Confidence is a skill that anyone can build, I hope you believe that! And building it is going to be easier if you look beyond narrow definitions like “charismatic,” “successful,” and “assertive” as the only ways to be confident.
If you work on it from the inside, you will build your self-esteem, which is the most legit form of confidence.
Confidence through greater self-esteem will help you find your voice, expand your social circle and your support system, and achieve more of your goals. It’s an inner confidence that will change the way you view yourself. It’s a confidence that will last and help you find success and happiness.
Here are 5 things you can do to build the type of legit confidence that we all want: high healthy self-esteem.
1. Develop competence and skill
It feels good to be good at something. So a great way to build inner confidence is to develop a skill that you’re naturally good at.
Do this: become a better tennis player, pianist, YouTuber, cook, stock-trader, stylist, interior designer, or content creator because, in the areas where you shine, you will attract admirers who value what you’re good at.
2. Practice positive self-talk
Negative self-talk is often the result of internalizing negative messages we get from our families, friends, and the outside world. Work on your negative self-talk by practicing positive self-talk.
Do this: Remind yourself of your humanity every day. In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown offers an antidote for the unrealistic messages we internalize and she shares a great quote that you can reflect on daily:
To be human is to have flaws, but to love yourself anyway—that’s priceless.
3. Fully commit to your goal
If one of the ways you’re going to work on your confidence is through physical fitness, fully commit to that goal by going for a complete lifestyle change. A lifestyle change will increase your consistency and you will find your old excuses falling away. But the real reason you want to fully commit in this way is because you will no longer be half-in and half-out.
Do this: Hire help and find a community of people who are working on the goal you’re pursuing. Everyone who aspires to make a lifestyle change should expect (and plan for) resistance, obstacles, setbacks, and days when they won’t want to do what they should be doing. By hiring a trainer, you hire help to get you through those first few months when your commitment is still shaky. Find a group to hold you accountable, and remind yourself that you don’t need to do it all on your own.
4. Keep your word to yourself
One of the best definitions of confidence I ever read went something like this: “Confidence is the extent to which you can trust yourself to keep your word.” If you keep putting off your commitments until tomorrow, that becomes a habit. It’s a habit you want to break.
Do this: To kick the procrastination habit and keep your word to yourself, find ways to “cheat” smart. On the days when you don’t feel like keeping your exercise commitment, for example, only do 5-minutes or grab a workout buddy. This is a way to trick your brain into doing something you’re resisting with the knowledge that once you start, you will feel better and might even go beyond the 5-minutes minimum. Tomorrow, you will feel proud of yourself for not slacking on yourself. You might even be motivated tomorrow to make up for any time you lost yesterday.
5. Work on your self-image
In an article in Psychology Today, Allison Abrams, LCSW-R shares 8 great tips to help you improve your self-image that’s worth checking out. One of her tips is to exercise. Exercise and starting a physical improvement journey is something I highly recommend.
FYI: when we like what we see in the mirror, our self-esteem improves.
Do this: work on your appearance by finding your personal style, getting a signature scent if you don’t have one, as well as the exercise and fitness journey you can embark on.
The type of confidence you will build when you practice the above list is the type of confidence that sticks. It’s legit confidence that focuses more on transforming how you see yourself. By having a skill, accepting yourself while improving what you can, living your values, and giving others the gift of grace, you will transform yourself into someone you like.
Remember, no one is born with confidence and charisma. It may come more naturally to some people, but confidence is truly a learned trait.