3 Steps to Strengthen Your Self-Confidence
How many times have you said you were going to do something, and then didn’t do it? Or maybe you stay in your comfort zone, just allowing life to happen to you. Maybe you even get a great idea, but never really commit to it; or you make a commitment, but end up quitting the minute you run into an obstacle. Each time I’ve found myself in one of these situations, feeling defeated, my self-confidence took a hit….until I decided to try something new. I started honoring commitments to myself. I’m not perfect at it. It’s still a work in progress, but each time I honor myself in this way, my confidence builds.
Think about it. Most of us have no problem honoring commitments to our friends or family. If we say we’re going to meet a friend or coworker for lunch, we show up…even when we don’t feel like it in the moment. Why? Because we said we would. So why don’t we show the same kind of respect and integrity when it comes to ourselves? We betray ourselves more than anyone else by not keeping our own promises. As a result, we lose faith and trust in ourselves and undermine our self-esteem. It’s the same as when you continually break promises and commitments to those you care about…at some point they will no longer trust you.
It all has to do with self-confidence. Confident people don’t treat themselves like crap. They don’t make promises they can’t keep, and they don’t dishonor their commitments (to themselves or others). One of the definitions of confidence is “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something.” So, it makes sense that trusting yourself to do what you say you will do breeds confidence.
You can strengthen your confidence by building up three things: commitment to yourself, overcoming adversity and building your resilience and building your own trust. Let’s look at these three layers more closely.
Make the Commitment
The first step in strengthening your confidence is to make the commitment to yourself that you will do what you say you will do. Create a goal for yourself. Even if it isn’t a big goal, choose something that challenges you. Start small and keep it simple. Decide that you will not make a commitment to yourself that you will not keep. Focus on making less commitments to yourself, but following through on the ones that you do make…NO. MATTER. WHAT. Don’t make promises to yourself that you are not willing to follow through on. It doesn’t mean you have to necessarily like it or that it needs to be easy…it likely won’t be. You just have to be willing to do it, despite the difficulty. The concept is simple, but not easy. Good news is that you can do hard things!
Now make a plan on how your going to achieve that goal. Break it down into small steps, and take it one day at a time. Instead of saying “I’m never going to yell at my kids again,” say “I will speak to my kids in a calm manner today.” Once you detail your plan of how you’re going to achieve your goal, write out the steps you have to take in your calendar. Make each task an appointment on your calendar, and don’t give yourself any other option than to honor your appointments…just like you would honor appointments with other people. Just do it. Consider it a contract with yourself.
Some people want to say, “I’m confident because of my accomplishments.” That’s not completely true…they are confident because of the obstacles they had to overcome in order to achieve their goals. If you don’t experience fear or run into obstacles, your goal likely isn’t big enough. You’re playing it safe. Push a little outside your comfort zone and allow yourself to experience fear. In pursuit of your goals, you will experience adversity. There will be obstacles to overcome. You may even fail at it a few times. That is all OK. Think of obstacles and adversity as advanced level college courses. They are there to help you learn something…to help you grow. Don’t try to avoid them by burying your fear or force-failing ahead of time before you even try. The only way to overcome your fear…to grow through the adversity, is to take action anyway by using COURAGE. Even when things aren’t going as planned…grab courage by the balls and take action. When you run into a roadblock…take action anyway. Feeling confused? Take another step forward. When we take action anyway, we increase our ability to see that we are capable. We are capable of overcoming hard things. That’s what makes us stronger and wiser.
When you prove to yourself that you are capable of overcoming adversity, you build resilience and begin trusting yourself. You begin to trust that you will follow through. Your integrity with yourself starts to grow as what you say you want and what you do about it is in congruence with one another. This is the key to experiencing life as you want it to be. Ultimately, trusting yourself to follow through with what you say you will do builds confidence. Honoring your commitments to yourself demonstrates to yourself that you are trustworthy. It says, “Yes girl…I have your back.”
“You Create the Results in Your Life” -Brooke Castillio
Try honoring yourself in this way for one month, and see what happens. It may not be hugely noticeable at first, but the more you do this…the more you will build trust with yourself…the more you overcome, the more you will see that you really are a badass.