9 Expert Tips to Create Your Confidence Habit
Confidence is a habit, not a trait. This sentence has become my mantra as a business owner -- especially when it comes to promoting myself.
There are days you’ll feel on fire with your confidence and there are days self-doubt comes creeping in. It is normal. How do I know? Because every coach, consultant, business owner and entrepreneur I’ve worked with has mentioned, “I want to increase my confidence.”
For instance, have you ever felt you don’t know enough about technology? Or that you're "not very good" at marketing and promoting yourself or your business? Maybe there’s a story you’re telling yourself about how it’s “hard” or you don’t “have time” or “feel like you’ll do it wrong.”
You’re in good company because I hear this a lot from my clients! Since I noticed the pattern, I decided to do a bit of research to see what some of the experts say about how to build your confidence habit. Below are the common themes I found among the likes of Harvard Business Review, Tony Robbins, Forbes, Psychology Today and others.
Besides being a common challenge professionals have, as one author (Tony Schwartz, Be Excellent at Anything) put it, “Confidence equals security, equals positive emotion, equals better performance.”
Here are 9 tips the experts agree will create more confidence:
1. Know Your Values – Since your actions and decisions define your character, decide what your values are and live by them. Knowing your values helps you do the things that are right for you and in line with your vision instead of being reactive to every suggestion. Ideas are plentiful but execution is what counts.
2. Master Your Emotions – Emotions are feelings, not thoughts. Some examples include: worried, anxious, exhausted, frustrated, withdrawn, angry, annoyed, and vulnerable. One way to start to master your emotions is to recognize them and find the thoughts that drive them. For example, if you’ve always said something like, “I’m not that confident,” or “I was taught to be seen and not heard.” Try rephrasing these ideas to invite in more positive emotions. This can help fuel positive self-talk which builds confidence.
3. Acceptance –There comes a time when we have to accept that we can’t know it all – or control it all. Another word for this is non-attachment. Letting go is a very abstract concept but it points to how we feel about things when they go “wrong.” Instead of feeling disappointed or staying stuck in perfection mode, confidence is created when we can accept and move forward without being attached to an outcome.
4. Take a Risk, Speak Your Truth – It is commonly known that public speaking is the number one fear after death. Now, with the experience of 2020-21, it seems the number one fear is “anthropophobia” – a.k.a. the fear of people! It is no surprise then that speaking up provokes fear. Mark Twain noted, “Free speech is the privilege of the dead,” to point out there are always consequences to speaking your truth. But when we take a risk, face fears and practice what we are unsure about we have the opportunity to build confidence.
5. Use Your Body – All of the articles mentioned using the body. Changing our physiology can have a big impact on how we feel about ourselves and not just physical body image. The mental benefits to using our body for a walk outside can be immediate and spark creativity. So we can use our body to influence the way we feel. Paying attention to your posture, how you are breathing, getting rested and eating healthy all will help us perform at our most confident. After all, your body is your “packaging” – it’s how the outside world sees you!
6. Develop a Gratitude Practice – In today’s world of social media scrolling it’s all too easy to compare our journey to other people. But as Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Stop comparing yourself to others! It’s robbing you of your happiness. It may sound easier said than done, so let me ask you… how can you ensure you’ll stop the comparison trap? Think of an action you can take now to help curb this habit. A daily gratitude journal is often recommended to help build confidence. Are you ready to try it now?
7. Hire and Fire Accordingly – The people in your life influence you – period. Add people that will help you move forward and feel good. Avoid the people that don’t make you feel good. And if it’s simply impossible to avoid them (colleagues, family) then consciously decide that you will not care what they think. Your confidence practice depends on surrounding yourself with people that are positive and make you feel good.
8. Quantify Accomplishments – Get things done. Follow through. Confidence is built on accomplishments so you’ll feel your confidence elevate as you get things done. Celebrate those wins! They all count when you’re moving the needle forward toward progress. What can you share today as something you completed this week? Write it down weekly and review it monthly and you’ll see the evidence build which supports your confidence habit.
9. Get Happy – Do more things that make you happy! Getting into a positive state of mind will help build your confidence. Have you ever tried to fix anything or put furniture together when you’re in a bad mood? It doesn’t go well! Instead, approach new or tedious tasks with enjoyment. Building up your happiness reserves can help you feel more confident. How might you add more joy to the hard things you have to do?
When we are in practice mode with something new, things don’t always go according to plan. But failure means you are trying new things and failure actually equals success! Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before the electric bulb worked. If you’d like to build your confidence with the goals you’re tackling now, then I’m here for you! Check out the BOOST you can get from a FREE, 1-hour Brand Influence Review to help you kickstart your confidence habit in an area you want to grow.