Very few people are born with natural, unbreakable confidence. The rest of us are forced to create it pretty much out of thin air… or we never do. The choice is ours.
Of course, I’m talking about self-confidence in this context. It’s defined by the Oxford Dictionary as, “a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”
Embodying confidence isn’t as difficult as you might believe. At some point in your life, you’ve probably had someone tell you to “fake it ’til you make it.” To some degree, I do agree with this sentiment. When you’re trying to build up your confidence, faking it is all you can do. However, nobody should have to live their entire life this way. Constantly feeling anxious would be miserable, as well as detrimental to physical and emotional health.
It’s possible to feel and look confident, regardless of how anxious you may also be feeling on the inside. Confidence won’t cure your anxiety, but you also won’t be forced to “fake it ’til you make it.” Feeling nervous is natural, and if you never feel nervous, there’s probably something wrong with you. What’s great about confidence, is that it allows you to feel nervous while simultaneously feeling reassured of your own abilities.
I’ve never been a shy person, but I haven’t always felt terribly confident either. Confidence was a foreign concept to me, up until high school. I could handle speaking in front of my class and tackling auditions, but I wasn’t actually confident. I just knew how to fake it really well. Yes, I was “making it”, but I was also really uncomfortable.
I felt like I was constantly pushing myself and never allowed myself a moment to breathe. I was convinced that this was what life was: forcing oneself through intimidating situations and hoping for the best. It wasn’t until I experienced being bullied in middle school, that I saw the need for and importance of self-confidence, and I started the process of building up my own.
I remember feeling so free when I discovered my independence from the opinions of my classmates and finally started making my own decisions. During my 8th grade year, I started reading the Harry Potter series and spent a lot more time alone, which lead me to do a lot more self-reflection. It was during this time that I began to get a better understanding of who I am and what sets me apart from others. Don’t be afraid of spending time alone. Use that time to get to know yourself instead.
I’ve learned most of what I know about confidence simply by watching Youtube videos of people who display confidence. I say frequently that “you are what you watch,” and I believe that to be true. The more you familiarize yourself with something, the more you will remember it. Some of my favorite people to watch are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Emma Watson, and Paul McCartney. When you have spare time during your day, watch some videos of confident individuals you find inspiring and embody some of the qualities you like best.
Confidence isn’t something you’re likely going to feel overnight. It takes time to finally break-in your shoes and walk comfortably in them. There are still moments now where I don’t feel quite as confident as I’d like, just as anyone does. However, even if I feel like I’m going to be sick, I have the ability to still appear as being confident.
Am I always able to pull it off? Maybe not, but I consciously know better. It’s actually pretty simple to master confidence, and you can do it too.
I’ve put together a list of 5 characteristics and actions that I believe are essential to keep in mind during your journey toward self-confidence (I’ll elaborate on each in a moment):
Self-discipline should be your focus during your journey to confidence. More self-discipline means more results from your efforts. Try to think of your self-confidence as a muscle that you’re trying to strengthen. The more time and energy you put into building it up, the stronger it’ll become and the more you will start to notice.
The first step to finding confidence in yourself is knowing who you are and being conscious of it. You don’t have to know your entire life purpose. Just start out by answering a few basic questions. Do you have a talent? What activities do you enjoy? What roles do you play in your life? Are you a mother? A boss? A friend?
If you think it will help you to be more visual, write out a list of these things and read them daily.
Being conscious of yourself and your emotions will help you to better prepare for social situations and conversations. With a little self-reflection, you may realize that you’re very introspective and don’t actually enjoy going to any of the parties you force yourself to go to. When you’re confident, you have the freedom to do what you feel comfortable doing, like maybe going to see a movie, instead of what you think others want you to do.
Start trying to be conscious of yourself. What is the volume of your voice like? Do you look down at the floor when you speak? These are all
Start with one aspect at a time. First, you might want to focus on your body language. Do you have a distracting habit that you know is hindering you from coming across as confident? Focus on it for a week. Each time you catch yourself about to engage in it, use self-discipline to stop, and remind yourself why it’s keeping you from being your best. Then, when you feel like you’ve made some progress, take the progress you’ve made and move on to focus on a new habit.
Patience is also a large part of the confidence gaining process. Put full trust in yourself during this time and try not to rush yourself. Becoming frustrated will only hinder you from the positivity that’s needed in order to grow.
Keep up the good work and try not to get discouraged. Persistence is going to be your best friend during this process. The easiest way to end up back at square one, with little to no confidence, is to stop trying. Put in a little effort each day, even if you are simply practicing consciousness.
Are you on a journey toward self-confidence? Are you applying any of the things I mentioned here? Let me know below! I would love to hear your progress and answer any questions you may have.