Many people want to know how to be confident. Most of us struggle with insecurity and self-doubt to varying degrees. Self-assurance can be faked until you feel the real thing, but true confidence comes from being clear about who you are and what you want. Here are 5 keys to help you feel more confident.
1. Set intentions
When we are unclear about what we want it is difficult to make decisions and we can be easily swayed by media and other people. Lack of clarity = lack of confidence. Being clear about what you want and setting an intention around that gives you focus and a foundation to stand on. You are able to make decisions more easily because you have a guideline, and it is a powerful person who knows their own mind.
It is a helpful practice to start each day with setting an intention for the day. This could be something that you want to do or achieve, or it could be a way that you want to act or feel.
2. Regularly step outside your comfort zone
When we step outside our comfort zones they expand and so does our confidence because we faced something that challenged us. The opposite is also true, when you constantly remain within your comfort zone that zone begins to shrink and you become stuck in fear and doubt.
Do one thing every day that scares you. (1997) —Mary Schmich
3. Understand that movement creates resistance
Moving forwards towards a goal or desire is like riding a bicycle.
Forward momentum starts with one small push off, but this needs to be followed by regular subsequent small pushes to keep the momentum going.
Sometimes you will encounter a head wind or bad weather. This doesn’t mean you are going in the wrong direction or that you are not meant to go – it is just a natural aspect of moving forward and journeying somewhere. You may just need to change gears or put on a protective coat.
Your destination doesn’t move. If you keep going it is inevitable that you will get there. You may take a wrong turn and need to consult a map, but your goal will always remain ultimately achievable.
When you move forward or make changes in your life you will inevitably run into some sort of resistance. Develop a Growth Mindset. Understand that all your effort makes you stronger, and that learning what doesn’t work is an important step to learning what does. When you believe that all experience is valuable and that the most important part is the learning and growth that takes place it decreases your fear of failure and the unknown. This helps you to feel more confident.
4. Be Prepared
Lack of confidence is often stimulated by a fear of the unknown. When you increase your knowledge about something before you encounter it, then you feel better able to manage the experience. If you need to give a speech or presentation try practising it with a friend, or videoing a practice run so you can see how it comes across to others. If you are going to be meeting new people try and find out something about their business if it is in a work context, or come up with some generic conversation starters if it is in a social context. Spending your mental energy doing a little preparation homework beforehand rather than worrying about what might go wrong will help you to face the situation with a greater sense of calm and faith in yourself.
5. Understand your self-worth
We often feel like our failures, scars or brokenness make us worth less. In the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi, broken pottery is mended with seams of gold, silver or platinum. “This repair method celebrates each artifact’s unique history by emphasizing its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. Kintsugi often makes the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original, revitalizing it with new life.” mymodernmet.com What if we could see ourselves in the same way? Your inherent worth does not change no matter what you experience. Be confident of that.