If you are looking to increase your confidence levels in life, this article is for you. If you find yourself filled with self doubt, limiting beliefs, and negative thought patterns to the point where it is affecting your ability to achieve your goals and live a life you love, you must understand the 10 things you can do today to boost your confidence. If you’ve ever wondered how to build confidence, how to boost your self esteem, how to feel more confident every day, these strategies are going to help you increase your confidence and create more success in your life.
If your confidence is high, you are well positioned to overcome the obstacles on your path. If your confidence is lacking, self doubt becomes the anchor that keeps you stuck no matter how hard you try to catch the current.
If you’ve been searching for the key to success, I believe confidence is the closest thing to it.
In this article, I help you understand what confidence is, how confidence leads to success, and how you can be more confident in your life.
What Is Confidence?
Google has a few definitions that are valuable to wrap our brains around.
The first is “confidence is the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.” From this we can gather that confidence is an emotional state, confidence is a feeling, and confidence is created with certainty.
The second definition says “confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” From this we can gather that appreciating our qualities, abilities, characteristics, strengths, and traits will increase the feeling of confidence.
Misconceptions About Confidence
Many people see confidence as a black or white quality in people: either you have it or you don’t. This is what Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck calls a fixed mindset, and it does not serve you in your life.
Confidence is a skill. Confidence is a set of habits. Confidence is a set of learned behaviors.
If you wish you were more confident, you are able to make it a reality. You just need to know how. And that’s what this article will dig into.
How Does Confidence Lead To Success
Think about the most successful people you know in life. Picture them.
I bet you see a man or woman with good posture, a great smile, looking you straight in the eyes, chin up, that always seems very self assured. What you likely don’t picture is someone who waffles in self doubt, can never make a decision, talks in a low voice with their chin down and their shoulders slumped. Now, this is stereotyping at its finest, but I think we can all agree that all successful people have a solid foundation of confidence holding them up.
Why is that so common?
Feeling sure of yourself, having faith in your abilities, being certain about something… all cause you to make decisions faster. When you make decisions faster, you act faster. When you act faster, you learn more.
It doesn’t really matter whether your decisions were always right or always wrong … the more you decide, the more you learn, and the more you grow.
Confidence helps you travel down that road faster, outpacing the competition, and winning your claim to fame.
Related post: Building A Meaningful Life
How Do I Feel More Confident?
Because confidence is a feeling, we know we have direct control over it.
If you’re new to this community, to personal growth, or to results coaching, the key philosophy we run with is that #1 our thoughts create our feelings. #2 Our feelings create our actions. #3 Our actions create our results. This model was shared with me by Brooke Castillo, and it has changed the lives of hundreds of people that are now seeing the results they’ve always craved.
Related post: What Is Personal Development?
We can control our feelings because we have direct control over our thoughts.
But because we know that just repeating “I am confident” over and over is not going to change all that much for you, here are 10 things you can do to create more confidence in your life.
10 Ways To BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE
Surround yourself with positive and encouraging people
Every mega successful person in the world will tell you that the people you surround yourself with have an immense impact on who you become.
Take a mental note of the type of people you spend the most time with. Are they the kind of people you aspire to become? Do they seek out opportunities for growth? Do they confidently tackle challenges? Do they dream big and take action no matter the odds?
Chances are, they do not. Most of us have not been intentional about creating a community around us that moves us closer to our goals. We just sort of go along with whoever happened to enter our lives and stick around. But if you’re looking to break through to that next level and feel yourself struggling, reassess your circle of friends, colleagues, family, etc.
Do what you need to do to spend less time with people that drain you of your energy, that bring you down emotionally, and that batter your confidence.
Be intentional about finding or creating a community that lifts you up, pushes you forward, and elevates you into a better version of yourself.
PS – We’ve got a strong community of ambitious people achieving impossible goals. Join the tribe!
Confidence, in part, is created when you prove to yourself that you did what you said you would.
This is how you generate the appreciation of your own abilities that fuels you to tackle bigger challenges with the certainty that you will succeed.
So if you want to have the confidence to speak in front of a room of 20,000 people… You need to take on the challenge of speaking in front of a camera that has 0 people watching. Then 1 person. Then 3 people. And so on and so forth.
If you want to have the confidence to start your own multi million dollar business… You need to take on the challenge of buying a domain name. Then telling people about your company. Then making a single dollar. Then making your first $1000. Then making your first $100,000. And so on and so forth.
If you want to have the confidence that you will lose the 100 extra pounds… You need to take on the challenge of shopping for vegetables more often. Then tracking the calories. Then showing up to the gym every day. Then losing the first 5 pounds. Then the next 10 pounds. Then the next 20 pounds. And so on and so forth.
The point I am eager to drive home is that the confidence to achieve MASSIVE goals doesn’t come from nothing. It comes from succeeding in the tiny goals along the way.
Your confidence is built up as you gather SMALL WINS under your belt. This fuels you to make some of those bigger wins happen.
Related post: How To Overcome Self Doubt
Determine one tiny action you could complete this week that would create a win in your mind, and go do it.
Understand the trickle effect of your wins
The beautiful thing about confidence is that you don’t have to start from scratch every time you try something new.
Feeling confidence in your ability to run 5 miles today will also make you feel more confident in your ability to lead a meeting effectively at work which will also make you feel more confident in your ability to find a partner to spend your life with.
Confidence in one area extends, in some portion, to all other areas.
And this is fantastic news, because it means you can work on ANYTHING to raise your general level of confidence. Whether it be hitting your physical goals, your mindfulness goals, your career goals, your relationship goals, or your business goals, it all adds up.
What goals are you actively working on right now?
Learn the stories of people who have failed their way to success
One of the things that commonly affects our self confidence in a negative way is the experience of failure.
When we miss the mark, we start to think we’re just not cut out for it, and our confidence plummets.
Whether you are brimming with confidence or full of self doubt, failure will remain a constant in your life no matter what.
There’s just no such thing as not making mistakes. It is our most effective mechanism for growth.
What you make failure mean affects whether you bounce back or stay down.
If the meaning you assign to failure is that you’re not good enough, you’re out for the count.
If the meaning you assign to failure is that it’s part of the process, you’re learning, and you’re only going to get better and better, then you stand back up and you make it to your end goal.
And this is where the first part of our discussion becomes really important: you can control what you think about failure.
- YOU control your definition of failure.
- YOU control your internal narrative when you experience failure.
- YOU control your emotional state when you face failure.
So, right now, let’s get your definition of failure straight.
Google says failure is “the omission of expected or required action” which is actually really helpful. It means you just didn’t DO something that was expected or required to see success. It does NOT mean “the tried and true sign that you suck at this and should give up.” Figure out what action you’re missing and get it done. Don’t give up.
If your definition of failure is not serving you, redefine it.
Then, seek examples of people you admire that have failed their way to success (like Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, the list goes on and on).
If you get to know most successful people’s stories, it sounds something like this: “I tried this thing, I thought it would be easy, it was really freaking hard, I messed up really badly, that could have been it for me but I decided not to let it stop me, and here I am today.”
In fact, they’ll often say, “that failure is the best thing that ever happened to me” because it taught me this and that, and it put me on the path to this other unrelated thing over here.
So, stop letting failure crush your confidence. Understand that it is normal, learn the lesson you were meant to learn, and keep going.
Find heroes who failed their way to success. Redefine what you make failure mean about you.
Your confidence will increase as you build the certainty that you can overcome anything.
Focus On Your Strengths
Growing up you may have been taught to focus on your weaknesses if you want to get better at something. While the advice likely came from a place of love, it doesn’t always produce the results you’re looking for.
LeBron James didn’t become a basketball superstar by spending hours working on his inability to play volleyball (I’m making that example up).
Thinking we need to spend time on the things we suck at causes us to live in a place of continuous struggle and lowers our confidence levels. This is because just as confidence trickles to all areas of life, so does self doubt).
If you want to build your confidence, play on your strengths! Spend your mental energy focusing on the things you are good at and becoming even better at them!
Working with a coach is a fantastic way to identify your strengths and design a fulfilling life around the things that light your heart up!
Identify the 3 things that you are really good at, how you can incorporate more of them into your week, and what you will do this month to get even better at them.
Get ready to watch your confidence soar!
Related post: Are You Working On The Right Goals?
Make A Bragging List
It is important to be aware of the things that are phenomenal about you! I know there are tons of them!
If you have low confidence and an aversion to bragging, you may not be spending enough time thinking about how awesome you are… I’m serious.
Whereas a lot of the other strategies for increasing your confidence in this article focus on building and raising the foundation of confidence, think of this one as a quick confidence boost when you need it most.
Make a list of all of the things you are good at, all of the things you are proud of yourself for, all of your accomplishments, success, and achievements.
It can be anything from “I graduated at the top of my class” to “I kept a plant alive for more than a month.” Take at least 10 whole minutes and fill a sheet with things you’re proud of. Brainstorm and let the ideas flow. Then circle your top 10.
When you are feeling down, read this list to experience a boost in confidence that will motivate you to tackle your obstacles.
If you want to go the extra mile, read your top 10 every morning.
Reminding yourself of your strengths and accomplishments every day will create a confident emotional state from which you can take on anything.
Related post: Life Audit: Ultimate Guide To Your Best Year Yet
Create affirmations that inspire action
“Positive affirmations are simple sentences that people use to describe how they want to be, or how they want their circumstances to be, in a way that affirms that it’s already true, or on its way to becoming true” (source).
Knowing the impact our thoughts have on the way we feel and act makes it evident that thoughtful affirmations can change the results we see in our lives.
They remind us of the way we aspire to show up for our lives and thereby increase the chances that we’ll rise to the occasion.
You don’t have to call it an affirmation if it seems too ‘woo-woo’, but you do need to be intentional with the words you repeat to yourself in your head.
If you’re unemployed and feel like you’ll never find a job you love, repeat daily “I deserve to be employed and paid well for my time, efforts, and ideas. Each day, I am closer to finding the perfect job for me” (source). This will motivate you to keep going when you feel like giving up, thereby putting you on the path to success.
If you are struggling with confidence, repeat daily “I am a powerhouse. I create incredible results in my life. I am unstoppable.”
To come up with your own affirmation, identify the area in life that you would like to improve and think of one to three sentences that describe it in the way you’d like it to be.
Make them bold. Make them empowering. Write something that inspires action.
Related post: 10 Tips To Be More Motivated
Be prepared; come with a plan
Knowing you have done everything you can to prepare for a situation that puts you outside of your comfort zone will help boost your confidence in challenging times.
Many people tend to avoid situations they do not feel confident heading into, instead of preparing for them effectively. When we procrastinate, those events still come around, and we end up botching a perfectly good opportunity. When you summon the courage to confront a challenge head on, and prepare effectively, you are well equipped to rock it.
Whenever you can put together a plan and come prepared for a certain situation, you will be better off. Knowing you are prepared will boost your confidence and help you succeed.
Ask for feedback
The best way to improve your confidence in yourself is to continually be improving yourself.
The first step is to ask for feedback from people who know you well enough and have the skills to provide it in a constructive fashion.
Getting feedback on your performance at work from a colleague, boss, or mentor who has your best interest in mind can be one of the greatest catapults for your success and confidence. Not only will you gain insight into strengths you may not realize you have, you will also become aware of potential blind spots so that you can actively work on improving them.
Through improvement, everything gets better.
Seek out opportunities to level up by asking for productive feedback.
Related post: Impostor Syndrome: 4 Tips To Overcome It
Get to know fear
Fear is nothing more than a feeling.
All our feelings come from thoughts we are thinking. We humans create our own fear in our minds. It’s a little crazy. But it also means that we have complete control over our fear.
Once you understand that you can feel the fear and still survive, you will be able take action more consistently. And once you come to the realization that you can do the things you’re scared of and come out fine on the other side, you become unstoppable.
When you notice yourself feeling afraid, stop and feel the fear. Notice how it manifests physically in your body.
- Does your breathing become more rapid?
- Does your heart pound?
- Does your chest feel constricted?
Whatever feel looks like for you, identify it, and take the time to feel it. Once you realize that you are feeling your fear (not running from it) and are still alive, you can make the connection that fear itself can do nothing to you.
Then, notice the thoughts you are thinking that are creating this feeling of fear. Be aware of the exact words you are choosing to think and actively replace them with thoughts that would build confidence instead.
Related post: Overcoming Fear To Achieve Success
Confidence is a beautiful thing.
In abundance, it can fuel you to take action, crush obstacles, and achieve your wildest goals. When lacking, it makes every decision feel onerous, every move seem twice as difficult, and every dream appear impossible.
Building up your capacity for confidence will be one of the greatest things you do for your life.
So take the exercises from this article and actively apply them in your day to day life:
- Surround yourself with positive and empowering people
- Start with small wins
- Understand the trickle effect
- Learn the stories of people who have failed their way to success
- Focus on your strengths
- Make a bragging list
- Create affirmations that inspire action
- Be prepared with a plan
- Seek out feedback
- Get to know fear
Your ability to create the life you love, to step into the life you know you deserve, and to build a future exploding with joy depends on your willingness to exercise your confidence muscles right now.
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- The 4 Biggest Things Holding You Back In Life
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What strategies have you found helpful to build confidence in your life? Let me know in the comments below!