How to Become More Confident
Confidence is a paradox. Those with high levels of confidence don’t seem to care what other people think, which seems to give them more confidence. Those with low levels of confidence care too much what other people think, lowering their level of confidence. Additionally, there is something called the Dunning-Kruger effect – the less competent a person is, the more they overestimate themselves. The more skilled a person is, the more they underestimate their competency. It’s a messy topic which is why I want to break it down for you and show you how to increase your confidence. It’s a quality that we all admire and want to have because it’s extremely important if you want a happy, successful, and fulfilling life. Nobody wants to live a life of self-doubt.
So, what exactly is confidence? Confidence comes from the Latin word confidentia and confidentem, which mean firmly trusting and bold. Self-confidence is a combination of self-efficacy and self-esteem. To break it down further, self-efficacy is the belief in your ability to succeed in certain situations (like a challenging life situation). Self-esteem is your overall sense of self-worth. These are completely internal and totally up to you to decide.
Having self-confidence means that you have full trust and reliance in yourself. Do you have full trust and belief in yourself? Do you believe you have the ability to face the challenges of life based on your abilities? Do you feel like a victim or do you feel like someone who can face the challenges of life and overcome them? Do you respect yourself? Do you believe you deserve to be happy and treated well? Rate these questions on a scale of 1-10 and be honest with yourself. If you are scoring low, then it’s time to work on it! It’s not a bad thing. It’s great to identify this in yourself and begin to work on it.
How you believe you will be able to perform has a huge impact on how you will actually perform.
Those with low to no confidence stay in their comfort zone in fear of failure. They act nervous, apologize for EVERYTHING, and have the posture of a turtle. Picture someone with low confidence and I believe we will all see the same thing – someone who has their head lowered, back hunched slightly, speaks quietly, etc. They fear risks and behave in ways to please people. While there is nothing wrong with being kind, giving, and loving towards others, being a people pleaser is not a positive trait to have.
Those who believe in themselves and have a set of their own values, truths, and empowering beliefs radiate confidence. They hold their head high, speak loudly and clearly, stand with an upright posture, etc. They do what they believe is right, even if people laugh at them. They don’t care what other people think because they stick to their values and beliefs. They are willing to admit when they make mistakes, and they learn from them.
If you are lacking in self confidence, that’s perfectly okay. Confidence is something we all struggle with and fortunately, it is something we can work on and grow. I’ve struggled with confidence throughout my life until I started on my own personal development journey. I have learned that it’s not about what other people think that matter. What really matters is what you think about yourself. You must develop your own values and beliefs and let that guide your life. Look at all the great people that didn’t listen to the masses and were hugely successful.
I want to show you how to make your confidence grow and I guarantee that you will notice a huge difference in your daily interactions and life in general.
Self-confidence is about being able to be your true self. It helps you be who you really are. And the good news is, confidence is like a muscle, so we can increase our confidence levels by doing a few simple things.
1 – Consider how do you talk to yourself. Do you say empowering things to yourself or negative BS like “Oh, I am not good at talking in font of people”? Instead, tell yourself, “Heck yea, I’m awesome at talking to groups of people”, “I can do whatever I set my mind to”. You must stand at the doors of your mind everyday and monitor what you are letting in. Monitor your self talk. Change your thoughts one by one and eventually that voice of negativity will vanish. Identify when you are using negative self talk and squash it immediately.
To say it in another way (because this step is so critical) – Make a new inner voice that is empowering and positive. You have an inner monologue/recording that plays in your head whether you realize it or not. Throughout the day pay attention and become aware of the thoughts you are having about yourself. You will quickly notice your mind constantly saying things about you. Become aware of that voice and live consciously. That is the first step. Then, when it throws a negative thought about you into your head, either delete it or replace it with a positive trait about yourself. Discard all the negative crap that comes along. I won’t sugar coat it… This is no easy feat. You have to work at it. But the harder the work, the better the reward. When you overcome that negative self talk, you will feel like a new person.
2 – Change your story. Do you victimize yourself? Blame others? Do you have a self pity life story? It’s time to change that because it’s not going to serve you… it will only bring you down. Instead, look at your life as a success story. You’re a survivor. Failures are opportunities for growth.
3 – Get to know yourself. Find things that you admire about yourself. Find the things you like about yourself. Force yourself to find the good in yourself and write down 10 things you like about yourself. It’s simple; love yourself.
4 – Stop comparing yourself to other people. Comparing yourself to people who are more successful will make you feel worth less. Comparing yourself to those less fortunate may give you feelings of gratitude, which is good, but don’t let this become a habit because if you are comparing yourself to one type of person, you will eventually begin comparing yourself to those who seemingly live a better life.
5 – Accept yourself as you are – flaws and all. Do you criticize yourself or accept yourself as you are? Accept yourself and don’t even consider other people’s opinions on the matter. Someone doesn’t like your style of clothes… Pay it no mind. Do not value their opinion above your own.
6 – Make a list of your positive traits/qualities.
7 – Accept all compliments with a thank you. Most people with low confidence refuse compliments in some way (saying “oh, it was nothing”). You are reinforcing your “no value”. Simply say thanks.
8 – Feed your brain good stuff! Watch inspirational and motivational videos. Read empowering books. Work on your personal development. Only put the good stuff in so you don’t sabotage yourself. If you are constantly taking in junk TV, junk news, and junk magazines, what do you think your predisposition will be? Probably quite negative and pessimistic. So, read positive and self empowering books.
9 – Hang out with supportive people. If someone doesn’t like you for you, move on.
10 – Respect yourself. If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will.
11 – Make a list of past successes. Also, remember times when you have been confident in the past.
12 – Give.
13 – Find your passion. This will help you get to know yourself. It will help guide you towards your values and purpose in life. Once you know your purpose, you will focus on that and you won’t really care what other people think about you. You will become so intensely focused on your passion that you simply won’t care anymore.
14 – Stay true to yourself. Be you and don’t apologize for it. Have a strong moral compass and values – have some self-assertiveness.
15 – Have a personal mantra that you say to yourself over and over. Muhammad Ali said, “I’m the greatest! I’m the greatest!” over and over again even before he was the greatest. Make your own unique and personalized affirmation and say it to yourself constantly, every day. Sure, it may feel silly at first, but you will get used to it and start to enjoy it. With enough repetition, you will start to believe it. Your subconscious will pick it up after enough repetition and it will become a part of who you are. For 30 days say “I am a confident person”. Don’t just mumble it either. Say it with feeling and passion – mean it.
16 – Act as if. Walk, talk, and move with confidence. Body language plays a huge role in your level of confidence. We know that our body language governs how others view us, but our body language also governs how we think and feel about ourselves. Simply holding a power pose for 2 minutes increases your testosterone levels and reduces your cortisone (stress) levels. My favorite power poses – either standing with your hands on your hips or sitting in a chair with your feet kicked up on a desk and your hands behind your head. This type of body language held for two minutes makes you feel more powerful and in control of your life… Increasing your level of confidence. For more, watch this great TED talk.
17 – If you face a situation you don’t think you can handle with confidence, imagine how your favorite role model would handle it and then do what they would do. Think of it as a game, and just act as they would. Once you do this enough, those characteristics become a part of you. It’s like faking it until you make it. But instead, think of it as faking it until you become it.
18 – Don’t picture everything always going right. Don’t be overly pessimistic, but be realistic. Sometimes things will go wrong and you need to be prepared. Imagine something going wrong (a blank stare at the staff meeting) and then visualize yourself handling the situation. As the saying goes… Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. So be ready for that difficult or challenging situation and see yourself kicking ass.
19 – Change the kinds of questions you ask yourself. Ask the right questions. Don’t say, “What if I get nervous?”, ask yourself, “Why am I so confident?” Your brain is a like a computer. As soon as you ask it a question, it will go find an answer. So, ask the right questions. This also applies to other areas in your life. Ask “Why am I so happy?” “Why am I so grateful?”, etc.
20 – Visualize yourself being confident in different situations. Mentally rehearse yourself doing well. See yourself overcoming challenges.
21 – Don’t overthink things. Over analyzing your questionable actions will lead you down a rabbit hole full of negative opinions. Do your best and move on to the next thing. Don’t dwell on shortcomings. Accept it, learn from it, and move on. Don’t think about it over and over again. If you are having a hard time with this, try reframing the event. Reframe the event as going how you wanted it to go over and over again. This will help you move past it if you can’t get it out of your head.
22 – Become more confident because you truly want to be more confident. You are not doing all these things just to pretend you have confidence. You are doing them in order to truly become a confident person.
23- Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Have a plan to improve your weaknesses. Just the act of making progress in your weak areas will give you more confidence.
24 – Take your self image and throw it out of the window. You don’t have to be who you think you are. Change your story! Start fresh. Get rid of all those negative opinions you place on yourself like, “I’m not good at math”, “I’m not good with money”, etc. These are all limiting beliefs that you need to change within yourself. Reprogram your mind. The best way to do that is through self development. Discover who you really are, learn what you really want to have in life, and work on yourself. Start a morning ritual where you cover what you are grateful for, what you want to create, and some empowering beliefs. Do this over and over again and you will begin to reprogram your limiting beliefs.
25 – Stop caring what other people think! Taking a page from Deepak Chopra, say, “I am completely independent of the good or bad opinions of others” every day for 30 days (at least). The first time it will feel silly. It did for me. But the more you say it, the more empowering it becomes.
26 – Help others become more confident. Knowledge is power and people simply don’t know what they don’t know. Help them understand there is another way and give them the information to live better, smarter, and happier through increasing their self confidence.
27 – Live up to your own expectations of yourself. Keep your own promises. Have personal integrity.
28 – Take responsibility for your life. As I said before, get out of the blame game.
29 – Don’t let fear and anxiety hold you back. Charge full force at them and destroy them. Your confidence will go through the roof. In order to grow, you must challenge yourself.
That’s a long list and you don’t need to do them all at once… Just start somewhere. If the list is overwhelming, start with that one that resonates with you the most and you will see your confidence level begin to skyrocket! The simple act of working on yourself is enough to begin the process.