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Do you have control over the direction of your life?
Or do you feel powerless to create the life you want because of external forces, genetics, responsibilities, and the requests and demands of the people around you?
Your answers to these mindset questions say a lot about the current level of your self-confidence.
What I’m getting at is this…
When You’re full of confidence, you have more faith in your ability to steer your life in the direction you want it to go, as well as overcome any obstacles that may jump up into your path.
But when you lack self-confidence, you tend to feel insecure when faced with challenges, doubt your capabilities to get what you want in life, and powerless to accomplish your goals.
Sounds fun, huh? And it gets even better!
A low level of confidence, when left unchecked, can easily spiral into low self-esteem, depression, and hopelessness due to the avoidance of your problems.
But luckily for you, a lack of self-confidence isn’t a death sentence.
In other words, a low level of confidence isn’t a fixed character trait you have to carry with you for the rest of your life.
You can increase your confidence daily by doing confidence-building exercises and activities.
And you’ll learn how to do them and which confidence-building exercises are best for you after a necessary exploration of the topic of confidence.
Let’s dive in.
What is Confidence and Why is Building Confidence Important?
Confidence is subjective.
Meaning, everyone experiences confidence (or a lack of confidence) differently. And the way each person feels about themselves and their capabilities is deeply personal.
For me, confidence is a measure of the amount of belief I have in myself to handle whatever I need (or choose) to do at any given moment.
As for a formal definition …
Merriam-Webster defines confidence in several ways.
- It defines confidence as a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances.
- And also as the faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way.
The first definition has more to do with self-confidence, while the second seems to deal with the confidence we have in other people. Leaders or authority figures for example.
Self-confidence and its relationship to purposeful living will be the main focus of this article.
So why is confidence-building important?
Because a higher level of confidence can lead to more happiness in life and a more purposeful life.
“There’s actually 5 fundamental factors of happiness, which I call Pillars of happiness.
The 5 pillars of happiness are:
Confidence and self-love
• Meaning and purpose
• Positivity and optimism
• Physical and mental health
• Freedom and independence
What does this mean? It means that without these fundamental happiness factors – pillars – it will be difficult to find long-term happiness in your life.”
What’s your definition of confidence?
What is a Confident Person Like?
A confident person is easy to spot. Their natural charisma helps them stand out in a crowd.
I’m not talking about the overly-confident or conceited person who brags, boasts, and talks a big game.
Oftentimes these types of people lack the competence and skill to back it up.
Nor am I talking about the shallow, “fake it til you make it” kind of confidence. I’m talking about the kind of confidence reserved for those who regularly engage in confidence-building activities.
You’d recognize them as people who:
- Believe in themselves and their abilities to solve problems, face challenges, and reach their goals
- Have a positive, “can-do” attitude more often than not
- Exude a certain kind of magnetism and positive energy that attracts others to them
- Are self-assured, know what they stand for, and have a high self-efficacy
An authentically confident person can feel just as afraid or as insecure as anyone else, but won’t let that stop them from taking on a challenge or doing what needs to be done.
“Confident people are generally more positive – they believe in themselves and their abilities, and they also believe in living life to the fullest.”
Their high levels of self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-belief give them the ability to inspire others.
For these reasons, confident people make natural leaders. Because people are more likely to trust and follow people who believe in themselves.
Who are some of the people throughout your life who fit this description?
Why Are Some People Naturally So Confident?
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to have been born with more confidence than everyone else?
I’m sure you can think of someone like that. Someone you grew up around or went to school with perhaps?
They were good at everything they tried, the first time they tried it. They were natural athletes and everybody wanted to be their friend.
You couldn’t quite place it, but they just had something inside of them that others didn’t have. How else could they be so self-assured while everyone else seemed so insecure?
They seemed to ooze confidence and high self-esteem without effort, which led you to believe that confidence was a rare commodity. A fixed trait that some were born with and some weren’t.
But guess what?
That was a myth! It only appeared that way.
We all have different mindsets, attitudes, strengths, fears, and upbringings. So naturally, some people would have more of a positive self-belief than others early in life. Especially while in environments that played to their strengths.
And chances are, they were using confidence-building exercises on a regular basis … without even knowing it!
The truth is … anyone can learn to be more confident by doing confidence-building exercises that work.
What’s the Difference Between Confidence and Self-Esteem
The basic difference between confidence and self-esteem is that confidence has more to do with your belief in yourself and in your abilities to do specific things.
Whereas your level of self-esteem stems from your self-image. In other words, the way you view yourself and feel about yourself overall.
Although self-confidence and self-esteem are different concepts, they tend to interrelate. For example, people with a higher level of self-esteem, also seem to be more confident in themselves.
And the same goes for people who have a negative self-image. They tend to feel less confident when it comes to believing in their capabilities to handle life’s challenges.
This isn’t a rule, however. You can feel fully confident in certain areas of your life (school work, job, hobbies) while feeling less confident in other areas of life. And if they’re areas you place a greater value on, like your social life or parenting ability, or financial abilities, you may still end up with a poor self-image and low self-esteem.
I’m sure you can think of a handful of celebrities who are among the best in the world in their given fields but suffer(ed) from insecurity, low self-worth, or depression.
The link between self-esteem and self-confidence also means that your confidence-building activities should also include components to help you build self-esteem.
What are Signs of Low Confidence?
Here’s a silly question. How do you know if you have low self-confidence?
If you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure you already know!
A lack of confidence can play out in your life in so many ways! Some that you might not be aware of.
- Procrastinating because you’re afraid to try and fail (or to avoid feeling frustrated or incompetent at something).
- You have a chronic habit of overthinking everything before you make a decision and second-guessing yourself.
- Not moving forward fast enough to make real progress on your goals. Dragging your feet and riding the brakes by trying to control everything and prevent every mistake.
- Trying to have everything perfect before you start. Researching everything to death so you can ‘guarantee’ success and perfection. A normal habit for many of us, but it’s actually a condition known as the procrastination, perfectionism, paralysis cycle.
- Not finishing what you start. Changing directions or stopping altogether once things get ‘too real’ or complicated.
- Making excuses and blaming others for everything that you’re not getting done. Refusing to find ways to overcome your obstacles. Not taking responsibility for your life.
- Not being ok with being a beginner and sucking at first … especially when you’ve failed, been embarrassed, and even been teased or humiliated while trying new things in the past. So you avoid challenging situations and anything outside of your comfort zone.
- You lack the confidence, self-esteem, worthiness, and self-belief to search for your life purpose or to believe you have one.
- Feeling like the world is against you moving forward even when you try your best.
- Not wanting to start something over and try again from scratch after how much work you’ve already put into it. Leading to anger, frustration, and resentment. Especially if you don’t feel confident that you can do any better the second time around.
And a lack of confidence can manifest in more ways than this. I’m sure reading this list has brought some of your unconscious confidence issues to the surface.
Journaling Exercise: Make a list of all the ways having a lack of self-confidence has affected your life.
What Causes Low Confidence?
Often, a lack of self-confidence stems from a fixed mindset, past experiences, and daily habits that don’t support healthy confidence.
Meaning, habits, patterns, and behaviors that are based around who you think you are, how you’ve been in the past, and the roles you believe you have to play.
So instead of consciously choosing confidence-building activities, you unconsciously choose behaviors that lower your confidence and self-esteem.
And every time you give in to those behaviors, you reinforce the wrong self-beliefs. In essence, you’re feeding the beliefs about yourself that are keeping your confidence low instead of the confidence-building beliefs.
Why is it So Hard to Build Confidence?
Working on confidence means exposing the reasons, ways, and situations in which you don’t feel confident.
Getting to the root of specific situations.
It can feel uncomfortable, unpleasant, and downright terrifying to look that deep into your soul.
While taking a confidence assessment during a confidence coaching course, my probing brought up feelings of powerlessness, helplessness, anxiety, shame, and even anger.
The shame and anger were self-directed. Looking back, I felt disappointed with myself for not being better than I am, further along in my career, or more confident to begin with.
A lack of confidence has led to so many regrets throughout my life. If I’d have had a few confidence-boosting exercises to use earlier in life, it might’ve made a difference.
Can you relate?
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
I’ve spent a good deal of my life being a shy, introverted, perfectionist who lacks confidence in himself. And because of it, I’ve missed out on so many good things in life.
- Fun, because I was afraid people would make fun of me for sucking at things in public. So I felt paralyzed in public and only let the real me out in private. Things like dancing, singing, playing certain games at amusement parks, birthday parties, and places like Chuck E. Cheese.
- Missed opportunities to make friends, go to dances or have more girlfriends while growing up. I quit during basketball tryouts due to low self-esteem when I would have made the team. And waiting until my late 30s to finally start the online business I’ve wanted to start since my mid-20s.
- Lost friendships because of low self-worth led to comparing myself to friends who had finished college, made more money, married younger, and were ‘better at life’. So I kept to myself, avoided their invitations, and lost touch.
Could you relate to any of my experiences?
While there isn’t one specific cause of low confidence, there are noticeable habits and patterns.
And when you look back over your early life with self-awareness, the habits and belief systems that led to (and have perpetuated) your lack of confidence will become apparent to you.
Because then you’ll know which areas to target specifically with your confidence-building activities.
What are some of the life experiences you’ve missed out on because of confidence issues?
How Can I Stop Being So Insecure?
Most people feel insecure in some way or another. They want to be more or do more but struggle because they feel like something is holding them back.
And that something is usually insecurity, low self-esteem, or lack of confidence.
The more you increase your self-esteem, the less insecure you’ll become. And doing confidence-building exercises daily will help raise your self-esteem, as well as your self-confidence.
Is Confidence a Skill?
Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: Boosting your confidence will require a mindset shift.
A confident mindset is a growth mindset.
Building your confidence involves developing a growth mindset. And a growth mindset is a skill set that most of us are not born with.
But lucky for us, it’s a learnable skill and so is learning to increase self-confidence.
Confidence has less to do with knowing how to do everything and has more to do with believing you can learn to do anything. (Twitter)Confidence has less to do with knowing how to do everything and has more to do with believing you can learn to do anything. Click To Tweet
Why Do You Want to Be More Confident?
Before you choose which confidence-boosting exercises are right for you, you need to evaluate your goals and personal needs when it comes to confidence.
There are dozens of reasons why a person might want to be more confident.
Social confidence – Do you want to feel more confident in social situations? While talking to people or networking?
Do you want to be more open and vulnerable in your relationships? Or have the courage to put yourself out there and approach any man/woman you’re interested in connecting with?
Business Savvy – How would your life change if you felt more confident when making business or career decisions and taking financial risks?
How many more clients would you land if you had Grant Cardone level confidence when it came to selling?
Do you need the confidence to finally leave the 9-to-5 and go into business for yourself?
Or how about the confidence to be on camera or do public speaking?
Or the confidence to get out of your way, so you can find your purpose or transform your life in some way?
So ask yourself:
- Why do I want to be more confident?
- In what areas of my life do I need to gain confidence?
- In what ways will my life change if I become more confident?
And then look for patterns and overlaps in your answers.
What are the top few ways you are hoping a confidence boost will change your life?
In the next section, I’ll give you nine confidence-building exercises to help you make those changes in your life.
9 Powerful Confidence-Building Exercises to Increase Your Confidence Every Day
Lacking confidence and self-esteem? Here are nine ways to boost your confidence and take control of your life by using daily confidence-building exercises.
1) Daily Success Journaling
A success journal is simply a list of your daily accomplishments. You can write either right before bed (about that day’s events) or first thing in the morning (about the prior day’s events).
This confidence-boosting exercise reminds you of how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished daily.
(Chances are, you’ve accomplished more than you’ve given yourself credit for)
When you write success journal entries regularly you’ll begin to feel more centered, confident, and grateful.
This confidence-building activity will also help you develop a deeper respect for yourself and uncover your values … giving a boost to your self-esteem in the process.
Rocketbook Reusable Notebook/Journal
2) Turn Your Inner Critic Into A Confidence Coach
To change the way you interact with the world, you have to change the way you interact with yourself!To change the way you interact with the world, you have to change the way you interact with yourself! Click To Tweet
For this confidence-building activity, start by paying close attention to your inner world as well as the way you speak to others about yourself.
You do this by using self-awareness to mindfully observe your thoughts and emotions regularly. And once you’re comfortable with that, start questioning your current belief systems.
If your beliefs about yourself aren’t empowering and conducive to the confident person you intend to become, it’s time to let them go.
The goal is to turn your negative self-beliefs into empowering beliefs. And your critical self-talk into positive, compassionate self-talk.
Tame your inner critic, master your self-talk, and cultivate more self-love.
3) Start Telling Yourself a More Empowering Story
I’ve been shy my whole life. But I didn’t tell myself I was shy. It was the people around me who gave me that story. They told me who and what I was, and I believed it. Then I held onto that story and told it to myself whenever I encountered a situation where it was relevant.
I’d tell myself, “I can’t do that, I’m too shy.” Or “I can’t talk to that person or stand up for myself because I’m a shy person and that’s not something I do.”
To me it felt true … but was it true?
Little did I know, my habit was destroying both my self-confidence and self-esteem. The complete opposite of a confidence-building habit.
Tony Robbins’ advice for changing your story is to call B.S. on it whenever the old, negative story comes into your mind to stop you from doing something that’s out of your character.
Decide that your old story isn’t who you are or who you want to be. Your confidence will grow the more you stop letting your story limit who you become and what you accomplish.
4) Boost Your Confidence Daily with Positive Affirmations
Developing a healthy level of self-confidence takes time and practice.
You don’t just wake up one day feeling “super confident”.
Building your confidence and self-esteem both require a positive mindset change. It’s an ongoing process that you’ll want to work on daily.
Using empowering affirmations is a confidence-boosting exercise that has helped me tremendously. I either find the affirmations online and tweak them to align with my specific situation or I take my specific goals, problems, and limiting beliefs, re-frame them (like you did above), and write my own affirmations.
Do you remember the empowering beliefs you came up with from the previous section? Well, reciting them as confidence-boosting affirmations is the perfect way to reinforce them.
Related Reading: How to Write Positive Affirmations That Will Change Your Life
Here’s a list of empowering affirmations to help you increase your confidence
■ I express my purpose through my business. I create from feelings of love and a deep sense of purpose. I know I make a difference in the lives of the right people.
■ I easily replace habits that hold me back with habits that positively move my life forward.
■ I am important. What I have to say is important. What I write and share with the world is important.
■ With confidence and courage, I take action daily for my ideal life.
■ I summon enough courage to start with what I have and learn as I go. The more action I take, the more confident I feel.
Try these out as an easy daily confidence-building exercise. Google up a list, or come up with a few of your own to get started. Experts recommend reciting each one at least three times and doing it twice a day.
5) Take Action Even When You’re Afraid
Affirmations, empowering beliefs, and other types of mindset work are a must when it comes to building your self-confidence.
They help you develop a growth mindset and keep your mindset muscles in shape.
But to boost your confidence daily, there’s nothing more powerful than taking consistent action towards your goals!To boost your confidence daily, there's nothing more powerful than taking consistent action towards your goals! Click To Tweet
Every confidence-building action you take has the potential to lead you to a new accomplishment. In other words, you might improve something in your life or reach a goal that you didn’t believe you could reach when you first started.
And each time you push past your comfort zone and change your internal story, your self-confidence and self-belief will grow a little more.
This is what makes taking action one of the most powerful confidence-building exercises. And every day you’ll encounter plenty of opportunities to practice.
So if you’re struggling with low self-confidence or lacking self-esteem, make it a daily priority to do something you don’t think you can do.
Even if you’re afraid.
Especially if you’re afraid.
Confident people become (and stay) that way by feeling the fear and doing it anyway. It’s one the main confidence-building exercises they use on a regular basis. Whether they realize it or not.
6) Make Decisions Quickly to Boost Confidence
There’s a saying I heard a few months ago that changed my thinking. It says, “Spend less time planning and more time taking action.”
And the percentage they quoted for each part blew my mind. What happened to “measure twice, cut once”??
What it comes down to is developing a habit of making decisions faster. This means making decisions and taking action even if you feel like you haven’t done enough research or perfected your plans yet.
Chances are you were over-preparing as a way to avoid taking action anyway. Because you weren’t feeling confident enough. Or you felt like if you could plan everything perfectly ahead of time, it would give you enough confidence to do it.
And you’d do it without mistakes.
Well, building confidence doesn’t work that way.
Confidence doesn’t come from perfect decisions or flawless plans which guarantee success, because nothing guarantees success.
You build confidence by making decisions without perfect information. Confidence is built and strengthened by betting on yourself to figure it out and make it work as you go.
You’ll learn as you go and find the information and resources to make your plan better further down the line.
The way this confidence-boosting activity works is the more you trust yourself to make decisions and take action on those decisions, the more you’ll strengthen your self-confidence, and the more you’ll believe in yourself to handle whatever comes your way.
7) More Competence Equals More Confidence
Earn your confidence by developing better skills. Practice, study, put in the time and effort. Do whatever it takes to improve in the area of your life that you want to build more confidence in.
Sometimes the best way to develop more confidence and trust in your capabilities is to become more capable.
Seek to become more confident in specific areas of your life instead of trying to become more confident as a whole. Don’t overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations.
Like I said earlier in the article, no one is equally confident in every area of their life. So start small.
This confidence-building exercise is simple. Make it a habit to invest in yourself and your personal development every day.
For personal development and online business education and resources, visit my Resources Page.
8) Set Confidence-Boosting Goals
How do you boost your confidence with goal-setting?
- Set attainable goals and reach them
- Finish what you start
- Follow through on your decisions and commitments
- Do what you say you’re going to do
Although these suggestions sound simple and obvious, they can be used as powerful confidence-building exercises.
This is because each time you do what you tell yourself you’re going to do, you grow to trust yourself a little more, which increases the amount of confidence you have in yourself.
A great way to learn how to do this is in the long-time, best-selling, personal development book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
In chapter 3, the author lays out his self-confidence formula. And gives the instructions to read it aloud once a day.
The purpose? To reprogram your subconscious mind so it can direct your thoughts and actions. So you become aligned with the successful person you intend to become and with your “definite chief aim” in life.
He teaches you how to write a definite chief aim (goal in life) statement in a different chapter. And instructs you to read that twice a day while visualizing the kind of person you want to become.
The self-confidence script and goal statement work hand-in-hand as a powerful daily confidence-boosting exercise.
Give Think and Grow Rich a read if you haven’t yet. You get a mindset course and a confidence-building course all rolled up into one inspirational book.
9) Build Confidence By Taking Responsibility for Your Life
I probably should’ve led with this one. It’s the most important confidence-building habit and for some of us, the most difficult.
At the beginning of this article, I asked, how much control do you have over your life?
The reason for that is this …
If you want to boost your confidence consistently, you need to decide to take full responsibility for your life and the direction it’s going in.
“To take responsibility for your life, is to take responsibility for your powers of thinking, feeling, speaking and acting, because this is the structure of all human experience. You create your life with your thoughts, feelings, words and actions.”
In other words, you have to stop blaming the world and making yourself the victim of life’s circumstances and choose to take your power back.
Confidence is an inner belief in your POWER to create the kind of life you want for yourself.
And no one can empower you but you.
Conclusion – How Do You Gain Self-Confidence and Keep it?
In this article you learned the characteristics of a confident person and that a lack of confidence can lead to low self-esteem, a victim mentality, missed opportunities, a life-long pattern of regrets, and feeling powerless to control the direction of your life.
You also learned that low self-confidence is not a permanent trait and believing so is the result of a fixed mindset.
Increasing your confidence requires you to develop a growth mindset, take full responsibility for your life, and begin using daily confidence-building exercises.
Now that you have a list of confidence-building activities to choose from, with daily practice, you can develop the skills to:
- Reframe critical, self-defeating self-talk into empowering, confidence-boosting self-talk that inspires you to take action
- Trust and believe in your ability to handle life’s obstacles
- Stand up for yourself, be more assertive, and self-assured in social situations
- Feel confident that you can create the life you want
Just to name a few.
Although they may begin as confidence-building exercises and activities that feel outside of your comfort zone, over time they will develop into confidence-building habits that’ll become a part of your daily life.
So pick a few that resonate the most with you to start today. If you’re daring, do the ones that scare you the most.
Doing something that scares you every day is a highly recommended personal development tip for boosting self-confidence.
I hope you’ve found these simple tips for building self-confidence helpful for your self-growth journey. My suggestions can get you started, but ultimately you are the only one with the power to change your life.