5 Ways to Build Your Confidence
It might not always seem like it, but confidence is a skill you can learn. And just like any other skill, the more you practice, the better you get at it. Far from being an abstract trait that you’ve either got or you haven’t, there are practical ways to build confidence.
5 Ways to Build Your Confidence
1. Be Authentic
Have you ever been in a situation, at work or at home, that just didn’t sit well with you? You might have felt uncomfortable or uneasy; in other words you didn’t feel confident about your role in that situation. It’s much easier to be confident when you’re working or making decisions in line with your own personal strengths and values. When these are aligned you have a clarity and sense of ‘why’, that naturally engenders a confidence in your actions and decisions.
2. Celebrate Your Success
We all make mistakes, but if you find yourself constantly dwelling on the things you think you could have done better, it might be time to switch up your thought patterns. Focusing on the negatives only serves to reinforce any self-doubt you might already have. Instead try to concentrate on the things you’ve done well. Even better, write them down. Keep a notebook with you and note down every success, big or small, whether it’s sticking to your planned lunchtime walk or securing a new client. Then, whenever you feel that self-doubt creeping in, look back and remind yourself of all the things you’ve already accomplished.
3. Strike a Pose
Body language has a notable impact on the way we think and feel about ourselves. Research by Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, shows that we can use this to our advantage; adopting a ‘power pose’ can help you feel powerful and full of confidence. Cuddy suggests that just 2 minutes of power posing a day, for example before an interview or pitch, can boost your confidence levels and help you perform better.
4. Practice Mindfulness
At its heart, mindfulness is about being present in a moment without being distracted by your thoughts and feelings.That doesn’t mean ignoring them, but simply noting that they’re there and then turning your attention back to the moment. Training your brain to be present in this way, through regular mindful practice, helps free you from the nagging doubts that come with dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. By focusing on the here and now, absorbed in the task at hand, you avoid falling into familiar negative thought patterns that limit your confidence.
“Just like any other life skill, you need to try mindfulness on for size and be guided by someone who truly knows what they are talking about. Someone who can create a safe space in which to learn, and who offers a balanced perspective of the benefits and challenges of this deep practice.”
5. Go for the Win
It’s certainly true that you can’t eat an elephant in one go, and the same applies to most of our personal and professional goals. Broad aims such as ‘having a successful business’ or ‘getting a promotion’ are great, but can be overwhelming when it comes down to getting started. Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound) goals is key for maintaining confidence and motivation. It’s not about limiting yourself. It’s about not setting yourself up to fail at the first hurdle. Breaking your goals down into smaller, achievable steps will help you keep moving forward with confidence.
Which confidence boosting tip will you try first? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Or for more help building your confidence get in touch to discuss how Positive Psychology Coaching could help.