Yes, you can hear it everywhere: “You need to be more confident” or “confidence is key”. But as common as the term confidence is, it seems people have trouble putting the theory into practice.
But, get ready to have less of “I can’t do it. I’m not sure” in your life and more of “I’m ready. I’ve got what it takes”.
In this article, you’ll learn how to be more confident.
How to Be Confident Enough to Achieve Your Life Goals
What is confidence?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines confidence as “the quality of being certain of your abilities”.
On the other hand, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers”, “faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way”, and “the quality or state of being certain”.
So, confidence is just being certain of who you are and what you are capable of doing.
Is confidence innate? Can confidence grow, be learned or is it a state of mind?
Being confident is difficult. You might think that some people are blessed with natural confidence, while you have to struggle just to make a phone call confidently.
But, the truth is confidence is not innate, it is learned. Also, it is possible to grow your confidence through practice.
Also, confidence is a state of mind. To be confident in a certain situation you need mental strength and a decided mindset.
Joel Brookman, a personal development speaker and author of Adjust Your Sails says “confidence is a state of mind. You have the ability to control your state of mind”.
To put it simply, confidence is the state of constantly choosing to believe in yourself.
Why is confidence important?
Confidence is a key factor in being successful. If you are learning how to be confident, you are learning how to be successful as well.
Confidence is the mindset of certainty that helps you to make the right decisions and stand by them. Also, it helps you to work progressively and firmly until you achieve your goals… Even if everyone is saying you are on the wrong path or that it isn’t going to work.
Have you heard that once or twice already?
As if that wasn’t enough, being confident about something protects your self-esteem from any negative criticism.
Barbara G. Markway, author of Painfully Shy says “self-confidence is linked to almost every element involved in a happy and fulfilling life”.
In other words, if you are confident, you are happy and successful.
You can be confident in some areas and not in others
The funny thing about confidence is that one size doesn’t fit all. This means you can be confident in some areas of your life and not in others.
For example, you can be really confident about your body because you exercise and eat healthy to stay in shape. Yet, you might be a mess when it comes to public speaking.
Yet, if you are not confident about something it doesn’t mean you can be defined as an insecure person. It just means you need to work on improving that area of your life.
How to know if you’re low on confidence?
You already know why confidence is important, but how do you know if you are in need of some confidence boosting? Here are some common situations or signals of lack of confidence:
- You take criticism to heart – even if it is constructive criticism, you feel devastated after someone made a comment to you.
- It is hard to make decisions – even if it is just simple decisions such as what to eat for dinner.
- Can’t stand up for your beliefs – you can’t seem to raise your voice or give out your opinion on a theme.
- Keep comparing yourself to others – you compare yourself and your achievements with those of other people to see how well you do.
- You lack assertiveness – you find it hard to express your opinions and feelings in order to avoid conflict.
How to seem more confident?
As with many situations, being confident is one of those things you have to fake until you make it.
Being completely confident takes practice and courage. Especially if you are an introvert.
However, there will be moments in life when you’ll need to seem confident, even if you aren’t ready yet.
In those moments, you´ll need to “fake” your confidence. Here is how you can do it.
Your body says a lot about what you are thinking and your personality. It can also betray you by letting everyone know you are insecure. A few ways to express more confidence with your body language are:
- Stand tall and straight. Make sure you are not hunching and that your body position is open towards the person you are speaking to.
- Turn to face others when you are speaking
- Avoid tics. If you channel your anxiety, stress, or nervousness through moving your feet, or playing with your hands, that gives away your insecurities.
- Watch your hands. Don’t point, cross your arms or put them on your hips. You may use them as you talk with the palm facing up. If you are sitting, you may rest them on a table or the armrest.
- Make sure your resting face isn’t saying “I hate the world” when you are listening or concentrating.
- Keep eye contact while talking or listening.
Another thing that helps you to be more confident in how you express yourself. There are phrases that are common but that can make you seem nervous, unprepared, or insecure. Here are some swaps you can do to seem more confident:
- Replace I’m sorry for thank you. For example, if you are a few minutes late to a meeting, instead of saying “I’m sorry”, you can say “Thank you for your patience”. Another example is switching “I’m sorry to trouble you” to “Thank you for understanding”.
- Quit the filler words. Filler words and phrases like “umm, wait, eh, I- I, well-, I don’t know-, you know” make you seem insecure and nervous.
- Speak paused and slowly. If you are the kind of person that speaks a hundred words per minute when you are nervous, you have to slow down to seem more confident.
- Express your opinion with certainty. Don’t use phrases like “I’m not sure about this but -” “Maybe we should-”, “I kinda-”, “I think-” “Does that make sense?”. Instead, use phrases like “I would prefer if-”, “From my point of view-” and so on.
- Accept compliments. Don’t reject them! If someone says you are beautiful, or your presentation was great, say thank you instead of trying to say it isn’t the case.
Benefits of being confident
Besides being important to be successful, learning how to be confident comes with great benefits.
- Better relationships – when you are confident, you become less self-conscious. You stop believing you are messing up, or that everything that happens has to do with you. Since you aren’t full of doubts and thoughts regarding yourself, you are able to pay attention and interact with others
- Willingness to try new things – When you are confident, you go from “I can’t do it” to “Yes, count me in”. Being confident reduces your anxiety, your fear, and your over-thinking.
- Resilience – resilience means you are able to adapt and to recover quickly from different setbacks. With confidence, you’ll learn from your failures and mistakes and you will use them to grow.
- Better performance – if you are confident, you are more likely to excel at what you do. Not only will you be productive, but you will run the extra mile to accomplish your projects and goals.
How to gain more confidence daily and how to keep it?
So after learning about confidence, its importance, and its benefits, the greatest question is: how can you be more confident?
Let’s look into this!
Study your weaknesses
So, you know you want to be more confident, but do you know why you want to be more confident? Do you know which areas you need to work on? Do you need to be more confident in a professional or a personal way?
Make sure to do some introspection to discover the areas you need to work on.
Be aware of the behaviors that might be showing your insecurity like biting your nails or looking at your phone when you are in a social environment.
Write your findings down and develop a working plan. Finally, set a final goal, like making your first youtube vlog or launching your first digital product.
Look for role models
One of the easiest ways to learn is by example. Search for people around you that inspire you.
First, watch the way they behave, how they talk and how they express themselves. Second, start acting like them.
See what works for you and how you feel about the new changes. You can also look for role models using the internet.
Practice and more practice
Confidence is not something you can achieve overnight. You’ll need to expose yourself to the kind of situations that would make you feel insecure and practice.
And if you fail, try again. You can ask for feedback from a friend or someone close to you that knows about your confidence goal.
Remember, confidence is a mindset, and you need to work on it until you’ve achieved it.
Study and learn
In some cases, especially those related to professional situations, you feel insecure because you aren’t sure of your skills and knowledge.
This means you have to study more and acquire the necessary skills to help you feel comfortable in your profession.
The internet is a great resource nowadays. You don’t even have to go to the library. LinkedIn Learning is a great way to learn and educate yourself. You can even certify yourself and display those certifications on your LinkedIn profile.
Be honest about your thoughts
Expressing your thoughts confidently is called assertiveness. If you want to be confident, you need to be honest about what you are thinking and what you need when you are in a conversation.
Your opinions deserve to be heard even if they are not the same as everyone else in the room.
Stop comparing yourself
It is possible that as an insecure person, you see your skills and achievements as worthless in comparison to those of other people.
Yet, in order to become more confident, you MUST STOP comparing yourself to others. Every person’s path is different and you should love every step of your journey.
The only reason why you should be looking at others is to learn from them and use them as role models.
Take care of yourself
Self-care is an important part of growing your confidence. If your mental health is affected, you are less likely to feel confident. Learn to set boundaries and filter information.
There is a lot of negativism out there and you must protect your mind from what doesn’t help you to grow. A healthy mind is usually a confident mind.
Also, physical self-care can help with managing your stress and boosting your self-esteem. Therefore, make sure to exercise, paint your nails or put on a hydrating mask. Whatever makes you feel great!
Don’t be so hard on yourself
Remember that you are a human being. You are allowed to make mistakes and to have flaws. As ironically as it might sound, you can be more confident when you embrace your imperfections.
Instead of beating yourself up every time you make a mistake and feeling insecure about it, you can accept it and work to make it better.
Watch how you talk to yourself
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of women calling themselves “bad boss bitch” or “badass bitch”.
Yet, I get the point behind it. It is a form of motivation and empowerment. I much rather hear that than “I’m so stupid” or “I’m not good enough”.
Be careful with how you talk to yourself. Learn to use growth and empowerment words that hype you up.
A lot of people are into affirmations nowadays. You can try those too. Think Up is an app available for both Android and iPhone that has daily affirmations. Remember, you need to respect yourself first in order for other people to do it.
Accept self-doubt as part of the process
Even as your confidence grows, you might be surprised to see that you will have to face self-doubt sometimes.
And you know what? That’s totally fine!
There will be situations where you find yourself thinking “Am I really able to do this?”. You don’t have to feel like you’ve failed in your confidence journey or feel ashamed of yourself.
It is ok for that type of thought to cross your mind, especially if you are trying something new. The important thing is to not let it defeat you.
The answer to those questions should be “I can”.
Check your habits
Your daily habits can contribute in a great way to your sense of confidence.
Daily good habits are responsible for a balanced lifestyle, a healthy mind, controlled emotions, and a functional body.
Feeling like you are in control of your life and yourself increases your sense of confidence. You can read about 100 great habits you can implement in your life in this post.
A warning you should keep in mind
As with many things in life, too much of something is never good. Although it might be difficult to believe, the same thing applies to confidence.
Too much confidence turns into overconfidence. Someone who is overconfident doesn’t measure the risks or consequences of his or her decisions. This alone can lead to a lot of professional and personal disasters.
Also, overconfidence can turn into narcissism. You might end up feeling like the world revolves around you and there isn’t anyone who can surpass you.
And let’s be honest, nobody wants to be around that type of person. So, don’t become one.
Up to you!
Confidence is not only essential for a successful career but is also important for a healthy lifestyle.
If you struggle with confidence, you are not alone. Thousands of people fight with their insecurities daily, especially in a world where it is so easy to compare yourself to others.
However, you should remember that you aren’t born confident. To achieve that mindset, you need to learn about your own insecurities and work to grow out of them.
Right now, it is not a matter of how to be more confident, but when do you start. So, start right now to work on that confidence!