After reading our last blog post on how a lack of confidence affects you and your weight, you might be wondering how to be confident.
As we discussed in our last post, there are two types of confidence:
- External confidence — confidence that is dependent upon external factors (e.g. weight loss, a new job), but often wanes if the external factor disappears
- Internal confidence — a confidence you feel no matter how things are going in your life.
The type of confidence you want to develop is internal confidence.
A confident person
A person with internal confidence:
- believes in the future
- believes in their abilities
- is willing to take risks
- embraces their mistakes and learns from them
- doesn’t place their worth in external things or the opinions of others
- does what they feel is right, even if others don’t agree
- doesn’t need validation from other people
- doesn’t compare themselves with other people
- understands they have value for who they are, not what they do.
Not everyone is born with confidence, but anyone can develop it.
How to be confident
There are a number of things that you can do to grow your confidence. But the key to turning these into new habits is that you need to choose to work on them, and you need to practice them every day, in order for them to become a new normal.
1. Focus on what you’ve already achieved
For many people, particularly perfectionists lack of self-confidence comes from focusing on what you haven’t done, instead of what you have done. Failing to give yourself credit for your achievements and focusing on what you haven’t mastered won’t help you build confidence.
2. Celebrate your strengths
Everyone has things they’re good at. What are your strengths? What are the things that you find easy to do? Harness the power of these because your strengths will help you achieve wins, and when you have wins, your confidence grows.
3. Work on your weaknesses
Just as everyone has strengths, everyone also has weaknesses. Most people try to run or hide from their weaknesses, but confident people face them, and work on them, until they become strengths. This not only gives them more strengths, but a level of confidence they didn’t have before. Work out what you find difficult to do and keep working at it until you don’t find it hard.
4. Stop comparing yourself with others
Comparing yourself with other people, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or change your body shape is a recipe for disaster. Instead, focus on your own path. Work on the things that you need to change so you can achieve the goals you set for yourself. There’s nothing quite like achieving a goal to boost your confidence.
5. Set SMART goals
Speaking of goals, you need to set some. But they have to be SMART. That means they have to be:
An example of a goal many people have: “I want to lose weight and tone up.”
However, a SMART goal is: “I want to lose 10kg by the end of the year, so I can wear a bikini at the beach.”
A big part of setting goals is that they have to be achievable. If they’re not, you’ll beat yourself up for failing to reach them and your fragile confidence will take a further dive. When you achieve goals, you grow in confidence and you’ll keep working towards your other goals.
6. Develop your self-worth
Confident people understand that they are worthy, no matter what their body shape, weight, or dress size. They also find worth in who they are as a person, instead of what they achieve (which is an external factor). Take time to understand who you are, what makes you unique and why you’re valuable, and your confidence will increase.
7. Get out of your comfort zone
This is one thing most people find hard to do, but when you get out of your comfort zone, you’ll challenge the beliefs you have about yourself and what you thought you were capable of doing. Confident people trust themselves. They believe that they can handle whatever situation arises, no matter what the challenge. Stop doing the things you find easy, and start to say ‘yes’ to the things that challenge you or make you feel uncomfortable. On the other side is confidence.
8. Confront your fears
What do you fear the most? Some people fear not being in control, so they try to control everything around them. Other people fear being seen for who they really are, so they continue to hide behind masks or do what it takes to ‘fit in’. Other people fear intimacy, so they avoid being honest and vulnerable. Other people are afraid of being lonely so they continue to move from one relationship to another, even if they know that it won’t last.
The things we fear have power over us. And when we give our power away, we give our confidence away too. To take back your power, and to be confident, you need to confront your fears. When you can face your fear head on, you can face anything — and this is a key step in building confidence.
One step at a time
Learning how to be confident can take time, particularly if you have a number of habits that have led to a lack of confidence.
Our advice is to work on one thing at a time. If you try to tackle too many, you’ll feel overwhelmed, you’ll probably end up being hard on yourself, and that will only erode your confidence further. But by tackling one thing at a time, you’ll make significant progress in replacing a habit that leads to lack of confidence, with one that increases your confidence. In addition, you’ll gain another burst of confidence when you successfully replace one habit with another one.
At Imani Tribe, we help high achievers, business owners and professionals increase their confidence levels so they can live the life they dream of. We do this by giving them strategies that help them move out of their comfort zone, face their fears, and become the confident people they’ve always wanted to be. We also provide a safe, supportive environment where people can learn to be themselves without fear of judgement.
Are you ready to do what it takes to improve your confidence?