Confidence is one of the most talked about personality traits, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. People tend to equate confidence with boldness and risk-taking, but that’s far from the whole story.
Confidence, in many ways, can mean the difference between reaching your goals and never even starting to reach them at all. The more you understand how confidence works in your life, the better off you’ll be when pursuing your goals, whether they be big or small, long-term or short-term. Here are some tips on how to increase your confidence and use it to your advantage.
When you're trying to achieve your goals, one of the most important elements, if not the most important piece, that determines whether you succeed or fail is your self-confidence.
Self-confidence is the attitude that you hold about your skills and abilities. Positive self-confidence means that you accept and trust yourself and believe that you have a general sense of control in your life. You are aware of your strengths and acknowledge your weakness, and have an overall positive view of yourself.
Self-Confidence and Reaching Goals
A person with positive self-esteem is likely to set realistic expectations and goals, communicate comfortably, and can even handle criticism.
When you're trying to reach your goals, one of the most important elements, if not the most important piece, that determines whether you succeed or fail is your self-confidence.
If a goal is too unrealistic or big, you'll likely get frustrated and give up on the goal completely. Lacking communication skills can create an obstacle or obstacles to achievement. And the ability to handle criticism is important because it helps you to grow and expand as a person.
Every worthwhile goal features hurdles and challenges along the way. Self-confidence is the piece that keeps you going in the right direction when the challenges inevitably come.
Self-assurance, having confidence in the things that you say and do because you are sure of your abilities, helps you climb the mountains and jump the hurdles that stand in the way of the success you desire and deserve.
How can you achieve your goals if you don’t believe in yourself?
The truth is that self-beliefs are more like tools than they are truths. If a tool isn’t working for you, it might be time to switch it out for another one.
Below I list 10 helpful tips on how to develop and grow your confidence. If one of these tips does not resonate with you, move on to another until you find something that really works for you
Here are some strategies to help you build confidence and achieve your goals.
Strategies to Build Confidence & Achieve Your Goals
Keep a confidence record
Begin to keep a record of your successes, no matter how small. If you love journals and notebooks as much as I do, this is as good a reason as any to get a new notebook.
In the very beginning section, write down your strengths. If you can't think of any, think about compliments you've received from others and jot those down. Leave some blank pages between this section and where you start your successes to allow room to add to this list.
Write down all of your wins – no matter how big or seemingly small they are.
To get started, try to recount your successes of the past and write those down too.
Whenever you begin to doubt yourself, look through your notebook and remind yourself of the times you've succeeded in the past.
As an added source of motivation, you may want to note the obstacles you met to arrive at success. This will help to remind you that you overcame those obstacles on your way to achievement.
As you go through each day, take note of your successes and strengths. Keep a record of your accomplishments that can help fuel your success for the rest of your life.
If you have not already checked out the Who Are You Workbook, you may want to grab your copy to help you navigate this work. It provides space to track and record all of the things to help you start to build your confidence and get in touch with who you are truly are.
Break your goals down into manageable steps
Start with small steps.
I am a firm believer that small goals and wins add up to the achievement of bigger, larger goals.
If you have trouble recalling your successes or noticing your strengths, it’s possible you are trying to think too big. Think about the small wins on the way to the big one.
Set a few small goals that are fairly easy to attain.
Maybe you set a goal to buy a house as your big goal. Some small wins to note that may not seem noteworthy include:
- Saving for your downpayment.
- Paying down debt.
- Finding a grant to help with your downpayment.
- Finding a realtor.
The point is to achieve and acknowledge progress and success and to allow that success to fuel you for greater challenges and greater victories in your life.
When you achieve the small goals you've set for yourself, write them down in your notebook. It’s a cycle – as your confidence grows, your heart will long to shoot for bigger goals and greater challenges.
Your record of success will keep you pushing forward when doubts begin to creep in.
Act as if you are already successful
A funny thing happens when you pretend you feel a certain emotion.
You actually began to feel that emotion!
Don’t believe me?
Try it right now.
Slouch your shoulders, lean forward, and put a frown on as if you're absolutely exhausted. How do you feel? A little tired? A little frumpy?
Now smile and begin to move your body like you do when you're excited.
Feel the difference?
To a large extent, you can control how you feel by the way you move your body.
If there is anything to pretend about, pretend you're confident.
Talk with confidence. Walk with confidence. Move your body with confidence.
The feelings will follow shortly.
Surround yourself with positive people
You know how they say you can only go as far as the company you keep?
Surround yourself with positive people who are also accomplishing things in life.
Try to surround yourself with positive people who will support you and help you stay motivated in your pursuit of success. This could be a friend, or even your romantic partner if they have a similar goal-oriented mindset. After all, why go it alone when you can have an army by your side?
Don’t compare yourself to others
While it is important to keep motivated and motivating people around you, it is just as important to not get into the habit of comparison.
In an Entrepreneur article titled The Most Important Thing I Learned When I Quit My Job to Travel, Alex Genadinik writes that comparing yourself to others is a mindset killer and can halt your personal growth. When you compare yourself to others, you will always fall short of their achievements because everyone has different skillsets, setbacks, and journeys.
Comparison leads to envy and jealousy. Both emotions aren’t constructive in achieving your goals. This can lead to you not only staying stuck in a rut but also missing out on opportunities that may have once been available to you as well. By comparing yourself to others, you are putting unnecessary weight on your shoulders and digging yourself into a hole that is difficult to escape from.
Visualize your future
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? What kind of job do you have? Do you own your own business? What is your ideal scenario regarding relationships? How much money do you make?
Every day, close your eyes and take a few moments to run a mental movie about the future you've always dreamed about for yourself.
Watch your success play out as if it's happening in the present and allow yourself to experience all of the senses. What does the scene look like? Smell like? Taste like? Feel like? Sound like?
You can take it a step further and journal all of these things. Writing things down gives you something to return to and also be grateful for when you reflect on what you accomplished.
Make your mental movie as vivid and detailed as possible for the full effect. If you do this every day, your mind will begin to move you in the direction of your ideal future.
You'll begin to take actions that support your success and lead you down the path of your dreams.
Your confidence will grow naturally with each success you experience, whether the success is in the real world or in your mind.
Instead of constantly reliving the mistakes you've made in the past, envision the future you deserve over and over again to drive yourself toward its realization.
Stop limiting beliefs from holding you back
If you’re not confident in yourself or your abilities, it can be difficult to move forward. Sometimes even setting a goal is terrifying when you have all these negative beliefs about yourself holding you back. If that sounds like you, here are some things you should know about confidence and how it can help you achieve your goals. After all: if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
Let’s start with a simple fact: you are capable of achieving whatever goals you set for yourself.
That doesn’t mean that it will be easy – but if your goal is big enough and you have a strong enough desire to achieve it, it can be done. However, confidence isn’t an ingredient – it’s more like a crucial side dish that makes everything else on your plate taste better. Limiting beliefs are like adding too much salt to a perfectly seasoned meal.
You have to decide the flavor you desire and minimize limiting beliefs so that you can keep moving forward.
Look at failure as feedback instead of a reflection on who you are
What really matters is how you act in those moments when you don’t feel confident. After all, confidence isn’t about pretending to be perfect; it’s about learning from your mistakes and pushing forward toward your goals. The important thing is that you keep going—and push through feelings of doubt along the way. This can help build your self-confidence and give you a more realistic picture of who you are and what you can achieve in life.
Failure can certainly be discouraging. But if you let it shape your self-perception and pull you into a cycle of negativity, it’s going to slow down your progress and hold you back from achieving your goals. The first step is to reevaluate how you think about failure.
In every failure, there is an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson or two. When you can turn your failures into lessons, you can put yourself in a better position to succeed next time around. The next time you fail at something—and it will happen—don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, look at what happened and think about how you could have handled things differently. Use that as your fuel to push forward.
Focus on progress, not perfection
Sometimes we can get caught up in what’s ahead of us. We get excited about our goals and forget that it’s really a day-by-day process. Think about how far you’ve come – not where you still have to go. Embrace your progress, not just for today but for all that you’ve accomplished to date. Think about what being in your current position has taught you and how it will help moving forward. Remember to give yourself a pat on the back. You didn't get here because you are perfect. You got here because you made progress.
Confidence isn’t something that is particularly measurable, but you can definitely tell if it is on the lower end. Having someone to help hold you accountable for taking steps to increase your confidence and accomplish your goals can be life-changing.
Having a friend who is invested in helping you do the work, or even partnering with a coach can help you rebuild your self-confidence and stop harping on past mistakes.
For example, if you made a mistake at work and it ended up costing your company a lot of money. Now you are afraid to take on new projects that have risks associated with them. A coach can help you understand that mistakes happen, process what led to the mistake, and help you get back in the game of taking on those challenges and going after greatness.
Nurture Your Confidence Every Day
The more confident you are in yourself and your abilities, the more you’ll be able to accomplish. Some of us have naturally high confidence levels; others need a little boost. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, I have listed here several ways to make sure your confidence is always at peak levels. Put them into practice every single day!
The more confident you are, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.
Self-esteem not only impacts how you feel about yourself but also shapes your view and outlook on life. And it also plays a major piece in the foundation for your relationships with friends and family.
When something impacts your self-esteem, it is essential to take steps to work on it in a timely and thorough manner.
NEED SOMEONE TO WALK WITH YOU ON THE JOURNEY TO SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SUCCESS?
Start with the FREE Confidence Connection Challenge. If you could benefit from having someone to navigate this journey, get in touch to see if working together may be just what you need to see the progress you desire in your life.