Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a confident person?
Confidence is something some people are born with but others need to work hard to cultivate.
The good news is that it is a trait anyone can improve, regardless of who they are.
What Is Meant By “Being Confident”?
Being confident is about more than strutting your stuff when you walk across a room.
Confidence is an inner trust and knowing in your abilities and capabilities.
It comes from a place of being secure in your skin.
Confident people have a sense of fulfillment in who they are and they often derive a sense of pleasure from their accomplishments.
They are sure of themselves and act with conviction, which is a useful quality for achieving success and an attractive quality for other people.
Having “Low” or “No” Confidence
Confidence does not come easy to everyone.
It can be extremely difficult for some people to appear or become more confident, whereas other people exude confidence effortlessly.
Research has also found that women are less confident than men, despite being high achievers, which is known as the confidence gap.
Regardless of where you lie on this spectrum, it is always a good idea to work towards becoming more confident.
People who have “low” or “no” confidence often have weak self-esteem.
They do not trust their abilities and may feel incompetent in a variety of roles. These types of people may also feel awkward in social situations.
It has been found that people with lower confidence levels often deal with harsh inner critics that negatively affect their self-beliefs.
They also lack intrinsic motivation to achieve their goals. This can be detrimental to their mental health and social interactions.
No wonder many people think the secret to success lies in the phrase “confidence is key”.
Lucky for us, understanding what makes up confidence can help us increase it.
Building Blocks of Confidence
Like most characteristics and traits, confidence starts with a mindset. Have you ever heard someone say “fake it till you make it”?
This phrase relates to the importance of having a confident mindset to raise your confidence levels.
The first step towards becoming more confident is believing that you are confident.
And when we look at the definition of confidence, this means that you have to believe in your capabilities and self-worth.
Confidence is also a result of what we say to others and ourselves.
Words can have a powerful effect on our belief system and using words that support our self-worth can directly increase confidence.
If you encourage yourself you will start believing more in your abilities. It also helps to not put yourself down in front of other people.
Words can be a powerful contributor to creating our reality, so use words that can cultivate a sense of confidence in who you are as a person.
When it comes to confidence, it is important to feel confident on an emotional level.
This has to do with emotional control and keeping your emotions intact in difficult times.
When you are confident, you do not allow emotions to lead to doubt in your capabilities as a person but rather acknowledge them and use them as a tool for growth.
So, feeling confident relates to feeling secure and acknowledging that emotions are temporary.
Confident people know how to silence their inner critics.
Being confident does not mean that you never doubt yourself or that you do not have an inner critic, it just means that you don’t allow that doubt to warp your perception of reality.
It is not about silencing your fears but rather attempting to understand them so that you can better understand yourself.
It also means that you focus on the things you can change about yourself without spending too much time fretting about aspects of yourself you can’t change e.g. your height.
Have you noticed how you can realize when a confident person has entered the room?
This is because our bodies also play an important role in our levels of confidence.
This has less to do with what you look like and more with how you carry yourself.
Confidence can be seen in how you walk and talk.
Confident people broaden their shoulders, stand upright and have a firm stance. They speak with a clear voice and articulate their words.
They look people in the eye and carry themselves with grace. They act with a sense of self-determination and direction.
The last factor that can affect our confidence is other people. And in this regard, it may feel like you have little control over this.
Even though we can’t control others’ perceptions of us or actions towards us, we can change how we respond to them.
Confidence means that you can take a compliment from others. It also suggests that you can stand up for yourself in times when people try to undermine your self-image.
Confidence requires us to exercise control over our responses to the extent that we can retain belief in our capabilities, despite others’ opinions or perceptions of us.
Ways to Start Building Confidence
So, how can we cultivate confidence? How can we ensure that the building blocks of confidence are in place?
What actions can we take today to allow ourselves to go from “no” or “low” confidence to being more confident?
Have A Growth Mindset
A growth mindset assumes that we are capable of change.
Deciding to become more confident already assumes that the growth mindset exists because it suggests that our confidence levels are not set in stone but rather something we can work towards.
The growth mindset is backed up by science. It is based on the brain’s neuroplasticity, which refers to the brain’s ability to adapt, grow and forge new pathways.
There are many ways to adopt a growth mindset. Here are some practical steps to work towards:
Evaluate Your Current Position
Think about where you are now and what you want to achieve.
Do you believe that you can progress or have you fallen into the trap of having a fixed mindset, which assumes that you are stuck in your ways?
Be Inspired By Others
People who adopt a growth mindset are resilient in the face of failure and believe they can improve on tier capabilities.
Do you know such a person? What qualities do they have that you can adopt?
Change Your Relationship To Failure
How do you handle failure? Is failure something that demotivates you and leads you to give up?
Having a growth mindset means accepting that failure is a part of life and being persistent even when setbacks occur.
Change The Narrative
Instead of using “I Can’t” language, try to adopt language that reflects a growth mindset. For example, instead of saying “I can’t move up in my career”, consider saying “I can’t move up in my career yet”.
This assumes that there is space to grow and develop and matches the growth mindset.
It can be exciting to think that you can be or do anything if you have a growth mindset. But, it is important to know your own limitations.
Set realistic expectations and goals and keep them small and attainable. Over time, the brain forges new pathways and seemingly difficult tasks will soon become easier over time.
Use Positive Self-Talk
Positive self-talk may not come naturally to all people but it can be an important driving factor in becoming more confident.
Positive self-talk can take the form of encouraging words or mantras that you repeat to yourself daily.
For example, you may use something like “every day in every way I am getting better and better”.
This mantra assumes a growth mindset and acknowledges the small steps we take to improve each day.
Being confident means having trust in our capabilities. So, if you achieve success, it is important to take credit for it.
Give yourself credit where credit is due. Do not ascribe your success to other factors.
Remember your efforts and acknowledge the steps you take towards achieving your goals.
Keep Emotions Under Control
Emotions are an important part of life but it can be difficult to not let them control you.
Whenever we feel sad or angry, it may be difficult to retain a sense of belief in ourselves.
Try to exert a conscious effort to control your emotions. This can be as simple as taking a few long, deep breaths to get your emotions under control.
Confidence means you can control your emotions before they control you.
Dress To Impress
Wearing flattering clothes or things that make you feel confident can have a positive effect on your confidence levels.
If you need a quick confidence boost, wear something that you love and feel comfortable in.
Improve Body Language
Another way to immediately boost your confidence levels is to improve your body language.
Improving your posture and taking an open stance will make you appear more confident to other people, even if you are not.
This, in turn, will increase your sense of confidence in yourself and over time, you may cultivate a habit of becoming more confident.
Face Your Fears
Facing your fears is one of the biggest ways to build more confidence in your life.
If you overcome an obstacle or event that scares you, your confidence levels will immediately increase.
This is because your mindset regarding your capabilities will become more positive.
So instead of running away from your fears, try facing them and see what happens.
Do not compare yourself to others. Each person is fighting their own battles and there will always be better and lesser people than yourself.
Instead, acknowledge that each person is on their journey and that yours is unique.
It may be helpful to stay away from social media if your confidence takes a knock as it is far too easy to engage in comparing when we look at others’ lives on social media.
So can confidence be built? Yes, and it only requires a few conscious efforts to raise your own belief in yourself.
There are many building blocks to confidence and many of them can be cultivated through simple behaviors and routines.
But the most important thing to remember is that the first step to becoming more confident is believing that you can become more confident. So, fake it till you make it.