Believe it or not, confidence isn’t something we are born with. Instead, it’s a skill we learn over time. Some of us learn from a young age, while others are still trying to figure it out well into their adult years.
The truth is, life is too short not to be confident in yourself because who you are is AMAZING.
So we’re going to give you our best advice to help you on your journey to true self-confidence.
What makes us lose confidence in the first place?
In order to grow in confidence, it helps to understand why we lost (or never had) self-confidence in the first place.
Every one of us has a unique story (or Lemony Snicket style - series of unfortunate events) that keeps us from feeling confident in ourselves.
Some of the main culprits include:
- Being bullied in childhood
- Abusive partners
- Parents that never praised you
- Social media
- Mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and perfectionism
- Never feeling “good enough”
- Not surrounding yourself with good friends
- Uncomfortable situations with strangers
- Rude comments from family members
- Teachers that didn’t support you in school
- Toxic parents
- Siblings that constantly belittled you
- Growing up with less money than your peers
The list of reasons why is extensive. Most people lacking self-confidence usually have multiple reasons why.
But the good news is, once you understand why you have lost confidence, you can start to heal those wounds.
You can remind yourself that your past doesn’t have to define your future and that the poor behaviour of others towards you is very much a “them problem,” not a “you problem.”
Will that solve all your problems? No. But it’s a solid foundation to have as you work through the nine tips later in this article.
The benefits of being confident in who you are
If you clicked on this article, you probably already know the benefits of self-confidence for you, but let’s commit them to paper as motivation for this journey you are embarking on.
Major benefits of improving your self-confidence include:
- Lower stress levels
- Better relationships (romantic, friendships, and family)
- Living the life you want without fear
- Encountering new, exciting opportunities
- A sense of fulfilment and gratitude
- Improved mental health
- Better job prospects
- More resilient
- Overall increase in happiness
Sounds great, right? Let’s get to work, then!
Nine ways to confidently embrace who you are
Journals are incredibly useful tools for making life changes or adjustments. And it will definitely help you with your confidence. There are a few ways to journal for improved self-confidence:
- Write down your fears and things that make you feel unconfident, and work through them using your journal. Then, look for evidence to support your fears – usually, it’s a lot less than you think. This way, you can rationalise your feelings and start to move past them.
- Make plans for how you are going to become more confident, and use your journal as a planner to schedule everything.
- Make a list of things you feel define who you are as a person. So often, when we’ve been unconfident for a long time, hiding behind a mask, we lose sight of who we are as people. So, use your journal to reconnect with your authentic self. You can even create a vision board for inspiration.
2. Use affirmations
The pen is mightier than the sword, but the tongue is mightier than them both put together – Marcus Garvey
Words are extremely powerful tools. They can break a person’s confidence with one cruel utterance. But if they have the power to harm, then they have the power to heal.
The way you talk to yourself is crucial on your journey to embracing who you are confidently.
So every morning, look yourself in the eye (in the mirror) and repeat three positive affirmations to yourself.
It could be as simple as: “I am good enough,” or “I am a confident person.”
Words turn into beliefs, and beliefs turn into action.
3. Do things that take you outside your comfort zone
One of the biggest things you can do for your confidence is to take yourself outside your comfort zone and do things that scare you.
This way, you’re telling yourself that even if you’re scared, you believe in yourself enough to know you’ll be ok.
And that self-belief turns into self-confidence very quickly.
Try it for yourself. Make a list of things that scare you, and start ticking them off your list.
It’s best to start with small things and work your way up.
4. Take up your space
People lacking self-confidence tend to make themselves as small as possible. They relegate themselves to the corner, hunch over, avoid eye contact, and try to make their presence as unknown as possible.
They don’t believe they deserve to be in the room or that people are judging them.
But, it’s vital you remember this:
You deserve to take up your space and be seen as much as anyone else.
So next time you notice yourself retreating, take a deep breath and stand your ground. It will be terrifying the first few times, but you’ll grow in comfort and gain confidence as you get used to it.
5. Dress the way you want to
This one might seem superficial, but it’s quite important. A lot of self-conscious people often hide behind their clothes.
There are societal pressures to dress a certain way, and clothes can make you stand out – which is not something you want if you lack confidence.
But why should you be hiding? There is nothing wrong with you! So wear whatever you want and stand out.
If anyone has a problem with it, that’s on them, not you!
6. Do things that excite you
Unconfident people often feel they don’t “deserve” to have fun or go on adventures. Not because they’ve done anything wrong, but because they think they’ll be judged.
This is often a trauma response of people that have been constantly judged as children for their decisions – no matter how inconsequential they were.
Reminding yourself that you’re allowed to make your own decisions and live life on your own terms is a big way to regain self-confidence and let the world know who you are as a person.
7. Drown out the “haters”
People will always have opinions. They always have, and they always will. And with social media, they now have a platform to voice them – even when those comments are cruel and unnecessary.
But if you’re worried about others talking about you, there are two essential things you need to remember.
- a) Most people are too self-centred to even notice you – everyone is focused on themselves. And even if they turn their attention to you for a minute, they’ll have completely forgotten about you within a couple of minutes
- b) Those that mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind.
And remember, this advice applies to EVERYONE in your life, including family and friends. Just because someone is blood-related, it doesn’t mean you always have to listen to them. You are different individuals on different journeys that may have nothing to do with each other.
8. “Fake it ‘til you make it”
Some people don’t like this phrase, but it still remains stellar advice.
Fake it ‘til you make it means pretending you are confident until you actually become confident.
And we’ve already told you why it works. Thoughts lead to beliefs, and beliefs lead to actions.
So next time you’re feeling unconfident, do this:
Ask yourself – if I believe I am confident about ____________, I would ____________.
And then act accordingly.
9. Stop apologising for being yourself
Apologising for being yourself means one thing. You don’t believe that who you are is good enough.
And sure, you might not be where you want to be in life, but that does NOT mean you aren’t good enough.
Most people in life are just winging it, doing the best they can. And you do not need to apologise for being authentically yourself.
Next time you have the urge to apologise for being yourself, swallow the apology back down. And if it comes out of your mouth, simply correct yourself and say, you know what? I’m actually not sorry.
Start living your life authentically and confidently
Confidence is one of the most powerful tools you have as a human being. It’s the difference between living the life of your dreams and feeling stuck.
You don’t have to be the best to be confident; you just have to accept yourself for who you are.
And, spoiler alert, the only thing that differs between people living the life of your dreams and you is that they had the confidence to put themselves out there. And if they can do it, so can you.
So get working. We can’t wait to hear your story as you gain confidence and start living authentically.
For more inspiration, check us out on Instagram at @malpaper