Abundance & Well-Being: confidence

Are you self-assured about your own abilities? Do you fully appreciate your own qualities?

I recently conducted a reader survey that found many women are experiencing a crisis of confidence. It shows up in the form of self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and negative self-talk.

Does that sound familiar? Do you want to play a bigger game, but your self-esteem isn’t cooperating?

If so, you’re not alone.

Even before the survey, women had confided they don’t feel all that confident or have self-esteem issues. But whenever I’ve asked about the plan for boosting self-confidence, there’s no ready answer.

Which brings me to the single best strategy for building your confidence: Believe it can be built.

Confidence isn’t like your eye color or height. It’s not a fixed trait you have to live with. So if you’re not feeling uber confident, you can do something about it.

Here are five ways to boost your confidence:

Banish negative self talk A sure boost to self-confidence is to stop trash talking yourself all the time. Right this minute, stop with all the undermining, belittling internal chatter. If you think it does no harm because no one else hears it, you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s doing the most damage because you’re doing it to yourself. Champion your self-confidence by giving notice to the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee in your head. Their services are no longer needed.

Know your strengths When I ask someone to share weaknesses, they have a laundry list that almost seems memorized by how quickly it flows. But when asked about their strengths, they hesitate, have to ponder, and the list they come up with is paltry in comparison. It’s difficult to feel self-confident when you’re leading—at least in your headspace—with weaknesses rather than strengths. So here’s your mission: Identify your strengths. Identify with your strengths. Get comfortable sharing them. Let them roll off your tongue.

Expand your comfort zone Staying in your comfort zone is safe, easy, familiar. But it’s not where growth happens and confidence grows. Getting outside your comfort zone and trying new things grows your confidence in two ways. First, you make a deposit to your experience bank, which boosts how you see yourself and view your capabilities. Second, with each venture outside your comfort zone you increasingly realize you can handle uncertainty, discomfort, vulnerability, fear, failure—even success. The more you get outside your comfort zone, the more you realize you can handle whatever comes your way.

Learn from failure Believe it or not, failure is a shortcut to building self-confidence. You try something new and it doesn’t quite pan out like you’d hoped. You debrief, looking at what worked and what didn’t—and the role you played in both. This helps you discover opportunities for change and growth. Through this cycle of trying and learning, you gain confidence. While failing is never the goal, it’s an inevitable part of a fully lived life. You might be able to avoid failure by never attempting anything, but you’ll also curtail confidence building.

Upgrade your skills Confidence goes hand in hand with self-assurance in your abilities. There’s likely an area of your life where you could use an upgrade in your skillset. Need to take your public speaking up a notch? Get more comfortable marketing your business? Improve how you network? The upgrade doesn’t have to be professional in nature. Maybe you’d feel more confident if you took a cooking class and could blanch and braise with the best of them. Or perhaps you want to start a hobby blog, but need to upgrade your WordPress skills. Be intentional about skill building because growing your confidence depends on it.

Don’t settle for living small. If you’re not standing tall in your own abilities and qualities, take control and be intentional about growing your confidence.