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Last Updated on October 30, 2018

How to Be More Confident (the Definitive Step-By-Step Guide)

How to Be More Confident (the Definitive Step-By-Step Guide)

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.

The good news is, there are steps 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.

Why Some People Lack 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.

What Makes Confident People Different from Others

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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    How to Be More Confident (A Step-By-Step Guide)

    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.

    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.

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    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.

    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.

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    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.

    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.

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    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.

      Featured photo credit: Arnaud Mesureur 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.

      Why New Year Resolutions Fail And How to Set Yourself up for Success 10 Strategies to Keep Moving Forward When You’re Feeling Extra Stuck What Am I Doing with My Life? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps How to Be More Confident (the Definitive Step-By-Step Guide) How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life

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      Last Updated on February 19, 2019

      How to Make Changes in Life To Be The Very Best Version of You

      How to Make Changes in Life To Be The Very Best Version of You

      Let’s start with the problem:

      You get back from work. You’re tired. It was a long day. You know there’s things you could do, to get out of the rut you’re in.

      But, let’s be honest. You really would rather relax, sit down and chill for a bit. Grab a snack. Watch your favourite show.

      By the time you’ve done that, the day’s over. There’s just not enough time. To make this worse – you don’t have the energy or willpower to make changes in your life today.

      So where do you go from there?

      What you need are some easy to apply actions that are proven to work.

      This article is going to give you 4 steps on how to make changes in life so you can follow today and get closer to success – even when you are feeling tired and lazy.

      These steps have proven to work for me, and many of the coaching clients I work with privately.

      1. Squash inconsistency by giving up motivation

      Now most people, when they want to make changes to their lives, focus on making lengthy to-do lists and plans. They think over and over again about what is going wrong, what is going well and what they want, etc.

      All in a bid to push themselves to getting more motivated.

      Guess what? This isn’t going to work.

      Willpower and motivation are feelings. Feelings are vague and unreliable.

      Instead what you should do is focus on putting your flawed unpredictable self in the best possible environments.

      If you do one thing first from this list, it’s THIS:

      Find and go to the best possible environment for the area of your life you want to change.

      For example:

      • If you want to get fit, make your first goal to show up at the gym three times a week.
      • If you want to find a new relationship, show up to a meet up in your city for single people.
      • If you want to be productive and make your business idea work, don’t work at home, go to a co working space nearby.

      The reason people fail to become the best version of themselves is because they underestimate the power of environments to influence behavior.

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      Accept that you are flawed, prone to distractions and your motivation and willpower will fail you.

      The best hack at your disposal? Show up to “change inducing” environments and get out of your comfort zone (physically)!

      OK. Next step.

      2. Recruit an elite team to help you (for free)

      Open up any social media platform you’re active on that contains some positive connections you have.

      Send this message to one person you already know and trust ton help you make changes to your life:

      “Hey [first name]. Can I be really frank and honest with you? I’m having one of those – ‘OMG I NEED TO MAKE CHANGES TO MY LIFE!’ moments.

      And I was browsing the internet, looking for tips and this article I came across suggested accountability. So here I am, messaging you to be part of my accountability system.

      My ask is simple.

      Can we sit together once a week at [x place] but do absolutely no socializing? I’ll buy the [coffee/food] and it will be a space to force me to do [x thing]. You literally have to do nothing other than eat the free coffee/food I pay for lol. But it will keep my accountability high, which is what I need.

      What you reckon? Can you help? Thanks!”

      Now obviously, change the language to suit you but you get the idea.

      Not only are you going to environments that will help you make changes, but by bringing a friend (or two), you make it even likelier that you will succeed. It doesn’t even have to be in person, it could be a video call.

      People fail to make changes to their lives because they try to do it all themselves.

      It doesn’t really work in long term, and it doesn’t have to be this way.

      You can recruit and “enlist” people to help you. By doing this, you’re taking care of the up and down motivation you have.

      Not only are people happy to help, when they see this type of behavior, they’re also inspired and motivated to change their lives. Pretty soon, you end up creating change in not just your life, but other people’s too.

      So when the next dip in willpower comes?

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      You have a friend sitting right next to you, watching your every move, making sure you get things done anyway.

      3. Build good habits effortlessly

      Changing your life means changing your day to day habits.

      Habits are automated behaviors you do everyday, like how a clock works, without thinking or motivating yourself to do them.

      Some habits help you to change, others can stop you. One of the best ways to replace your ‘bad’ habits with good ones is to treat them like old clothes.

      What happens when your t-shirt gets old, faded and out of fashion? You replace it with something new and improved.

      Do the same thing with your habits – upgrade and replace them with something better. Start small, then slowly graduate to higher levels of difficulty.

      Let me give you a clear example of what I mean:

      A few years ago (before it became mainstream), I was trying to start my own habit of meditating every single day to help boost my productivity and mindfulness. I’d done a mind blowing course called Vipassana. It involved 10 days of deeply powerful meditation combined with noble silence in a remote part of the UK.

      Now it was easy to do when I was there (#1 – environment!) with all those other meditators (#2 – people helping me). All I could do was meditate. There were ZERO distractions. I had NO CHOICE.

      When I got home however, after a few days of sticking with it, I quickly caved.

      Those extra 30 minutes of sleep were just so much easier than waking up everyday at 4am for a long one hour meditation.

      So what did I do to build this really important habit?

      Like with most things, I wanted to make changes to my life. I wanted to become my best self.

      I knew how important it was. I just couldn’t follow through consistently and kept failing over and over.

      Then, it hit me.

      I needed to start small. I made a tiny change, that made all the difference.

      I made a tiny change, that I could stick to – without fail – that has me meditating daily every single day now.

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      What was it?

      Instead of trying to do something BIG inconsistently (1 hour of 4am morning meditation) and failing again and again. I decided to do something small consistently.

      Building any good habit really just comes down to repetition. The way the brain is built works in favour of this.

      My new habit became:

      When I wake up, I will fold my bedding neatly. Then I will sit cross legged for 30 seconds with my eyes closed.

      Eventually, once I did this consistently for a few months. I increased difficulty.

      When I wake up, I will fold my bedding neatly. Then I will meditate for 10 minutes.

      Why does this work?

      What’s important here is that the behavior you want (meditating) is tied to another consistent habit (folding your bedding).

      I attached my new habit to one that already is consistent.

      Making it more likely to happen.

      Secondly, I aimed for consistency, not perfection. This is where a lot of people fail. They have an idea of the change they want, but things become all or nothing.

      When you do this, you fail to realize the power of consistency. The brain you have loves patterns. In this case, I trained my brain to repeat a set pattern every morning when I fold my bed.

      There was no motivation or willpower required.

      This training has gone so far now that if I miss a day of meditating, I really feel uncomfortable. I’m just as conditioned to meditate as most people are to checking their phones in the morning.

      If you want to learn more about quitting bad habits, Lifehack’s CEO also has a guide on it:

      How to Break Bad Habits: I Broke 3 Bad Habits in Less Than 2 Months

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      4. Create more time by quitting social media

      You know the best thing I’ve ever done for my productivity and it took me 30 seconds to do?

      I deleted all social media apps from my phone and blocked them on my laptop.

      Then, to reinforce it, I told all my friends and followers on Facebook (my most used platform) I wasn’t using it for a while.

      Now, there’s nothing wrong with my social media. Social media is a tool. Tools are neutral. It’s how we use them that is “productive” or “distracting”.

      We each have to judge how healthy our usage is – especially when weighed against unlocking our best self.

      That said. For most people reading this, including me, I think limiting our usage is a very favorable advantage.

      One of the best ways to make changes in our lives is not to add new tools or tricks. But simply remove things that distract us.

      Social media is something I use heavily for both my businesses. Technically I’m a “social media influencer” and “YouTuber”. I need to be posting constantly, right?

      Our situations are unique, so I came up with a unique solution for this. After deleting and blocking these apps from my devices, I installed a social media management software that still allows me to post my updates.

      The big difference however, is I cannot spend any time scrolling and being distracted.

      Summing it up

      Change is not always about more. Sometimes it’s about doing less and getting rid of what distracts or blocks you.

      Trying to do things by yourself is a good way to fail. Share your goals and pitfalls with people, no one helps until you ask.

      Start with small changes consistently instead of big changes failed at consistently. The momentum will give you results over time.

      So what to do next to make changes in your life?

      1. Write down where you are going to GO to create the changes you want.
      2. Message 3-4 people on social media and ask them to help you using the message template I gave you.
      3. Choose one small habit to get started with immediately and upgrade it over time.
      4. Delete all, or at least most social media apps on your devices, and notify people you are leaving to make it stick.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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