You see them laughing, enjoying themselves, running around and talking to different people. Everyone wants to know them and they just seem to attract people right to themselves. They’re fearless in social situations. They love themselves. They’re proud. And all you can think is… “Why can’t that be me?”
The official dictionary definition of confidence is, “A feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something. A feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances. The quality or state of being certain.”
In other words, you believe you are good and can do good. You are sure of yourself and you know that whatever happens, you will be okay.
To put it even more simply: Not being confident in yourself sucks. You’re worried about saying something stupid. You’re thinking about all the things that can go wrong. You feel uneasy, anxious, and like everyone’s always judging you.
Do you think you might not be as confident as you could be? Life coach Celes Chua gives 8 examples of actions people with low confidence do:
Do you identify with any of these? Do you find that you consistently do them? Do you want to change?
In most guides on “how to be confident” you’re given generic advice like, “Mind your thoughts,” “Set goals and achieve them!”, and “Just love yourself!”. Not only are these platitudes, but they aren’t practical or helpful. This guide is different.
You’re going to learn:
The good news is that just because you don’t feel confident now, that doesn’t mean you’ll feel like that forever. You can change. By the end of reading this guide, you’ll have an easy-to-use, step-by-step plan that you can start today on the road to becoming more confident.
All you need is some patience, a huge desire to grow, and a commitment to work hard.
You’re probably in a place of fear and frustrated right now, thinking that you’ll never be confident and never get what other people have. But don’t worry, confidence can be learned. It’s a set of traits and actions that can be practiced and applied purposefully. You might be wondering though, “where does confidence (or the lack of confidence) come from?”
Research on personality traits has been carried out by many people over the years, including neuropsychologist Steve Suomi of the National Institutes of Health, and renowned geneticist, Rober Plomin, at King’s College in London. These studies have shown that large portions of your personality are formed at conception, including the levels of your self-confidence.
Specific genes have been studied and found to relate to optimism, self-esteem, and mastery (the belief that one has control over one’s own life). Going further, the hormone oxytocin has been shown to be associated with good social skills such as empathy, relating, and enjoying the company of others.
However, one variant of the oxytocin receptor gene has shown individuals to have increased sensitivity to stress, poorer social skills, and worse mental health outcomes (including lack of confidence). The other variant was found in individuals who are better at handling stress, more confident, and with better mental health (i.e. more confidence).
So fortunately or unfortunately, some of the confidence levels that you have are because of your family and genetics, which is completely uncontrollable.
While genetics do play a part in confidence and how you handle situations, environment could be an even bigger player in how confident you feel right now. Events during childhood and all the way through to becoming an adult can lead to a lack of self-confidence. Note that the events could range from being more serious incidents to seemingly smaller moments. They can also be consistent actions that happen over time (such as being bullied). Some examples are:
These events will imprint themselves on your psychology, and affect your self-esteem, your response to social situations, and more.
Even though you may not feel extremely confident right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t change that feeling. While those who are genetically pre-disposed to being confident might already have those good tools and beliefs in them that help them combat less confident feelings, you can learn them yourself and consciously adopt them into your habit patterns.
Using this guide, or by consulting with life coaches who can teach you the skills you need, you will get on the road to becoming the confident person you want to be.
Most people unfortunately mess themselves up before even beginning to travel on the road of confidence. You see, it depends on your motivations; if your motivation to be more confident is to appear like you’re cooler, more awesome, and to impress people, you’re usually going to end up showing how unconfident you are. It’s the try-hard formula: The harder you try to look cool, the less cool you look. The more you try to be funny, the less funny you actually are.
It’s also about being needy. Mark Manson has a good definition of neediness: Prioritizing someone else’s opinions and views of yourself over your own. If you’re always looking outside for people to tell you that you’re confident, then unfortunately, you’ll never be confident. The only way to be more confident is to be okay with not being super confident right now, accepting it, and taking massive action to become more confident to improve you just for you and not for anyone else. Self-improvement, for the sake of oneself rather than to impress others, is the way out of neediness and an important way to make progress down that road to confidence.
By reading this guide and applying the steps in it, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing. Pat yourself on the back for wanting to invest in yourself enough and really wanting to change enough that you actually make it happen.
You might feel weird as you start to implement these tools and habits, almost like you’re being awkward or illegitimate. You’re used to behaving in a way that’s not the most confident, so you might find your personality or ego rejecting what you’re doing, or saying,“This is strange.”
But if you keep doing what you’ve done in the past, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. That’s the definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. You’re here because you want to change. You want to stop feeling so awkward, unsure of yourself, and caged in by your fear. You want to be free to express yourself and be 100% you.
So treat this entire guide and the tools as an experiment. Try them on. See how you feel after a while of using each, and then decide if they’re right for you or not.
You see many people making resolutions every New Years to go to the gym, date more people, and start a business. Yet, maybe after a week or two they stop, or they never even get started and get so frustrated at their failures that they give up. And then the next New Year’s they make the same resolutions again, and never ever actually change. Do you want this to be you? IS this you?
The reason why most people fail is that they don’t understand that change takes a huge amount of willpower. It takes A lot of effort to change deeply engrained habits that you’ve built up over time, including not going to the gym or coming home from work and always watching tv instead of working on another job or business.
The real way to succeed is to gradually and realistically add changes to your life that you want to make into habits, apply 1-2 things at a time, focus on them for a few weeks, and move on to the next set of habits once you feel like you got the hang of the last few. The action you take leads to inspiration, and the small successes lead to you getting more pumped up and wanting to take more action. It’s an awesome cycle! That’s why this guide is broken down into habits you apply to become more confident. You will be using this structure to improve yourself. So how do you apply and set up habits correctly?
You are now going to learn how to destroy your bad habits. You see, most people think a habit is just an action you take regularly. However, they don’t understand the science behind how habits are actually set up within their psychology and lives, how to implement them and how to keep them. It’s important to understand how habits work and effect you in order to make them serve you best and be the most effective.
A habit is made up of 3 parts — the cue, the habit, and the reward:
When most people want to change they focus on the actual habit. They simply say, “I need to go to the gym,” but this doesn’t work. Just wanting to go to the gym and trying to force yourself is likely going to fail. Consciously building a habit will make you much more likely to succeed.
Instead you should really break the habit down into bite-sized pieces. If you want to start making going to the gym a habit and you plan on going at night after work, you could set this up:
If you focus on building cues and actually rewarding yourself, you are far more likely to succeed and actually implement a new habit while hopefully destroying a bad one in the process.
By building that new habit, there’s less time and motivation to keep old habits like just coming home and watching tv for 4 hours. In the same way if you focus on using the habits contained within this guide and implement them in your life, they will add up to making you a super confident individual.
Another reason why people fail at building new habits is because they set their goals way too high. For example, perhaps you’ve never been to the gym before and want to start going 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. It will either not happen at all or you’ll burn out and get frustrated fast.
Start small so you know you’ll succeed and keep working your way up. The more successes you have under your belt, the more motivation you’ll have to keep going. It may be good to start with a simple goal like going for a 10 minute walk 3 times a week or signing up for 1 or two fitness classes each week.
As you succeed in each step, you get a reward, and you build up your confidence just by succeeding at these small goals and habits. Eventually you will push yourself more over time and your goals can realistically become bigger. If you are interested in learning more about habits and building or breaking them, you can check out Charles Duhigg’s amazing book, The Power of Habit.
This guide will give you habits, tools, and action steps broken into four sections:
There are a lot of tools in this guide and it may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t worry, everything is broken down in great detail so you can follow along easily. If you have an idea of what’s bugging you the most, or if you’re good on one of these sections (e.g., you have great body language, but your beliefs about yourself aren’t the best), you can target your focus.
Now enough talk: It’s time to learn and take action.
Negative thinking, over thinking, and living in your head will absolutely kill you when it comes to confidence.1 You often think that the worst will happen when you get in the habit of always micro-analyzing every little detail (“What did that person think when I said X?”). If you can’t get out of your unproductive thought spirals, you will be dragged down into depression, sickness, and stress.
When you are used to thinking negatively and expect negative things to happen, you’ll automatically self-select reasons that support your assumed conclusion. For Example: You’re single and can’t find anyone, you’re not as in shape as you want to be, your friends bug you sometimes, your family nags you, and so on. Constantly brooding on these things and expecting them to always happen, usually just makes your situation worse or even triggers them to happen.
All it takes to start using positive thinking to your advantage is a tiny bit of work on re-framing your perspective, gaining some patience, and implementing the habit of seeing the glass as half full rather than half-empty. If you do this, you will be living a far better life while becoming incredibly happy. A good example of this is: You might be sad that you’re single. This is a good time to stay positive and remind yourself that there are plenty of opportunities to meet people and eventually not be single. You can also focus on enjoying the extra time you have now to pursue things you want in life while still looking for potential partners.
You control your reactions to all that happens around you, so start focusing on all the good things and opportunities that are out there. You just need to go out, find it, and grab it. The tools that destroy negative thinking will help you examine your thoughts and question them.
Meditation helps with so many things it’s actually unfortunate that so many people do not practice it regularly. It decreases stress and increases the possibilities for understanding and having a better connection and empathy toward others. The benefits of meditation are seemingly endless.
Meditation does not have to include chanting or dancing in circles, so don’t write it off yet. It can be as simple as being still and letting your mind assess your situation and options. It is a practice of being mindful. With mindfulness, you systematically catch yourself falling into repetitive spiraling patterns that are personal to you.
For example: You might have a problem with self-criticism. You see yourself start beating yourself up when you do something wrong, and you can literally pull yourself out of your head and stop the process before the negative effects take hold. You can pull yourself out of an anger spiral when someone does something bad to you. You can stop yourself from engaging in addictive behaviors, not listening to the voice that says, “Just one more drink.”
The basis of mindfulness is to focus on the sensations you feel at every moment instead of living in your head. For example, this could be feeling the ground under you feet, the rhythm of your breath, the feel of the keyboard while you are typing, and so on.Actual focused meditation sessions are extremely helpful and necessary though. It is highly encouraged to intentionally set aside time or simply take the time in the moment when necessary. Here are some basic guidelines to do mindfulness or breathing meditation:
By focusing on your sensations as you move about during the day and also having fixed meditation sessions, you’ll be less likely to live in your head, and also not get caught in negative thinking.
Set aside 5 minutes each morning or night to write in a gratitude journal. The point here is to think of 3-5 things you’re grateful for. Some suggestions are:
You don’t have to make it agonizingly detailed or stretch too hard to find everything you’re grateful for, simply choose a few things that stand out and make it a point to be grateful for them. Hand writing it is much better than doing it on a computer or in your head but you can experiment with what works best for you. The most important part is making gratitude a daily habit. This exercise will make you realize all you have instead of constantly wanting and craving something else, which is an endless portal to depression.
You can condition your mind to disregard negative thoughts by associating them with physical pain. Start wearing a rubber band around your wrist. Anytime you hear a negative thought, acknowledge it, snap the rubber band, and replace the thought with a positive one.
By doing this, you are training your body and mind that a negative thought is associated with pain, so why would it bother focusing on them? Combine this with the next tool:
You’ll always have both positive and negative thoughts. What you’ll begin to learn through these tools and habits is that though you can’t get rid of all of them, you can learn to let them pass, not get stuck in them, and focus on the more positive thoughts. When you hear a negative thought, say, “Okay, but…” and think of the positive options. Scrutinize them. Then continue about your day.
For example: You may think to yourself, “I’m ugly, nobody wants me.” You can then combat that thought with, “Okay, but I can go to the gym to look better for me. I can get some new clothes, I can ask my friends to help me dress better etc. I know that I have a lot going for me inside too (name qualities and traits you love about yourself)!” Now the thought doesn’t have as much control because you are taking control of it. It ends up not making much sense and in fact, seems like a total waste of time to think about.
If you find yourself thinking, “I hate my life.” You can counter that thought with something like, “Okay , but I have awesome friends, a good family, I’m smart, etc. If there’s something I don’t like, I should probably work on it instead of complaining. I’ve got a lot right now anyway, I mean, I’m not starving or dying of thirst and some people don’t even have food or water. I’ve had some beautiful moments (have you ever loved, traveled, felt alive, done something most people cannot do, etc.?). Wow, life’s pretty great. I can always make it better, but it’s pretty good right now!” It may seem like a thought can consume you in some moments but when you take the time to actually weigh those thoughts and combat them, they don’t seem so overwhelming or controlling. This will take practice, but it’s worth it.
Write down the answers to the following questions:
For example: If I think to myself, “I’m a terrible person, I can’t do anything right.” It usually comes along with feelings like worthlessness, sadness, loneliness, and anger. Instead of giving in to these feelings, I could say to myself, “I’m always getting better every day, I’m trying to improve myself. I know I have some positive qualities.” Instead of wallowing in frustration, I now feel like I’m being kinder to myself. I feel energized because I’m working with myself instead of beating myself down. I prefer focusing on positive thought because it has the power to overcome negative thoughts.
Deconstructing negative thoughts and examining them can also be done by examining your cognitive biases. You can learn more about the different types of cognitive biases here. For example: Do you always assume the worst will happen? Is everything black and white (there’s no in between)? Do you assume one event or person represents everything and everyone? These thoughts are rarely positive or true so it’s important to evaluate them and strike them down before they let more negativity seep into your mind. However you do it, overcoming negative thinking is essential to improving your life. If all you think about and focus on is negative, that’s all you’ll get.
As we grow up we’re programmed with beliefs about ourselves, the world, and how everything works. This applies to relationships, arguments, business, abundance and scarcity, and more. Your beliefs can hurt or help you: “I can do it!” versus, “I’m not good enough.” “I’ll figure it out as I go, it doesn’t have to be perfect!” versus, “I don’t know enough, I can’t do it.”
Beliefs that hurt you are typically referred to as limiting beliefs and they prevent you from living the life you want. They’re another form of constriction caging you in and keeping you from achieving your goals. It will take some introspection and self-awareness to know what limiting beliefs you have. It’s hard to do this without the help of a coach2 or some external source like a friend sitting down with you to find out what’s going on inside your head. They are more able to help you realize and evaluate what you’re thinking from another perspective.
Some common limiting beliefs are:
There are usually two ways to disprove a limiting belief that both build on each other:
If a belief is programmed inside, you can easily assume the opposite. There’s no harm in experimenting. For example, if your beliefs cause large amounts of social anxiety in you, instead of thinking that people are all scary and out to get you, what if you thought that people wanted to help you? How would that affect how you carry yourself in life or approach people? What if you assumed people wanted intimacy and connection just as much as you did?
When aiming to change a belief, you’ll need at least two weeks to do your experiment, and most likely longer (perhaps years) if it’s a bigger issue. But the point is that this will get you going on the right path and you will find relief from troubling and paralyzing beliefs almost instantly.
Note: Focus on one belief at a time as you do this. Don’t try to change a billion at once (just like focusing on one or two habits for confidence at a time).
Now, answer the following questions:
Doing this may be enough to convince you that, “Hey, this makes more sense and feels better, I should just stick with it!” By testing your assumptions in life, you’re also gathering proof to provide your brain with evidence that your old, hurtful belief is probably false. However at times, your mind may require a well-ordered way to gather proof of a belief being false. For example, you could go out and assume people are friendly, then see what happens when you talk to people. Ok, but what about deeper beliefs, such as “I am unlovable?” Challenge yourself to go through your past to find out times when you were given love.
So, while you have not set out a plan to prove that people love you, you’ve gathered evidence to show that it’s true. De-programming and examining your limiting beliefs will help you have new thoughts on how the world works, increasing your confidence and changing your life.
The Law of Attraction basically says that, “Where focus goes, energy flows.” If all you think about is negative stuff, all you tend to get or notice is negative stuff, and vice versa for the positive. For example if you’re lacking money, don’t constantly think about that. Think constructively: “I need money. There’s tons of money everywhere. I have X, Y, and Z skills. I need to figure out how to use them to get myself some of that money. I can do it because other people can!”
Here’s another example related to confidence: If all you think about is how you aren’t confident, you’ve failed in the past at being someone that people want to meet, and you have so much wrong with you, then that’s all you’re going to keep putting out and attracting. Instead, think: “I’m not perfect but I’m learning the tools I need to be more confident and do better in life. I can get help if I need to with a coach or friends. I’m actually an awesome person because of X, Y, and Z. This is exciting! I can do this! I’m excited to keep becoming an awesome person!”
By stacking all of the habits in this mind section to increase your levels of confidence and happiness, you will, as a byproduct, begin using the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction should be combined with killing negative thinking, visualization, and you taking massive action to go out and get the thing(s) you want.
Just living in your head and thinking positively is not going to get you what you need. Mark Manson summarized how to apply the Law of Attraction very well: “Mind your own thoughts, stay positive and focused on your goals, ignore self-doubt and criticism, visualize and concentrate on what you want and you will eventually have it.”
Visualization has been discussed in many self-improvement books, like Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. The basis is that you think about what you want, putting yourself as “there” as you can with all five senses, and your sub-conscious will eventually figure out ways to achieve it if you regularly and repeatedly concentrate on it.
However, it does involve an action step. Again, just like the Law of Attraction, you can’t just think about it and expect it to happen. You can read this article or this one for more information on visualization, but the basic idea is to just imagine what you want, as clear as you can in your mind, for at least two minutes every day. This can include you standing up straight, speaking loudly, being happy and confident or perhaps painting a picture in your head of what your current goal will make you look like in a year. Practicing and envisioning success is extremely effective.
Fears come in many shapes and sizes, often born from traumas you experienced in your past. Unfortunately, many of your perceived “problems” in life boil down to what your fears are, whether you realize it or not. Some common fears are the fears of failure, change, rejection, judgement, and the unknown.
All fears are learned (except the fears like loud noises and falling, which are primal fears meant to protect us). This is good news! If you learned fears, you can essentially un-learn them. Unfortunately, the only way to deal with fear is to go through it. As you un-learn or conquer your fears you build courage, and courage builds confidence.
Many people try a boot camp style method or the “Just do it” Nike-style approach to override fear and pressure themselves into quick and effect (although often painful) change. This works for some people but for many, it results in a feeling of failure when you can’t “Just do it”, or the fear comes back just after a few days of rest from their grueling method. Here are tools and habits to help you get over your fears, beginning with a technique that works FAR better (and more consistently) than the, “Jump and hope you swim” approach:
There are systems backed by decades of psychological research for tackling fear. Select a fear or issue you’re having problems with and you can “step” yourself up to become face to face with that fear. What that means is that you’re progressively desensitizing yourself over time and through regular interaction with that fear (rather than avoidance). This is a very common technique from cognitive behavioral therapy that helps alleviate anxiety.
You do the easiest thing in the category of what you’re trying to do, and then slowly work your way up to the “scariest” thing. In doing these steps, slowly but surely, you build your confidence to the point where the ultimate thing you want to do doesn’t seem as bad anymore. You’ve conquered X amount of fears, what’s one more?
For example when it comes to approaching people, Mark Manson gives the following example in his book, Models: Do each of the following on sequential days to 20 different people:
You can apply this process to any area in your life: You just have to do some thinking as to how to structure your exposure to your fears. You simply start with seemingly tiny tasks that make you slightly uncomfortable and amp it up as you get more comfortable with them. I think you get the picture by now. Step-by-step you work your way up to what you eventually want to do.
Sometimes just wanting to beat your fears isn’t enough and you’ll find ways to get out of it. If you have problems keeping yourself on track, consider getting an accountability partner:
Someone who holds you accountable to accomplishing the fear goal, either with the penalty of say, paying $50, or simply hounding on you about it constantly. You can also consider joining a mastermind group that motivates you to keep bringing procress to the table. Having an external force will make you far more likely to succeed and less likely to cave in to excuses. This is where someone like a life coach can keep you stay on track and help you reach your life goals.
If you face fear in the moment you can’t really build up a cognitive behavioral therapy ladder. The acronym SIHAP, coined by Noam Lightstone, gives you five steps to help conquer fear in the moment:
Speed – The longer you wait to do something, the greater the sense of anticipation, the more stories your mind builds about what might happen, the more mental resistance there is, and the more nervous you feel. The faster you do the thing you’re afraid of, the better.
Indenting – Think about times when you’ve done something you’ve been afraid of. Maybe there’s something that’s WAY scarier than what you’re thinking of doing right now. Indenting is a process of comparison. For example: Approaching someone versus skydiving.
Have I Accomplished This Before? – If you’ve done a similar thing before (i.e., you’ve pushed through the fear already), then logically, you should be able to do it again! Once you do it, you can always do it—as long as you’re still you—even if you feel more scared.
Affirmations – Tell yourself things like, “I can handle it,” “I’ll be okay,” and “I will feel more confident for doing this, no matter what.”
Projection – Think about what you could gain from doing this thing. Think about how it could go well, and how good you’ll feel after. This will help propel you to actually doing it. Go out, face your fears, and build up your confidence.
Generalized anxiety and worry will absolutely sap you of confidence and energy. The feelings are usually associated with chest tightness, shortness of breath, and just feeling uneasy. The unfortunate thing about anxiety is that it’s quite personal.
There are umbrella terms like generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety, but everyone feels anxiety slightly differently and under different circumstances because of their emotional make-ups and past. It’s important to note though, that anxiety and fear are highly interrelated. For example with the fear of failure, your anxiety says you might try something but you’ll suck at it, it won’t work, or it won’t be good enough. You expect unrealistic perfection and everything to go 100% smoothly. These expectations make you feel nervous, which prevents you from moving forward.
There are two types of anxiety and worry: Chronic and acute. Chronic anxiety usually stems from childhood traumas and is always present / constant. Acute anxiety is caused by certain periods or events in life, and eventually goes away. The tools presented in this chapter will help you deal with both so you can be strong and confident in facing whatever life throws at you.
You learned in the “negative thinking” section how important meditation is in helping you throughout your life. When it comes to anxiety and worry, meditation and mindfulness are essential. Focus on trying to do 30 minutes of seated meditation a day, as well as while walking around in life. If you aren’t predicting the future and are okay in the present all the time, you must be fine.
Again, anxiety and fear are interrelated. Facing your fears and showing yourself that things will be OK is the only way to re-program your brain. You need proof to show your brain it’s being irrational. Go back to the section on fear to help you with this.
Talking to someone else who says, “It’s okay, me too” is the #1 way to kill shame, feel better, and get back to being able to logically think through a situation. Talk to a trusted friend, counselor, therapist or someone whom you know will understand (or try to understand). everyone has anxiety and fears, but people handle them differently. The point is to see that everyone gets scared sometimes, but usually, the fears aren’t so bad. Having support will catapult you in life, and literally melt your anxiety and worry away.
Usually when anxiety gets the best of you, it’s because you believe the thoughts in your mind that say, “Things are dangerous.” Try talking to yourself as you would a close friend who’s scared about something. Would you tell them, “Yeah, you should be scared. You’re probably going to die!” Or, would you empathize with their fear and say, “It might be scary, but you’ll feel better for doing it no matter what and I’ll be super proud of you!”
You probably rush a lot in life. You’re probably super hard on yourself for not doing more, moving faster, or living up to some arbitrary standard, even if you’re tired and burned out. There’s a voice that says, “Keep going. You’re no good otherwise.”
Taking 5 minutes for yourself, just to sit and be without Facebook, a phone, or distractions is meant to protect against this type of thought pattern. So, either at a specific time or when you feel really stressed, stop. Sit or stand wherever you are and just be, meditating with eyes open or eyes closed. Realize that any thoughts you have of not doing enough, things coming crashing down, etc., all stem from voices you are choosing to believe in your mind, that you don’t necessarily have to listen to.
A great deal of anxiety is caused by you worrying about something going wrong, the bus being late, and so on. Adding buffers to any appointment you have, or a block of time used just in case you need time for something, works with the anxiety you feel. You logically know you have a block of time you can use if you feel tired, or something goes later than expected, so you don’t have to stress out so much if something goes wrong.
If you are anxious or worried, you’re probably what would be classified as a “whirling dervish” – You move from place to place, activity to activity, at break neck speed. The problem is that as you do this, both your life and health are slipping away with no time to enjoy them. Many people do this because they refuse to accept their limitations, or because they’re actually trying to cover up the feelings of anxiety, or worry, or that they’re not doing enough.
Ask yourself: “Do I care about doing more (quantity), or enjoying fewer things to a better extent (quality)?” When you make a decision to consciously move slower and not rush through everything, you can enjoy more of your life. Moving slowly forces you to deal with underlying emotional issues (“Why do I feel the need to perform up to a perfect standard?”) and it can calm you down.
For a great deal more tools on conquering worry specifically, read Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, which is full of practical tools you can use. The “fight” against anxiety is life-long, but once you stop viewing it as a “fight” and work towards accepting it by learning ways to deal with it, that’s when you can truly start living. Conquering your anxiety and worry will make you more confident, as you can handle both.
“Why would anybody want me?”
Self-criticism and negative self-talk are two of the worst problems in the mind that you need to learn how to conquer. They will completely destroy, erode, and corrupt your confidence and self-esteem. In fact, if you just focused on this, you’d probably get 80% of the way to being mindfully confident.
Usually, this negative self-talk stems from receiving messages when growing up that were grounded in shame, like: “There’s something wrong with me.” If this is not addressed, your self-esteem plummets even into adulthood. A thought experiment worth trying is to ask: “What if I didn’t pay attention to any of the negative thoughts saying I was bad?” What if you just let them pass?
Those with high self-esteem and self-confidence treat themselves well, and talk to themselves in a kind way. Criticism and wanting to be better is fine, as long as they are both constructive forces in your life, not destructive forces making you feel like crap.
As mentioned in the negative thinking section, gratitudes can also help with negative self-talk because they help you focus on being grateful rather than focusing on problems.
When you’re friend comes to you in need, what do you do? Tell them they’re weak? Or do you try to help them out, saying, “Hey, it’s OK?” Why is it that we’re so kind to our friends, but so hard on ourselves?
Anytime you hear yourself being mean when something occurs, try replacing the thought with positive self-talk. Always tell yourself that you can do it, you’re doing well, you’ve already done so much, everybody makes mistakes, and so on. Be a friend to yourself rather than your worst critic and see how it changes your life.
Do you find you spend your days just doing work and things for other people? Always reacting to what someone else needs, but not to what you need? Do you find yourself thinking, “Where’s the time for me?” Make it a habit to spend at least 30 minutes each day just doing something for you. Maybe it’s watching your favorite TV show, reflecting on life, or doing something you’re passionate about. Whatever it is, make sure it is not about satisfying anyone else except you.
It is essential to sub-consciously tell yourself that you aren’t just a workhorse and that your needs are important, especially your health and happiness. In the one life you have, strive to be kind to yourself. You’ll be happier, less anxious, more understanding, and in-turn, more confident.
If you don’t feel confident about something, think hard about anything in that area you are good at. Sure you might not be the best, but there are probably some things you’re overlooking. Write down 5 ways you’re great at the thing you are working on, like meeting new people or designing websites.
This will help guide your focus to what you feel good about in your life and inherently increases your confidence because of the law of attraction. For example: Can you tell good stories? Do you look people in the eye? Do people laugh a lot with you? Do people come to you for help on certain things?
A lot of times we get down on ourselves and forget all the nice and amazing things people have told us that are still true even if we don’t feel great in the moment. To cut through this, make a compliments document. Start by asking 5 people to tell you the 5 best things they admire about you. They aren’t affected by what’s going on in your head and can probably see some things that you can’t. Always keep adding to this document over time so you can go back and read it when you feel down, or when you need a boost of self-esteem.
At times, you may need some additional support to work with your mind. You may have been through traumatic experiences that just keep you from working through things on your own or seeing a way out. There’s nothin wrong with that. Even strong and successful people go to therapy or work with life coaches to get through challenging decisions and times in life.
Having someone who can support you and show you the bigger picture, like a mentor, can be invaluable in your growth. It can save you hours of stress and sadness while moving you on your way to becoming more confident and happy. Do your research, and don’t be afraid to try out different coaches to see who works best with you.
Your body and how you stand are the first things someone sees about you. In reality, it’s really hard to not “judge a book by its cover” it’s human nature. It’s a bit unfortunate that people don’t see your personality or your amazing thoughts first, but having confident body language and posture can literally make or break relationships. People may not give you a shot unless you have confident body language. Watch this TED talk about how important body language is here.
This goes hand in hand with having a healthy body as well: Not only will you feel more confident if you’re healthy and strong, but people will perceive you that way if you take care of your body. This doesn’t mean you have to be a perfect specimen and in perfect health to be happy. Don’t worry, in this section, you’ll simply learn the major points of how to have confident body language, project confidence through your body, as well as some basic health and exercise steps you should be taking.
“The eyes have it.”
Eye contact is one of the major ways we all communicate to each other and so much can be said and communicated through them, it’s truly astounding. How is it that you can often tell when a person is sad, lying or happy just by looking into their eyes? There’s a lot going on in there. To make sure you’re giving off the right signals, here are several things to keep in mind as you figure out how to make good eye contact:
When you do this, it subconsciously communicates to the person that you think you’re doing something wrong or are embarrassed about something. Holding eye contact projects dominance instead of submissiveness. However…
You know “crazy eyes”? When someone holds their eyes wide open and refuses to look away from you? Don’t do that. Good eye contact involves your eyes being at a reasonable level of openness (or slightly closed). There’s no problem with looking away here and there – Don’t start a staring contest and force them wide open, acting like you can’t blink or look away. You should be thinking of outputting warm, inviting, and intriguing energy.
Watch movies with confident actors and actresses to see how they make eye contact with others. Their eyes are slightly squinted, warm, and penetrating. Study what these people do and try to imitate them in the mirror, then go practice making eye contact with people that way.
While eye contact is important, how you smile and the rest of your body language that’s projected through your face can drastically change how the eye contact you make is interpreted.
For example: Think about making a sad face versus a confident smile. Think about the difference in the message you’re sending. What do you think people would find more appealing? Always try to add a hint of a smile to your eye contact to put others at ease around you. Using these tips, you’ll be able to project confidence in piercing, penetrating, and warm eye contact that makes people interested in you.
Usually, you’ll notice more confident people looking like they stand taller, seem less closed, and have better posture. You can emulate this too! The “openness” in your body language will project an openness of you being warm, inviting, and open to talking. Here’s how you can do it:
See this video for some ideas.
Going to the gym will improve your overall posture and support system. See the health and exercise section coming up.
Crossing your arms portrays a stubborn or closed-off attitude to others. Try to keep your arms at your sides. To stand tall, imagine there’s a piece of string tied to your head all the way down your spine lifting you straight up. Stand firm with your chest up and out.
If you’re anxious you’ll have more energy and move around. Doing this sub-communicates a lack of confidence or anxiousness to get out of there. Plant your feet in place wherever you are and try not to shift too much.
This is something men are really bad at: keeping their hands in their pockets. Keeping your hands in your pockets sub-communicates that you’re hiding something or you’re nervous. Again, keep your hands at your sides so you can use hand gestures and be free flowing.
You remember that person that gave you the “cold fish” hand shake? Yeah, neither does anyone else, except that the person gave a horrible first impression. A cold fish handshake feels weird, sub-communicates weakness or a non-committal attitude, and just doesn’t feel good. When you meet someone, shake their hand strongly, but not like you’re trying to crush them.
If you meet someone, have great body language, but frown at them or look like you’re about to cry, all your hard work to make a good impression will all be un-done. Smiling sub-communicates confidence, happiness, and being warm and engaging. You don’t need scientific studies to believe this, you can just base it on your own experience. Smile more, it takes less muscles than frowning and will give people a good impression of you. Just don’t make it a creepy “Joker” type smile. Practice smiles in the mirror, or with friends, you’re definitely not the only one who does that.
Have you ever noticed that powerful people, like politicians, movie stars, and so on, usually emphasize points by touching others on their shoulders, elbows, and so on? Touch is associated with dominance and demonstrates being comfortable. It sub-communicates confidence, so when you talk, emphasize your points by touching the other person. Be careful not to overdo this though. A tasteful amount demonstrates confidence, but doing it unnecessarily is creepy and can be seen as try-hard.
Being healthy and fit offers many benefits that you’re missing out on if you don’t do it. It only takes 30 minutes a day to get the benefits. Our stagnant, chained-to-a-desk lifestyle is taking us away from what our bodies were meant to do: Move and be active, chase animals, forage, and so on. There are plenty of studies showing how exercise increases confidence and mood, decreases stress, and helps you sort through the mental garbage and problems that you’re facing.
There are many types of exercise you can pursue, but the basics are to make sure you:
Lifting weights helps build a stronger and more supported body. It’s not just for guys either. Just because a woman lifts doesn’t mean she’ll become an overgrown bodybuilder. Her genetics will help her become a proportionally lean, toned, sexier version of herself. Body weight exercises are also a great way to build muscle strength if you’re not into weights or want some variety.
Cardio helps your heart become stronger, and teaches you to breathe properly. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a great way to get going, but you could also consider taking different classes like kickboxing, cycling, dance classes, and more.
Yoga and stretching fixes your body’s imbalances. Most of us sit at desks all day and this creates all types of problems with our posture and strength. Yoga can help you re-align yourself, improve balance, make you stronger and it also acts as a stress reducer through moving meditation.
No matter what you do, get moving somehow, and try to do something every day. Even walking is a great way to get up and outside everyday (also a great stress reducer). If you’re having problems deciding what you’d like to do or sticking to an exercise routine, a coach could help you find something you love while helping you stay on track and holding you accountable.
How you act, speak, and what you do affects how people see you and your overall confidence. If you don’t dress well, feel bad for saying “No,” and always brag because you’re insecure, you won’t feel confident at all. In this section, you’ll learn some tools and habits to implement with your voice and actions to become more confident.
Most people associate vulnerability with weakness, but this is far from the truth. Brené Brown defines it as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Asking for a raise, going on a date, putting your work out to the public, blurting out what’s on your mind, that’s all vulnerability.
By practicing these steps, you build courage, which leads to confidence in being and expressing yourself freely. You tell yourself that your desires, needs, and emotions are OK. And even if you get rejected, at least you put yourself out there and don’t have to live in regret for the rest of your life. Read Brown’s amazing book, Daring Greatly, to learn more.
As mentioned in the body language section, first impressions matter, and people form opinions of you very quickly (whether they want to or not). When compared side-by-side, someone dressed in fitted, current, and matching clothing (which doesn’t mean EXPENSIVE) will always appear more confident and put-together than someone with baggy and old clothes that are filled with holes. Putting work into your appearance shows that you care and that makes a good immediate impression on people.
Pick a style you love, take a fashionable friend to the mall and go shopping to find clothes you feel confident and amazing in. When you love how you look, you’ll also project confidence and sub-consciously communicate to yourself that you’re worth it.
People who speak fast sub-communicate that they think people are going to cut them off or not listen to them. It demonstrates weakness. Think of Barack or Michelle Obama: How do they speak? They have controlled and steady cadences with purposeful pauses. Slow down your speech and people will get the hint that what you have to say is important, and you’ll inherently decrease your stress and anxiety levels.
Just like speaking slowly demonstrates confidence, so does moving slowly. Don’t move like a turtle but fast movement is associated with anxiety and nervousness. Make your gestures purposeful, walk slowly and react slowly. You’ll feel better and more powerful.
Many people have issues setting boundaries and saying, “No.” They’d rather take on more responsibilities than they can handle instead of potentially upsetting someone. This leads to being overwhelmed, stressed, and a reinforcement in your mind that your needs aren’t important.
Learn to say, “No” to things you don’t want to do and set limits on what you can and cannot do. You deserve 7-8+ hours of sleep, as well as some fun time and a few hours for yourself and loved ones every day. It’s okay to compromise this every once in a while, but don’t allow it to become a habit. Read the book When I Say No, I Feel Guilty to learn some great, applicable techniques to set boundaries.
There are five common behaviors people do that sub-communicates non-confidence:
Do you do any of these? If you do, work on them one at a time and examine if they are absolutely necessary in the ways you use them. They tend to do nothing for you except signify that you refuse to accept responsibility for your situation, or that you think you you’re bad or wrong. They tend to destroy your confidence and are mostly useless.
What do you think of someone when they mumble or whisper? It definitely doesn’t really inspire confidence. Now picture someone who’s charismatic. Think about motivational speakers like Tony Robbins. Does Tony mumble? I don’t think he could get the reactions he gets if he did. Charismatic and confident people speak proudly and with emotion. You too should strive to speak loud and proud, or just at a reasonable volume reducing your tendency to mumble. What you have to say is worthwhile so don’t be afraid to make yourself heard.
When the mind, body, and your actions are taken care of, you still may be left with the need to improve general situations in your life. If you’re happier with your life overall, you’ll be more satisfied and inherently more confident. You’ll feel more proud of yourself and all you have, which will make you more willing to share your life and be open with other people. In this section, you’ll learn some tips and tools you can implement in your life to become happier.
Many people watch the news and fill their minds with garbage or negative information that just makes them sad, depressed, and anxious. As they say, ”Garbage in, garbage out.” If all you put in is negativity, all you can get out is negativity.
One of the steps a recovering stressed-out workaholic, Charlie Hoehn, recommends, is to just get rid of the news. Let other people tell you if something important is happening. Otherwise, just focus on consuming positive and uplifting information. The news often just gives you a feeling of hopelessness, so focus on things that you can help or have an effect on and you will be much less overwhelmed.
Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Life is not meant to be sad and serious, it’s meant to be enjoyed and celebrated through good and bad times. Many of us take ourselves and current situations too seriously and it erodes away at our confidence and positive attitude. Learn to make yourself laugh and smile everyday: Either at yourself, with friends, with a good comedy, or all of the above. You’ll feel better and ultimately more optimistic and positive because of it.
While comedies can make you laugh, inspirational items can help encourage and inspire you as well. Watch inspirational videos on YouTube. Watch great movies that make you dream. Read books that get you inspired. Fill your life with as much amazing and uplifting content as you can, and watch your mood soar. Check out this list for some ideas.
The act of unconditional giving has been shown to improve happiness. We feel good when we help others, it’s not rocket science. As you pursue and move forward with your own goals, never forget to give back. Karma will repay you: If you give, you’ll always get back as well.
“You are the average of the five people you surround yourself most often with.” It’s interesting and sometimes unfortunate how much people can influence us. If you hang out or associate with people who are negative, non-confident, and needy, then you’ll most likely start adopting those traits, it’s usually pretty unintentional and tends to go unnoticed until you’re in the thick of it.
Sometimes you need to be selfish and either end these toxic relationships or learn how to hold them at more of a distance. If you can’t stop them (e.g., with family members), you need to limit your contact with them. This isn’t being mean, it’s doing what’s best for you. You cannot be a good friend or family member to them if your confidence and positivity is constantly being drained by the people you’re around. It might feel wrong or you might think you’re being disloyal, but you need to look out for yourself. Once you get yourself in a good place, your are then in a good place to lift others up.
Having a great life involves experimenting and doing things other than work, something that has nothing to do with earning money or credibility, it’s all about you. What have you always wanted to try? Painting? Sculpture? Martial arts? Parkour? Pick something, anything, and sign up for some classes. Becoming a well-rounded person will increase your confidence and inject a shot of novelty into your life. Having amazing or silly hobbies will make you happier and more confident. Note: Watching TV is a past-time, NOT a hobby. It’s generally a good way to relieve stress but it doesn’t tend to encourage interaction, learning and personal growth like a hobby does.
You spend roughly 1/3 of your life at your job. How can you expect to be happy or confident if you don’t love it or see purpose in it? Take some time to evaluate how you feel about your job, how it makes you feel and if it is taking you where you want to be in life. If you realize it’s just something you’re doing to get by rather than achieve your goals or find fulfillment, it may be time to do some thinking about different careers and perhaps some life re-structuring. You can’t be confident if you don’t love or highly value what you put your time into.
Learning something new every day creates a spark of amazement and child-like wonder in you. You feel happier and more confident for getting smarter and adding something to your knowledge base. Maybe it’s something new in business, the gym, nutrition or productivity. Whatever it is, just set out to learn something today and every day.
Do something every day that scares you, no matter how small or large. It could be giving a public speech, approaching someone attractive, asking someone to marry you, being in a crowded place alone, buying a plane ticket or even making a phone call to order pizza. whatever is uncomfortable or scary for you, get in the habit of not shying away from it and meet it head on, daily.
Pushing your comfort zone builds courage, and again, courage leads to confidence. Fears cage you in and limit the joy and fulfillment you’re meant to get out of life. If you’re having trouble facing your fears, consider getting a coach to help you make a plan of action and to hold you accountable to it.
You’ve learned a lot in this guide:
Now make a promise to yourself: You won’t just read this article and say, “Wow, this is awesome!” and then proceed to forget it and do nothing. You will not become confident without taking action. You can do it. You can take control of your life, become the person everyone wants to know, and feel the surging power of confidence that sends shivers of excitement (rather than fear) through you as you walk into the room.
If you’re unhappy with your confidence levels right now and feel like you could be doing better, imagine being just as frustrated for the next 20, 30, or 40 years.
What can you do? Start now and don’t look back. In this guide, you learned how accountability partners can keep you on track and focused so that there’s no room for excuses. There’s a reason why Tony Robbins says that the best way to succeed at something is to find someone who’s already done it, and ask for their help to model that success. And it’s because:
Success leaves clues.
You can follow this guide and invest a great deal of your time pushing through roadblocks and obstacles that may be holding you back and blinding you, but the problem is that time never comes back. Once you spend it, it’s gone. Don’t you always find that you’re lacking time?
What if there was a way to shortcut becoming the confident, awesome person you know you can be?
Well, there is a shortcut. A life coach can cut your time to success in half or more. According to Forbes, a good coach can::
Investing in a coach is investing in yourself.
How much is your happiness, your satisfaction and having an amazing life worth to you?
Do you deserve it? The answer is yes!
If you haven’t consulted with a coach ever before it might make you feel a bit uncomfortable. You might feel weird about opening yourself up to them, confiding in them, or taking advice from someone who isn’t a super close friend. But life coaches use tried and tested techniques to help you achieve your goals. They have had many clients go through similar problems when it comes to confidence and can help you too. Once your coach determines your personality type and how you’re best motivated, they will make you a personalized plan to get you on the
Life coaches specialize in goal setting and management. They have the experience to teach you:
You’ll also get someone who’s constantly cheering you on and keeping you motivated even if you struggle or fall a bit behind. A life coach wants you to succeed just as bad as you want to.
There are possibly some amazing local coaches in your city but if you only stay local, you’re limiting yourself. You might also end up picking someone who’s untrustworthy and not right for you. There could be someone else better and more in tune to your needs who’s in another location and that’s why hiring an online coach might be better for you!
You see, Life Coach Spotter is similar to using a realtor for finding an apartment or house. You can find a place to live by yourself, but you have to vet out locations, trustworthy landlords, and drive around everywhere. A realtor has spent HOURS building their contacts and organizes everything for you, saving you time, hassle, and stress. Seems like a pretty good deal to me.
Life Coach Spotter does the same with coaches. We’ve interviewed and checked out any coach we include in our service. This way, you have a WAY better idea of who you will work with best and they’ll be tailor picked for you. We’re talking about your life here, and it’s essential to have someone you can trust who’s accredited and has the experience to “walk the walk” with you.
When you’re thinking about signing up with a coach, don’t let cost be the deciding factor of whether you do it or not. You are investing in yourself and your future. The most important thing is feeling like you work well with your potential coach. Choosing the right coach will save you time, stress, and potential frustration down the line. Everyone is different, and some coaches might not be the best fit for you.
If you find a coach who you love, you’ll be more excited and willing to work with them. Coaches don’t have to be expensive. Some coaches charge $300/hour, but others as low as $50/hour. You have plenty of options available at Life Coach Spotter to help you on your road to becoming the confident, amazing person you were born to be.
So get ready to catapult your way into success and becoming confident. Talk to a life coach today! Find out how they can help you get moving on your plans, and make sure you’re staying on track with your goals.
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