Does it sometimes seem like everyone around you is confident and sure of themselves? Chances are, they have doubts, just like you. So what’s the secret they’ve discovered about how to be confident? They know that confidence is not something you have. It’s something you create. Being confident is nothing more than a feeling of certainty that you can accomplish whatever you want. Confidence comes from within, and you can find ways to believe in yourself at any time.
That’s not to say learning how to build confidence will solve all your problems. Everyone has bad days or moments that upset them. Being confident also doesn’t mean you’re completely sure of yourself at all times. Creating confidence is not about knowing it all; it’s about trusting that no matter what happens in a particular situation, you’ll be able to handle it and learn from the outcome.
WHY IS BEING CONFIDENT IMPORTANT?
Learning to be confident is important in every part of your life, but there are some instances where it’s crucial – especially when you feel like giving up. Being confident is non-negotiable if you are a leader and in a position requiring convincing and trustworthy. No one will follow a leader who appears unsure of themselves. A lack of confidence can seriously impact your ability to assemble a winning team and guide them to achieve your shared goals.
Even if you’re not in a leadership role, confidence is vital to being a team player in many situations – whether you’re in a sales position or need to present a confident face during frequent client interactions. Being confident helps you make instant connections and build relationships that will ensure you and your company succeed.
Knowing how to be confident in yourself is important beyond the workplace, too. Learning how to be more confident can help you attract a partner you can build a healthy relationship with. It can also help you effectively handle conflict and seek out new opportunities that will foster your personal growth.
THE PRINCIPLES OF BEING CONFIDENT
If you want to learn how to build confidence, you must be willing to change your state. Your state is essentially your mood at any given time of day. Your mood is influenced by how you feel about yourself at that point in time. The good news is you can change your state at any time – no matter what’s happening around you – as long as you know how to do it. Here are the main principles of building confidence and certainty that anyone can use to their advantage – and some real-life examples to help you apply them in any area of your life.
Physiology is key when learning how to be confident. Mastering the body language of confidence can lead you to success. Think about someone you know whom you consider extremely confident. When you first met them, you probably knew they were confident before they even started speaking. You knew they were self-assured because of how they carried themselves and moved. They made eye contact, shook your hand firmly, and stood up straight. Now, do a quick inventory of your body. What’s your posture like? How are you breathing? We all get in negative states, leading to slouching, shallow breathing, or hanging our heads. You have the power to change how you’re feeling by controlling the way your body moves and the way you present yourself.
Thinking positively can manifest itself in several ways. As I frequently tell my clients, the first step is to change their focus – because energy flows where focus goes. Instead of getting hung up on all the ways something could go wrong, focus on all the ways it could go right. Think about how you will nail your presentation and how pleased your coworkers will be to hear it. What you focus on becomes your reality – including what you focus on within your mind. Replace negative words with positive ones and start seeing the bright side of situations. By changing your focus, internally and externally, you’re changing your state. And by changing your state, you’ll change your life.
Humans have the unique and incredible capacity to experience various emotions. But if you let your emotions dictate your life experience without pinpointing why you feel a particular way, your emotions control you. The truth is that you control the way you feel, including whether or not you feel confident. Confidence is not something people are born with – it’s something you must create. Building confidence creates the feeling of certainty that you can accomplish what you set out to do. Confidence is like any other emotion. It is something you feel, and you can train yourself to access it instantly.
A GROWTH MINDSET
What do you think being confident entails? You may have some idea that confidence only stems from prior success – that you can only know how to be confident in yourself after you’ve become wildly successful. This sort of core belief severely limits you. Confidence doesn’t come from your outward achievements – it comes from within. Being confident means that if you do fail, you can pick yourself back up and try again instead of throwing in the towel. Once you start taking actionable steps toward your goal of being confident, your beliefs will gradually start to solidify. It’s time to adopt a growth mindset and start believing that you can learn how to build confidence.
HOW TO BE CONFIDENT
What do those principles have in common? They are all about becoming the master of your emotions. You must change your perspective and your mindset and choose to be confident. And part of achieving this is believing – building certainty – that you are confident. That can sometimes be easier said than done, but there are specific actions you can take to apply these principles and become confident.
1. PRACTICE SELF-LOVE
To truly learn how to be confident, you need to love yourself first. When you fall in love with yourself, you’ll have confidence no matter what happens in life because that confidence will come from within.
To master the art of self-confidence, first master the arts of self-awareness and self-love. Determine your values, and be proud of them. Embrace your strengths and weaknesses equally. That doesn’t mean you can’t work on those weaknesses. It’s about appreciating who you are and what makes you different from everyone else on the planet. When you start questioning your self-belief, remember to love yourself first and, most importantly, change how you talk to yourself.
2. CONQUER YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS
Without self-love, people unconsciously adopt limiting beliefs about what they are capable of or what type of relationship they deserve. This leads to self-sabotage and reinforcement of these beliefs – and overcoming them is the first step to total confidence. Ask yourself: What are the beliefs that are causing your lack of confidence in the first place? Negative emotions like self-doubt or anxiety are deeply connected to the opinions we have of ourselves based on our life experiences. Your brain tells you it’s time to examine these limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones.
3. CONNECT CONFIDENCE TO YOUR GOALS
Why is learning how to gain confidence important to you? Do you present at conventions where you interact with many people? Do you run a company or a team and must present a strong leadership sense? Maybe you’ve started dating and want to make a good impression when you meet a potential new love interest. The first step is knowing the purpose behind why you want to achieve it. Once you know your purpose, learning how to build confidence becomes a matter of retraining your brain.
4. CHANGE YOUR PHYSIOLOGY
The fastest tip for building confidence to radically change your physiology. Stand up straight. Square your shoulders and open up your chest. Breathe deeply. Maintain brisk, purposeful strides when you walk to cover more ground. Maintaining a posture like this makes you feel stronger, and your mind follows where your body goes. You can also observe others’ physiology to learn more about them and gain an edge in negotiations. Certain signs, such as body angle and amount of physical space they take up, can tell you how a person perceives a situation – and how they can be persuaded.
5. TAKE CREDIT FOR YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
Just as adjusting your body language can make you feel confident even when you’re not, speaking up for yourself even when you don’t feel you deserve it can also have that effect. Confident people may make more money in the workplace for one straightforward reason: they take credit for their achievements and do it when it matters most. If you made a contribution that accomplished a goal for the company or led to a positive outcome, it isn’t bragging to point it out to your manager or CEO – it’s a fact. As long as you state it in a matter-of-fact way, it won’t just make you look good – it will make you feel good, too.
6. ASSESS YOUR TOP HUMAN NEED
Another vital step toward knowing how to be confident in yourself is to determine what drives your decisions. We all have Six Human Needs: certainty, significance, variety, love/connection, growth, and contribution. We value one of these needs more than the others, and it affects every decision we make in life. It can even affect our confidence. If you need certainty, you may feel unsure in unfamiliar situations. If your top need is significant, you’ll start feeling insecure if you don’t get the recognition you need.
7. IMPROVE YOUR SELF-TALK
Our words create our emotions, and our emotions create our world. If we’re not feeling confident, it’s a result of the stories we tell ourselves – and the words we use to tell them. The self-talk you use has an important effect on your confidence. What kind of questions are you asking yourself? If the things that come to mind are, “How come I’m not successful?” “Am I not smart enough to reach my goal?” “Do other people see me as a failure?” then you are setting yourself up for failure. Catch yourself when you are thinking negatively and shift the pattern of your thoughts. Ask yourself things like, “Why wouldn’t I accomplish everything I set my mind to?” and “Why would I waste time on my anxieties instead of focusing on my strengths?” When you ask better questions, you get better answers.
8. SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE
If you’re feeling discouraged, sometimes all you need to do is reframe your mindset. First, you must change your perspective on failure. Tony has said, “I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.” This is his top tip for how to be confident: See failures as opportunities, not obstacles. Focus on the positive instead of the negative. Embrace all of the gifts of life – and live fearlessly.
9. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Practicing gratitude is key to living a happy life. Tony says, “When you are grateful, fear disappears, and abundance appears.” Stop thinking of your body as existing only to look at – or worse, for others to look at. Your body is more than a vessel or a painting to be admired. Think about all the things your body does for you. Think about all the things you have to be grateful for instead of what you don’t have. When you change your mindset from negativity to abundance, you’ll stop approaching life with a scarcity mindset that breeds negativity and anxiety and start believing that the universe will provide for you no matter what.
10. USE POWER POSES
One of the deepest ways to increase confidence is to connect to your inner power. All of us have strength within us, but when we’re feeling low, it can be difficult to remember it’s there. Consider developing your own personal power pose and breathing deeply to reconnect to your strong core. Your pose can be a yoga pose – the warrior is an especially empowering one – standing with your hands on your hips and your feet shoulder-width apart or standing with your head held high and your back straight. The important thing is that your pose achieves the goals of awakening your inner strength and carrying that strength and confidence into every interaction.
11. THINK OF PAST SUCCESSES
One incredible trick will help you figure out how to be confident even when you’re at your absolute lowest: thinking about something you’re proud of. If you’re nervous or feeling unsure about an upcoming situation, picture a recent accomplishment or a time when you successfully handled a similar situation. Maybe you’ve never given a company-wide presentation, but you have confidently presented to clients on calls. Reliving these moments can help you unlock your potential. Your mind will begin to think in positive terms, not negative ones. Channeling moments of pride can help you to see the big picture more clearly – ultimately building your confidence.
12. USE GOAL VISUALIZATION
Positive visualization is a powerful tool to wield on the road to understanding how to build confidence. When you visualize something repeatedly, your mind begins to believe that it has already happened. When the situation finally arises – you’re making that presentation, asking for a raise, or confronting a coworker – your brain thinks, “I got this.” That’s confidence. Visualize a specific situation at work. Think of yourself succeeding and do your best to minimize any thoughts of failure. Remember that you get what you focus on.
13. MAKE EYE CONTACT
Making eye contact can be uncomfortable at first for those who aren’t sure how to be confident. But like changing your physiology, you need to just do it – confidence will follow after you take the action. Connecting with people and showing confidence through eye contact is one of the quickest ways to exude confidence when you meet new people and can strengthen relationships long-term. Use the 80/20 rule of meeting someone’s eyes 80% of the time and focusing on something else the other 20% so you don’t appear too intense or make the other person uncomfortable.
14. CREATE HEALTHY ROUTINES
To get in touch with your personal power, you need to adopt new routines. Consider building a meditation practice into your routine. Mindfulness meditation is shown to reduce anxiety and help you focus on your core competencies. You can even use incantations – a powerful way to use your body and your voice to set intentions. Or, start your day with priming, an exercise Tony uses every morning that combines all three of these routines. Incorporating how to believe in yourself into your morning routine can set the tone for a day filled with confidence.
15. UNLOCK THE POWER OF PROXIMITY
Learning how to believe in yourself is like running a race set on an uphill course. You’ll need fuel for the journey. To fuel self-belief, surround yourself with people who inspire and support you. This is the law of attraction. Whatever you want to achieve in your life, find people who will elevate you, not bring you down. You can do this by finding a mentor or joining a mastermind group. This is different than your group of friends or your family. When you tap into the power of proximity, you’ll gain trusted advisors who can support and challenge you to improve.
16. FEED YOUR MIND
The law of attraction isn’t just about who you associate with. It’s also about how you feed your mind: what you read and watch on a daily basis. Make a point to seek out advice from others who have achieved your goals, even if they are not your mentor or coach. Watch documentaries about people who have done great things in life. Read inspirational quotes and write down your favorites. Learn about new topics that will help you reach your goals, like finance, or that will help you face your fears – like how to be confident or deliver a presentation. You’ll condition your brain to believe in yourself because it will know that you have the skills you need to succeed.
17. LEARN A NEW SKILL
It’s human nature to experience fear and anxiety. But when you believe in yourself, you realize that those emotions encourage you to take action, not hold you back. Face your fears by learning a new skill. Whether you learn how to write code or play the piano, you’ll increase your feelings of self-efficacy – your belief in your abilities to execute tasks, control your behavior, and attain your goals. Research has even shown that learning is directly related to happiness – it releases dopamine in the brain, known as the “reward molecule.” You’ll make new neural connections, strengthen your decision-making skills, and more. You’ll begin to have faith in yourself, one new skill at a time.
18. LIVE IN THE PRESENT
Confidence in relationships can be one of the most challenging areas. If you’ve been wronged in a previous or current relationship, it can be hard to let go of the past and forgive. We want to avoid pain and fulfill our need for certainty, which prevents us from living in the present. Learn to appreciate what you have right now without worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow – or what happened yesterday. Free your mind, be here now, and confidence will follow.
In the journey of life, the essence of being confident is not just about outward appearances but deeply rooted in our inner beliefs, actions, and daily practices. From understanding the significance of body language to embracing a growth mindset, being confident is a holistic approach that encompasses both mind and body. It’s about recognizing our strengths, confronting our limiting beliefs, and continuously seeking growth. As we navigate the challenges of life, being confident serves as our compass, guiding us toward success, fulfillment, and genuine happiness. Remember, confidence is not just a trait; it’s a choice, a practice, and a way of life.
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