Have you ever had a job interview that went really well, but you still didn't get the position? Or perhaps you wrote an amazing proposal for a potential client but failed to win the bid. Maybe you wore your power suit to work only to get splashed by a truck driving through a huge puddle just before you got to the office. Whatever it was, it probably shook your confidence. Don't worry, you're not alone. Even people who seem to exude self-confidence have off days, but building and growing confidence are possible for anyone — anytime.
What Is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence is all about trusting your own judgment and having a sense of faith in your abilities. It's more about what you believe is true about yourself than your actual skills or qualifications. If you think you're good at something, you're more likely to feel confident doing it.
People who possess self-confidence rarely doubt themselves. They're secure in their actions, beliefs, decisions, and opinions. Rather than coming off as arrogant or cocky, self-confident people simply appear as though they know what they're doing and feel good about their ability to do it well.
Much of your self-confidence comes from your past experiences, learnings, and reactions to different situations. Have you ever given a presentation you knew went really well? Perhaps everyone in the room seemed engaged and tuned in to your expert point of view. You likely felt proud of yourself and positive about the work you did. These are classic signs of self-confidence.
On the other hand, have you ever found yourself at the center of office gossip? Maybe someone suggested you lacked finesse in a certain competency, and it made you question your capabilities. All of these experiences shape how confident you feel.
How to Build Confidence
If you're like many people, self-confidence doesn't come naturally to you, but improving your confidence is something you can work toward. Check out these helpful ways to increase your self-confidence:
Feeling unprepared or like you don't have enough time to get something done right often leads to a lack of confidence in your ability to accomplish the task. By developing solid time-management skills and preparing ahead of time, you can increase your self-confidence.
Think about what matters to you in the long term and set small goals to help you achieve your vision. The sense of accomplishment you'll feel each time you check a goal off your list will help build your self-confidence.
Expand Your Knowledge
From formal education programs and reading books to working with a mentor or listening to podcasts, empowering yourself with knowledge is a great way to improve self-confidence.
Take a Stand
Speak up when you have something important to say. Be assertive and share what's on your mind. You don't need to feel pressured to behave a certain way just because others think you should. Do what's right for you.
Try Something New
Trying new things may make you feel uncomfortable, but it can also help you stretch your comfort zone and gain self-confidence. Start with a small, easy challenge, and work your way up from there.
Think about how you can replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Remember, you are special and bring value to the world in your own way. Believe in yourself and the strength of your thoughts and ideas.
Learn From Others
Ask people you trust to give you honest feedback about yourself. It helps to see how other people view you so that you can embrace your strengths and manage your weaknesses. You can even shadow someone who has high self-confidence to get ideas about how to gain confidence in yourself.
Take Care of Yourself
Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly are great ways to increase your self-confidence. On top of feeling healthier and happier, you'll also feel a sense of accomplishment for sticking to your routine.
Work on Your Body Language
No one feels 100 percent confident at all times. In those moments, it helps to fake it until you make it. Sit up straight, smile, and look people straight in the eye. Use body language to speak on your behalf.
How Improving Your Confidence Can Help You
Learning how to gain confidence in yourself provides many benefits. As you gain self-confidence, you take on a more resilient and positive attitude overall. When you feel good about yourself, you're more likely to try new things and take chances that help you achieve your goals and improve your life, such as applying for your dream job.
By improving your self-confidence, you may even inspire others to feel more confident in you. After all, people are more likely to listen to and take advice from a person who is self-confident than one who seems unsure of their own skills, judgments, or abilities.
Isn't it about time you started believing in yourself and trusting your intuition? By increasing your self-confidence, you can live a more successful, happy, and purposeful life. Start your journeytoday.
Louise Heite is a certified life & business coach, leadership consultant, and holistic wellness advocate who helps founders, entrepreneurs, and leaders fuel their best selves and find breakthrough success. With a track record of proven results, she helped scale and lead global customer support groups, built strong partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, and headed a crisis management team that brought over 2,000 people to safety. She is passionate about helping high-achieving individuals live life on purpose.