Confidence is the key to any success in life. (Don’t believe me? Read HERE to see why confidence is so important when it comes to achieving your goals & dreams)
If you aren’t confident that your business will succeed, you’ll never start. If you aren’t confident you can lose 20lbs, you’ll never try.
We need to believe in ourselves that we have what it takes to keep going even when it gets tough, or we don’t feel like it, or after a failure.
SO, HOW DO WE GAIN CONFIDENCE?
We start building it up, little by little.
Confidence is an increasing cycle. You need a little to begin with so you can get started working toward a goal, then you might have a small success which increases your confidence more, which in turn makes you work harder because you believe a little more in yourself and your end goal. Then a big success comes and your confidence soars, and you work even harder still and get even bigger successes.
In order to kick this cycle off though, we need to generate some amount of confidence first, without any big achievements:
1. Become aware of the little voice in your head:
We ALL have an internal voice inside our head that is pretty much always talking, no matter if we’re actively hearing it or not. When this voice is thinking negative thoughts, it affects how we feel, which in turn affects our actions.
If we are secretly thinking to ourselves constantly that we are lazy bums and aren’t capable of achieving anything big in life, we’re going to feel pretty sh*tty about ourselves, no?
You’ll feel depressed, hopeless, unmotivated, uninspired, etc. Those feelings are chipping away at your confidence, so you hold yourself back from taking any action toward anything positive in your life.
So the first step is to NOTICE these thoughts, become aware of them:
- Meditation is a fantastic technique for this that I highly recommend to anyone and everyone to do this. Find a beginner’s guided meditation (I recommend the Headspace app personally but there is tons of other material out there) and commit to just 10 minutes per day to start.
- Thought downloads are another tool for becoming aware of your thoughts:
- You sit quietly somewhere for a few minutes and imagine some goal you have, then write down every single thought that comes into your head while you’re thinking about that goal. Check out the negative ones that you write down. These are your limiting beliefs and are the thoughts that are destroying your confidence on a daily basis.
Once we become aware of our limiting thoughts, we can start to tweak them to be more neutral, and then eventually more positive. Read more about how to do this HERE.
2. Set and achieve small goals:
Small, tiny, miniscule goals are a great way to build up your confidence.
Now you might see the word goals and want to run away. I used to be the same way, I HATED goals because they never worked for me. But then I realized I wasn’t doing it right. I kept setting my goals too big and would set myself up for failure. That brought down my confidence for a longggg time.
Then I discovered TINY GOALS.
I don’t even like to think of these as goals really, but more like practice. Because the result of the goal isn’t what matters, it’s the action of doing something habitually over time that is the real skill being built.
So choose some simple, small, easily achievable goal to begin with.
The first one I ever did was to drink 91oz of water every day for just one week. I just wanted to see if I could do something consistently every day for a week because up until then, I’d never been able to before. On that 7th day when I looked at my water app and saw that I had successfully drank 91oz of water every single day, it felt pretty good! Nothing mind-blowing, but again up until that point I’d never been able to stick with ANY sort of plan or goal, so this first small achievement felt nice and boosted my confidence a bit.
After the first tiny goal, do a few more goals of the same size, and then start increasing the goals to be a little bigger.
The feeling of confidence and achievement once you succeed at those will be even bigger and better, and you’ll start realizing you have the confidence in yourself that you can get sh*t done so you start thinking about tackling those big, dream life goals that you never thought you would have before.
3. Get out of your comfort zone a little:
Confidence gets created in situations where you are outside of your comfort zone.
Imagine you hate public speaking but have to give a presentation. It’s wildly out of your comfort zone, but you do it and get it done, and turns out, you feel AMAZING afterwards. You did something you didn’t think you could do and you survived. The adrenaline rush you feel after is your confidence building up.
Lack of confidence is really just FEAR. It could be fear of failure, fear of inadequacy, fear of what others will think. And the only way to destroy this fear is to take action, get a little uncomfortable, and start building up that fear-barrier. Because after all, fear is just a feeling, and feelings are just tiny vibrations in our bodies that feel uncomfortable sometimes.
You can start small or take a big plunge. Whichever it is, just take action, get uncomfortable, and notice how you feel on the other side.
4. Mimic a confident person:
This one sounds silly at first but it’s actually one of my favorite exercises now. It’s also called role-playing and you’ll see why in a sec.
Think of someone you know who seems really confident and always has their sh*t together. Or maybe you don’t know anyone like this but you have an image in your head of an amazing confident person.
How do they look? How do they think? How do they feel? What do they do? (PS writing down this exercise helps even more!)
Now pretend this person is a role in a movie and you want to try out for the part. What would you start doing to be them? How would you start acting?
The key to this working is for you to start BEING that person you are imagining, as if you are practicing to be them.
Start being them as much as you can. It might not feel right at first, it might feel weird, but by acting like a confident person, you are in turn being confident. It will start feeling more authentic the more you keep doing it, until suddenly one day, you just ARE that person.
5. Update/improve your look:
Ok, I know everyone says confidence is within yourself and it doesn’t matter what you look like. This is both true and untrue.
I get the sentiment behind that statement, but truth is, when you are LOOKING your best, you’re FEELING your best. I’m not saying everyone should go out and get nose jobs and become the perfect size and buy designer clothes to look good, definitely not. However YOU think you look good is what I’m talking about here.
For me, it was my nails. I always love how my hands look when they are nice and painted, it makes me feel really good and put-together, which makes me feel confident all over. However I would rarely have them painted out of pure laziness. So I decided my one beauty goal for 2019 was to keep my nails painted all the time. I’ve been doing it and I love it! I feel like one step closer to this future put-together image I have for myself.
Just do something small. Get your hair cut or styled, find a new outfit you love and can’t wait to rock at work, start wearing that lipstick you’ve always been kind of too afraid to wear in public.
This can also be incorporated into the playing a role technique above. If your picture of confidence is a woman who is dressed nicely and put-together every day, then START DOING THAT.
Start BEING that person right now, there is nothing stopping you from doing that. Maybe you don’t have all the riches and successes she has yet, but by starting to play the part you are one step closer to becoming that image of confidence.
The most important part to using looking good to feel confident is to remember to be aware of how you feel. FEEL that feeling of confidence when you look good. Know and love that feeling and start accepting it as your normal way to feel.
If you are ready to start taking charge of your own life, to start working toward those goals you’ve had forever, then put these exercises to work and build up that beginning confidence you need.
Don’t fall into the trap of just reading this post but not applying the concepts in reality!!
Reading ABOUT exercises is not the same as DOING them. You won’t get the benefits from just reading, these concepts need to be actioned on and practiced to get the results you want.
If this is you, read my post HERE about how to take real action toward your goals.