“Whether you think you can or you can’t; you are right.” – Henry Ford
I’m sure you’ve come across them– people who exude a certain degree of comfort or assuredness. They instill a sense of security and comfort in others. They seem dependable, and they carry themselves that way.
So, what is their secret? They’ve learned to cultivate self-confidence. The word confidence comes from the Latin root confidere, which means to have full trust in. These people trust t in themselves and in their abilities. It is not arrogance, though it can easily be misinterpreted or confused as such. Confidence is also not walking around like you own the place– full of bravado.
Confidence inspires change and action in others. It provides an element of clarity in the most unclear situations. So, how do you become more confident?
Keep your promises.
Broken promises elicit painful emotions, but promises that you’ve made to yourself and broken are the most harmful. Unfortunately, they are the ones we commonly break. For example, you might promise yourself to be healthier, but then put off working out or avoid eating well. Tomorrow you say. But, tomorrow can carry forward to a day, a week, and sometimes a year. Failing to meet personal commitments lessens the value of your words and diminish your self-worth. It sends you a powerful message– that you are no longer a priority.
Luckily, you can change. Learn to hold yourself accountable for what you say. You will start to rebuild your self-trust and your self-esteem. Eventually, you will be more productive, happier, and confident. So, have faith in yourself.
Say and do what you mean.
Along with keeping promises to yourself and others, one helpful habit is to say and do what you mean. Confident people act and speak with integrity. Their words match with their actions and vice versa. They have clear morals and priorities and understand when to compromise and when to say no. Believe it or not, insecurities can be easily detected in speech. Using language such as “I’m not sure I-” or “I’m not certain of” denotes a lack of self-confidence. I’ve noticed that I also suffer from saying these phrases, so do not feel called out in any way.
A study from the University of California San Francisco found that the more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to develop burnout or depression. Issues that can sometimes be the result of not honoring your values and commitments. So, act based on your values, not what you believe others might think of you.
Stop running away from your fears; transcend them.
One of the most useful habits confident people have developed is their ability to transcend their fears. Fear is an inextricable part of life and can be useful. Fear exists to ensure survival. Too much fear produces anxiety, which can yield bad results. However, confident people have learned that fear is a tool.
It is a tool that can push you acts of greatness or change as you have never known. Accepting your fears tricks your brain out of the fight-flight system, and gives you control over the fear. When you learn to embrace your fears and move past them, you are on the road to becoming more confident.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I would like to add that it also the thief of success. Comparisons are limiting because they do not allow you to see the vastness of your potential. It can also easily demotivate you. Do not measure your worth based on someone else’s currency.
Assertively state your case.
Self-confidence precedes the confidence that others see. In a world filled with noise and many different opinions, it is hard to make your voice heard. As a result, it is easy to fall into the trap–thinking that you have to please everyone. You don’t. Your needs are as valid and as important as other people’s needs.
Confident people know and honor this. Hence, they make it a habit to speak with conviction and assertion because they understand that their ideas will not be noticed otherwise. Learn how to communicate your ideas and needs respectfully and honestly. People will listen.
If you put other people’s wants and needs before your own, your self-esteem and self-worth will suffer.
Don’t be afraid to be wrong.
Confident people are confident in their abilities as well as their faults. They understand that they cannot achieve or know everything and are comfortable with that. Someone who is self-possessed likes to voice their opinions and to see if it holds, because they learn from the failure. Failure is not seen as a personal snub but rather as an opportunity for growth.
Like Rome, confidence is not built in a day. It takes diligence and perseverance to cultivate. It is a journey that begins in your mind. If you think that you can, then you will.
Share in the comments below any other helpful tips that have worked for you in moments of self-doubt.
As always, take care!
Bradberry, T. (2015, June 19). 12 Things Truly Confident People Do Differently. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2015/04/01/12-things-truly-confident-people-do-differently/?sh=112642e24766
Fell, J. (2019, May 01). Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: 4 Ways to Boost Your Confidence. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/333058
Han, T. (Director). (2020, July 11). 3 Daily Habits of Confident People[Video file]. Retrieved 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm0dM2omckE&t=21s&ab_channel=SUCCESSINSIDER
P. (2010, June 7). The Power of Promises – How to Never Let Yourself Down Again. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from http://www.lessordinaryliving.com/blog/the-power-of-promises-how-to-never-let-yourself-down-agai/
Wignall, N. (2020, May 17). 4 Habits of Highly Confident People. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://medium.com/personal-growth/4-habits-of-highly-confident-people-822fd0d6fc50