Updated: Jun 27, 2020
In a recent article I talked about the importance of consistency as an enable for success. Today I would like to talk about confidence as another key enabler in helping us achieve our goals and live our best lives.
There have been many instances in my life when I have lacked confidence, and that lack of confidence has led me to not believe in myself, to doubt myself and whether I should pursue the things that I wanted to accomplished and ultimately in many case to give up on my goals and dreams. So today I want to share with you my perspectives and lessons learned around self-confidence and share some of the things that help me build and boost my confidence. Did you noticed I said help and not helped me? that is because I don't believe self-confidence is a destination, but rather a journey and we need to constantly build and boost our confidence.
Just so we are on the same page before we go any further, let's start but defining self-confidence. Self-confidence is the believe in how good you are at something. Is that general view on how likely you are to accomplish a goal, especially based on past experience.
Self-confidence is important and it matters because not only it makes you feel better but it also helps you take risks to make tangible improvements in your life. Self-confidence leads to move positivity, happiness and resilience. The lack of confidence, on the other hand, typically leads to a lack of action. When we doubt ourselves, we are afraid of taking that first step and take action, and we all know that without action there is no progress or results. That is why building our confidence is so critical to success.
Maybe now you also understand why I said confidence is not a destination but a journey. You might have high self-confidence in a certain area of your life or in a particular situation or point in time but totally lack it in others. As you are faced with new situations, challenges and you aspire to achieve bigger dreams and goals you need to constantly build the confidence in your ability to deal and succeed at them.
For many years I was the youngest and the only or one of the few women in the leadership teams I was part of. While no one ever said anything to me, I was filed of self-doubt because of those reasons and my self-confidence was weak and fragile. I realized that if I wanted to make the kind of impact I wanted to make I needed to change that and work in building that confidence. Here are some things that helped me and continue to help me when trying to build and boost my confidence.
1. Work on developing your competence. Confidence can't and will not make you competent, in other words, self-confidence is not going to magically make you better at what you do, but it will prime you to take the risks necessary to achieve your goals. On the other hand, competence does make you more confident. There is a positive correlation between competence and confidence; the more competent you are in a subject, situation or area of your life the more confident you will become.
2. Visualize yourself as you want to be. I use this particular technique to help me build and boost my confidence both in specific situations as well as my overall confidence. When I feel insecure or nervous about a particular situation it helps me to visualize myself in that situation as my best self, going a good job and feeling confident. I try to visualize the situation as vividly as possible, paying attention to every detail. Automatically I feel more confident.
3. Get things done! Confidence is built on accomplishment. When you accomplish something your adrenaline spikes and all the sudden so does your confidence. That is why I try to accomplish something first thing in the morning every day. Sometimes is something small like pushing through a workout without giving up despite the fact that is challenging or getting everything and everyone ready and out the door in time; and sometimes is something bigger like closing an open topic at work. Just like I take a multivitamin every morning, cross something off the list of accomplishments is my personal supplement to boost my overall confidence.
4. Make an inventory of your accomplishments. Every week and month I take some time to write down the things I have accomplished. Many times, we get so busy with everything we need to do that we don't realize how much we have already accomplished. Taking the time to pause and reflect on your accomplishments can help you build your self-confidence. Every time I feel insecure on a particular are of my life of situation, I take a quick pause to reflect everything I have already accomplished as it pertains to that situation. I might be far away still from the finish line but recognized the progress I have made so far help me boost my confidence and keep pushing forward.
5. Do one thing that scares you every day . . . or at least every week. I came across this quote from Eleonor Roosvelt some year ago and since then I try to push myself to go out of my comfort zone and do something that scares me every day, or at least one or twice a week. When we step out of our comfort zone, magic happens. Our comfort zone expands and what once felt uncomfortable feel more comfortable, and our self-confidence starts to expand.
6. Question your inner critique and challenge your limiting believes. We all have that little voice inside our heads that makes us doubt of ourselves, and when we listen to it we become our worse enemies. Listen to episode 14 of the Leading Yourself Podcast to get my tips and tricks on how to quiet that inner voice and boost your confidence.
7. Thing positively and relay on the power of positive affirmations. I am convinced that a positive mindset leads to a higher self-confidence. That is why I have incorporated as part of my morning routine an empowering positive quote or word. It helps me stay more positive and boost my confidence through the day. I try to think about the challenge I might face that day, the things I want to accomplish and focus on and I intentionally a quote or word that inspires me.
8. Remember and repeat to yourself: failure is not your enemy; your fear of failing is. When we lack self-confidence, we are afraid of failing and is that fear that prevents us from taking action, to speak up, to do something or stop doing something. When we repeat to ourselves that fear is not the enemy but is just part of the journey to success and we are able to get past it, our self-confidence increases. Want to learn more about this topic? go back to Episode 5 of the Leading Yourself podcast. I dedicated this whole episode to the fear of failure, and I share a new perspective on it and how to overcome it.
9. Stop caring about what others think. Be sure of one thing, there will always be someone that doesn't believe you can do what you are setting yourself to do or that your goal is too big to be achievable. Do not listen to them! the truth is, if you listen to them and stop before even trying or starting, you will never achieve your goals and dreams. You know what for sure from the very beginning. On the other hand, if you try, despite what others think, you have a chance of success; and what you believe in yourself those odds of success just multiply. Self-confidence it has that multiplier effect.
10. Take care of yourself and pay attention to how you look. What do I mean by this? I truly believe that taking care of yourself has a direct correlation to your self-confidence. The days that I work out in the morning, drink my water and have a healthy breakfast I feel more confident, I even seat taller. I also believe that how we look, the clothes we wear, how we stand and sit, in order words our posture have a direct impact to our self-confidence. When I go to a meeting and I seat on the back row and make myself small I am less likely to speak up. On the contrary when I seat straight on the first row, and take up more space, I feel automatically more confident to engage, contribute and speak up.
If you want to learn more about these tips to build and boost your confidence listen to Episode 14 of the Leading Yourself Podcast. If you like it, please don't forget to leave me a review and share with someone that can benefit from the content.
Have suggestions for future topics for the podcast and articles, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org