Just know that these are 50 of the best damn confidence building tips in existence. Plus they’re in bite-sized morsels for easy digestion.
So now you have no excuse. Bookmark this one, and let me know which tips jump out at you.
- Reassure that voice inside you, the one that tells you to stay exactly where you are because you can’t have, won’t get or aren’t good enough to get what you want. That’s the scared, small part of you, but you don’t have to do what it tells you (i.e. nothing). Instead, respond by saying “Thanks for looking out for me, but you know what, I’m pretty good at this life thing and I’m going to be just fine.”
- Take a breath. You’ve come so far. You’ve done a heap. Gone through a lot. You’ve got so much more to do. So many more ways to grow. Feel that you’re here, right now, in the perfect spot to make your next choice. You don’t need anything else. Just this. Just right now. You got this.
- Confidence vanishes when you’re running on empty, and your responsibility is to keep yourself topped up and humming along by prioritising the nourishment of your head, heart and body. That’s just taking care of the basics, and doing one thing every day that truly nourishes you (yes, even when things are crazy busy) isn’t just a case of keeping yourself together, but is the practice of love and self-worth that fuels confidence.
- Try this simple exercise every day for the next 7 days and see what happens. Notice when you have an expectation about somebody else, whether it’s something you’re expecting them to do, something you expect them to think or even something you expect them to expect of you. Just gently notice it, and see that your expectation is just a thought in your head. Leave it be. Don’t let it determine what you think or do next. Then, with that expectation off to one side, over in the wings so to speak, what can you do now to help, enhance or delight the person you just had the expectation about or the situation you’re?
- Falling into roles based on who you’re with is just a learned behaviour that allows you to fly under the radar and fit in. Daughter, brother, employee, joker, lover, victim, manager, successful, underdog and a gazillion more. It’s freeing to strip away the different labels and roles–particularly the ones that don’t work for you–and just be you instead.
- Obsessing about making the “right” choice will have you second-guessing every move to try to figure out what that right choice might be. Sometimes, all you gotta do is make “a” choice and know that you can deal with whatever happens.
- The next time you start bitching, moaning and whining to someone – or even just in your head – take a breath and notice what’s about to happen. It’s tempting to dive right into a bitchfest, but interrupt yourself for a moment, and instead, look for a way to praise, empathise with or appreciate the situation. What’s a way you can find a thread of value in things, just as they are? What’s a way you can find a way to express thanks, however things are? Have that thread of value take centre stage. Have that be your experience.
- Don’t judge the shitty times for being shitty, and don’t think that they make you less than you are. Life always has its ups and downs, and confidence is sometimes simply a matter of being with what’s happening simply, honestly and bravely, and choosing to move with it. And that’s the interesting thing; simply embracing the the times when life sucks can be a comfort and a source of confidence.
- Use the things that are woven through you – the golden threads and things that matter most to you – to help you make confident, meaningful decisions that you can trust and get behind fully. With a firm foundation like that it doesn’t matter how things turn out, it just matters that you trust the decision you made.
- Change your physiology. Stand up. Breathe deep. Be tall. Standing tall and strong has been shown to make you feel more assertive, which can give you a confidence boost in the short term. Word of caution though, don’t mistake this temporary boost of confidence as anything other than a quick fix.
- Stop blaming the world for where you are or for what’s gone wrong in your life. That just strips you of any responsibility or power. Own it. Warts an’ all. Good or ill. You are where you are and the confident thing to do is to accept it, change it, learn from it or lean into it.
- Don’t mistake confidence for arrogance. They’re a whole world apart, and still people get them mixed up. Arrogance is noisy and needs other feeds from other people. Confidence is quiet and needs nothing other than trust.
- Stop beating yourself up for not being beautiful enough. In the well-known Dove video, women were sketched by FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora, one based on her own description and the other using a stranger’s observations. The results? See for yourself, and the next time you feel insecure in your appearance recognise that your perception is skewed and over-critical. You’re more beautiful than you think.
- Don’t ever think that having doubts means you’re not confident. Doubts are natural, because you can’t know what’s going to happen ahead of time and your brain just fills in those blanks with stories. Sometimes doubts can help you prepare by thinking through different scenarios. Other times your doubts are simply something you need to acknowledge and move with as you step forwards.
- Acknowledge your power to say Yes and No. You get to have a say in what you do and what you don’t do, and you have the right to express that. Not everyone has to like it, but you have to embrace it. Oh, this also includes being confident enough to change your mind rather than sticking stubbornly to your guns.
- You’re not alone. It doesn’t matter how far away the concept of “confidence” feels to you, how low you are or how powerless you feel, I guarantee that you’re not the first or last to feel that way. Life is a series of experiences, and wherever you happen to find yourself you can be confident that you’re connected more than you think you are. Trust your connections, whether to a family member, a friend, a pet or even with the knowledge that someone else out there is feeling what you’re feeling.
- Confidence doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Just like a muscle you have to apply it in the moments where it’s needed—that point where you can go one way or the other—or it will wither away like a puddle in the noonday sun. Use it, exercise it, stretch it; that’s how you keep a healthy, natural confidence.
- Stop making goals that leave you wanting. Setting the wrong goals will leave your confidence in tatters, making you feel like you’re not good enough or like you’re lacking something that everyone else has. For goals to work, make them from the inside-out, based on what matters to you and the kind of experience you want to have, rather than what you think you ought to do or want.
- The people who make you feel free are the people you need to spend time with. Surround yourself with people who poop on your party or tell you that you’re not good enough is never going to help your sense of confidence, so look for the people where you catch yourself saying “I like myself when I’m with you”.
- Instead of fretting, worrying and panicking about an upcoming event (a big presentation, a social event or a difficult conversation), realise that the real reason you’re worrying is because you care about what happens. You give a shit, and that’s a good thing. Caring doesn’t make you more likely to fail, so simply look for a different way to care that puts you at your best rather than your worst.
- Run experiments instead of committing forever. It’s easy to back away from making a decision when you invest your whole future in it. Instead, change one or two things and run an experiment to see what happens, Then, make a choice that’s appropriate to what you’ve learned.
- Imagine that a future version of you, a version who embodies a simple, graceful, natural and flowing confidence, is knocking on your front door. They have nothing to prove, they don’t have to fake anything and there’s a sense that they know they’re whole and enough, just as they are, without any smugness or self-satisfaction. In short, they have their shit together. This future version of you has come over because they have something important to say to you, something they’ve come all this way to tell you. What is it they want you to know?
- Don’t conflate getting something wrong or failing with being wrong or a being a failure. Things go wrong, and they’ll continue to go wrong. Don’t make it about your value or worth.
- When times are hard it’s easy to feel isolated or like you’re the victim. It’s the kind of thinking that’s nasty like an angry bear holding a shark and will tear your confidence to shreds, so always look for how you can give yourself support. What would make you feel supported? What would support look like now? Support is a mechanism you can employ to give your confidence roots.
- Give yourself some credit. Giving yourself credit doesn’t involve inflated ego’s or standing in the street yelling about what you’ve done to get recognition for it. It’s the honest acknowledgement of your own capability, and the quiet sense that you really do get to put your dent in the universe rather than leaving it to blind luck. It’s confidence.
- Some people wait patiently in line all their lives, but please know that you don’t have to hide yourself from the world. You’re not broken or fatally flawed. You’re not unworthy of love or belonging. You don’t have to hold back your gifts from those who need them. Letting people see you as you really are is nothing more than softening into the world as you already are. It takes courage at first, but what’s in your head and heart is nothing to be ashamed about.
- Move. Exercise. Use your body. These days we spend so long in our heads that we forget how our body feels or what it needs, and that starts to separate you from your experience. Exercising gets you right back into your body and releases serotonin and endorphins that give you that amazing physiological buzz.
- Accepting a compliment doesn’t make you a narcissistic asshole. You might want to brush it off because you feel like you don’t deserve it, but what if—what if—that compliment was offered because it’s true? A compliment that’s genuinely offered is an act of kindness, so entertain the fact that others might see you in ways that you don’t see yourself and learn to accept compliments.
- Let go of the need to fit in—that need to present yourself in a way that fits in with what others might expect. You can’t keep a puppy in a small box under your bed and expect the little guy to flourish, but the drive to fit in is similar in how suffocating it becomes. Fitting in isn’t a measure of success or popularity. Just like that puppy, the confidence to be yourself is really just a matter of playing as you already are.
- You might look at others and wonder how they got to be more successful than you, and the wiring to compare yourself with others goes pretty deep in your brain. So start noticing when you’re making these comparisons, and realise that everyone else is doing the same. Comparing how you feel on the inside to how you perceive other people to be is nothing more than fiction.
- Every day you weave a story about your life, a story that puts you at the centre of all the stuff that’s happening. Sometimes, this story casts you as being small, weak or powerless; plot points that ignore everything you’ve got to offer and strips your confidence to the bone. Be aware of how the narrative in your head affects your experience, and let go of any story that disables rather than enables.
- There’s comfort in having answers, and it’s easy to become driven by finding the answers before you move forward. This is simply a way to avoid the discomfort you feel around uncertainty, so watch for the times when you’re plan-making rather than taking action and realise that you don’t need to have all the answers.
- Get stuck in dead-end conversations or find your confidence vanish when conversations dry up? Get some conversation starters and continuers here.
- Trust the process. Whether you’re starting a new job, facing a big challenge, making a new start or tackling a new project, trust yourself to take one step. That’s all. Then, when you’ve taken that step, trust yourself to take the next. You don’t need to know how to do something to completion or what’s going to happen. Trust that you can go from 0% to 100% one step at a time.
- Confidence isn’t always about strength. Sometimes it’s about holding on, standing up and sticking to your guns, sure, but other times real confidence requires a source other than strength. Confidence based on love is softening into acceptance, letting go of the need to be certain and knowing you belong in the world just as you are. This kind of confidence is a whole other world.
- Fuck perfect. Up there with using your own feet to flavour a home-made soup or watching 24-hour rolling news, chasing perfection is a spectacular way to ruin your life. Perfection is about doing everything you can to fit in and appease everyone else. It makes you feel like you’ll never be good enough. It’s the oppressor who never lets you be yourself. You’re already good enough; you don’t need perfect in your life.
- Let go of the need to be right; that will just get in the way of your natural confidence. Right is for chumps.
- Stop beating yourself up for being flawed. Everyone’s flawed, no matter how hard people try to not appear to be. Welcome your flaws and imperfections warmly and sincerely, because the alternative is judgement, conflict and feeling very much like shit. Invite your flaws into your home and be the best damn host you can be. These are your friends. These are your family. These are you.
- Confidence means giving a shit about the things that matter to you. So even when you find yourself somewhere unexpected or unwanted you don’t conflate where you are with your self-worth and you still get to honour what matters. Confidence means giving a shit about your heart and soul, regardless of your circumstances.
- Extroversion and confidence are a powerful combination, but don’t think for a second that introversion and confidence are mutually exclusive or any less powerful. Confidence doesn’t mind if you’re an introvert or extrovert, it simply makes it okay to lean into the things that make you feel whole.
- If there’s something out there you really want to do, but haven’t allowed yourself to start; if there’s a way you want to feel about something or about yourself, but don’t feel like it’s within your grasp, or, if there’s something you want to believe about yourself but don’t think you’re good enough, take a look at what it would mean if this this thing—this action, outcome, endeavour, feeling or belief—came to pass. Paint a picture of what would be different if this thing became real, then grab a pen and a piece of paper and complete this sentence:
I give myself permission to…, so that I can…
- Don’t let your weaknesses make you think that you’re less than – everyone has weaknesses. I can’t catch a ball; I have a chronic illness; I still find it hard to open up. Your weaknesses don’t take away from who you are, they simply give you the opportunity to apply your strengths.
- Confidence comes, in part, from getting involved in your life. So today, set an intention that honours, expresses or demonstrates that by picking one of the sentences below and completing it in a way that brings out your very best.
Today, I intend to…
Today, I’m honouring…
Today, I show up as…
- Something nagging at you or draining you? Letting those thing slide makes you more and more powerless and strips away more and more of your confidence. But exerting a little effort to reduce, eliminate or manage your “tolerations” is how you get to create an environment that adds to your sense of self rather than taking away from it. A leaky tap. A cheap and uncomfortable office chair. A partner who puts you down. A cupboard full of cakes and salty snacks. A friend who sabotages. Untouched paperwork. Nagging back pain. A noisy neighbour. An unsupportive boss. No creative outlet. Do something about your tolerations.
- Get to know what it’s like to be at your best – when you’re buzzing, flowing, joyful and alive – and know that those things are right there in your bones. Roll around in that feeling, and when faced with a challenge take your next step from that place.
- We all have the fear of getting laughed out of the room for something we’ve said or done, but what if today was zero risk day? So for today, what would you do differently if there was zero risk of being laughed out of the room? Don’t just think about it, do it (even though it’ll be sorely tempting not to).
- What do you do in your life where you don’t even think about whether you’re capable enough, good enough or confidence enough to do it? What’s one thing you do where you just trust yourself to start and follow through (cooking a great dinner, laughing with your partner, writing a report, leading a team, going for a run, whatever). What do you think that means for you? What is there to learn about those moments that you could apply to moments where you don’t feel as confident?
- Let go of the need to have people validate how you express yourself and the expectation that you’ll receive recognition or status from the value you create. Let go of your need to prove yourself to anyone. Let go of your craving for approval. Let go of your intent to be seen as successful. This letting go is a skill that can be learned just as you practice any other, and the freedom that comes from letting go is totally delicious.
- Following the tired advice to “fake it ’til you make it” is what leads people into hubris and arrogance, acting in a way that they think is what confident people might do without requiring any real thought. Real, natural confidence is choosing to trust your behaviour because you’re already good enough, not pretending to be a certain way because you don’t feel good enough. Don’t fake confidence. You already have it.
- Casting fear as the enemy or as something to be avoided is a super-smart way to kill your confidence. Don’t turn fear into another problem. Make it just a thing that happens when there’s risk, change or opportunity in the air, and see it as an opportunity to step up, try something new, give it your best shot and maybe have a heap of fun. Fear isn’t the Big Bad. Avoiding fear most definitely is.
So, what do you think?
Shall we build some natural confidence now or what?