How to Be More Confident: 12 Tips to Boost Self-Confidence!
A lack of confidence is an emotional condition that’s experienced by most of us at one time or another. Self-confidence is really an inner assuredness, a trust in ourselves and our abilities, a knowing that whatever life throws at us (within reason) we will cope with it.
An absence of this positive state of mind can make us indecisive, cause us to put up with crap from others or even sabotage ourselves from getting something we really want in life. Without confidence we can play the avoidance game, putting off doing the things that would advance us in the right direction in our lives, and all because we may be afraid we won’t cope or we’ll fail.
Interestingly, a lack of confidence doesn’t always mean that there’s a lack of skill. We may possess all of the capabilities, experience and qualities to succeed, but still lack the inner belief in ourselves to achieve what we want. Impostor Syndrome is an example of a lack of confidence on a deeper level. I wrote about this in more detail here; https://bit.ly/2M3tcqg
Is Self-Confidence the Same As Self-Esteem?
Whilst confidence is a belief in our abilities to cope, act & behave in the right way and can vary from situation to situation, self-esteem is deeper rooted and is really about how much we value, like and love ourselves. If we have a healthy self-esteem, we like ourselves for who we are, rather than what we can do (which is more about the level of confidence we possess). The two are often linked though. If we have a positive self-esteem and we like and value ourselves, we tend to deal with life’s challenges and setbacks in a more balanced way. If things don’t go to plan we don’t let this diminish us. People with high self-esteem are more resilient, allowing them to learn as they grow and confidence tends to increase naturally as they navigate through life.
So Why Do So Many of Us Suffer with Lack of Confidence?
Babies come onto the planet with an amazing amount of self-confidence, they believe the world revolves around them, they fully expect their needs to be met. They cry and they get food, or a cuddle, or their nappy changed. When they’re learning to walk they fall over many, many times but they keep trying until they manage to teeter across the room. Babies expect to get everything they want and need until they don’t, that is.
As we grow we discover that we can’t always do everything and have everything we want, things don’t always go the way we want them to. This can knock our confidence levels and our self-worth. Other factors like bullying, parenting style, family dynamics or trauma can also have negative effects on our sense of self. The media can make us feel lacking in many ways and that we have to be, act or look a certain way to be accepted in society. In addition, as children we can unconsciously pick up our parents beliefs about themselves and the world, if we observe people around us being self-critical, we can take that on as a habit ourselves.
Confidence and Self-Esteem Can be Learned and Enhanced
We can’t change the past but we can change how we feel about ourselves today, and it is possible to transform negative feelings into positive ones, it can take some energy and time, but it can be done.
Try the Following Tools for Boosting Your Own Confidence
1) Remind Yourself of Your Good Points
Take some time to compile a list of all of your qualities, skills, talents and achievements. Everything you like about yourself and things you’re proud of in your life. Jot down everything, large and small. Once you have your list you can expand on it whenever you think of an additional point. If you struggle with this you can also ask your friends and family what they love about you and include these things on your list. Read this list everyday to remind yourself regularly of your greatness!
2) Use Visualisation to Boost Confidence
Mental rehearsal of how you want something to go and how you want to be and act in a particular situation can be really powerful. Top performers and sports people use this method regularly. If you rehearse an action in your mind the brain reacts in the same way as if you were actually doing the action in reality. In fact the mind then recognises the action as a memory. The saying goes “Whatever your mind can conceive you can achieve!”
3) Question the Inner Critic
We all have an inner critical voice, you know the one that pulls you apart just when you need encouragement the most. One way to deal with this is to name your inner critic, then when it starts trying to sabotage you, you can tell it to “Shut up!” The other way to challenge this negative voice is to challenge the beliefs or thoughts. For example if the nagging voice is saying “You can’t do this”. Ask the question; “What is the evidence that I can’t do this?” and write down any points that come up. Then ask “What is the evidence that I can do this?” I promise you these questions will help you to think in a more positive way.
4) Exercise for Good Mental Health
Regular exercise has so many physical benefits but also the mental/emotional benefits are now well known. Exercise has a real positive impact on depression, anxiety, relieves stress and boosts the mood. It also improves concentration, memory and sleep. All of these benefits are sure to help us function at our best and be the best version of ourselves.
5) Do Something That Scares You Everyday
Feel the fear and do it anyway. The more we push ourselves out of our comfort zones and do the things that we find challenging the more our fears decrease. At the same time as our fears diminish the opposite emotion of confidence grows.
6) Confidence is a Transferrable Skill
If you feel confident in one area of your life but wish you had more in another area you can absolutely share the feeling from one situation to another. Say for example you feel really confident and relaxed when cooking dinner and you wish you felt better when doing certain tasks at work try this exercise. Imagine there are two circles on the floor in front of you, one of them is cooking and the other is the work situation. Step into the cooking circle and imagine yourself in your kitchen, feeling calm, confident, happy. Really experience these feelings as if you are in that situation right now. When you have the feelings nice and strong step into the 2nd ‘work’ circle taking the feelings with you. Imagine doing these work tasks with the feelings of calm, confidence and happiness that you had when cooking. Now step out of the circle. You can repeat this a few times to strengthen the transfer and connection.
7) Goal-Setting Can Really Increase Confidence
Having some goals whether they be career, health, hobby or relationship goals can give us confidence as we focus on achieving something worthwhile. This focus takes us out of ourselves and we become motivated and inspired to achieve the things that we want for ourselves and our loved-ones. There is a whole chapter dedicated to creating a goal plan in my book “Unlimited; 7 Habits to Unleash Your Full Potential & Get the Life You Want. www.unlimited-book.com
Be nice to yourself, do at least one thing per day that you enjoy, whether it be spending 30 minutes reading a novel, watching your favourite TV show, having a relaxing bath or meditating. Treat yourself with kindness and appreciate you. Give yourself some me-time with a relaxing retreat, have a read about our MindPlus Retreats here https://www.mindplus-experience.com
9) Praise Yourself
Praise others and they will thrive, criticise others and they will wilt. Apply this to yourself too. Make praising yourself a habit. Every evening write at least 2-3 things that you did well or are happy about during that day. Be your own inner cheerleader!
10) Hypnosis to Boost Confidence
Hypnosis works on the subconscious mind and helps to re-wire thoughts and beliefs at a deeper level. I recommend listening to a confidence inducing hypnosis audio recording daily to really shift your mindset in this deep healing part of the mind. There are some great websites selling hypnosis audios. I like www.hypnosisdownloads.com and I have a good one for confidence on my own site https://www.healthy-habits.me/shop
11) Help Someone Else
One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to help others. This positive energy is contagious too. You feel happy because you’ve helped someone out and they may feel inspired to spread the kindness too.
“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr
12) Books & Podcasts to Boost Confidence
Finally, make a point to listen or read something inspiring and motivating everyday. There are some brilliant podcasts and books out there and by getting a healthy dose of inspiration regularly you can keep the mindset positive and uplifted. My favourite books and podcasts on confidence are:
Ultimate Confidence: The Secrets to Feeling Great About Yourself Every Day by Marisa Peer
The Power of Self-Confidence: Become Unstoppable, Irresistible, and Unafraid in Every Area of Your Life by Brian Tracy
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action by Susan Jeffers
The Happier Podcast -Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project (among other popular self help books), is on a life-long mission to answer the question: how can we be happy. https://gretchenrubin.com/podcasts/
Unshakable Self-Confidence - A podcast for people who want to be free from fear, anxiety, and self-doubt, and to transform themselves in truly self-confident people. Interviews with knowledgeable people, including this one with Bruce Lipton. https://unshakableselfconfidence.com/prof-bruce-lipton-teaches-life-changing-truths-fear/
Tony Robbins Podcast- Tony's wisdom plus interviews with other inspiring people and their stories to success. https://www.tonyrobbins.com/podcasts/