Is low self-esteem impacting your life in a negative way? If so, you’re not alone. According to research conducted by Dr. Joe Rubino, 85 percent of the world’s population suffers from this problem. While it’s a common issue, it’s also an important one to resolve. Not knowing how to be confident has far-reaching consequences. For instance, studies show low self-esteem can cause people to earn less money, give up on life goals, not take measured risks, live out of fear, and feel discouraged, disengaged, and unfulfilled.
Yet, as explained by best-selling author Barrie Davenport, “Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered—just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.”
In this article, find out what’s holding you back and step into your true power with these 10 ways to increase your self-confidence.
Table of Contents
- Recognize the Areas You Lack Confidence
- Learn from Leaders Who Can Build You Up
- Shift into a Growth Mindset
- Focus on Positives
- Practice Gratitude
- Dissolve Limiting Beliefs
- Work in Tandem with Your Strengths
- Visualize Success
- Join a Mastermind Group
- Channel Anxious Energy
- Bonus Tip for Learning How to Be Confident
Recognize the Areas You Lack Confidence
The first step in learning how to be confident is becoming intentional about working on what makes you feel insecure, unqualified, or unworthy. This means figuring out when and why your confidence seems to dissipate.
To find out where you need a confidence boost:
- Write down the places you feel least confident. For example, this could be public speaking, sharing thoughts and ideas, closing business deals, or making cold calls.
- Next, get to the heart of why you’re not confident in this area. Do you need more knowledge? Are you comparing yourself to someone else’s success? Write the reason holding you back beside every item you listed in the first step.
- After finishing this article, revisit your list and add possible solutions for each.
Learn from Leaders Who Can Build You Up
Often lack of confidence stems from feeling like you’re less competent than others. For instance, not joining in on a group discussion because you don’t feel you have as much insight to offer as your colleagues. One way to conquer this struggle is to turn to experts whose strengths lie in the areas you lack confidence.
Increase your confidence with the help of other leaders by:
- Finding a mentor.
- Reading leadership books.
- Listening to business podcasts.
- Attending seminars, conferences, lectures, and webinars.
- Taking online courses in the areas you want to have more confidence.
Shift into a Growth Mindset
When learning how to be confident, it’s important people change their perception of their abilities. Stepping out of a scarcity mindset and into a growth mindset full of abundance is the difference between a successful leader and a person who lets fear own them. As Peter Mcintyre, famed painter and author once said, “Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” Shifting the focus to self-improvement, growth, and learning helps people move away from operating from a place of insecurity.
Move out of a fixed mindset and into a growth mindset by:
- Finding areas where you can develop as a more confident person.
- Becoming more focused on your purpose and serving others.
- Spending time developing other team members into leaders.
- Not letting others define your success.
- Confronting and resolving limiting beliefs.
- Cultivating community through your business (among employees and customers).
Focus on Positives
Low confidence can occur when a person spends too much time focusing on the negatives. As Winston Churchill once said, “The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” True leaders spend the least amount of time possible dwelling on bad moments and instead choose to make the most of each situation. Rather than letting a less-than-ideal outcome get them down, they focus on the bright side and look for where they can improve and adapt.
Move out of negative thinking by:
- Focusing on what is going right.
- Pinpointing lessons learned.
- Replacing every negative thought with a positive one.
- Making a plan to avoid a mistake or failure from happening again.
- Taking a moment to recenter and concentrate on what does matter.
Another way to build confidence and shift into a mindset of abundance is practicing gratitude each day. This powerful daily habit changes your mentality by focusing on and being thankful for what you do have instead of what you lack. “Gratitude can also help you recognize that you are part of something more substantial. It provides a greater sense of belonging and sparks generosity because you see life abundantly,” writes best-selling executive coach Michael OBrien is My Last Bad Day Shift.
To practice gratitude, try:
- Spending each morning journaling or meditating on what you’re thankful for.
- Vocalizing appreciation for at least three people per day.
- Writing down five good things that happened to you before you go to sleep.
Dissolve Limiting Beliefs
Eliminating limiting beliefs helps ambitious people remove the roadblocks that have kept them from reaching their full potential. In Think and Grow Rich, best-selling author Napoleon Hill explains this is important because, “If you fill your mind with FEAR, doubt and unbelief . . . the law of auto-suggestion will take this spirit of unbelief and use it as a pattern by which your subconscious mind will translate it into its physical equivalent.” To summarize, this means your thoughts and beliefs manifest your reality.
Defeat self-limitations and learn how to be confident by:
- Moving into a mindset of abundance and possibilities.
- Addressing fears that result in negative workplace behaviors (like micromanagement).
- Freeing up time to tend to personal growth by delegating where possible.
- Practicing positive thinking and self-talk.
- Setting boundaries and limiting time spent with people who don’t positively influence your life. This might be someone who claims to support you but isn’t interested in hearing about your dreams and goals. Take it from famed writer Mark Twain: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Work in Tandem with Your Strengths
One motivation for increasing confidence could be that you’re working out of alignment. As your business becomes more profitable, let go of tasks and jobs not in your green zone (life-giving, high-value areas of focus). When people fully utilize their strengths, their God-given talents connect with passion and purpose, resulting in more self-confidence.
Step into your green zone by:
- Creating a list of jobs and responsibilities that only you can do.
- Identifying work that doesn’t fulfill you or require your time (red zone).
- Delegating red zone tasks to other team members.
- Making important key hires who can help take on red zone jobs.
Another confidence-boosting tip is practicing visualization. This is a technique used by Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx who was named the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire in 2012. She’s quoted as saying: “You’ve got to visualize where you’re headed and be very clear about it. Take a Polaroid picture of where you’re going to be in a few years.” Doing so helps increase confidence because you see yourself charting a clear, certain path toward success. As a result, feelings of insecurity about what you’re doing or where you’re going are diminished.
Make visualization a daily habit by:
- Writing down the achievements you’re working toward.
- Imagining the accomplishment of these goals every morning.
- Developing a clear mental image of each step that will lead to this outcome.
- Keeping a journal that describes what you envision during these sessions.
- Sharpening the details of your mental images each time you practice visualization.
Join a Mastermind Group
If you want to become more confident, join a mastermind group. This is one of the best investments a business owner can make when boosting belief in themselves. Each group connects people interested in development and growth around a particular goal. These groups create a sense of belonging which helps entrepreneurs grow in confidence. Joining a mastermind helps people understand they’re not alone in experiencing hardships, problems, and limiting beliefs.
Find the right mastermind group for you by:
- Researching at least three different masterminds.
- Aligning your purpose to the group’s.
- Discussing expectations with the facilitator.
Channel Anxious Energy
Nervousness is a stress response that initiates a person’s flight or fight mode. When someone lacks confidence, their body gets a boost of adrenaline that causes that jittery, unfocused, uncomfortable feeling. For instance, a leader might experience this sudden shift of anxious energy the night before giving a big presentation. The best way to quell this reaction is to find a healthy channel to let these feelings go.
To calm your body and mind, try:
- Waking up for an early workout before heading to work.
- Journaling in the morning.
- Practicing yoga and meditation.
- Engaging in activities you find relaxing like listening to music, being outdoors, or taking time for self-care.
Bonus Tip for Learning How to Be Confident
Confidence is something that comes from within. But too often, it becomes worn down by unkind words or dismissive behavior of people around you. Negativity and jealousy always seem to follow those with the biggest dreams. It’s something Apple co-founder and transformational leader Steve Jobs was familiar with. In the commencement speech he gave at Stanford University in 2005, he reminded the new graduates: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Believe in yourself, even when it seems no one else does. Trust your gut, follow your intuition, and don’t let others chip away at your confidence or determine the life you live. There’s joy, deep confidence, and a sense of fulfillment that comes from knowing you’re pursuing your purpose in life.