4 Tips to Build Your Self Confidence
According to the Oxford online dictionary, confidence is the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust. While self-confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.
Confidence is something you have because you have experience or evidence that you can do the thing. For example, I have confidence in my ability to drive a car because I have experience driving. I know or believe I can do it because I’ve already done it many times.
Self-confidence is having trust in yourself to figure something out even when you have no idea how to do it. You have faith in yourself without prior experience, your faith is in your ability to trust yourself to do what you say you will and to be willing to experience the outcome, no matter what it is.
Both confidence and self-confidence are different from self-esteem because self-esteem is the belief you are worthy of whatever it is you want. I think it’s pretty likely that if you have low self-confidence you likely also have low self-esteem too.
You can increase your self-confidence and here’s why you should.
If you have low self-confidence you probably have some pretty strong limiting beliefs holding you back in life. You may have repetitive thoughts (beliefs) that start with things like, “I can’t…”, “I’m not…”, “I shouldn’t…”.
Are you a “I can’t do that”, or are you a, “hell yeah! I’ll give it a shot” kinda woman? Which one do you want to be?
Good news! We can totally increase our self-confidence with a few simple practices that I’m going to share with you. But first.
Why do we want to increase our self-confidence?
When we are self-confident we are achievers of our dreams. We are not afraid to put ourselves out there and possibly fail, we do not sit on the sidelines of our lives.
We are better at everything; relationships, leadership, goals, autonomy, and creating wealth.
The better question is why wouldn’t we want to increase our self-confidence?
How do we do it?
Worst case scenario.
I love to start by looking at the worst case scenario because it only takes a minute to really put the situation into perspective.
For example, when I was considering starting my own business and becoming a Life Coach I felt really confused, worried, and anxious. I thought about all the things I didn’t know how to do, all the ways I could fall flat on my face, and how everyone would laugh at me when I failed.
All the negative things bubbled up, overshadowing the possibilities.
So I simply took a step back and asked myself, “What is the worst case scenario here?”
I could fail and feel shame. I could get laughed at and feel humiliated. I could make some mistakes, not do it perfectly and feel frustrated. I could spend some money.
I would not die. I would not become homeless. I wouldn’t even miss a meal...
That’s it. I could feel some negative emotions or maybe spend some money. That’s it. Feeling a few negative emotions is the worst thing that could happen and guess what? I’m totally willing to feel a little failure or humiliation if it puts me in the running to achieve my dreams.
Such a simple way to gain valuable perspective.
Be willing to accept any outcome like failure or even the possibility of success.
Are you worried about what someone else might think? Your spouse, father, mother, co-worker? If you let someone down, what will you feel? Humiliation? Shame? Embarrassed? Are you willing to feel them?
Sometimes we even fear the good outcomes more than the bad. “What if my business does take off and I’m in charge of it, and all that responsibility?” This is just fear of failure through success.
When we are not afraid to feel emotions whether they are good or bad there is nothing really left to fear.
Really let that sink in... think about that. What are you really afraid of? Feelings?
Create new beliefs.
When we think the same thoughts so often and for so long they become our beliefs. We stop questioning them and they create our state of being in the world, good or bad.
Beliefs are just thoughts, we are in charge of our thoughts so it’s time to become aware of our negative way of thinking (limiting beliefs) and begin to transition to thoughts and beliefs that are more useful to us.
If you tend to think in terms of “I can’t…”, “I shouldn’t…”, “I don’t know…”, maybe you can replace those with “I’m learning…”, “It’s possible…”, “I’m capable…”.
The real key here is to pay attention to your self talk and become aware of how you talk to yourself.
The more you practice the better you get.
Practicing better thoughts like those I mentioned above will be a great start in the practice of building up your self-confidence. But another way to practice is by doing.
Actually get out there and do it. Choose something you have been too scared to try or do and actually do it. Maybe you have always wanted to try drawing or take a singing lesson. Take action and do it. Maybe you fail. Maybe you're embarrassed. But you suck it up, feel it, move through it, and do it anyway. Maybe you have to try it over and over again but the trick here is practice.
The more you practice putting yourself out there and managing the outcome, no matter whether it’s success or failure, the better you will get. The more self-confidence you will build.
When I was a kid, I was shy. But I had a friend who was even more shy than I was, so I was sometimes forced to act in situations where I would typically have stayed in the shadows. If we went to a movie, I would have to ask for the tickets and pay, if we were at a restaurant I would have to ask for a table, if we were making plans with others I would have to do the talking. She saw me as very brave and self-confident. Eventually, I began to see myself this way as well.
It was practice.
I still have a long way to go but knowing the worst thing that can happen is feeling, somehow makes me feel more self-confident already.
How about you?