I’ve been coaching for a few years now, and the biggest thing I’ve learned – both for me and for my clients – is that being confident in yourself is the key to it all.
There are all kinds of strategies, ways of thinking, patterns of behavior, and practical tips for improving your life and feeling better about yourself, but they’re all redundant if the foundation isn’t there.
That foundation is the real you, the ‘you’ God created you to be, the one you know deep down inside you are. The trick is that it takes confidence to find that and to bring out who you are.
If you don’t believe in yourself and think you don’t have what it takes, it’s not too late. Building confidence in yourself is still possible, no matter your age, where you live, or who you are.
But how do you do that? How do you become more confident in yourself?
What are the signs you have low self-confidence?
Low self-confidence might make you feel full of self-doubt, be passive or submissive, or have difficulty trusting others. You may feel inferior and unloved, or are sensitive to criticism.
Low self-esteem might originate from experiences such as growing up in an unsupportive and critical environment, judging yourself too harshly, or being afraid of failure. In your mind, you keep talking negatively about yourself.
Feeling confident in yourself might depend on the situation. For instance, you can feel very confident in some areas, such as academics, but lack confidence in others, like relationships. A low confidence level can halt your personal growth.
When you have low self-esteem, it doesn’t need to remain that way. It is possible to increase confidence in yourself. By implementing the two keys to being more confident, your sense of self-worth will increase and you will show all the signs of a confident woman!
What does it mean to have confidence in yourself?
People with a high level of self-confidence usually feel happy and are stable in their thinking. They know what they can do and what they can’t. Self-confidence is a positive attitude about your personal skills and abilities. It means you accept and trust yourself and have a sense of control in your life.
When you have self-confidence, you know your strengths and weakness, and have a positive view of yourself. You set realistic expectations and goals, communicate assertively, and can handle criticism.
Having high or low self-confidence is not related to your actual abilities, but is based on your perceptions. The way you think about yourself causes low self-confidence. Your thoughts are flawed. Learning how to control your mind is an important ingredient to building confidence in yourself.
Confidence means feeling sure of yourself and your abilities; not arrogantly, but in a realistic, secure way. Confidence isn’t about feeling superior to others. It’s the quiet inner knowledge that you’re capable, independent from what others say about you.
- feel secure
- have an “I can do it” mindset
- feel ready for everyday challenges
- know they can rely on their skills and strengths to handle whatever comes up
So, how do you gain confidence in yourself if you have been an insecure person?
2 Keys to building confidence in yourself
If you have low self-confidence, you may hide away from social situations, stop trying new things, and avoid things you find challenging. Avoiding challenging and difficult situations makes you feel safe. But this can backfire because it reinforces your underlying doubts and fears. It teaches you the unhelpful thought that the only way to cope is by avoiding things.
It’s important to have confidence in yourself, to prevent mental health issues and other problems such as depression and anxiety. As well as to build good habits, instead of developing unhealthy and unhelpful habits, such as smoking and drinking, as a way of coping.
Two keys are vital to building confidence in yourself.
Key 1: Get to know your values
Personal values are one of the most important things you can know about yourself and are vital in getting genuine self-confidence. Your values are inside you, right at the very core of who you are. They are the building blocks, the foundations, and cornerstones for you.
A value is something in yourself, in others, or in the world that’s most important to you, and could include things like beliefs, progress, family, fun, nature, achievement, or freedom.
A major way to find your values is to check which people and situations leave you feeling angry, frustrated, demotivated, or deflated. It’s because one or more of your values is being denied, suppressed, or repressed. You experience that as a negative because it’s denying a fundamental piece of who you are.
The second way is to look back to the times when you’ve felt really alive, amazing, or buzzing. Those are the times when one or more of your values were honored. You can get more of that by living according to them.
Your values are all yours, and no matter what happens, no one can ever take them away. You can have absolute confidence in them because they’re there all the time, just waiting for you to notice and use them.
When you get to know your values, you can make choices and align your life around them. It’s so simple, and it feels amazing because all that really means is that you’re allowing who you are to live in the real world.
Knowing your values and honoring them is a major key to building confidence in yourself.
Key 2: Exercise the Muscle
Confidence is a muscle, and like any physical muscle, you need to exercise it so that it doesn’t shrink and waste away. The problem is that unlike your biceps or glutes, which stay in the same place, your confidence muscle can be harder to find.
How do you develop your biceps or firm up your glutes? By doing exercises that work that muscle over time until you see the results you were looking for. It’s just the same with confidence.
Let’s say that you’re the person who doesn’t take many risks, the kind of person who goes through each day doing what needs to be done and doing it well, but not really stretching yourself. You might talk yourself out of doing something because it’s too scary or because you think to yourself ‘I’m not good enough,’ ‘that’s not who I am’ or ‘I don’t really want it anyway.’
That kind of person lives within what they know and what keeps them safe and comfortable. The fewer risks they take, the less confident they need to be and so the less confident they become.
To work your confidence muscle, you need to be prepared to take risks-big or small. You need to be willing to stretch yourself in an unfamiliar direction, to try something new, or try something slightly different. You need to open yourself up to the possibilities around you and push yourself to increase what you know, what you do, and who you are.
The more open you are to risk, opportunity, and possibility, the more confident you need to be, and so the more confidence you’ll develop. That’s your confidence muscle.
So, how do you become more confident in yourself?
It is possible to become confident in yourself, no matter what you have gone through in life, no matter what others have told you, and no matter what you yourself think about yourself.
You don’t need to continue living insecure and with low self-confidence. God made you and loves you. You can step out and gain confidence in yourself.
Start by looking deep down into yourself and recognizing your values. Then, live based on it. Don’t ignore your values. They make who you are. When you go against your personal values, you will become unhappy and have a low self-confidence level.
Once you found your values, try something new. Do something you have never done before. When Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do something that scares you every day,” she wasn’t talking about watching the latest slasher film on Netflix. She was talking about stepping outside your comfort zone. The cozy routines most of us live in keep risk to a minimum.
You can start by making self-confidence a top goal in your life. Goals help you keep yourself accountable to improve your confidence level and to keep exercising your confidence muscle. Setting goals at the beginning of your confidence journey will benefit you in the long term.
Take a step, take a controllable risk.
You can do it!