Knowing how to build confidence can solve so many problems in life. It can help you earn more income from your job by asking for pay raises. You might take a chance to meet the love of your life by asking them out on a date. Saying yes to opportunities, such as being an influencer, speaking in front of a crowd, and achieve the big success that most people only get to dream about will also be possible if you could only build enough self confidence to achieve those things. In this article, we’ll share 13 ways to build self confidence.
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1. Get to know yourself
A lack of confidence stems from a place of fear. Fear that you won’t be accepted. Doubt that you aren’t enough. Ultimately, a fear of the unknown. To love yourself, you truly have to know yourself. This sounds cliche, but it is the key to figuring out how to build confidence.
We tend to blow off getting to know ourselves because we think it is something that we should automatically know. The funny thing is, we are so much better than we realize at blocking out pain and lying to ourselves. Getting to know yourself requires you to look into your past and recognize unhealthy patterns that have developed as a result of coping with trauma.
Until you address the blocks you have created in your own life, you will never know why you have a hard time understanding how to build confidence. Perhaps you measure your worth by how much love and attention others give you. Maybe this is a result of attention you didn’t get from a parent when you were a child. Even if you are well aware of the trauma from your past, you might not connect how the effects of that trauma are manifesting as unhealthy habits and beliefs in your present life.
Don’t let fear stop you from getting the help that you deserve. Find a therapist to work with to work out these things. Therapy allows you the time and space to open up and be honest with yourself. Even if you can’t point to any particular trauma in your past, therapy can teach you how to build confidence by recognizing and rewiring patterns that don’t serve you.
2. Develop new skills
Having self confidence starts by developing new skills. Instead of being consumed with self doubt, learning something that’ll make you more confident can be a game-changer. You might learn how to dress with style that makes you feel confident. A toastmaster’s class where you get positive feedback on how to improve your communication can also help you overcome low self confidence. You can develop a strong sense of confidence through so many skills from learning how to earn a higher income to learning public relations and how to best present yourself. When you have your own ability to succeed, it’s easy to develop self confidence.
3. Support yourself
As you undergo the process of learning how to build confidence, you have to have your own back. It can be helpful to think about how you would treat a child. Look at a picture of yourself from when you were a kid. Anytime you engage in negative self-talk, imagine saying those things to your adolescent self.
You would never tell your adolescent self that they aren’t good enough. You would never tell them that they’re fat and ugly. You would say to them that they are loved and beautiful and that they can do anything they want to do and be anything they want to be. And you would tell them that, not because you’re just being nice, but because it’s true. Guess what? It’s still valid for you in the present.
The truth is, no one is ugly, unworthy of love, or a failure. We only feel these negative emotions because we have forgotten the truth and replaced it with limiting beliefs. A growth mindset is essential here.
No matter your age, abilities, or station in life, you have the power to learn how to build confidence, love yourself, and change your life. You are not too old or too broken to be the confident person you want to be, so long as you stop telling yourself that you are.
Take some time to think about what beliefs you hold that are holding you back. Write these limiting beliefs down, then go back and rewrite each one in a way that turns it into the opposite: loving, inspirational, and supportive. Read your new set of beliefs every day, and update them as you grow in confidence. Begin to examine your entire life in this way, ridding yourself of the ideas, things, and people that don’t support you. Find what’s causing self sabotaging thoughts and behaviors.
4. Do big things
Building confidence boils down to taking risks and achieving big things. The secret to success is to put in a little bit of effort every day long-term. Most people do something for a couple weeks, get a new idea, try something else. However, the long-term play is where success happens. If you’re building an audience on social media, you’ll need to post content and evaluate it every day. You’ll need to take steps to optimize your content for higher engagement as you keep creating content. Once you have your first viral hit, you take those elements that worked, and duplicate it. Same with business.
You need to learn the skills to succeed by trying a lot of different things. Experimentation is so important for success. And if you want to achieve big things to develop confidence, you’ll need to experiment, learn from, and duplicate your successes until you keep having multiple wins. Confident people were once insecure about putting themselves out there. But they knew it’d be a slow build and worked on it to scale their successes over time.
5. Learn to love yourself
A common false belief that a lot of us hold is that if someone else has something, it means that we are lacking. We are all so different, and that already gives you an edge. There is no one like you. There has never been, and there never will be. So, when you look at another person, instead of recognizing what they have that you don’t, celebrate what makes you different from them.
Learning to think this way automatically takes practice. A great way to retrain your thinking is with positive affirmations. There are many audio and video recordings of all sorts of affirmations online, including ones regarding how to build confidence. You can listen to these every day, or write your own and read or say them aloud.
A few powerful affirmations for self-confidence include, “I love and accept myself,” “Someone else’s worth does not take away from my own,” “I am the best at what I do, in my own way,” and “I value and honor myself, therefore, the world values and honors me.” With repetition, these affirmations become part of your subconscious thought process, helping you to return your energy to yourself, rather than comparing yourself to others.
Loving yourself also means forgiving yourself and those around you, if there’s anything holding you back. Learn how to forgive people and yourself.
6. Try Positive Self Talk
Your self belief relies on how you speak to yourself. Negative self talk will cause low self confidence. However, if you want to feel confident you need to try positive self talk. Everyone has self confidence issues, even those who seem like self confident people. However, building self confidence starts in your mind. Replace negative language with positive ones, every time a negative thought surfaces. So, instead of thinking, “What is wrong with me?” ask “what is right with me?” Don’t beat yourself up. Instead, lift yourself up. Aim to ask what’s going well and how you can do better. Have a growth mindset to build self confidence. Your self esteem will come down to better performance, and you can only achieve that if you’re giving yourself pep talks, thinking happy thoughts, and believing in yourself. Low self confidence can be transformed just by transforming how you think. So become mindful of what direction your thought processes are going in.
7. Start slowly
Once you realize that the harshest judge you will ever come across is actually yourself, you will start to see that you are ultimately in control of how you feel. Understand that everyone is always doing their best with the awareness and resources they have at any given time. The only way to silence that voice in your head that says you aren’t good enough is to allow yourself room to make mistakes. Of course, you need to start making changes slowly to rebuild trust with yourself.
Let’s say your lack of confidence causes you to feel awkward and anxious in social settings. Over-committing yourself to a bunch of parties isn’t how to build confidence in that area, or in any other areas that you are struggling with. You will only find confirmation for your fears going headfirst into the fire.
If you struggle with body confidence, for example, try installing different lights near mirrors, as some lighting makes us look worse than others. As you learn how to build confidence, you will find it easier to expose yourself to things that used to cause you to dread.
When you are learning how to build confidence, it is so important to remember that how you feel about your progress will determine your overall results. If you have a moment, days, or even more extended periods where you fall back into old patterns, don’t get down on yourself. Acknowledge your missteps and your feelings, and get back on the horse. The more time you spend feeling guilty or thinking that you’ve failed, the more it will halt your progress.
If you have low self-esteem, it might take you a little build longer to build confidence. Be patient with yourself and your progress.
8. Improve Yourself
Building confidence is easy when you constantly strive to improve yourself. Self improvement isn’t as hard as you think it is. People give us positive and constructive feedback all the time. Someone might rave about something we do great, while another person complains about a bad habit we have. When we build out good habits, we become better. You can read books about areas of improvement to help resolve tension. Or you can seek the expertise of a therapist or life coach to improve your mental game.
Having a morning routine where you plan out an ambitious goal, read science fiction, or get yourself to a healthy level can help you improve yourself. A morning routine can be game-changing. Allow yourself to embark on new challenges, start speaking to others, make eye contact when speaking, not waste time, and ultimately want to achieve at becoming the best version of yourself. Quick fixes can be transformative. And they can lead to your success and ability to build self confidence.
9. Practice, practice, practice
If you really want to know how to build confidence, you have to be willing to try. Action is a requirement of change. The more often that you face the things that make you uncomfortable, the more confidence you will have, as long as you approach the process with the right attitude. Any mistakes that you make (and you will make them) should be seen as proof that you can make it through, even when things don’t go smoothly.
Continue to read or listen to self-confidence affirmations every day. They will help keep you from slipping back into negative thought patterns. Practice visualization, in which you see yourself doing things the way you hope to before you do them. Any positive thoughts that you can inject into your life will help build your confidence. But you have to let go of old beliefs, first. Learn how to be more positive.
Letting go of the limiting beliefs that you hold makes space for new, positive thoughts. Don’t be afraid to get help from a counselor or a therapist to help you work through any obstacles in your past, your habits, or thought processes that are dampening your confidence. Go back as often as you need to, or whenever you feel like you’re losing confidence.
Remember that you’re valuable. The fact that you’re one of a kind, alone, makes you priceless. Once you learn how to build confidence, you’ll finally be able to see all the other reasons you are valuable and worthy of all the good things that you desire in this precious life.
10. Track your progress
You can build self confidence, by using data to track your progress. Consider having three types of coaches: one for work, another for your mind, and another for your body. Having a coach that you report data on about how your career or business is doing or how your mental health is improving, and how lean your body is getting can play a role in your self confidence. Take pictures and screenshots of where you are in the beginning so that you can see your progress as time goes on. You might use a Fitbit to track steps, or My Fitness Pal to track your meals, or Declutter The Mind to track the number of times you meditate. Using apps can really help you see the data behind your progress.
11. Silence your inner critic
If you struggle with low self esteem, it’s likely due to an inner critic that just’s too loud. Maybe you don’t lack confidence, but your inner critic is just so mean to you that it prevents you from feeling confident. Having a coach who calls you out every time you say “but” or anything negative about yourself will be so important to learning how you communicate outwardly. Often, our thoughts become our words. And if we’re kind of a jerk to ourselves, we’ll also speak poorly about ourselves out loud. Your confidence levels will improve the more you learn to speak with confidence and kindness.
12. Dress to impress
Knowing how to build confidence isn’t always easy, but learning how to dress to impress can help you gain self confidence pretty quickly. When you go into a clothing store and the sales person asks you if you need help with anything, say “yes.” Then, proceed to tell him or her that you want help curating outfits that’ll make you look confident and successful. Not only will you get to see the outfits as you try them on, but you’ll quickly see if the outfit works on not. If you feel confident in an outfit, buy it. But if it doesn’t boost your self confidence, try something else instead. Or shop at another store. You could also hire a stylist to help you pick out clothes for a season. The clothes you wear can drastically change your body language.
13. Practice public speaking
In a general sense, most of self confidence is about how you present yourself and how you communicare. Build your confidence by taking a public speaking class like ToastMasters to help you fine tune how you communicate. You’ll learn how to express your abilities, give eye contact, speak about your failures and mistakes. And you’ll also be around people with big goals who will inspire you to take more risks, invest in your knowledge, and develop a belief in your self. You’ll have so much support from people who are learning alongside of you. Plus, it’ll give you a boost of energy from speaking in front of others.
Now that you know how to build confidence, it’s time for your self confidence to shine through. Having a growth mindset about how you view yourself and the life you lead will play such a big role in your success long-term. Your self esteem just needs a bit of a boost, and you can do that a number of ways. For example, dressing to impress, positive self talk, and setting the bar high to achieve big things will all shape you up to gain more self confidence. Just remember, you can achieve anything in this life, no matter what. We believe in you, you just need to believe in you too.
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