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Last Updated on June 4, 2019

How to Be More Confident: 10 Powerful Ways to Boost Confidence

How to Be More Confident: 10 Powerful Ways to Boost Confidence

Confidence. It’s a powerful word and an even more powerful feeling. Can you remember a time in your life when you felt confident? A time when you felt unstoppable… on top of the world? Now imagine you could feel that way more often. What impact would that have on your health and well-being, your career, your relationships?

Not only does being confident feel good, it helps you seize potential opportunities, take more chances and make that big change or take the next step in your life and career. Life is crazy, busy and beautiful. Figuring out how to be more confident is just part of the journey.

So how to be more confident?

There are powerful ways to building confidence that you can take wherever – and whenever you feel you’re lacking it. Often, it’s already within you and you just need a few strategies to uncover it – and I’m going to reveal these strategies to you.

What Causes a Lack of Confidence

Lack of confidence can stem from many places.

Perhaps, growing up, your parents said a certain career was outside your reach and you could ‘never do that’. Or maybe you have a belief system that says ‘I could never start my own business, I’m not entrepreneurial’.

Perhaps you had a bad experience which opened the door for self-doubt to creep in. Or maybe your inner self-critic is telling you ‘you can’t’ or ‘you’re not good enough’. Maybe (ok, likely) you’re comparing yourself to someone else – a friend, colleague or spouse.

Or perhaps you feel there is something missing in your life – a relationship, the dream job, kids, a degree or title.

In my work with thousands of clients, it seems most (if not all) of us struggle with confidence in some area, or at some point in our lives. Whether that be confidence in our appearance, abilities, relationships, careers, decision making, and social situations.

We all have crises of confidence. Times we are self-conscious and moments of self-doubt. And, if your lack of confidence is keeping you in a bad job or poor relationship — or keeping you from moving forward in your life or career, you’re not alone.

Confident People vs Doubtful People

Confident people believe in themselves and have a positive mindset. People lack confidence feel insecure about themselves and their decisions.

Let’s take a look at this infographic which illustrates the differences between a confident person and an insecure person:

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    10 Powerful Ways to Be More Confident

    So, how can you be more confident? Here’s your complete, step-by-step guide:

    1. Be Specific

    First things first, let’s get specific.

    In order to tame the demon, you’ve got to name the demon. Where do you lack confidence? When do you feel self-doubt and your negative emotions creeping in? Where do you feel your skills or abilities are limiting you? Where would you like to have more confidence?

    Once you get specific, it won’t feel so overwhelming as you’ll have something tangible to tackle.

    Maybe you want the confidence to go out on your own and start a new business? Or maybe you’d like to go back to school to get the degree you’ve always wanted? Perhaps you’d like the confidence to go on an adventure or take a trip you’ve been thinking about for some time.

    How?

    Take a moment now, identify and put into a complete statement: Where do you specifically want to have more confidence?

    2. Uncover What Gives You Confidence

    This is personal, so it will vary from person to person. There’s no one size fits all approach to confidence and what works for one, won’t always work for another.

    How can you figure out what gives you confidence? Think about a couple times in your life when you felt most confident.

    How?

    Now, think about what was it about those times that made you feel so empowered.

    Was it the environment you were in? Something you were doing? A feeling you had? The more you get clear about this for yourself, the easier it will be to tap into when you need it.

    3. Be True to You

    One of the surest ways to lose confidence is try to be someone else. One of the best ways to build your confidence? Be true to yourself.

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    When you’re trying to be someone you’re not, every part of you resists it. You are not everyone else. You are you. And the more you can understand who you are and what you value the stronger you will be.

    When you stray away from who you are, you lose confidence because it’s ‘just not you’.

    How?

    Think about what makes you, uniquely you. Write it down. Think about what you value and what’s important to you. Write that down, too.

    4. Remember You Are 100% Smart

    When one of my daughters was in the 4th grade, her teacher gave an assignment called 100% smart. In this activity, the kids had to make a pie chart and identify what percentage smart they were in each of the following areas; people, self, body, math, word, music, art.

    For example, my daughter was 25% body smart, but only 5% art smart. This was such an insightful exercise for her and something I have shared with many clients over the years. She realized that even though she lacked confidence in art, there were so many other areas where she excelled.

    This is true for everyone. So, maybe you’re not the best public speaker, but are you a great parent, smart with your money, or creative?

    Too many people spend way too much time trying to improve, change, be more of this or less of that. Instead, what if you spent more time acknowledging your talents, skills and successes?

    How?

    Try this for one week: at the end of each day, write down at least 3 things that you did well, felt good about, or were proud of yourself for. Know your strengths, know your talents and know you’re 100% smart.

    5. Stop Comparing Yourself

    Nothing zaps your confidence more than comparing yourself to others. Especially now, with social media and the wonderful opportunity to judge yourself against so many others! Lack of confidence comes from a gap in where you see yourself and where you think you should be.

    Imagine you are preparing to give a big presentation or speech. So you do your research, which includes watching some of the best speakers in the world doing their Ted Talks. Of course you are going to feel inferior.

    How?

    Stop comparing yourself to others. Just stop. If you still feel a compelling need to compare – compare yourself to yourself. Measure how far you’ve come. See how much improvement you’ve made. Acknowledge your wins and successes.

    6. Realize You Are Enough

    This may sound a little bit corny, but try it. This positive affirmation will resonate at a deep level and have a powerful effect on your subconscious.

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    How?

    Every day for the next 21 days repeat this mantra “I am enough.” Don’t just say it, but feel it, deeply, at the core of who you are.

    Want to get more specific? Replace ‘enough’ with whatever word you’d like to ‘be’. What would give you the most confidence?

    I am brave. I am strong. I am smart. I am beautiful. I am confident. I got this.

    7. Acquire New Skills

    Since confidence is often directly linked to abilities, one of the best ways to build your confidence is to get new skills or experience and step out of your comfort zone.

    Growing your skills will in turn grow your confidence. And please, as you work on building your skills and expertise, don’t mistake a lack of perfection for a lack of ability. No one is perfect. But if you’ve got a perfectionist bone in your body (like I do), it can make you think that just because you’re not the best, that you’re not good at all.

    Make sure to check yourself – am I really not good at this, or am I not good as I want to be just yet?

    How?

    Ask yourself: Is there a specific area where you are lacking confidence? How can you expand your expertise in this area?

    8. Change Your State

    Changing your physical and mental ‘state’ is one of the quickest ways to access a feeling of confidence. To do this, you need to know what the state of ‘confidence’ looks, feels and sounds like for you.

    How?

    Here are a few strategies you can use to access that:

    • Remember – Think of a specific time, associated with feeling confident. Sink into that feeling deeply and moment by moment relive every detail.
    • Imagine – Imagine how you would feel if you were confident. How would you act? Feel? Be?
    • Modelling – Think about someone you know who exudes confidence. Imagine what that person would do.

    9. Find Yourself a Cheerleader

    Yes, while I understand confidence is a state from within, you can also boost your confidence by the people you choose to spend your time with.

    How?

    Make a concerted effort to surround yourself with others who provide encouragement, positivity, and inspiration.

    Spend more time with people who ‘get you’ and see all of your greatness – and less time with those that zap your confidence or cause you to feel self-doubt.

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    10. Just Do It

    When Nike came up with this slogan in the late 80’s, they knew just how to get the general population off their butts and moving. Turns out, this is a great strategy for being more confident too.

    When you stand at the edge of the water; waiting, wondering, worrying if you can do something, you lose confidence. Your fears creep in and you begin to doubt yourself. But when you take a leap of faith, jump in and get started, your confidence immediately builds.

    Action builds confidence and each step you take builds it further.

    How?

    Think of one step you could take right now that would get you moving in the right direction. Then Just Do It and see what happens. An incredible thing about human brain is that once it realizes something is working, it will keep that momentum going!

      Final Thoughts

      Being more confident starts with one thing — YOU.

      YOU making the decision to take action. And when all else fails, YOU can make a choice.

      YOU can choose to be confident. YOU can choose confidence over fear and self-doubt.

      Your mind believes what you tell it. If you continue to tell yourself the story that you are not confident, you will believe it and your self-doubt will continue. But if you tell yourself you can do it, that you got this, your mind will believe that too.

      Remember, fostering a strong sense of confidence is critical to experiencing overall levels of health, happiness and success.

      And once you get started you’ll be unstoppable. Be brave. Be confident. You got this.

      More About Building Confidence

      Featured photo credit: Church of the King via unsplash.com

      More by this author

      Tracy Kennedy

      Lifehack's Personal Development Expert, a results-driven coach dedicated to helping people achieve greater levels of happiness and success.

      How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life 30 Self Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit How to Be More Confident: 10 Powerful Ways to Boost Confidence How to Practice Mindful Meditation to Calm Your Thoughts How To Overcome Anxiety and Feel More at Ease (Part 2)

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      Last Updated on June 13, 2019

      How to Attain Self Realization (Step-By-Step Guide for a Better You)

      How to Attain Self Realization (Step-By-Step Guide for a Better You)

      Chances are, you’re busy hustling between the 40 hours a week you need to work, the family you need to provide for, and the bills that need to be paid.

      As the years pass by, you’ve begun to feel the burnout from all the needs and expectations required of you. You don’t feel like you are in control over your own life. In fact, it feels like the circumstances in your life are controlling you.

      What if there was a way for you to be able to have better control of your life and create all the positive changes you’ve been aching for?

      This can be done through self-realization.

      You’ve probably heard of this concept before, but you’re not really sure what it really is or how it can help you.

      I’m going to dive into what exactly self-realization is and the exact steps you can take to attain it for yourself. Read on if you want to learn how to unlock your potential and find a way to decrease your stress and anxiety, and gain crystal clear clarity about who you are and what you’re capable of.

      What Is Self-Realization?

      Self-realization has a few big definitions. In the Western world, it’s generally defined as the activation of one’s full potential of talents and abilities.

      How Psychologists Define Self-Realization

      Humanistic psychology also follows a similar train of thought about self-realization.

      Psychologist Abraham Maslow has named people he considered to have reached self-realization such as Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to name a few. His famous hierarchy of needs theory states in order to achieve self-realization (or in this case, Maslow uses the term “self-actualization”),[1] one needs to have a certain set of needs met before achieving it:[2]

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        For example, self-realization cannot be achieved if you are struggling financially and too caught up in worrying about how to pay for the rent and provide food for your family. Unfortunately, this is usually the case for many people, which leaves little opportunity for them to maximize their abilities.

        How Religions Define Self-Realization

        In religions, the concept of self-realization is taken from a different perspective altogether. Connecting with your truest self has a lot to do with transcending your own mind and body. This self is often considered as an eternal being that is not confined to the physical space that your mind and body take up. Many recognize this part of yourself as the soul.

        To put all of these definitions together, self-realization is ultimately learning the answer to the foundational question, “Who am I?”

        The answer lies from understanding that you are not your emotions or your thoughts. Who you really are is not even your body or your mind. These are all things you as a self experience, but they are not you.

        And when you are too caught up in these things that are not yours, that’s when you fall victim to and get stuck in your negative experiences such as stress, anxiety and fear.

        While your thoughts, feelings, and physical body always changes, you do not.

        I know this concept can be a bit confusing to understand, so here’s a great video that explores who you really are explained by Prince EA. It was a video made in response to a bizarre interview session with Comedian Jim Carrey at the red carpet interview at the 2017 New York Fashion Week.

        Here’s the video:

        Why Self-Realization Matters to You

        How often are you distracted, lost in your thoughts, or overwhelmed by difficult emotions?

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        Being in the present is more difficult than ever with the technology today. People are often buried in their smartphones or laptops while others around are craving their attention.

        Most people spend so little time in the present. They’re usually either hurt and having trouble letting go of their past, or busy worrying about their futures:[3]

        “People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy.”

        Here are some amazing benefits to self-realization:

        • The ability to monitor your emotions. Rather than being controlled by your emotions, you can now use your observations about them during the experience to learn how to effectively handle things like fear, anxiety and stress. Self-realizations helps you do this by giving you the skill of letting go of debilitating feelings and taking hold of the empowering ones instead.
        • Improved focus and concentration. Guided by your own inner goals and values, self-realization helps you easily identify when you are entering into distractions and eliminate them. By getting rid of the meaningless things in your life, you stay committed to what matters most and you begin to see real results as you reach your fullest potential.
        • Increased confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem. By being connected deeply to your truest self, self-realization frees you from any insecurities, worries, and low sense of self worth that you feel tangled up in by helping you really grasp the truth that you are not defined by them.
        • Becoming more accepting of yourself and of other people. You are able to be more authentic and express emotions freely and clearly. As a result, you are able to form deeper relationships and spend more time connecting with people rather than trying to impress them.

        When people don’t have a strong sense of their own self, they get easily swayed to live life the way other people tell them to live it.

        The truth of this has been shown through Bronnie Ware’s famous work, which has shown that one of the top regrets of people who are dying was:[4]

        “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

        There can be tons of pressure whether it’s from work, society, and even friends and family for you to be a certain way. Maybe your rough upbringing instilled a strong need for other’s approval in you so you do what others expect of you. Maybe you’ve stopped trusting people because of your struggles with letting go of the thoughts and experiences that hurt you.

        Whatever the situation, self-realization gives you the safe space you need to heal and grow.

        How to Start Developing Self-Realization

        1. Start Meditating Regularly

        Aside from all the scientific evidence that shows the health benefits of meditation, it is also a prime way to achieve self-realization.

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        One of my favorite apps that guide you through meditation is Headspace.

        I particularly love this app because it is very straightforward without all the woo-woo types of things you normally associate with meditation. It does a great job of demystifying what meditation really is and how it can benefit you to achieving self-realization.

        Here’s a great explanation of what meditation does for you:

        You can get the basic meditation guidance for free or pay for a premium version for access to more specific meditations that improve things like self esteem, creativity and relationships.

        In case you don’t want to download the app, here is the simple meditation practice you can do right now:

        1. Sit comfortably on a chair.
        2. Start by leaving your eyes open with a relaxed soft focus.
        3. Take about a minute to take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
        4. After a few deep breaths, gently close your eyes while you are breathing out.
        5. Resume normal breathing.
        6. Take a moment to pause and enjoy being present in the moment with having nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to check.
        7. Take a moment to feel the pressure of your body on the chair beneath you, the feet on the floor and the hands and the arms just resting on the legs.
        8. Gently bring the focus back to your breathing.
        9. As you sit there beginning to notice the breath and the body with its rising and falling sensation, don’t try and stop your thoughts. Simply allow them to just come and go.
        10. At this point, the only thing you need to do is when you’ve realized your mind has wandered, gently bring the focus back to your breath again.
        11. Gently bring the attention back to your body, back to that feeling of contact to your chair and the space around you and when ready, gently open your eyes again.

        Even if it’s only 5-10 minutes a day, learning to train your mind to be present is so important to your journey towards self-realization. You need to take a step back from the craziness of life and recompose yourself to be present for the things that matter most.

        Another great method that can be used to achieve self-realization that involves a bit more body strength is yoga. While there are many variations of yoga and has also become a very popular form of exercise in western culture, its original purpose served as a meditative practice to achieve the higher level of consciousness that comes from self-realization.

        You can access plenty of free Yoga channels on Youtube or join a gym to get started.

        2. Make Time for Self-Realization Every Day

        I know what you’re thinking.

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        “I don’t have time for this!”

        I beg to differ.

        About 40 percent of the things you do in a day don’t involve you actively making a decision. Instead, it is actually a habit.

        Out of all of your habits, there are probably a handful of bad ones. If you can observe your daily routines, there is a simple way to change a bad habit into a good one, which is to start making changes to your environment to make it easier for you to change your habits.

        The idea is rather than trying to squeeze in more time to do something, simply alter a daily habit you have into something else.

        For example, let’s say you start your morning by brewing your coffee and sitting down on the dining table for 20 minutes to browse the internet to catch up on the news.

        The news is usually full of negative information, so why not spend those 20 minutes in meditation instead?

        One easy way to make this change is to change your environment up by keeping your laptop and phone in a different room so you don’t have immediate access to it when you sit down on the dining table. You make it easier on yourself to spend time meditating rather than staring at a screen.

        Want some more great tips on breaking bad habits? You can try out Lifehack CEO’s secret Control Alternate Delete method, which was the method he used to break 3 bad habits in less than 2 months.

        Final Thoughts

        Self-realization doesn’t happen overnight. It will take some time and practice, but if you turn the practices into a habit, you’ll be guaranteed to get there. Once you do, you’ll finally feel like you are in more control over your life and be able to get yourself to the next level.

        Now that you have a better understanding of the importance and benefits of self-realization, why not take a moment to put everything down and give it a try?

        More About Self-Realization

        Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

        Reference

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