

Continue to keep your head up and watch small interactions grow into appreciation. You realise the slight change in which people address you and then you begin to believe in yourself.

Suddenly you hold yourself in slightly higher regard. Let LEO add to that.

2. Care for yourself, as if caring for a loved one

First you must believe that you are worth helping. Investing in yourself is a worthwhile cause. Neglecting yourself can sadly become an easy choice, one that you would never accept if it came to looking after someone else that you care for, such as your child, parent or friend.
Look after yourself as if you were looking after someone you love.

Care for yourself so you can give your best to the people you love.

3. Surround yourself with people who want the best for you

As simple as it sounds this can be one of the hardest rules. Moving forward can sometimes be stopping yourself from keeping people in your life who do not want the best for you. You can influence the people around you and they can also influence you. Choose the right people to influence and be influenced by. Not everyone who is failing is a victim, some fail of their own volition. Not everyone at the bottom wishes to rise, although, many do and many manage it. LEO is about surrounding yourself with good people and allowing good habits to flourish.

“Who are the people in your life that encourage and support you? Who could you not do without? How can you focus on your relationship and prioritise spending a dedicated amount of time with them?”

LEO could be the support you need to make these difficult social changes in your life as well as a great place to make the friends that last.

Start LEO for the training, stay for the tribe.

4. Compare yourself to the you of yesterday, not to someone else today

It is a natural instinct for a person to judge themselves against others, but who do we compare ourselves to? Unless you are at the absolute pinnacle of your field - such as the greatest athletes, painters, or scientists - then you will fail to measure up. So where does this leave you, less than to be desired? Absolutely not.

To truly understand your self-worth, you need only compare yourself to you. If today you attempt something and strive to improve on yesterday, then the only way can be up.
The you of tomorrow will capitalise on today's efforts and take you another step higher.

Before you know it, you're up the mountain looking down on your own progress.

5. Set yourself in perfect order before casting blame

Part of setting yourself in perfect order is adopting the right mindset. Your actions are a direct result of the mindset you choose to adopt. One way to bring your mindset into perfect order is self-reflection.

Self-reflection is a powerful tool. To really harness its full strength, it must be ruthlessly honest.

If you are unable to identify your own flaws, the results of your interactions with the world could be hard to understand. For example: if you are not particularly polite, you might not understand why people choose not to interact with you. This could lead to you making incorrect assumptions that you are unlikeable or that everyone else is difficult, causing undue stress and irritability.

If you were able to see that your mannerisms were the culprit, you would then have something to work on.

In this way self-reflection transforms future first impressions and shows the first steps to being likeable. This basic understanding can be applied in a variety of situations to identify flaws and provide the first steps on your path to improvement. Proper self-reflection is a constant search for improvement leading to better friendships and positive mental growth.

Take time to reflect on past situations and critique your own actions before pinpointing the mistakes of others.

By seeing your actions for what they were without excuse, without using circumstance to vindicate your judgement, you realise the kind of person you are. You might not like that person, and this makes it harder to be truthful with yourself. However, realising you do not like your own actions is the first step to changing them in the future. It is the first step to becoming the person you want to be and aligning yourself with that goal.

Casting blame stunts your ability to grow. It blinds you so you do not seek to improve the things you can control. If you believe the situation is out of your control, you stop seeking ways to improve it. Take responsibility for the outcome, look at what you can control and improve it to create a better one. Ensure your mindset is in perfect order, your actions will reflect it and new outcomes become possible.

Doors closed to you now may open later by having a constructive attitude. Actions influenced by a healthy mindset bring order. Order establishes a foundation. Foundations can be built upon over time with regular work. Buildings set on strong foundations last a lifetime and reach the unreachable doors of the past. Order the things in your control before blaming the things that are not.

No matter what happens, your choices are always your own. Take responsibility for them. If everybody followed this way, imagine the world we would live in.

6. Pursue something meaningful rather than something convenient

Always look at the bigger picture. What gives immediate satisfaction now, isn’t usually the best option for the future.

Ask a young child if they would like a marshmallow now or propose they wait five minutes, delay the gratification and have two later. The child that chooses to wait is more likely to attain higher achievements in the future.

Sacrifice sets us apart from the animals and is the key to achieving more in the long term. Humans can create a compensatory dream of the future which allows us to forego the pleasures of now to achieve more later. Not only does our imagination allow us to predict events it also lays out a path by which we can achieve our desired future.

For example, you want to build your physique and mentally toughen yourself against bullies. This is an ideal example as it applies to both adults and children. You join a boxing club where the circuit training is physically punishing, and the mental strength required to face an opponent in the ring is immense. Your inner voice pleads with you to get out of a situation where you could sustain damage. It takes courage to overcome that voice.

Every week you train, putting the hours in, this is the sacrifice. Your effort means something, and it may not be enjoyable in the moment but afterwards you can feel the value of what you achieved. To fully engage your mind in every training session, each session must have meaning. Without it you would not be able to push your body to its limits. Meaning is truly a powerful thing. New paths open when you give meaning to your pursuits. Apply this ethos to building your character and watch the new you emerge.

Eventually, through pain and agony your original goal comes to fruition. Physically and mentally you have hardened. Others see you in a new light just as you do. It is most likely you have made some remarkably close friends along the way too, who respect your development. The bullies stop and think before a provocation or slanderous word slips from their lips. The base goal has been achieved but you realise you have gained so much more. Improving your character is one of the most virtuous pursuits as it cannot be taken away and can be used everywhere.

In the opposite sense, what would have been the convenient path?

Every day you go into work or school, suffer the mental hardships of the day and return home. On arriving home, you relax, sit on the sofa and order in a takeaway as the stress makes you crave a high calorie diet. This might make you content for an hour or so but it does not change the situation. The next day repeats.

So how do you escape the convenient path?

You suffer the embarrassment of turning up to the boxing club. You train even after being annihilated in the first exercise. You quiet your inner voice and take a beating during sparring practice. You suffer now and in the following weeks and months until you realise the previous year’s problems are gone.

It makes sense to sacrifice as much as possible now to achieve the greatest possible goal in the future.

You will be amazed by what happens to you when aspiring for meaning over convenience.

7. Be honest

Honesty forms the basis of all meaningful relationships. Without honesty, people are not predictable. Without consistency people cannot form trust.

You cannot trust someone who is not reliable.

Consistency in being honest is a very good way of maintaining relationships, it develops trust and encourages faith in one another. Lies, on the other hand, destroy that.

Lies multiply and spread like the plague. Tell one and be prepared to cover it with more until the original lie has faded from the memory of the people you told it to. You may have succeeded in your original deception, but could that encourage you to do it again? Could you tell even bigger lies from the start? The answer in a lot of cases is yes, until the day that all the lies unravel and you are seen for the deceitful person that you are. This will affect your every relationship, winning back trust will leave you at the mercy of the people whom you are begging for forgiveness.

Surround yourself with truth and expect good things to happen.

Tell the truth, even if it hurts at the time, the truth can create foundations strong enough to build on in the future. There can be no such guarantees with lies. Being truthful with yourself allows you to act on your current situation, confronting grievances.

For example, if your job role changes and you find yourself less satisfied, rather than telling yourself everything is okay, stand up and be honest. Having the strength to voice concerns could remedy the problem.

To stay quiet is to condemn the change to permanence. Positive change requires action.

Voicing your opinion might not work, there may be no change, you might even realise you need a new role where you are valued. Do not be afraid if this is the realisation. Be brave and seek new rewarding roles.

Your position becomes stronger every time you are true to yourself. Do it once and you can do it again.

8. Believe that people you interact with know something you do not

This is a brilliant life lesson. Every individual encounters their own unique situations as they grow. Every situation can be a new lesson learned. Life can give an infinite number of experiences. By this logic, every person you meet could have a lesson worth knowing.

You can only find out what that lesson is by really listening to every person you meet.

9. Take care with your words

Way eight was about listening, rule nine is about talking.

Choose your words carefully and meaningfully. Articulate your speech without being manipulative.

Do not choose words that are motivated to convince others into believing your opinions. If you have an opinion present it clearly, free of manipulation and let the best idea win. That way both parties come out on top with the best information, opinion, and world view.

In light of this it is often useful to have the person you are explaining your ideas to repeat back their understanding of what you just said. In this way, both participants come away with a clear understanding of the meaning of the conversation.

Your wants and needs will become very clear. This is a vital skill in life that can be utilised in every form of communication.

10. Become competent and help others do the same

Children are born with an innate ability to push themselves, often in dangerous ways. To them this is exciting and an excellent way to show off to their friends. One excellent example of this is skateboarding. While there is great risk of injury, there are many opportunities to push the limits and display aptitude.

Why is this helpful to children and adults?

Children who skateboard are trying to achieve competence. They are trying to become proficient in a chosen discipline. Children need this ambition to grow into competent adults. They need risk, they need courage to face the risk, to push ahead even if it means the occasional scrape. It is also a way of elevating their status amongst their friends.

Growth, taking risks and ambition should not stop once we reach adulthood.

Push forward by conquering your fears and mastering your innate talent, improve what you need to in order to achieve your goal. You won’t know what you’re capable of until you’ve tried and failed several times until you finally succeeded. Take a risk, make it work.

Therefore, allow children to skateboard, ensure they are challenged. Adults and children must not stop moving forward even when risk and pain are involved.

Become competent.

11. Enjoy the little things in life

Cats are their own beings, independent and uncaring for the wants and needs of humans. They decide if they want to be stroked or if they want to bite the hand that feeds them. In much the same way life is uncaring for the wants and needs of humans. It can grace you with friends, family, career and it can crush you even when you have the best intentions at heart.

Often life ends up doing the later. Not because it is vindictive but simply because it is impartial. There are far more probable ways life can roll out other than the one way you want it to. At any given moment it is likely that you or someone close to you is struggling. It is this struggle that makes us strong, it is struggling with our limitations that makes life meaningful and rewarding. Remove our limits and remove all satisfaction and progress with it. If we could do anything, there would be no achievement. It would strip us of our identities, our individual struggles and make knowing who we really are impossible. Struggle and hardship are essential to the formation of a well-rounded character. It is a well-rounded character with grit and determination that can drastically change the probabilities of life.

Because life is hard, we must cherish the small successes and the beautiful things in life. Like when a cat chooses you to interact with affectionately, it can only do this if you present it with an open hand. Life can only do this when you give it your all. You might get bitten or you might enjoy the moment.

Take the warmth where you can, take notice of the opportunities and this will help you through the struggle. There is good in life but only if you are present and take the time to notice it.

Sometimes little things make the difference.

12. Ask yourself difficult questions

Am I happy with my life right now?

Could there be more to my life?

Is there meaning in my life?

What do I want to achieve?

Could I make a plan to achieve it?

Can I make the world better?

What can I do right now that can start the change I desire?

How can I improve?