Confidence is the one trait we'd all like more of. It can feel like an elusive characteristic that some of us have and the rest of us are meant to battle along without. It can stop us from pursuing our goals and makes us think we need more of it before we can even consider changing our reality.
But how do we get more confident?
I know that it's the question I asked myself when I was a teenager. People who seemed to just have innate confidence and oozed extroversion were my nemesis. I resented that they could just show up, talk to anyone and seemingly the world was their oyster.
So many of us believe that confidence is a personality trait. It's something that you are born with or without. Could there be another way of thinking about confidence?
What you need to know is that confidence and self worth are things that can absolutely be built and nurtured.
It's not dependant on the hand we were dealt at birth (although some lucky buggers do seem to find it more effortless).
It's also not dependant on our external circumstances. You can have a 6 figure salary, a beautiful home and a huge group of friends and still feel like a fraud.
If you're not a "confident" person, it doesn't have to hold you back. More than that, confidence is not a prerequisite to getting the things you want.
You don't have to wait until you feel confident enough to go after your dream job, partner or lifestyle.
You can get started right now!
Here are 4 top tips to build your confidence authentically.
1. Start valuing your own opinion more than other people's
So many of us outsource our self worth to other people. We make our decisions based on what we think other people want us to do. We base our plans on what fits in with the crowd.
This is a direct route to self-doubt central. You can never truly know what other people are thinking or what they want. Most of them don't even know what they want themselves.
If you spend your life trying to please other people, you will end up burnt out, full of resentment and still struggling to please everyone.
The only person's opinion you need to value is your own.
I'm not talking about ignoring people who genuinely have your best interests at heart. I'm simply requesting you stop making assumptions about how your choices in life will be received by other people and using that as your compass.
You have an inner compass that you've been neglecting.
Whatever you may call it - your gut, your heart, intuition, higher self - deep down you know what you really want. I invite you to start listening to this guidance and give yourself permission to want what you want.
2. Stop waiting to "feel confident" before you take action
As you've probably learned by now, you could be waiting forever! I know that it feels safer to wait until it's the "right time" or you feel more worthy of taking up space.
We end up in the age old chicken-or-egg situation. Before we know it, 5 years have passed and we're still waiting.
Confidence comes from taking action.
I know this isn't what you want to hear, but it's true. There are no words that describe the feeling of conquering something that even just a few days or weeks ago made you quiver in fear.
It allows your comfort zone to grow and you to feel expansive and bad-ass rather than stuck and stagnant!
Start small and do this consistently. You'll be surprised at how much your self worth grows.
3. Follow through on what you say you're going to do
How many times have you set a goal or wrote down a New Years resolution, only to find it a few months later and realised you're in the exact same place.
How many times have you said to yourself you're going to start looking after yourself, spend less time scrolling social media and more time on fun & self care, only to find yourself in the same spot on the sofa after scrolling for 3 hours.
We all do it.
We'd do anything to avoid letting other people down, but letting ourselves down is second nature.
We've been told by a Western, largely masculine society that we are not the priority. But it's so sneaky that we think it's our fault that we don't make time for ourselves. Which starts the shame spiral, which makes it even more difficult to put our needs first.
We can change this story.
We can make a commitment to ourselves just as important as a commitment with our friends. We can schedule our self-care the same way we would as business meeting. We can make our goals visible and set up a plan that is doable so that we follow through.
Start by scheduling a time (at least an hour, it could even be a full day if that feels good) to work through how you want to make yourself a priority. Come from a place of self-compassion - it's understandable that you've found this hard. Even just checking in with yourself for a few minutes each day can make a huge difference.
Following through on this tells your brain - I deserve this time for myself.
And guess what comes from that? Confidence and self worth!
4. Get comfortable with change and uncertainty
We often struggle with confidence because we want to feel safe. The survival part of our brain needs this. This means we often stick to the same routine and lifestyle, even if it's not serving us.
But as mentioned before, confidence comes from taking action, valuing our own opinion and following through on what we say we're going to do.
If you struggle to feel confident, it's likely that all of these things are going to involve a hefty dose of change and feeling uncertain.
What you need to know is that uncertainty is not a bad thing. We may not like it, but it's often necessary to our growth.
You can train your brain to become more accepting of change. Think of it as a muscle, it needs to be exercised.
Start by shaking up some of your "low risk" habits. Walk a different route to work. Show up to a restaurant, without looking up the menu beforehand, and choose something at random for your meal. Let your friends plan a day out, if you're usually the planner.
You will feel uncomfortable at first. The more you practise, the easier it'll become.
Before you know it, trying new things becomes second nature. Fewer things scare you. Your confidence and flexibility will grow as a result.
Imagine being able to be spontaneous without thinking "what if".
So there you have it - four tips on how to build your confidence and self worth authentically. These are steps that you can continue to practise for years to come. Start with the one you feel most drawn to and build from there!
Still struggling to feel confident and value yourself?
I support women like you to go from doubting themselves and dimming their light to shining bright and brimming with confidence and self worth. Sound good? Check out my 3 month coaching programme - The Intentional Life. Find out more here.