Self-confidence is a necessary component to achieving success on your own terms. After all, you must believe in yourself and your abilities if you’re going to go your own way. And going your own way is necessary if you want:
- a life that feels balanced;
- to feel fulfilled by the work you’re doing; and
- to feel at peace with your decisions and the path that you’re on.
Here’s how to grow more self-confidence in 5 simple steps:
Table of Contents
Step #1 For How to Grow More Self-Confidence: Be Intentional
Self-confidence isn’t something that comes to you one day out of the blue. It’s not about luck either. Self-confidence must be developed and nurtured daily. And that requires intention.
Being intentional about your self-confidence starts with a self-assessment. You must:
- audit your self-confidence levels to determine what they are now (and why they’re where they are at this moment);
- get clarity around what makes you feel good about and more confident in yourself and your capabilities;
- understand your strengths and how to leverage them (because they’ll help to boost your self-confidence); and
- honestly identify your weaknesses so that you can plan around them plus work to develop them further (so that they won’t always be a weakness)
Once you’ve assessed where you are, determine what can be done about it and put together a plan of action by:
- identifying activities that deplete your self-confidence and limiting the amount of time you spend on them;
- honestly identifying people who drag you down and reducing the amount of time you spend with them; and
- incorporating more confidence-building activities and people into your life.
It’s time to be intentional about how you spend your time and who you spend it with.
Case Study on Being Intentional
When I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn, I tend to compare myself and my new business to women who’ve been around for 10+ years and think “I can’t do that” or “I’ll never get to that point”. Needless to say, it kills my confidence. Yet I MUST be on social media for my business.
To deal with this, I don’t go onto any social media site without having a clear reason why I’m there (and I stick to only those things). I also limit my time on social media by setting a timer and getting off when the timer goes off. And it’s worked! I no longer have the time to go off on tangents or get caught up looking at what others are doing.
Step #2 For How to Grow More Self-Confidence: Set a Routine.
Once you understand your current self-confidence levels, why they’re where they are, and what you can do to help build them, it’s time to build a self-confidence building routine. To do this, focus on the things you identified in Step 1 that help to grow your self-confidence levels as well as good old-fashioned self-care.
Self-care involves taking care of your mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. But it’s about more than that, because self-care is really about self-respect. How can you expect to feel confident in yourself if you’re not respecting yourself enough to take good care of your body, mind, and soul?
[Recommended Reading: 5 Reasons You Feel Guilty About Taking Care of Yourself (and What to Do About It)].
Building Your Confidence-Boosting Self-Care Routine
Here are a few recommendations for you when building your confidence-boosting self-care routine:
- Include physical activity. Ever notice how confident you feel after you’ve finished a tough workout? Not only does working out make you physically healthier, but it also increases your self-esteem and self-confidence levels.
- Prioritize Sleep. You know that sleep is necessary for optimal cognitive function (and to feel good), but it’s also directly linked to your mood, optimism levels, and sociability. And that has obvious connections to your self-confidence levels.
- Eat Well. If you don’t eat healthy, you’re less likely to feel good about yourself. By eating well, I mean eating nutritious foods on a regular basis. Don’t skip meals.
- Be Mindful. Mindfulness is about being more present in the moment and attuned to your internal thoughts/feelings as well as the thoughts/feelings of those around you. Simple mindfulness self-care practices include: meditation, mindful breathing, journaling, and even gratitude.
[Recommended Reading: 3 Things That Reduce Stress and Anxiety that High-Achievers Should Do EVERY Day for some simple ways to incorporate mindfulness into your day and How to Relax Without Guilt (Even If You’re an Overachiever) for information about mindful meditation and gratitude].
Step #3 For How to Grow More Self-Confidence: Focus on Your Body Language.
Your body language has an impact on your self-confidence. It’s time to use it to your benefit by:
- Smiling often. Your brain responds chemically when you smile, which helps to reduce stress and has a relaxing effect.
- Striking a Power Pose. A power pose is a pose that gives you a short-term boost of self-confidence (probably because it increases testosterone and decreases cortisol in your body). To strike your own power pose, put your hands on your hips, straighten your shoulders, or put your feet up on your desk while clasping your hands behind your head (maybe when no one is looking).
This sounds incredibly simple (because it is!). But don’t think for a second that you’re “faking” it. You’re simply using psychology to your benefit.
Step #4 For How to Grow More Self-Confidence: Affirm Yourself
Your brain has loads of thoughts running through it every day – many of which are within your subconscious. Every time you have the same thought, your belief in it gets stronger. The point for adopting positive affirmations is to build new neural pathways within your brain that are positive and crowd out the negative ones. But does that work?
When (and Why) Positive Affirmations Don’t Work
For most people, telling yourself that you’re abundant, self-confident, and/or loved doesn’t ring true (especially if it’s the reason you’ve adopted the affirmation in the first place). And so your brain revolts. No matter how often you tell yourself that you’re worthy, you can’t believe it.
I understand this thinking, as it’s what happened to me when I first implemented positive affirmations into my life. The first time I tried affirmations, I had recently made partner in my law firm. I was facing new challenges that made me question myself and my abilities. And I’d lost much of the support that had been there for me while trying to make partner.
So, I tried confidence-building self-affirmations… and they didn’t work. They felt fake – and my brain knew it. That’s when the lawyer in me took over. I did my research and discovered how to make positive affirmations work for me.
How to Make Positive Affirmations Work
Here’s how to create positive affirmations that will help grow your self-confidence instead of making you question yourself even more:
- Script them as a timeline of where you are, what you’re doing to grow, and where you’re working to end up. Be realistic and specific. And change the script as you develop.
- Keep your language neutral instead of overly positive.
- Be honest about the highs and lows of the process of getting to where you want to be.
- Try turning your statements into questions. Instead of phrasing as “I am” or “I will” say “Will I?” There’s evidence that rephrasing as a question is a more powerful positive motivator than phrasing it as a command or fact.
Instead of saying “Every day I become more confident in myself and my abilities”, turn it into..
“I’m doing the work needed to grow my self-confidence. Some days are better than others and I feel great, yet other days I don’t. But no matter where I am in the process, I continue to work on this for improvement. I’ve had better days than today and I’ve also had worse. Today, I’m okay.”
And if you want to turn your affirmation into a question, you could say “Will I increase my self-confidence?” This may sound too-good-to-be-true or a bit “woo” for you, but I encourage you to give positive affirmations a chance. These science-backed ways aren’t woo at all. They’re just simple.
Step #5 For How to Grow More Self-Confidence: Challenge Yourself While Focusing on Enjoyment
Back in Step 1 you identified your strengths. Now it’s time to use that information to your advantage. Challenge yourself to do something using those skills and strengths. For this to work:
- get creative and think of new ways to use your skills/strengths;
- make certain that you’ll find the activity enjoyable (at least most of the time).
The best way to grow your self-confidence is by overcoming adversity and/or rising to a new challenge. The point of Step 5 is to create a challenge that you’ll be motivated to complete.
This step will likely be the most difficult, as it requires you to be courageous and step out of your comfort zone. But, although it might sound a bit daunting, it’s easier to do once you’ve implemented the prior steps. Start with something lower risk (like a new hobby).
For example, if you enjoy running, consider training and competing in a marathon. If you like to cook, invite friends over for a dinner party. But don’t limit yourself. Bring it into the workplace by offering your assistance on projects that your skills are suited for. Speak up and be heard.
Follow the steps above to grow your self-confidence levels so that you can achieve success on your own terms. Because success your way won’t happen if you’re not willing to confidently move forward on your own path.
Until next time…
P.S. Stop doubting yourself and boost your self-confidence by Conquering 5 Harmful Habits Keeping you Stuck in Stress. Download your free checklist to discover WHAT these 5 harmful habits are and HOW to conquer them.