Ayn Rand wisely said,
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
Building confidence is not about ability; it’s about belief. As evidenced by Rand’s quote above, a healthy sense of belief in oneself can go a long way.
Belief and confidence are like the chicken and the egg, inextricably linked in such a way that it doesn’t really matter which one came first because they are both essential to the other’s existence. When building confidence, we must believe, and to believe we must be confident that what we believe is right.
No one is born confident. Your confidence and beliefs are shaped by your lived experiences, including failure and disappointment that can cause you to question everything you thought you knew.
When you question your beliefs, it directly affects your ability to be confident. However, it is almost certain that you will fail and be disappointed from time to time. Therefore, knowing how to maintain your confidence in the face of those low points is paramount. ((Harvard Business Review: How to Build Confidence))
In an effort to help you avoid the destabilizing effects of failure and disappointment, here are 5 steps to building confidence that is unshakeable.
1. Create a Strong Personal Belief Statement
A strong belief statement, or affirmation, can be a game changer. Your belief statement should be both a distillation of your beliefs and a statement of encouragement that reminds you of your capabilities. You should feel positive and empowered when you say your belief statement to yourself.
An example of a belief statement is: “I fearlessly succeed, no matter the circumstance, and remain victoriously affluent.” The statement speaks to an ability to overcome life’s failures and disappointments while still accomplishing whatever must be accomplished.
In order to create your belief statement:
- Take 10 minutes to write down some challenges you have faced thus far and any themes that keep coming up in your life.
- Spend 10 more minutes generating some possible beliefs statements (1 or 2 sentences each) that sum up your ability to overcome those challenges and rise above any negativity presented by the themes while still embracing the positive.
- Spend 5-10 minutes saying the statements you have created out loud.
- Choose the statement that evokes the most positive emotion and confidence in you when you recite it.
When you have finished, memorize this statement, write it on your bathroom mirror, or carry it in your pocket to reference when you need a pick-me-up. Frequent recitation of your belief statement out loud or internally will start to lay the foundation for long-term confidence.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
Through repetition we gain facility. The more you practice being confident, the more confident you will be.
There are things that you already know you are good at or are capable of. The data from those past events can be helpful as you intentionally practice being confident, especially when it is used as evidence to support the belief that you can do whatever is required in the moment. ((Kingston University: Self-confidence at work: understanding and developing the construct))
Any time you believe you can accomplish something or deliver on an expectation, that is an opportunity to practice confidence. Simply expressing your confidence out loud to yourself or others can have a truly transformative effect.
The act of verbalizing your self-confidence immediately gives a positive belief more weight, and sharing it with others allows them to validate and support you in that belief. When they echo their confidence in you, it will help you in building confidence in yourself.
You have to strengthen your confidence like a muscle, otherwise you don’t stand a chance when life hits you with unexpected disappointment.
3. Surround Yourself With Confident and Competent People
You are a reflection of both the people you spend time with and your environment. Therefore, making sure that you’re spending time with people who exhibit confidence in themselves is important. They are modeling behaviors that are beneficial for your growth.
Watching others exercise their confidence despite life’s challenges will help deepen your belief and confidence in yourself. Their presence will not only serve as reminder of how to be confident in tough times, but it will also remind you that you are not alone on this journey.
4. Keep Track of Your Wins
You can’t argue with evidence. The internal critic can get pretty loud and aggressive when you are dealing with self-doubt, which can snowball into an all-out assault on your beliefs and confidence.
We tend to be very good are remembering what went wrong but not as great as remembering what we did well. Keeping a record creates an archive of valuable data. ((The Gallup Organization: Investing in Strengths))
When you have your wins written down, you can always refer back to them as tangible examples of your capabilities, bravery, and accomplishments. Your inner critic will be hard pressed to negate such compelling examples of your confidence in action. These examples are great prompts to reconnect with your confidence and exercise that muscle.
5. Establish a Foundation of Trust in the Greater Universality of Life
Trust, here, refers to a deeper knowing that allows you to experience a deep faith that leads to confidence.
When you trust that there is something greater in store for you, that everything happens for a reason, or that nothing is random, then you are able to tap into a sense of acceptance when thing go awry.
There is a beauty in your individual spiritual experience that is unique only to you. Many things are unknowable, including the future. However, what you do know is that you are here on this planet with millions of other people, all trying to live their best lives and bring something of value to their community.
You can trust that you are dedicated to doing what is necessary to move along your journey to self-realization. You can trust that up until this moment you have allowed yourself to be guided to where you need to be — whether by intuition or by something else. You can trust that you are already whole.
Cultivating a deep trust in the universality of life and the things we know to be true is an invaluable anchor for our confidence.
Building confidence is important, and for many that process can be daunting. Ultimately, what we believe about ourselves effects our confidence. We have all heard the old adage,
“If you don’t think you can, then you won’t.”
It may seem like an oversimplification, but it’s not. When you believe in yourself deeply, and the belief is rooted in deep trust, there is very little that can shake your confidence. Remember to practice confidence daily, be unafraid to create a belief statement that fires you up, track your wins, surround yourself with confident people, and establish a foundation of trust. Practices like these will give you the confidence you need to accomplish what is possible every day.
More to Boost Your Confidence
- How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence
- How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It)
- 15 Things Highly Confident People Don’t Do
Author: Awilda Rivera
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