“Confidence is not “they will like me.” Confidence is “I’ll be fine if they don’t.”Christina Grimmie
We all know that one person who oozes confidence regardless of the situation. The person who walks into a room and is immediately noticed by everyone. And the person who is so deeply rooted in who they are that they couldn’t care less whether anyone else likes them or not.
We’ve all encountered situations where we wish we were more self-confident. If you’re ready to get serious about how to build your self-confidence, this article is for you! Stick with me as we break down how you can start feeling more confident today!
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What is self-confidence?
Self-confidence is more about perception than any actual skill or talent. It’s all in how you think about yourself and actually has nothing to do with what anyone else thinks of you.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”Henry Ford
At the core of self-confidence is a belief in yourself and your abilities. It’s knowing your unique combination of strengths and challenges. And perhaps most importantly, it’s loving and accepting yourself for the person you are.
Why is it important?
Learning how to build your self-confidence is crucial for attaining success in life. Without it, a host of negative feelings can take over your thinking and your life.
Negativity such as a constant state of feeling inferior. Fearing any attempt to try something new or to possibly fail at anything. Constantly second guessing each and every little decision in your life. And continuously worrying about what other people think.
Living a fearless, awesome life with that type of negative thinking overshadowing everything is impossible.
It’s not the type of life I want. And since you’ve read this far down, I’m guessing it’s not the life for you either!
Taking the time to build your self-confidence results in a greater sense of accomplishment and purpose. You will be more willing to put yourself out there and to set higher goals.
Build Your Self-Confidence by Knowing Your Strengths
Knowing your strengths (and weaknesses) is one of the keys to building your self-confidence. We are all equipped with a slightly different skill set and finding the intersection between passion and talent is part of what makes life so incredible.
You are you for a reason. Each one of us is unique and special in our own way.
Life is way too complicated to be good at everything and there’s a sense of peace which comes with knowing where you excel.
But figuring out where your talents lie can be trickier than you think. Have you ever heard that saying about being unable to see the forest for the trees? Uncovering one’s strengths can be eerily similar.
One reason for this is that we have all these stories in our minds about who we are, what we do and don’t like and about what we should or shouldn’t be doing. All these stories we tell ourselves tend to cloud our thinking and make it nearly impossible to decipher whether something is a strength or whether we simply enjoy doing it.
And although we typically enjoy activities we excel in, this is not always the case. Discovering talent based upon enjoyment is therefore not very reliable.
All this to say that independently deciphering our own strengths is challenging at best.
But there are a couple of ways guaranteed to bring you closer to uncovering this valuable information.
Phone a Friend
The first is by asking someone you know and trust. Ideally someone who has your best interests at heart because both asking for and receiving feedback can be difficult.
It requires vulnerability, honesty and a willingness to embrace the response.
And the response may take you by surprise. Remember those stories we tell ourselves? It’s entirely possible to get so wrapped up into the story you’re telling yourself that receiving feedback to the contrary may be difficult.
Although it may not be the feedback you want, it may be just what you need to move forward. Those stories may be feeding into a distorted perception of yourself which is holding you back from your full potential and sense of self-confidence.
Sometimes self-confidence is lacking simply because we are not sure where our strengths and weaknesses lie. We are, in a sense, wandering around the wilderness without a compass. Gaining an outside perspective is an invaluable part of figuring out where to move forward with confidence and where to seek additional guidance.
Consulting a trusted friend or family member not only serves the purpose of gaining perspective but it also opens a line of communication and creates accountability. It gives you an opportunity to connect with someone on a deeper level which is yet another way you can build your self-confidence.
Combine this feedback with my next suggestion for determining your strengths and you will truly be unstoppable!
Take an Assessment
What if there were a way you could invest less than an hour of your time and in exchange be given a list of your top 5 strengths?
And what if your results were based upon scientific research?
Wouldn’t it feel incredible to approach life with a greater sense of confidence all because you know your strengths?
I can tell you from personal experience that it feels amazing to know my strengths and to be able to take action because of that knowledge! If you truly want to build your self-confidence, taking the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment is a must.
Prior to discovering this resource, I had only a vague sense of my strengths. I was completely unable to put them into words and felt as if I was wondering through life aimlessly.
And aimless is almost the direct opposite of confidence.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 changed everything for me. I stopped wasting time worrying about all the areas where I didn’t excel because I knew there were more important areas to focus on. It gave me a sense of freedom and confidence.
Armed with this valuable insight, I slowly began tackling all those stories I had been telling myself for years. I began putting a positive spin on my own self-perception and stopped the negative self-talk.
One of the main tenets of the StrengthsFinder 2.0 is knowledge allows you to focus your energy where you can move the needle forward. It helps you decipher where your impact would be most powerful instead of leaving you to waste time in pointless directions. It absolutely fulfilled those goals for me and as a result, my self-confidence skyrocketed!
Curious to learn more about the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment? Check out my personal story here.
Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”Henry Ford
Failure gets a bad rap. So many people regard it as the worst case scenario and something to avoid at all costs. It even prevents us from trying new things out of fear that we will fail.
But when was the last time you learned a memorable lesson from success? When was the last time you did something perfectly on your very first attempt and felt incredibly accomplished for doing so?
I’m willing to bet never.
Failure teaches us on a much deeper, more memorable level than success ever will. Sure, it’s nice to succeed once in a while. But success often comes only after multiple failures. It requires perseverance and courage.
In most areas of life, failure is a prerequisite for success.
And success is all the sweeter when you have overcome obstacle after obstacle in its pursuit.
Each time you look failure in the eye, stand up, and try again, your self-confidence dramatically improves. No, you may not have had the outcome you had hoped for but you learned something in the process. You came away with some type of information which will only make your next attempt that much better.
I was recently reminded of this a month ago when I encountered a heartbreaking loss which threatened to halt progress in one of my most beloved hobbies. Although difficult, the situation provided me perspective and a valuable lesson on perseverance despite failure. And thanks to the support and generosity of those around me, I’m beyond excited to be starting all over again! Get the full story here.
Build Your Self-Confidence Through Positive Thinking
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”Mary Englebreit
Nothing eats away more quickly at self-confidence than negative thinking. This includes chronic negativity, self-criticism, comparison, and unrealistic expectations.
Negative thinking is insidious. It slowly creeps its way into your subconscious, clouding your thinking and eating away at your self-esteem. Pretty soon, the world seems a dark and dreary place.
But you have the power to flip the switch! You can stop the negativity and instead, channel positive thinking.
You may also enjoy this post about how to stay motivated.
The very first step is awareness. Pay attention to your thoughts and how you are feeling when thinking those thoughts. Are you feeling empowered and inspired? Or are you in a constant state of irritation and overwhelm?
If the latter is true, then it’s time to dive deeper into the source of the negativity.
Maybe you have deeply rooted insecurities driving the negativity. Or maybe you experienced personal trauma you shoved deep down inside and never dealt with. It’s also possible that you picked up patterns of negative thinking during childhood.
Whatever the cause, it’s time to confront it.
A professional counselor is an invaluable resource when trying to get at the root of negative thinking. Just as it can be difficult to pinpoint your own strengths, so too can it be difficult to independently address negative thinking. An outside perspective is often exactly what you need to get back on the path to positivity.
Change the Scene
Once you become more familiar with the negative nature of your thoughts, start looking for triggers. Triggers are anything in your daily life which set off the cascade of negativity leaving you feeling annoyed and depressed.
One of my biggest triggers is social media. Spending too much time on Facebook and other platforms traps me into a comparison mindset. If I don’t take action to counteract it, a vague sense of discontent and dissatisfaction sets in. Typically it’s not about anything particular. But it is enough to darken my mood and leave me open to a full-on attack of negative thinking.
I’ve learned that I have to limit my social media use and be extremely mindful about the time I do spend with it.
Triggers may also be certain people in your life who are, for lack of a better description, “negative nellies.” These are people who always have a criticism about someone and nothing in their world ever goes right. It’s always raining, snowing, cold, or hailing. They are completely unable to see the positive in even the best circumstances.
If you have a tendency toward negative thinking, limit the time spent with the “negative nellies” in your life. Look instead for people who are positive and are able to find the good in even the worst situations. Those people who always have a nice word to say about someone and who also work hard to keep a positive spin.
Surrounding yourself with positive influences is one of the best ways to immediately build your self-confidence. It’s so much easier to see the good when those around you are also looking for the positive.
Build Your Self-Confidence Through Acceptance
I was listening to an incredibly powerful podcast last week about acceptance and how so much suffering stems from fighting reality. So much time and energy is wasted by wishing things were different.
The truth of the matter is that there is so much in life that we have no control over. Life simply isn’t fair much of the time and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Nothing except accept it. Accept that which is. We can choose our attitude and our response to unfair situations.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, we can choose to pick ourselves back up, find a new direction, and move on. We can build our self-confidence by taking back our power over bad situations and negative thinking.
It’s Your Turn
Learning how to build your self-confidence takes time. Figuring out your strengths, learning how to embrace failure, and transforming your thinking from the negative to the positive won’t happen overnight.
But taking it one step, one day at a time is key to lasting and powerful change.
You owe it to yourself to start today.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article and where you struggle to build your self-confidence. Are there particular situations where you feel more confident than others? What has made the most difference in your journey toward becoming a more confident person?