“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” ― Lao Tzu
We all desire to feel Confident, don't we?
To feel comfortable in our own skin, to believe in ourselves and our ability.
To be at peace with who we are.
When we lack self-confidence, the question of how to build it can be a troublesome one, but it needn't be.
Here are 3, practical and helpful tips for building Self-Confidence.
1. Focus on being interested not interesting.
This tip is great if you struggle in social situations, in particular, talking about yourself.
One (not so effective) strategy, is to over-compensate for a lack of self-confidence and try desperately to come across as Interesting. The other side of the scale is deciding to hide away and avoid conversations altogether. Both extremes are unhelpful when it comes to building genuine and lasting self-confidence.
Instead of feeling pressured to be Interesting, focus on being Interested: Interested in the person with whom you are speaking.
We've all spoken to people who've shown a genuine interest and curiosity in us and our lives and walked away from the conversation thinking ''wow, I really like that person (though I don't learn much about them).
In the process of learning about and listening to the other person, sooner or later you're bound to discover you have something in common and Bam, rapport will have been built, and you can relax.
Shine the conversational light on the other person. Feel your Confidence grow as you make the other person feel relaxed and comfortable in your company. By the time the conversational light is shined on you, you'll have already built a rapport and feeling connected to whom your speaking.
Remember, you have nothing to prove to anyone.
We're all human. We're all flawed. You are no better or worse than anyone else.
You'll never connect with and be liked by absolutely everyone, and that's Okay.
Be yourself, be your best self.
Remember, as André Gide wrote,
“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
2. Be Impeccable with your word.
In Don Miguel Ruiz's Book, The Four Agreements, he talks about the importance of being impeccable with your word.
When I lacked Self-Confidence in my early 20's, I was far from impeccable with my words.
I exaggerated. I would say Yes to people and requests when I'd rather say no. I had a bad habit of cancelling plans last minute. It's no wonder I lacked self-confidence, I had a track record of not honouring my word which only caused me to view myself as unreliable.
A great Coach I worked with taught me a simple tool for being impeccable with my word.
Hell yes or Hell no.
Meaning, if I wasn't a Hell Yes to something (going out with friends, working over-time, doing a favour for someone), I'd politely say no.
If it was a Hell Yes, I honoured my word and stuck to the commitment (unless I had a genuine reason not to, like illness or an emergency).
Over time, my Self-Confidence grew as a result of being impeccable with my word.
I had a track record for sticking to what I'd say do, which felt good.
Rather than lying to myself and saying ''I'm going to the gym 5 times this week'', I set a more realistic commitment I could agree to, say, going to the gym 3 times. I could say HELL YES to that.
By using Hell Yes or Hell no, you'll find yourself making better decisions which will too, build your confidence.
3. Keep it real.
There's a lot of talk in the world of Personal Development and Self-Confidence of ''fake it until you make it''. The idea that if you pretend something for long enough, eventually you'll become it.
Here are my thoughts.
Fake it until you make it is great in small doses.
When I've felt nervous about running live workshops, pretending to feel confident has helped me in presenting with Confidence and showing up at my best.
Fake-it-until-you-make-it is a bit like a shot of Espresso in this sense. Giving me the energy I need in the short term.
Faking feeling Confident all the time, however, can be counterproductive, in the same way only drinking espressos would be.
It's important to honour how we feel without always needing to change.
If Bob (the first name that popped into my head to give this example) feels unconfident all the time but Bob fakes all the time, he is only wearing a mask. Causing Bob to feel like an actor, a fraud, a fake, which is hardly going to fill Bob with genuine and last confidence.
Instead of relying on faking it as the go-to statergy of choice, we've got to keep it real.
Keeping it real simply means acknowledging how you feel without judgement.
It means saying to yourself ''Right now, I'm feeling nervous/afraid/inferior'' and that's okay.
Paradoxically, a level of confidence comes when we acknowledge and accept we're feeling un-confident. Because as is important to how we feel, is how we respondto how we feel.
Always be kind to yourself.
Voice how you feel openly with others.
I'll say to my live workshop attendees ''I won't lie to you, part of me is feeling nervous right now, but that's okay because nerves show you care''.
Keeping it real may also look like accepting help when it's available.
Keeping it real works because you're sending yourself the message ''I am enough right now'' which over the long term is only going to help in building your self-confidence, as well as your self-esteem.
If you enjoyed this and want more inspiration & tools to think better, feel better, and live better - then here is what you can do right now...
1. Visit the shop & download an E book version of my book, Becoming Unstuck: your simple step by step guide to taking charge of your life, by clicking here
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