Confidence is about clarity. Being clear about who you are, that you're okay as you, and in the moment, being clear about what you have to say.
When I first started coaching in 2009, I was working exclusively with weight loss clients, and confidence was an issue that came up a lot. When we're unhappy with how we look, we don't feel good.
For my clients who it was obvious were never going to be the outgoing Jennifer Lawrence type, I recommended they focus on building their self-esteem and the confidence would follow.
The ones who did have been able to keep the weight off all these years, because guess what, confidence is an inside job.
With self-esteem generated from within (as opposed to from the good opinions of others), you will be able to find your voice and start believing in yourself. This inner confidence will change the way you show up and will create the type of confidence that leads to lasting happiness.
Here are 5 things you can do to build the type of legit confidence I'm talking about.
1. Develop a Skill
It feels good to be good at something. So a great way to build inner confidence is to develop a skill that you’re naturally good at.
Do this: Develop your skills as a tennis player, pianist, YouTuber, cook, stock trader, stylist, interior designer, or content creator so that you will attract admirers who value what you're good at.
2. Practice Positive Self-talk
Our negative self-talk often results from internalizing negative messages we receive from our families, friends, and the outside world. Work on your negative self-talk by practicing positive self-talk.
Do this: Remind yourself of your humanity every day. This quote from The Gifts of Imperfection, offers an antidote to the unrealistic messages we internalize:The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown offers an antidote for the unrealistic messages we internalize. If it resonates with you, I recommend that you reflect on it daily:
To be human is to have flaws, but to love yourself anyway—that’s priceless.
3. Fully Commit
If you want to boost your confidence through physical fitness, commit to that goal by changing your lifestyle completely.
Your old excuses will soon vanish once you adopt a new lifestyle. By fully committing, you won't be half-in, half-out anymore.
Do this: Hire help and find a community of people who are working on health and fitness goals. When it comes to making a lifestyle change, everyone should be prepared for resistance, obstacles, setbacks, and days when they are not motivated.
You don't need to do this on your own. If you hire a trainer or join a group, you are putting help in place before you need it.
4. Keep Your Word to Yourself
One of the best definitions of confidence I ever read went something like this: “Confidence is the extent to which you can trust yourself to keep your word.”
If you keep putting off your commitments until tomorrow, that becomes a habit. It’s a habit you want to break.
Do this: To kick the procrastination habit and keep your word to yourself, find ways to “cheat” smart.
On the days when you don’t feel like keeping your exercise commitment, for example, only do 5 minutes or grab a workout buddy.
I feel better and might even go beyond the 5-minutes minimum. Tomorrow, you will feel proud of yourself for not slacking on yourself. You might even be motivated tomorrow to make up for any time you lost yesterday.
5. Work On Your Self-image
In an article in Psychology Today, Allison Abrams, LCSW-R shares 8 great tips to help you improve your self-image that is worth checking out.
One of her tips is to exercise. I agree. Exercise and starting a physical improvement journey are things that we know work.
FYI: when we like what we see in the mirror, our self-esteem improves.
In addition to exercise and fitness, work on your appearance by finding your personal style and getting a signature scent if you don’t have one.
The type of confidence you will build when you practice the above list is the type of confidence that sticks.
By having a skill, accepting yourself while improving what you can, living your values, and giving others the gift of grace, you will transform yourself into someone you like. I promise.
Remember, no one is born with confidence and charisma. It may come more naturally to some people, but confidence is truly a learned trait.