Confidence is a crucial aspect of our lives that can impact personal and professional growth. It is the belief in oneself and one’s abilities, and it can help us overcome challenges and achieve our goals; or, as Ohio University Psychology Professor Dr. Richard Petty defines it, confidence is “the stuff that turns thoughts into actions”. Building confidence is not always easy, and it can be challenging to know where to start.
Here are a some general thoughts, insights, and tips to help you become more self-assured and confident.
1. Identify your Strengths
One of the first steps in building confidence is to identify your strengths. Most find it easier to focus on weaknesses and mistakes; and yes, identifying opportunities for growth is important however, confidence will diminish if you constantly live in that headspace. Put time aside to reflect on your skills, talents, and accomplishments. Make a list of your achievements and the things you are good at. If you need a helpful strategy (because you find yourself continuing to doubt your abilities), create a “Good Stuff” file in your email inbox and every time a leader, colleague, or friend sends a message of gratitude, or compliments a job well done, SAVE IT; rereading these messages will remind you what you are capable of! Focusing on strengths will give you a sense of pride, and help you feel more confident.
2. Set Achievable Goals
Setting achievable goals is another way to build confidence. Start by setting small goals that you can accomplish easily. As you achieve each goal, you will gain confidence in your abilities, and be more motivated to tackle more significant challenges; the more you do, the better you feel. Oh, and don’t forget to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may be.
3. Practice Self-Care
Taking care of yourself is essential for building confidence. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and moving regularly. Taking care of your physical health can help you feel more energized and confident. Additionally, practicing self-care helps to manage stress and anxiety, which can impact your confidence levels.
4. Surround Yourself with Positive People
We all know a “Debbie Downer”…the one who is always complaining about the leadership, their work schedule, friends and their annoying habits, etc. Consistently hearing messages like those can begin to negatively impact how you view yourself and the world around you. Seek out friends and colleagues who are supportive and encouraging, and avoid people who bring you down or make you feel insecure. Being around positive people who are challenging themselves, seeking to SOLVE problems (not complain about them) will help you feel more confident and motivated. Find YOUR cheerleader, and BE a cheerleader for others!
5. Take Risks
Step outside your comfort zone and try something new…what’s the worst thing that could happen? You will succeed or fail, but either way, you learned something. Remember, failure is a natural part of the learning process, and it helps build resilience and confidence in your abilities. The next time an opportunity or challenge presents itself, ask yourself “Why not me?”
Building confidence is a process; it takes time and effort. By identifying your strengths, setting achievable goals, practicing self-care, surrounding yourself with positive people, and taking risks, you can become more self-assured and successful. Remember to be patient with yourself and celebrate your successes along the way.
Now go turn those thoughts into action!