What is this confidence thing and how do we get more of it? How do we have more confidence? My personal take is that confidence is fuelled by two driving forces, what you think and what you do.
Confidence is driven by action. Whether it’s the thoughts in your head or the actions you take out in the world, you get confident by doing.
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Important Disclaimer – I am not a trained medical professional, therapist or counselor so if you are having problems with depression, anxiety or suspect you may be struggling with a mental illness, please consult a trained medical professional.
Let’s get started with 10 ways to have more confidence.
1. Know your worth
When you know your worth and have a strong sense of self-worth you will feel more confident, even when dealing with adversity and challenge.
When you believe that you deserve love and respect you will feel more confident.
Your deep-seated core of knowing your worth will sustain you even when life is hard, or when you make a mistake.
I hate to admit this, but it took me a very long time to truly know my worth. I suffered from low self-esteem for a long time. Let’s just say, I learned a lot of life lessons the hard way!
The important thing is that I did learn through all of those ups and downs. When I built a solid sense of self-worth, my confidence increased dramatically.
Knowing your worth is vital to having and growing confidence.
Related content –
- Know Your Own Worth
- Know Your Own Worth – Even when the World Doesn’t Seem to Agree With You
- Know Your Worth – 10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself
2. Validate yourself from within
Confidence comes from validating yourself from within, not from relying on outside validation.
If you are confident in the way you look, you won’t be crushed if someone tells you’re not pretty. Yes, you will most likely feel upset by a comment like that but you won’t feel crushed. If it’s a complete stranger or someone not important in your life, you’ll hopefully just write it off as their personal taste and quickly move on.
When your validation comes from external sources, you constantly need people to tell you are beautiful to feel attractive and if someone says something uncomplimentary about your looks you are shattered. You feel unattractive and your confidence takes a nosedive.
With external validation, after a setback you go looking for other external sources to prop your self-confidence back up again. It’s a constant search to prove to yourself that you are worthy. It can be a vicious cycle that distracts you from your goals and dreams and from being the best version of yourself.
Real confidence comes through internal self-validation.
3. Know yourself
When you know yourself and are self-aware you are much more likely to feel confident.
This knowing yourself gig includes knowing all of the sides of yourself. In other words, it means knowing the good, bad and the ugly.
It’s about being honest with yourself.
There is often talk about the balance between self-acceptance and self-improvement. It’s not a one of the other proposition. You can do both.
You can love yourself, just the way you are right now yet still work hard to improve yourself and your life.
I’m a walking, talking example of that myself.
Confidence isn’t about convincing yourself you are a great person all the time. It’s not about telling yourself you are smart and beautiful (or whatever words you want to substitute here) so that you feel good.
It’s about knowing your flaws and weakness and still believing you are a person worthy of love and respect.
Because well, you are.
4. Be more in control of your emotions
This isn’t about acting like a robot and not having or expressing human feelings.
This is about working of your self-mastery and being more in tune with your feelings.
It means responding or reacting to feelings that are important to you (not feelings other people want you to have in line with their own agendas).
It’s about not getting upset about every little feeling and emotion all the time.
When you are more in control of your emotions and not exposed to every feeling you have every moment you have them, you are more likely to feel confident in yourself.
Being on a roller coaster of emotions all of the time isn’t confidence building.
Self-discipline sometimes gets a bad rap and comes across as boring to some people, but self-discipline and self-mastery over your actions and emotions is a fundamental stepping stone for success.
When we control the endless loop of crappy thoughts floating around in our heads and focus on our priorities and goals we feel more confident.
5. Know you are in control of your life
Confidence comes from believing that YOU are running your life.
You might have kids, a partner, and a huge family dynamic but you still need to be in control of your life. Sure some of the big decisions you make throughout life will be made in cooperation with other people but you always need your sense of self to still be there.
You will feel more confident when you know your life is not being dictated by someone (or something) else.
This isn’t about becoming a control freak (that will make you feel the opposite of confident).
It’s about knowing you get to choose your own life.
6. Be an action taker
Confidence comes from doing.
You don’t get confidence thinking about going overseas for the first time, you get confident by going overseas. You get confident by learning and taking care of yourself on the road. (You also have a ton of fun which always helps!)
You don’t get confident by thinking about starting a new job, you get confident by doing the job and getting great at it.
You get confidence by taking action, not by sitting around thinking about it. Confidence comes from taking action even when you are not ready or fully prepared.
If you want more confidence, get out there and do something that matters to you.
Another point that’s important to note here is that we get a lot of confidence by finishing things. Starting gives us a buzz, being in the middle of a big project gives us the motivation to keep going but ultimately the big confidence hit comes from finishing.
For the things that really matter to you, see them through to completion to give you the ultimate confidence boost.
7. Be consistent with your actions and thoughts
This ties in with the earlier one. Confidence comes from doing and taking action.
But there’s a bit more to it than that.
Confidence often comes from doing things consistently. Do it once, you might not feel as confident as you would like.
Do it repeatedly or regularly and your confidence grows over time.
It’s the same with your thoughts.
Say, for instance, you are trying to stop obsessing about something and you have a technique to help you achieve that, you need to apply that technique consistently. As in every time you start to obsess.
With consistency, the technique will start to work and you will then need to do it a lot less.
It’s important to point out, that having confidence isn’t about being happy all of the time or never having a negative thought. We all have negative thoughts and we all have moments where we are not overflowing with happiness but you can still be confident during those times.
Related content –
- How to Stop Overthinking
- 12 Techniques to Stop Feeling Insecure
- How to be Congruent and Why It’s So Important
8. Do what you say you are going to do
This one is huge.
I can’t state this enough for improving and building your confidence.
We know how important it is to trust other people. But what about the importance of trusting ourselves?
As an INFP personality type, I am a values-driven person, so when I violate my own values, I can struggle with feelings of frustration and overwhelm (just to name a few).
While we might feel let down when other people disappoint us, one of the biggest struggles we can face is when we disappoint ourselves.
When we let ourselves down, we might seem fine on the outside but struggle internally. Our self-confidence and self-esteem can take a hit. We start to doubt ourselves.
If you struggle with self-doubt, make sure you check out the online course, How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence from the creative folks over at CreativeLive. This course is run by the amazing Mel Robbins. I took this course myself and got a lot out of it. You can read my review of the course here and find out how it can help you.
There is incredible strength and power in being a person of your word. There is confidence in being a person who does what they say they are doing to do.
Be that person, trust yourself and watch your confidence improve.
9. Be prepared to fail (and learn)
I know at first glance the word fail and confidence, don’t seem to go together.
Yet they do.
When you lack confidence, you are terrified of failure.
Think of failure in terms of rejection, making a mistake, looking silly, screwing up or however you choose to view it.
You hold yourself back from doing things because you don’t want to fail at them. You hold yourself back because you don’t have the confidence to try and possibly fail.
When you don’t have confidence you are convinced you will fail before you have even tried!
When you face your fear, get out there and do it, you gain confidence even if whatever you were trying to achieve didn’t go quite the way you wanted to.
You asked the person you liked out for a coffee but they said no, but hey you had the confidence to ask them, you are proud of yourself for trying so you feel more confident to ask someone else next time.
To have more confidence you need to be prepared to learn as you go.
One of the reasons our confidence can sometimes slip is because we want to be good at everything, but spoiler alert – no one is good at everything! (Despite how much some people might like to tell us differently).
We all have our unique talents and strengths but the rest we have to learn.
Get comfortable with learning as you go.
Confidence is courage. Even when you fall flat on your face, it’s still courage.
Be courageous (even if it’s something small) and become more confident.
10. Believe in your ability to work through your problems
We all have to deal with hardship and adversity.
Being confident isn’t about not having any problems. You don’t improve your confidence by having some “perfect life”.
Confidence is about knowing you have the strength and perseverance to deal with your problems.
It doesn’t mean you’re necessarily happy about the problem itself, but you know you can get through it and come out the other end a wiser, stronger and more confident person.
Even if we don’t initially know how to fix our problems, we have the confidence to believe that we will find the help we need or do whatever self-improvement effort is required to work through our challenges.
Confidence comes from believing in yourself, overcoming obstacles and making the important stuff in your life happen. Start small if you need to but start and watch your confidence soar.
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