Four Ways to Cultivate Confidence
Here is the truth when it comes to building your self-confidence…it isn’t easy. There will be times where it feels too difficult to believe in yourself, and it is totally normal to feel this way, but don’t give up on yourself or your ability to accomplish what you want in this life because cultivating confidence takes time, takes work, and takes the ability to give yourself a little grace.
Here are four things you can work on today to develop more confidence now and in to the future!
1. Let go of the idea that you are not good enough
So much of chasing after our dreams and living a life that satisfies us starts with getting out of our own way. In order to do this you have to stop the internal voice that tells you that you aren’t good enough. This is not easy because a lot of what creates that inner voice is the external things you allow in to your life. There is too much out there trying to tell you that you aren’t enough or that you need to be better. The message being sent is not one about growth, which we all need, but rather about transformation, making you feel like your life has to look completely different or like someone else’s in order to be successful.
With the idea that you aren’t good enough being planted in your head you can become fixated on it and start to believe you can’t move towards your goals. You start to believe you that you aren’t worthy of good things and that is why you don’t accomplish what you want. The problem is this way of thinking kills your confidence. You will start to get a lost in a cycle of getting down on yourself and then believing you have to be or look like someone else in order to live the life you want. You will keep chasing success as the key to your happiness, instead of chasing happiness as the key to your success.
Stop believing you can’t pursue your dreams unless you hit some unrealistic target of ‘perfection’ in your life and stop assuming you aren’t good enough. You know what happens when you are waiting to feel worthy or to be perfect? YOU START NOTHING AND YOU ACCOMPLISH NOTHING. You have to learn to be confident in yourself but also to be content with who you are. You have to know that moving forward in your path means purging your life of anything that makes you feel less than or unworthy. You have to start finding the confidence to be who you were meant to be just as you are now.
One Simple Way to Work on This:
State your intentions for change. One great way to do this is to identify the things you want to accomplish and start forming a belief in yourself to do so. What improvement would you make in each type of relationship below to positively impact your life moving forward and to help improve your self-worth?
1. What would I like to improve about the way I treat myself?
2. What would I like to improve about my personal situation?
3. What would I like to improve about my professional situation?
2. Stop the Comparisons
The moment that you start believing you need to be like someone else is the moment you start losing yourself. When you lose yourself you cannot be confident in who you are. You will never be able to remind yourself that you are good enough. In order to believe in your path, to believe in your life becoming what you want, you have to believe in yourself. You have to be confident in who YOU ARE.
You cannot believe in who you are if you are feeling like you need to have what someone else has. If you think envying the way someone else is built and calling other people your #bodygoals isn’t going to ruin how you feel about yourself you aren’t paying attention. If you don’t think wishing you had the house, the relationship, or the job someone else does won’t kill your confidence you aren’t paying attention to what happens to you after you have those feelings. You have to understand that your confidence is lost the moment you start lusting over what someone else has.
There is a difference between being inspired by someone and comparing yourself to them. If you haven’t already learned how to separate these two things it is vital that you start. Inspiration can help you stay motivated, comparison will make you feel less than.
One Simple Way to Work on This:
1. Identify your biggest area of comparison (ex: other people’s jobs, relationships, bodies, etc.)
2. What is one step you can take today to start putting an end to that comparison (ex: unfollow on social media, a specific step you can work on to move towards ending the comparison, etc.)
3. Finding Success in Each Day
There is a reason that to achieve goals you have to set short and long term ones. Goals, especially the lofty ones, take time to come to fruition. It is vital that you start setting small goals and going after those each day. This also helps you train your mind to find the success in each day, even when it feels trivial. Sometimes your success for a day will be making it through a time where patients/clients/coworkers have driven you crazy and yet you remained calm. Sometimes your success for a day will be getting through one chapter of studying for a test you need to take to get to the next level. Sometimes your success for the day will be taking time for yourself or saying no to something you don’t want to do.
You see confidence is built in the small successes. It is built in the work you put in towards your long term goals. It is built in the moments where something goes wrong but you pick yourself back up and remember how far you have come. Confidence is built when we learn to focus more on the positive than the negative. Stop telling yourself all the things you haven’t done yet and start appreciating all the things you have done. When you are constantly picking yourself apart you have no time to actually see yourself for all that you are. When you only focus on weakness, you will fail to ever see your strength, and you will fail to ever have confidence in yourself. When you learn to appreciate even the small successes in your day to day life you learn to be kinder to yourself as well as appreciate yourself and the path you are on more.
One Simple Way to Work on This:
Start a journal where each night you write at least one thing you have accomplished that day before you go to bed.
4. Stop Limiting Yourself
Limits. The ones we set for ourselves. They are always there. They live in the back of our minds feeding our fears, our insecurities, and killing our confidence. Everything that has failed before, every place you haven’t felt confident enough to step in to starts creeping in to your mind and you eventually stop yourself, you get in our own way and can’t move forward.
You limit your own potential by insisting that anything you want to do you have to do free of any other restriction you may have on your life right now. That is not reality. That mindset is stopping you. Here is the question I ask myself when I start creating my own limits…at the end of the day is it sensible to be unhappy when there are changes I can make? No! So how do we stop limiting ourselves?
We have to start moving away from our comfort zone. Why? Because fear will tell us to hold back even when we know we need to let go so when we boldly pursue what scares us it changes the game. A lot of the confidence we lack comes from not stepping out of our comfort zone and pushing our limits. We ASSUME we can’t do something so we don’t, we come up with excuses why can’t do something, so we don’t. We create our own limitations. Too often our misery is created by us, usually when we stop believing in our ability to accomplish things. And if we can create our own misery we can definitely create on our happiness. Finding your happiness and starting to feel more confident begins with refusing to limit your own potential. The only question now is, are you ready to start pushing yourself out of your comfort zone?
One Simple Way to Work on This:
Do one thing today, this month, and this year that you have been stopping yourself from doing out of fear. (Ask for a raise, break off a relationship, start a new relationship, speak in front of people, start a new hobby or venture, etc.)
Your self-confidence will be ever evolving and it won’t always be easy which means sometimes you will have to learn how to ‘embrace the suck’. What does that mean? Don’t worry it doesn’t mean that you write a list of every terrible thing that can happen and it definitely isn’t about having a pessimistic outlook on life. Embracing the suck, or accepting life’s challenges, means you understand that not everything will go right during the whole process. It also means not losing confidence in yourself at every sign of trouble. It is knowing there will be challenges and then working to prepare your mind to be ready when they come. Cultivating and maintaining self-confidence requires that you prepare yourself to not give up at the first sign of uncertainty and to not take failures out on yourself. It is about understanding that life will not always go perfect but that doesn’t mean you can’t overcome the obstacles and believe in yourself while you are on your climb. You have to be able to maintain your self-confidence in the difficult seasons and you do this by recognizing success in each day, knowing that you owe your happiness to no one else, and learning to not be the creator of your limitations. Above all else you go confidently in to this world and know that you are enough waiting for no one else’s permission to feel this way or to take a hold of your life.