How Can I Build More Self-Confidence?
This question comes up often when I talk with folks about confidence coaching. It may seem like an obvious answer, but have you ever really thought about why some people just oooooze confidence and others struggle? I’m not talking about arrogance. I’m talking about those people you meet who seem rock solid and unflappable – the ones that draw you in like a magnet and feel amazing to be around.
The truth is, many definitions of self-confidence fall short of the full picture. Here’s my favorite so far… I like the simplicity:
Self-Confidence: Feeling certain and sure about your inherent value or abilities.
What Does That Mean?
This means that confidence comes through knowing who you are beyond what society and the outside world says. You know yourself in the present moment, and you have an understanding of your current abilities.
When we take a look at WHY confident people are the way they are, we see there are a few indicators that show up again and again:
1. They OWN their Reality
Truly Confident people don’t sit around wishing that they were different. They know that self-confidence comes as much from knowing and embracing who they AREN’T as knowing who they ARE. They don’t get so caught up in storytelling – instead they just see things as they are.
For example, a friend of mine is often a few minutes late to social meetups. I remember a dinner where she walked in late and someone cracked a joke about how she’s always 5 minutes behind. Her calm response:
‘I think my internal clock just runs a few minutes later than others. Maybe I’ve got some relaxed Spanish ancestry, who knows.’
It’s a simple example, but many people get flustered when they don’t meet certain social expectations. She takes it all in stride. She knows she means no disrespect, and her friends know they can always count on her. The truth is, she gets more done in one day than many accomplish in an entire week because she optimistically fills her time. She’d rather continue her full life with the occasional late appearance than to cut back on all the things and people she loves. THAT is knowing yourself and your reality.
2. They Have Gratitude for it ALL
Yep, that includes being grateful for the good, the bad and the ugly. Confident people see that every part of life is working for them in one way or another. They aren’t selective about what they let in and what they push away – they take it all and let life flow through them. This also makes them resilient when the unexpected comes along:
• The Good: Feels warm and fuzzy – who doesn’t like that?
• The Bad: Tough situations are the best teachers. They see tough times as ‘polishing’ instead of a beating. They know that these are the phases that push them to grow and become more resilient and gritty.
• The Ugly: They know that they can’t appreciate beauty without its counterpart, and there’s the understanding that all things serve a purpose. If there’s something ‘ugly’ in their life, it brings greater appreciation for the other areas.
This doesn’t mean confident people don’t get bummed out sometimes. But they see that as even something to be embraced and explored. Which brings us to number 3:
3. They are HONEST with Themselves and Others
People who exude self-confidence are also able to be honest with their thoughts and emotions, no matter how messy they might be. They admit when they’re nervous or sad or frustrated, and this allows them to simply embrace and experience what’s real for them in each moment.
Jennifer Lawrence is someone who embraces honesty with amazing grace, vulnerability, and humour. She knows who she is, and she appreciates herself. Does she have bad moments, of course! But she knows that’s all just part of the flow. (Check out her brilliantly honest responses regarding her golden globe trip-up.)
- Learn to love and own the reality of who you are
- Be grateful for the full range of life, inside and outside of yourself
- Embrace your emotions and situation honestly, and if possible have a sense of humour about it!
If you’re looking to gain more self-confidence, these three areas are great places to start. Get curious and experiment!
If you’re unsure about how and where to dig in, you’re not alone. Click below to learn how you can quickly begin boosting your self-confidence.