11 Easy ways to build self-confidence
When you fail to achieve your objectives, it is easy to believe that you do not have the ability, or you are not good enough. However, the difference between success and failure is rarely due to any lasting ability. Sure, you may lack the necessary skills at that very moment, but you can usually learn everything that you need to know. The biggest factor in determining your level of success is often your self-confidence. As Henry Ford said ‘Whether you believe that you can or you believe that you cannot; you are right’. Self-confidence is that important. If you want to achieve your goals and objectives, you absolutely must have enough self-confidence to see the job through. As the size of your goals and ambition grows, your level of self-confidence must grow to match it.
Negative to Positive
Objectively assessing your outcomes allows you to view the past with a greater sense of positivity and realism. Setting you free to live positively in the present.
Self-confidence requires effort
You probably know someone who just exudes confidence. You might even have wondered, 'What’s his secret? How can he be so positive about himself?' The good news is that you, too, could be that confident. Self-confidence does not happen by accident.
It comes from repeated practice and small successes which build into large successes. With the right commitment and effort, you can build your self-confidence in a short period of time and, as you continue with the positive habits, your self-confidence will continue to grow.
Self-confidence is not some sort of gift that you are born with. For many people, self-confidence may appear to have come naturally to them but it is more likely that they had confident role models in their life, from whom they learned the appropriate confidence building behaviours.
These people will have imitated the behaviour they saw from their role models and, they habitually do them now. By practicing these same actions, you’ll be taking giant strides to building your own self-confidence.
11 Simple strategies to build self-confidence
The strategies listed below are very easy to implement and lead to rapid growth in your self-confidence levels. Use these strategies to become more self-assured:
1. Present yourself with confidence
If you are lounging around at home with your family or friends, it may be acceptable to dress down and be a little unkempt. These people know who you really are and your appearance is unlikely to have a huge bearing on their thoughts about you.
However, how you feel about yourself is reflected in your appearance. If you have an important event e.g. an interview or business meeting; taking the time to ensure that you are well groomed and wearing clean, well-fitting and appropriate clothing, will give you that extra boost of confidence.
When you know you look great, you feel great about yourself as well. That little bit of effort goes a long way and, as you notice the difference, you will bring this new approach into more areas of your life.
As I am working from home, I often work in more casual clothing, unless I am having an online coaching session with a client. I am more concerned about the quality off the work than my appearance.
But when I have something more challenging to do, I like to dress a little better. It is not about trying to impress others. It just gives me a little bit of a confidence boost. I feel more prepared and focused on the challenge ahead. It’s like I am saying to the challenge:
‘You are going to test me, but you are going to get the best I have and, I know I can beat you’
We often think that dressing better is about impressing others. For some people it may be. But the real benefit is what you are communicating to yourself.
How you dress for important occassions is important for 2 reasons:
- It makes you feel better about yourself
- It encourages others to take you seriously
For more great self-confidecne tips, check out Unbreakable Self-Confidence.
2. Smile and look people in the eye
It sounds obvious to state that a smile will help you build rapport with others. It also sounds obvious to state that when you smile, you feel happier and more confident. Despite this, so many people do not smile.
When you smile and make eye contact, it shows that you have a certain ease and warmth about you. This enables others to feel more at ease in your presence, thus improving the quality of your interactions. As you start to interact better with others, your self-confidence grows until communicating with ease becomes a natural process.
When you greet people with a warm, sincere smile and gentle eye contact, you are showing them that you are trustworthy. You are telling them that you come in peace. You pose no threat to them. This is assertive behaviour which benefits both parties and helps build confidence for both.
Many of those who lack self-confidence are fearful of reaching out and connecting with others. They want to, but they fear rejection. But if you don’t smile and, you don’t make eye contact, you are not signalling to others that you are open to communication and connection. A simple smile and some eye contact can open doors.
If you are someone who fails to smile or make eye contact, then make this the first thing you add to your self-confidence building attempts. In each interaction, look the person in eye and smile.
You don't have to add anything else until this becomes a habit. The results from this one change can be incredible.
A simple, sincere and warm-hearted smile can do a lot to rasie the confidence of both the person receiving the smile and; the person smiling.
3. Give genuine compliments to others
When you take the time to compliment others, it demonstrates that you feel good enough about yourself to give positive feedback to others. Don’t mistake this approach for insincere flattery. The compliments should always be genuine and honest. At first, it may take a little time for you to find the positives in others that you would like to compliment but it becomes easier.
By adopting the necessary mindset, not only will you find positives in others but you will start to see more positives in every area of your life. As you do so, you realise that your life is in better shape than you may have previously thought. As a result, your self-confidence grows.
I firmly believe that we were put on this Earth to love and be loved (I don’t mean that Hollywood garbage). Sincerely complimenting others is one of the simplest but purest forms of love. And the great thing about love is that when you give it, you experience it for yourself. Think about how you feel when you compliment or help someone your truly care for. Don’t you feel good?
Those little acts of love, or kindness if you prefer, come from within you and must pass through you to pass to the other person. As it passes through you, you must experience it for yourself. Your gift to them is also a gift to yourself. The very act of searching for the positives in others, makes you feel better and trains you to see the positives in life. This has a powerful impact on your self-confidence.
Start with the people who are most important to you as you probably spend most time with them. Make a note of all the things you admire about them which you may be able to compliment.
4. Practice appreciation
Sadly, we humans find it incredibly easy to find the negative in our lives. It is not always as easy to identify the positives, though they are there. When you appreciate the positives in your life, you don’t just identify the things that you like; you take a moment to focus on how your life is better because of them.
Practice appreciation each day and you will eliminate negativity from your life. Your are not trying to develop delusions about how amazing and wonderful your life is; you just want to develop a more realistically optimistic view whereby you can identify and appreciate the positives in your life.
When you take the time to appreciate the good things in your life, you start to feel some real joy. You realise that your life is better than you normally think it is. And that is important. To be happier with your life and have more self-confidence, you don’t always have to improve your life. You just need to start seeing the good in your life and start appreciating it.
When I am feeling negative, I find it very powerful to take a short break to write about something/someone in my life that I am grateful for. This helps to change my mindset quickly and encourages me to be vigilant for opportunities to be appreciative.
The ability to appreciate and be grateful for teh good things in your lfie comes from having strong values. You can learn more about values with Values Based Living.
5. Play to your strengths
We can all do most things but what differs is the standard to which we can perform the task. Throughout your life, you will encounter tasks which you are not best suited to performing. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about; it’s the same for everybody. If you spend a lot of your time performing these tasks, you are likely to struggle and your self-confidence will be impacted.
Instead, focus on doing whatever you’re best at. You will be better able to perform the task and your self-confidence will receive a boost with each task that you successfully complete. You’ll feel like an expert and know without a doubt that you excel in that area. Know your strengths and play to them. Seek work in an area which makes the most of your strengths, knowledge and skill set. Where possible delegate or outsource the tasks which do not suit your strengths.
There are several things which do not fall within your strengths, but you do need to be competent at them. That’s fine; be competent but, you do not need to waste your time being any more than competent if it’s not one of your strengths.
The only exception to this should be for things you genuinely love doing. You don’t have to be great at everything but for self-confidence in life, it is far better to keep building on your strengths.
Many of the situations where you lack self-confidence can be eliminated from your life without you experiencing any loss.
6. Accept your imperfections
Perfectionism is just a mechanism used to inflict pain upon yourself. Perfection is neither a possibility nor a necessity. Nobody has ever been perfect and nobody ever will be. Rather than seek to achieve perfection, you can always try to do your best. Then, you can learn from the experience and strive to do better next time around.
The key thing to remember is that once something is done, it can always be improved. You get feedback from other people, from results or from the world at large. As you review the feedback, you can identify any improvements you need to make, The feedback loop allows you to continuously improve anything – whether it be a skill, a personal trait, a project, a product etc.
If you wait for perfection before you take action, you will never start. And if you never even start, you will never be able to get feedback as there is nothing to improve. That’s why done is better than perfect.
Wherever you are is ok, because as long as you are willing to take action, receive feedback and make improvemets, you will keep making progress. This way, you will constantly improve without the stress inducing pressure of always trying to be perfect. Imperfections only show that you’re human – not that there is something wrong with you.
Successful people focus on continuous improvement rather than perfection. In fact, if they achieved perfection, improvement would no longer be possible.
The ability to accept your imperfections can be hampered by low self-esteem. If you have this problem; check Unlock Your Self-Esteem can help.
7. Be prepared
Practicing this motto isn’t only for Boy Scouts. Practice allows you to familiarise yourself with the challenge that lies ahead e.g. a presentation. This allows you to reduce the fear associated with stepping into the unknown.
As you practice, you realise that you are capable of dealing with the challenge and your self-confidence grows. You’ve practiced in advance to perform whatever needs to be done.
If you are really concerned about something going wrong, you can prepare for that too. Identify your worst fear e.g. you forget your speech. Then you can identify a solution e.g. have some notes on standby to jog your memory.
You can then practice your presentation going wrong whereby you forget your words and, you can implement your solution. This will give you the self-confidence to believe that you can cope with whatever goes wrong.
Preparation isn’t just for the big things. It is something you can do each day. By being prepared for each day, the day goes better, and the incremental results add up to big improvements over time.
Practice allows you to familiarise yourself with the challenge that lies ahead e.g. a presentation. This allows you to reduce the fear associated with stepping into the unknown; thus boosting your confidence.
8. Set effective goals and work to achieve them
When your life has direction and purpose, you know where you’re going and what you are trying to achieve. You then set goals which will help you to consistently work towards these objectives. As you achieve your goals, you can see the progress that you are making towards fulfilling your purpose. You are able to focus better and each day has meaning. With the accomplishment of each goal your self-confidence receives a little boost, as you see that you can achieve whatever you want from life.
That’s what progress is, the continuous achievement of goals; no matter how small that goal may be. Even a small step in the right direction is something which should be celebrated. When you set goals effectively you realise that every day is about stepping in the right direction. When you realise this, set out to do this and, follow through on this; your self-confidence will grow daily. It may only be a tiny improvement each day but in 6 months, you won’t believe the difference as your self-confidence will have soared.
You don't need perfect self-confidence. You just need to have enough self-confidence to take on your next goal and believe you can achieve it. Achieving your goal will then take your self-confidence to a new level.
To set effective goals which will empower you to achieve your aspirations, check out the Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting.
Negative to Positive
Objectively assessing your outcomes allows you to view the past with a greater sense of positivity and realism. Setting you free to live positively in the present.
9. Embrace whatever it is you love
Love is the most powerful emotion. Sadly we only tend to think of love in terms of that nonsense that you see in Hollywood movies. Love comes in many forms and when you make room for love in your life, you will be happier and more confident.
One of the most important things that you can do is to make room for the things that you love in your life. Sadly, when you struggle for time, one of the first things that you cut tends to be your favourite hobbies. However, the hobbies that you love fill you with positivity which helps to boost your happiness and health. It also makes you feel more in control of your life, which adds to your self-confidence.
Taking the time to discover what you love and what makes you feel happy and blessed, is a great way to identify where you should be spending more time in your life. It’s a way to care for yourself. Caring for yourself will always boost your self-confidence.
Of course, there will always be things you have to do which you don’t really love. But you can always find something(s) about it to love e.g. when paying your taxes, you can take a little time to think about all the wonderful public services which are paid for by the taxes. By finding positives in these situations which you normally view in a negative light, you prevent them from damaging your happiness and self-confidence.
Self-confidence naturally improves when you make more time to focus on the things you love by eliminating those things which add no joy or value to your life.
Your mindset is critical to your self-confidence, happiness and success. Check out The Power of Choice for some good strategies to help improve your mindset.
10. Always do your best
No matter what kind of work you do, you can strive to do your best at it. When you know that you have given your very best to the task, you know that you could not have given anymore. This allows you to feel relaxed and more confident about your performance. When you always give your best, you also build a reputation with friends, family, colleagues and customers which enables you to receive positive, self-confidence building feedback.
Many people think they need to have confidence before they can commit themselves fully to everything they do. That is putting the cart before the horse. You need to give your best effort each time and learn from your outcomes. You will then see that your best continues to get better each time. This continuous improvement ensures that your self-confidence is regularly reinforced.
When you fail to give your best, you short change yourself. You are deeming yourself to be unworthy of your full effort and so; your self-confidence drops.
You are a worthy person and you deserve full effort and commitment towards your goals and objectives.
Always doing your best is a core value. Values ensure that you set yourself the highest standards to live by and, you hold yourself to those standards. Check out Values Based Living for more on values.
11. Accept disapproval
No matter what you do in life, there will always be people who disapprove of you. You could bend over backwards to try and please these people but even if you succeed, it wouldn’t be you they are approving of; it would be the person you are pretending to be. When you value the approval of others too highly, you end up sacrificing your own goals, dreams and aspirations which is a form of self-rejection. This form of self-rejection has disastrous consequences for your self-confidence.
When you give up the need for approval, you’ll be free of feeling compelled to impress people. Instead, you’ll become more authentic and real with yourself. Prove to yourself instead of to others that you are competent and confident and others will see it anyway. And if they don’t see it, they are rarely worth worrying about.
Approval seeking is a disease. It leads to you sacrificing your own needs, wants and desires to win the approval of others. Nobody who is worthy of a place in your life would ever require you to sacrifice your own life to please them. People who do require this, will strip you of your self-confidence and, they need to be shown the door.
If you feel that you may be lacking confidence, check out Unbreakable Self Confidence.
Building your self-confidence takes time, focus and effort. It is not a magic trick. While some people make it look easy and natural, their high self-confidence is a result of learned behaviours. You too can learn these behaviours and experience the many benefits of high self-confidence. With your newfound confidence, you will be happier, healthier and more motivated to challenge yourself to be the best that you can be. Implementing the strategies listed above will not cure all your problems but it will take your self-confidence to a whole new level. You will be wondering why you didn’t take action sooner. You owe it to yourself to develop your self-confidence. Why not select one of the strategies, listed above, and start working on it today. Your faith in yourself will grow with every small step you take. Start today and begin living as the person you long to be.