What is confidence?
Confidence takes its roots from the Latin words con fidere- “with trust”.
So, being confident is all about trusting yourself.
Yet even the most confident among us suffer setbacks from time to time and doubt ourselves.
As you know, confidence is not something that’s given… but the good news is, it’s a skill you can grow and cultivate! It stems from you and what you do.
Here are some simple ways that can help you boost your confidence:
1. Paint the Front Door
I’ve borrowed this saying from my mum, Esther.
When we look good, we feel good and vice versa.
Like most students on exam day, I’d wake up in the morning feeling incredibly nervous and try to do some last-minute cramming.
One day, I had the realisation that I’d put in all the work I could and it was now time to let go and trust that the information I’d studied was in there somewhere!
So, I put on some music and started to get ready- brushing my hair, putting on makeup and nice clothes, even having a little dance as I turned a trip to the exam hall into an event, still feeling some nerves, naturally, but more confident and in control.
This is an approach that has enhanced my confidence over the years whether it be for a job interview, a work meeting or joining a new group.
Of course, painting the front door of your own house (i.e. your physical appearance) is a personal choice- how we dress ourselves is unique to each of us. You may feel more comfortable in workout clothes… or a suit or ballgown!
The key here is to show respect to yourself, however that looks and feels to you.
By taking a few moments to care for and groom yourself you’re putting yourself first and armed with that knowledge, that you are worthy and have prioritised yourself is a powerful way to build self-confidence and move forward from there.
It’s a similar practice to getting ready for a first date, so why not do it just for you?
Dress to impress yourself and see how you feel!
2. Take a trip down Memory Lane
Very often we say “leave the past in the past”.
And it’s true, there are some things we may need to let go of that no longer serve us.
However, looking back over past achievements is a powerful way to feel more confident in the present moment.
As Mufasa says to Simba in The Lion King
“Remember who you are…”.
Think about it.
How often do you achieve a goal, only to forget about it as you move on to the next thing and the next thing?
Your life isn’t a checklist!
Pause and think back as far as you can remember to your successes.
Write them down if you can.
Take your time with it and enjoy celebrating them as you do.
Successes don’t have to be the so-called big things, the awards and certifications. They can be little things, things that maybe no one else knows about, like getting out of bed in the mornings, helping others or doing your daily duties to the best of your ability.
Sometimes, we may have throwaway thoughts like “what have I even done with my life?” “who am I to do this?” or “I haven’t achieved as much as I’d like”.
Though some moments may have appeared small or insignificant at the time, you may not even be aware of the positive difference your kind words or support made to the life of another in those instances- just like in It’s a Wonderful Life when George realises the void that would exist in the world if he had never been born (a must-watch if you haven’t seen it for reminding us that we matter and make a difference).
Taking time to reflect builds a solid foundation from which we can develop our confidence. We feel confident when we know that something is true and reflecting provides proof of our past successes.
Instead of feeling like an imposter, we feel deserving.
How can there be any doubts when you have the facts before you?
Perhaps you are working on something new and don’t have experience in that area- remind yourself that every past success had a beginning at one stage and was also a new experience, yet you did what it took to get the result!
Feel that pride in your past at this moment in time and use it to propel you forward into your future.
You can re-visit this exercise whenever you want to immediately boost your confidence. The great thing about it is, it can be practiced anywhere- on a bus, waiting in line, lying in your bed!
Remind yourself that you already are a success as you work towards your next level of success.
3. Find what feels good
What simple daily habit can you implement that makes you feel good?
For me, it’s my daily walk.
Getting out and about in nature, no matter what the weather, blowing the cobwebs away has done wonders for me and my confidence.
Making the decision to do it then sticking with this routine has built my trust in myself.
It reminds me that I do what I say I will do and follow through.
If I show up for myself in one part of my life, I am capable of doing the same in others!
I enjoy the process and also enjoy seeing the progress I’ve made since I committed to this journey almost two years’ ago. I’m fitter, healthier and in better shape and all of this contributes to my overall confidence… which has a positive impact on all areas of my life!
Starting and sustaining a ritual that’s going to benefit you is an incredible way to increase your confidence levels. True, you may not see dramatic results immediately, but remember to celebrate your wins, no matter how small.
Be your own cheerleader as you build momentum and watch yourself progress- you’re not a person who’s been talking about doing something… you are actually doing it!
And confidence comes from the doing!
Know that these tips are not about “faking it til you make it”, but more about “feeling it to believe it”.
Be mindful to be gentle with yourself and find what works best for you.
Just like a muscle, confidence takes time to build up and grow, so take it one step at a time and if you have a day that’s not so great, remember, you never have to start building your confidence from the very beginning- pick yourself back up by giving yourself some R-E-S-P-E-C-T, remember all that you’ve already achieved as you focus on continuing to achieve and take some time for you to do something that will support you in feeling good!