You have likely arrived at this page in a need to find out how to become more confident. You have probably many different posts, images, and videos about this and are probably only going to scan this page. However I ask that you give me a chance.
Like you, I have read all those posts and articles and I always found that they were missing something. It's not that they didn't have good information. Far from it. It's that it didn't give me exactly what I was looking for. Yes “Loving myself more,” would help but how exactly was I supposed to do that?
Ultimately these posts did not help me and so I decided to help myself. I broke it down thus:
Positive Self Confidence = Positive Self Esteem.
Whoa, what was that explosion? Oh! Only your mind being blown? I know. That was obvious, a no-brainer, if you will. See what I did there? -wink wink, nudge nudge-
On a more serious note, let's break it down a bit more then.
Positive Self Esteem = Believe or Faith in one self.
That is the root of self confidence – having faith in yourself. Again you must be saying “well, come on, Duhhhhhh Emi. I know that.” But hold on! The human mind is as complex as it is lazy. It likes to put things on the back burner. While you may know this intellectually, you might not be focusing on it regularly. The knowledge of this simple truth is at best vague in your mind at present. I can say this with confidence because you are here reading this article.
My goal then, is to bring it to light for you. It's not enough just to simply tell you this but to explain and break down how this works so you can apply it to your life.
Every time we make a mental or audible statement about ourselves, our mind does this thing where it searches our memory for confirmation. So lets say, your statement is, “I am a hard worker.” Your mind automatically looks for instances where you were indeed a hard worker. The more examples it can come up with and the more recent, the more certain you are in your hard working ethics. Not only that but the more confidence you have in your ability to work hard and the more true that statement becomes. The more conviction is infused into it every time you say it.
Let's say, “I am healthy,” but your mind cannot come up with examples of this. Instead it can find a plethora of examples of you eating junk food, hitting the snooze, taking the escalator or even worse the elevator and slowly it whispers to you, “No you aren't,”. Every time you say “I am healthy,” it will bombard you with that negative image reel and whisper back “No you aren't,” until one day, you will say, “I am healthy?” then “Am I healthy?” then “I used to be healthy,” then “I am not healthy,”. The more examples it has of you not being healthy the more it undermines your conviction in that statement because to your mind, it's not true.
The mind is amazing. You can lie to anyone and heck even everyone, I don't know, you do you I say, but you cannot lie to yourself. It will push that lie in your face and if you try to ignore it, it will show up in your dreams. This is how you undermine your confidence.
If we understand how it works, then it becomes quite simple to build confidence.
To build Confidence = Every time you make a statement to yourself you keep it.
If you want to feel self confidence in your health then you can make a statement like “Tomorrow I will wake up at 5am to run.” As soon as you make that statement, you keep it. That means you wake up at 5am and you run. The beautiful thing is that you do not even have to run a lot. You just have to Close the Circle.
Closing the Circle as I call it is to finish what you start. You said run, you didn't specify a mile so running around your block will put a check mark in that “healthy” column. Of course soon that won't be enough, you will need to up the ante but the more you follow through the more you will feel confidence in that area.
You can use this technique for everything.
You have trouble speaking to people, so you lack confidence in that area, well the key is simply to say to yourself that tomorrow I will speak to one random person. You don't even have to have a full conversation. Just saying “hi” puts a check mark in that column.
You don't feel like you can speak in public, well at your next work or school meeting, raise your hands. It doesn't even have to be a huge thing that you contribute. It could even just be to agree with a colleague or reaffirm what they said, but because it happens in that group setting. It will qualify and the more you push yourself to try doing that thing you feel you lack the more your confidence in that area grows.
I know I am only giving small examples, but let me clarify. I believe in the power of Escalation. This means increasing in intensity gradually. Asking a person who lacks confidence in an area to do something huge might scare them off, but if they have several little wins under their belt, it becomes easier when the big leap is needed. They will have several examples under their belt to bolster said confidence when it comes to the big things.
So if you believe that you can jump in gang-ho, by all means, but most times, a person who truly lacks confidence in an area will struggle. This is why starting small is better – less intimidating. Then as time passes, you can increase your effort.
Alright so that's individual areas of low confidence. What about overall lack of confidence or low self esteem? That comes when you can look at multiple areas of your life and come up with examples of succeeding. The more areas you are able to check off on your list, the more self assured you become and the more your self esteem grows which then grows your self confidence.
The thing is most people do not realize that Low Self Esteem is at its base, just the mind calling them out on their bs. It's their perception of who they believe that they should be vs. What they actually do. It's a good thing, its just that like I said in the beginning, the mind is kind of dumb too and it goes overboard. The whole system is supposed to keep us honest and striving for what we believe in. Instead of accepting the call out however, we fight it stubbornly until we become crippled with doubt.
So, about that overall Positive Confidence.
The idea is to assess yourself. Look at the areas in your life that you feel you are lacking in. It's more than likely that you have not been keeping your promise to yourself in those areas. The moment you start creating positive examples for your mind to fall back on, the faster your self confidence will grow.
Essentially you will be loving yourself more. A person who cannot keep their promise to themselves cannot say that they love themselves after all.
This is just a quick introduction to the topic. I have a Multi-level quest on Building Confidence coming up soon. I will place a link to it here when it is ready.