5 Things You Can Do to Get Confidence
“Once you have true core confidence, you’ll laugh at what the old version of you was willing to tolerate.”
Nobody has unlimited self-confidence. If somebody seems to have incredible confidence, it’s because they have spent their life cultivating it. Self-confidence can be built up throughout life if the intention is to learn and grow from painful experiences, rather than using them to tear ourselves down.
Self-confidence may come more naturally to those lucky few that have grown up in homes with supportive, nurturing parents. But far too many of us grew up in homes under conditional love and criticism. When as children, we are consistently put down, blamed, or found fault with, the critical voice of the adults becomes our inner critic.
Lack of self-confidence makes us susceptible to another’s critique, make another’s view of our worth more important than our own, keeps us playing small and tolerating behavior we would not if our confidence was at healthier levels. Luckily though, we can build up our self-confidence no matter how low it may be right now with some confidence-boosting tools and techniques.
Here are five things you could start practicing right now, to give yourself that extra boost:
1. Visualize the you that you want to be:
Visualizing is the practice of seeing yourself as already being the person you want to be. Find some time every day to see your new and improved version. How would you look? How would you move? What would you be doing? What would you no longer tolerate?
See yourself as already being that person and then FEEL what it would feel like. Our brains cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality. That is why we can be delighted one minute, watch a sad movie, and be depressed the next minute. It is why horror movies scare us even though we are comfortable at home on our couch. When we spend time each day visualizing, our brain starts accepting this new reality, and we start behaving from this new and improved version of ourselves.
2. Do something that scares you every day:
Each time you do something that scares you, it creates a “can do” sense within yourself. Every time you step beyond fear, you build self-confidence, knowing that you have conquered your fears before. Feeling afraid is a sign that life is about to get more interesting. Rather than shying away from things that scare you, do them afraid! Pretty soon, each time something scares you, you’ll be able to say: “This is not the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
3. Challenge that inner critic:
Start noticing the Inner Critic. What are the things that you tell yourself that makes you feel “less than?” Does this inner critic sound familiar? Often, it sounds like parents, teachers, or other adults in our lives. Start noticing the voice and give it a name. For example, my inner critic’s name is Lucy. Every time I hear her critical tone, I tell myself. “Thanks, Lucy, but your opinion is not needed right now. I got this. You can stand down.” Our thoughts are rarely the truth. They are just old, outdated beliefs that want to keep us stuck. Don’t believe them, and you take their power away.
4. Create personal boundaries:
Start practicing saying: “No!” Every time you stick up for yourself and honor your limits, your self-confidence grows. The more control you feel that you have over your life, the more personal power you develop. Learning how to ask for what you need and establishing boundaries can be learned. Take classes if you need, or work with a life coach. Having a firm “No!” can change your life completely.
5. Help someone else:
What is it that you excel at or are passionate about? Could you teach this skill to others? When we share what we are good at, not only does it help others, but it helps to grow our confidence. By helping others, we step beyond our life circumstances and forget our difficulties for a while. We develop gratitude and empathy, as well. Besides, helping others just feels good!
Some of the most influential people in the world had to work at building their core confidence. Few people are born that way. With practice, though, anybody can become unshakable. Including you!