How to Build Self Confidence: 5 Steps to Get Started
It's not easy to be confident in yourself all of the time. Even when everything seems to be going to plan, life has its way of presenting unexpected challenges that can knock the wind out of your sails.
Not many people are simply born with abundant self confidence that is never tested. Being self confident is generally a product of you becoming proficient, successful or skilled in a certain area of your life which only happens over time.
However, if there is any kind of "art" to building confidence, it's in your perspective, your positive outlook on life, and your ability, not only to be clear on your strengths, but your willingness to step outside your comfort zone and even recognise your flaws.
Read on to discover our top five tips for building confidence within yourself, that will help you to navigate life and the inevitable challenges that arise.
1. Embrace Your Flaws
We are all unique with our own individual strengths and weakness. And no one is perfect. We all have flaws.
Rather than try to fix your flaws, why not embrace them as part of your whole uniqueness and then concentrate your energy on the things that make you great.
Where your focus goes your energy flows. So spend your time focussing on the positives.
Also, what you think are your “flaws” may actually be things that others love about you. For example, someone who thinks of themselves as shy, stubborn or controlling, may be seen by someone else as being vulnerable, self-assured or protective.
So long as you're not harming yourself or others, what you see as flaws in your body or character may be viewed positively by others.
Of course, if it is a true flaw that you know you can do something about, then you always have the option of making a positive change for the better too!
Remember, life is not about being perfect. If you chase perfection you will end up stressed, anxious and exhausted. Far better to simply focus on being the best version of yourself and don't sweat the personality or physical traits that are less than perfect but that are still part of the whole you.
2. Value Yourself
One of the key secrets to building confidence, is learning to value yourself as someone that matters and has something to offer the world.
Be clear on your strengths, skills and attributes and give mental and emotional appreciation to yourself for those things.
Don't be afraid to take a chance, to back yourself or to throw your hat in the ring. - whether it be a job or business project, social group, personal goal or relationship. Valuing yourself and bringing your best strengths to any situation is your uniqueness that should be celebrated.
Be your own greatest cheerleader and acknowledge any mini achievements you make along the way. A good exercise is to write down or bring to your mind centre, 1 or 2 things you've achieved in your life where you either surprised yourself of what you're capable of, or where you confirmed to yourself the ihow awesome you really are.
And if someone compliments you? Accept it with grace and warmth, rather than deflecting it (which is a hard habit to break). If you’re truly valuing yourself, a compliment should something you accept and value as well.
3. Set Small Goals and Achieve Them
Sometimes building confidence is simply about gaining a small amount of momentum in a certain area of life that may be lagging for you.
It's tough to build momentum if the goal is too big or when you're using failure as a base. So, the trick is to start with small bite-sized goals and to move towards them with action steps and clarity.
As you strike off those mini targets, compliment yourself on those achievements.
For example, if your goal is to lose 20 kilos (40 pounds), start by breaking this goal down.
E.g. My goal is to lose 5 kilos in 6 weeks.
- Step #1 is to get your body out of bed consistently every day to get moving
- Step #2 is to schedule 45 minutes of moderate exercise every single morning
- Step #3 is to commit increasing your water intake to 2-4 litres per day
- Step #4 is to clean up your diet by moving to 80% raw plant foods etc.
You get the idea.
The point is, that results build confidence. So it's really important to set mini targets that are achievable so that you can feel good within yourself that the task is manageable and not too overwhelming. Targets that are too big from a standing start often cause overwhelm, and overwhelm leads to action paralysis.
Back yourself and tap into that inner part of you that you know is strong. Even after you break the goal down into smaller steps, if it still scares you, tell yourself that you can do hard things and make yourself follow through. It's time to focus on what's important to you and to be your own greatest fan.
Soon, you will see yourself reach goal after goal. Then you'll remember - like when you were fearless as a kid - that you can do anything you decide to go after.
4. Be Prepared
When it comes to how to building confidence, preparation is important.
In other words, in the game of life you should be prepared for anything, so anything you can do to strengthen your mind, body and emotional fitness consistently, will hold you in good stead for any situation that comes up in front of you.
Most people passively go through life as a passenger not a pilot for their life. And then when any type of trauma, crises or disruptive circumstance shows up, they have no idea how to navigate through the storm.
Failure happens in work, business, relationships and in life in general. But the more physically, mentally and emotionally prepared you are to deal with these challenges, the more easy it is to deal with it, learn from your mistakes and move on to bigger and better things.
When it comes to preparation, the best place to start is with your physical body. The more you challenge yourself physically, the more your mind strengthens and the more energised you feel emotionally. From this place, you can build more self confidence and feel good about your ability to get through anything.
5. Pretend Confidence
You've heard the saying, "Fake it until you make it".
If you lack confidence, at least try and act confident until you are.
Stand up tall, smile and look people in the eye, start a conversation with a stranger in the supermarket, open a door for someone - there are many little tricks that can help you to build more confidence until you're truthfully more confident in yourself.
Also, if you don't have belief in yourself, find inspiration in the stories of others. Social Media and Audible is littered with inspirational stories of people who overcame adversity, a lack of education, an underprivileged upbringing, being broke or being discarded, who went on to achieve great things - and seemingly have all the confidence in the world.
The point is, that you can instil more confidence in yourself by forcing yourself to be confident, by doing good deeds that go recognised, or by being inspired by someone you can relate to, who has rebuilt themselves out of some type of adversity.
Tips for building confidence and getting over self-doubt:
- Posture: stand up tall and straight with your head in line. You’ll feel so much better about yourself and you’ll appear self confident.
- Eye contact: avoid looking at the floor or elsewhere when you’re talking to someone. Make eye contact with them for the length of the conversation. It might seem simple but it’s one of the best indicators of confidence.
- Voice: your voice can be an instant giveaway that you’re not confident. Try to speak in an even tone and middle register, avoid “um” and “ah”, and take a pause before you speak to really think through what you’re going to say. It comes across as more confident than blurting out thoughts quickly.
Confidence is an attribute that can either be lost or gained through your life experience. If you lack self confidence, it's important to remember that at various times in the past you've been confident - the trick is to tap back into the triggers and attributes that made you confident in those times.
Building self confidence is an important and lasting foundation that will not only help you to feel great about your self in any situation, but will also help you to navigate the inevitable obstacles and setbacks that surface over your lifetime.
Tolman Self Care.