5 Ways To Build Your Confidence

Confident WomanSometimes we wonder if confident people are born or made.

Hmmm… Research shows that nature contributes at least fifty percent to this characteristic. But don’t despair. You can nurture confidence! This article provides tips to boost your confidence.

But, first, I want you to explore your thoughts and behavior.

In the statements below, select the answer that best describes you. This exercise is not a quiz, and it doesn’t give you a score. The purpose of this statement test is to deepen your thinking about you.

Confidence Statement Test

1. I compare myself to others who are more successful or luckier than I am.

 Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

2. I tend to aim extremely high.

  Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

3. When I feel down about me and my progress I doubt myself.

 Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

4. I am good at “fake it ’til you make it.”

 Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

5. When I talk to people about my work, I find myself believing my own not-exactly-accurate elaborations.

 Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

6. I feel better when I do things within my comfort zone.

Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

7. I can’t explain why I have these stumbling blocks to my confidence and success.

Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

Confidence Tips

1. Don’t judge yourself by just your feelings. Your feelings can come from many sources, such as:

  • Needs of the current situation or project
  • Discomfort with the people who are involved
  • Your history of doing similar tasks and projects
  • Non-work things going on in your life such as love, family or health
  • Dormant fears and beliefs from your family of origin
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Feeling cheated or overlooked
  • Just a bad day in general
  • …and more!

Oops! So you can see that your feelings get activated for all kinds of reasons. Confident people choose when to let their feelings have a larger say—and when to override them. They evaluate their performance rather than the value of their self. In other words, actions tend to carry more weight than feelings.

Look at your selections in the Confidence Test to statement number 3. Rather than doubt yourself, get into learning mode, and learn from others.

2. Compare yourself to others – ONLY if you do it to learn from them and to spark your motivation.

How did you answer statement number 1? Actually, it is not a bad idea to compare yourself to others. The secrets are to use this comparison to:

  • Learn from them
  • Not use the comparison to be down on yourself
  • Contact the person or other appropriate person for coaching
  • Read biographies and autobiographies about successful people to learn about their struggles and determination—and to motivate you!

3. Don’t aim so high that your goal is not within reasonable-enough but still big dreams. And don’t aim so low that you never challenge yourself.

When your aims are beyond this galaxy, you set yourself up for false confidence where you trick yourself into feeling good about yourself. This maladaptive approach allows you to think: “Well, at least I tried.”

But don’t aim so low that your success doesn’t really doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Deep down inside this approach feeds your insecurities. Get out of your comfort zone.

One of the ways we tend to pump up a fake sense of security is to inflate our accomplishments—and sometimes even lie! After a while, these falsehoods feel real. Repetitive beliefs and statements to others about you can trick your brain into attaching feelings to imagined events.

Sound strange? Think about this phenomenon: Some athletes include imagining and envisioning themselves making good plays. The brain doesn’t perfectly know the difference between real and imagined events. It’s okay to imagine—it’s a form of practicing. But don’t confuse this practice with fooling yourself and others.

Your feelings and thoughts about you being a successful person, in part, come from a sense of mastery. Don’t aim so low or high that you hamper a solid sense of success.

Success often requires a mix of medium and big dreams. What did you select in the confidence test for numbers 2, 5 and 6?

4. Get started! Do something! Taking just one step can kick-start your progress. Begin each day with something doable. But be careful. Don’t fall back on making lists. Do something on your list. The most difficult step each day is the first. Beginning with action of something that is easy-to-medium difficult makes the bigger steps easier and faster.

Use statement 4 about “faking it ’til you make it” to get you going. But don’t create falsehoods.

5. Know your emotional default drive behavior and triggers. Don’t allow yourself to stay in the dark about those old, dark forces that bring you down. Look at your selection for number 7. Can you recognize the negative actions and words in your family of origin that could contribute to your feeling down and not acting wisely?

Unloving caregivers or their unintentional but unwanted role models, actions, and words form your emotional default drives. What do you tend to “fall back on” when you do or don’t do certain things? Get mindful about your past influences, and aim to disempower them.

I hope these tips help you!


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