Self-confidence – is a strong word and an even stronger feeling. Do you still remember a time in your life when you felt confident? A time when you feel unrestrained… on the ground? Now imagine that you would feel that way many times. How would that affect your health and well-being, your job, your relationships?
Self-confidence not only sounds good, it helps you seize opportunities, take more chances and make that big change or take the next step in your life and career. Life is crazy, busy and beautiful. Finding out how to be more confident is part of the journey.
So how can you be more confident?
Lack of confidence can arise in many places.
Perhaps, as you grow older, your parents tell you that you can’t do a certain job and that you will never do that. Or maybe you have a belief system that says ‘I’ll never be able to start my own business, I’m not in business’.
Maybe you had a bad experience that opened the door for doubts to get inside. Or maybe someone who criticizes you inside tells you that you ‘can’t’ or ‘you don’t have enough’. Maybe (okay, maybe) comparing yourself to someone else – a friend, co-worker or spouse.
Or maybe you feel that something is missing from your life – a relationship, a dream job, a child, a degree or a title.
In my work with thousands of clients, it seems that most (if not all) of us are struggling with self-esteem somewhere, or at some point in our lives. Whether that is self-confidence in our appearance, skills, relationships, careers, decision-making, and social status.
We all have problems with self-esteem. Times we despise and moments of doubt. Also, if your insecurities keep you from bad work or bad relationships – or keep you from moving forward in your life or work, you are not alone.
Confident People vs Suspicious People
Self-confident people believe in them and have a good sense of humor. People who lack self-confidence feel insecure about themselves and their decisions.
Let’s take a look at this infographic that shows the difference between a confident person and a insecure person:
So how can you be sure? Here is your complete, step-by-step guide:
- Clarify – What Do You Not Trust?
First things first, let’s get straight to the point.
To touch a demon, you must name the demon. Where do you lack confidence? When do you feel insecure and your bad feelings come in? Where do you think your skills or abilities limit you? Where would you like to be more confident?
Once you have found the specificity, you will not feel overwhelmed as you will have something tangible to deal with.
Maybe you want to be confident out on your own and start a new business? Or maybe you want to go back to school to get the degree you were looking for? Maybe you would like to be confident to go on an adventure or take a trip that you have been thinking about for some time.
Take a moment now, point out and enter the full statement: Where exactly do you want more confidence?
- reveal what gives you confidence
This is personal, so it will vary from person to person. There is no size equal to all self-confidence and what works for one, it will not always work for another.
How can you determine what gives you confidence? Think of a few times in your life when you felt more confident.
Now, think of what it was like for those moments that made you feel stronger.
Was it your nature? Something you were doing? How do you feel? When you find out more about this on your own, it will be much easier to get in when you need it.
- Be Loyal to You
One of the surest ways to lose self-confidence is to try to be someone else. One of the best ways to build your self-confidence? Be honest with yourself.
When you try to be the wrong person, all your parts oppose you. You are not everyone. It’s you. And the more you understand who you are and what you like, the stronger you will be.
When you deviate from what you are, you lose confidence because ‘it’s not just you’.
Think about what you do, differently from you. Write it down. Think about what you value and what is important to you. Rewrite that.
- Remember You Are 100% Wise
While one of my daughters was in the 4th grade, her teacher gave her an assignment called 100% smart. In this activity, the children had to make a pie chart and indicate how smart they were by percentage in the following areas; people, title, body, mathematics, name, music, art.
For example, my daughter was 25% intelligent, but only 5% clever of art. This has been a very sensible exercise for him and something I have shared with many clients over the years. He realized that although he was not confident in the arts, there were many other places where he was successful.
This is true for everyone. So, maybe you are not the best public speaker, but are you a good parent, wise about your money, or talented?
Too many people spend too much time trying to improve, transform, become more or less of this. Instead, what if you spend a lot of time appreciating your skills, abilities and accomplishments?
Try this for a week: At the end of each day, write down at least three things that you did well, that you felt good about, or proud of. Know your strengths, know your skills and know that you are 100% smart.
- Stop Comparing Yourself
Nothing destroys your self-confidence as much as comparing yourself to others. Especially now, with social media and a great opportunity to judge yourself against many others! Lack of confidence comes from the space where you see yourself and where you think you should be.
Imagine that you are preparing for a major presentation or talk. So you did your research, which included watching some of the world’s best speakers make their Ted Talks. You will just feel down.
Stop comparing yourself with others. Just stop. If you feel the need to compare yourself – compare yourself with yourself. Evaluate how far you have traveled. See how well you did. Acknowledge your victory and your success.
- See Enough
This may sound small, but give it a try. This positive assurance will be heard at a deeper level and have a powerful effect on your ignorance.
Every day for the next 21 days repeat the mantra “Enough.” Do not just say, but feel, deeply, in the context of who you are.
Want to find out more? Replace ‘enough’ with any word you would like to have. What can give you more confidence?
I am brave. I am strong. I’m smart. I am beautiful. I’m confident. I got this.
- Gain New Skills
Since self-confidence is often directly linked to skills, one of the best ways to build your confidence is to gain new skills or experience and step out of your comfort zone.
Developing your skills will boost your confidence. And please, as you work on building your skills and expertise, don’t miss out on the lack of perfection with a lack of skill. No one is perfect. But if you have a bone that wants to be perfect in your body (as I do), it can make you think that because you are not the best, you are not good at all.
Make sure you test yourself – am I not really ready for this, or am I not as good as I want to be right now?
Ask yourself: ‘Is there a place where you lack confidence? How can you expand your expertise in this area?
- Change Your Status
Changing your body and mind is one of the quickest ways to achieve a sense of confidence. To do this, you need to know what ‘confidence’ looks like, how it sounds and feels to you.
Here are a few strategies you can use to achieve that:
Remember – Think of a time, which is associated with confidence. Immerse yourself in that feeling and every moment you release all the details.
Think – Think about how you would feel if you were confident. How can you do it? Do you feel? Be?
Modeling – Think of someone you know who instills confidence. Just think what that person will do.
- Get yourself a Cheerleader
Yes, while I understand that self-confidence is an internal state, you can also boost your self-confidence in the people you choose to spend time with.
Make a concerted effort to get around with others who offer encouragement, luck, and inspiration.
Spend more time with the people who ‘find you’ and see all of your greatness – a little time with those that strengthen your self-esteem or make you feel insecure.
- Just Do It
When Nike came up with the slogan in the late 80’s, they knew how to get the general public off their buttocks and move. Apparently this is a good strategy for self-confidence too.
When you stand at the edge of the water; waiting, wondering, worrying if there is anything you can do, you lose confidence. Your fears sink in and you begin to doubt yourself. But when you take the climb of faith, come in and get started, your confidence builds up quickly.
Action builds self-confidence and every step you take builds forward.
Think of one step you can take now to move you in the right direction. Then just do it and see what happens. The incredible thing about the human brain is that when it sees that something is working, it will keep that momentum going!
Overconfidence starts with one thing – YOU.
YOU are the one who decides to take action. And when all else fails, you can choose.
YOU can choose to be confident. YOU can choose to be self-confident rather than fearful and self-confident.
Your mind believes what you say. If you keep telling a story that you don’t trust, you will believe it and your confidence will continue. But if you tell yourself you can do it, that you have this, your mind will believe that too.
Remember, developing a strong sense of self-worth is essential to achieving all levels of life, happiness and success.
And once you start you will be unstoppable. Be courageous. Be sure. You’ve got this.
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