Top 10 Ways To Boost Your ConfidenceApr 08, 2022
Confidence is a much needed trait, though one that often eludes a lot of people. When you have a high level of confidence, there’s a certain amount of trust present that not only benefits yourself but also those around you.
People gravitate to those who exhibit high levels of confidence. Success also seems to be attracted to individuals who trust in themselves.
But as I said, feeling confident is not always easy. Especially when faced with adversity or when venturing outside your comfort zone. Though, just because confidence may not come naturally to you, doesn’t mean the skill can’t be cultivated.
Here are the top ten ways that you can boost your confidence moving forward:
#1: Use Positive Self-Talk
Where do feelings of low confidence originate? They come from thoughts of self-doubt. As you begin to doubt yourself and imagine both what has gone wrong in the past and what could go wrong in the future, your confidence will spiral downwards.
This is due to a concept known as the thought-feeling-behavior cycle. This cycle is based in an evidence based approach called Cognitive Behavioral Theory.
Put simply, you have a thought about yourself or a situation, that thought leads to an emotion, which then results in you acting a certain way.
You have thoughts of self-doubt leading to you feeling less confident. Now, these feelings of low confidence result in you acting timid and not in a confident way. As you act out on your doubts, more of the same thoughts fill your mind.
Understanding this concept, we can flip the script and use it to our advantage.
Begin speaking to yourself in a more positive and uplifting way. When you start to be more aware of the way you speak to yourself, you learn that you can use the thoughts in your head to directly boost your confidence.
This can be as simple as setting aside a certain amount of time each day to repeat positive phrases to yourself such as:
- “I believe in myself.”
- “I trust in my skills.”
- “I am confident.”
Simple, yet powerful, these phrases will work to retrain the way you speak to yourself and raise your confidence in the process.
"Begin speaking to yourself in a more positive and uplifting way. When you start to be more aware of the way you speak to yourself, you learn that you can use the thoughts in your head to directly boost your confidence."
#2: Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
When you look for it, you’re sure to always find ways other people are doing better than you. Comparing yourself to others in itself signifies a lack of confidence.
If you were trusting in yourself and saw yourself as good enough, why feel the need to search for ways you’re better than other people?
By comparing yourself, you are seeking to find reasons to feel confident. However, this is not true confidence and will only lead to your confidence suffering as a result.
I can remember back on my high school baseball team, there was a guy who was a year older than me. We both played similar positions and I felt the need to compare myself to him while taking batting practice.
Except one day, I decided I wasn’t going to focus any longer on how I hit in comparison to him. In doing so, it felt as though a huge weight was lifted off my back. And not surprisingly, my confidence was boosted.
Now, this wasn’t a mindset I was able to sustain, with the need for comparison creeping back up again in my life. But what it did teach me was, when you stop comparing yourself to others and begin focusing more on yourself, this has a beautifully positive impact on your confidence.
#3: Practice Feeling Confident
When it comes to physical skills or learning new things, there is an underlying idea that we can train ourselves to become better. In sports, this is known as developing muscle memory. The more you train yourself in a skill, the easier it becomes to replicate.
But what if we can use the same concept for our emotions? The truth is, we can and we must. Emotional states need to be trained. You need to get your mind used to feeling a certain way in order to have that become more of a natural state for yourself.
This can easily be understood by asking, “What is my body used to feeling?”
When you struggle with low confidence, whether you realize it or not, you’ve trained your mind to doubt yourself. The state of lacking confidence has become natural. When you feel confident, this is not normal to your mind and so it is not easy to sustain.
What you must do is start to practice feeling confident. That way, you are training your mind and teaching it what it feels like to experience high levels of confidence.
Controlling your body language is a great way you can do this. One of my favorite videos by Tony Robbins is when he talks about choosing a time during the day to walk in an over-exaggerated way that makes you feel confident.
I took this exercise and began walking down the hallway in my apartment building with my chest up, shoulders back, and chin raised. Did I look ridiculous, probably. Did I feel quite silly, at first. But what happened was, in that moment, I immediately started to feel more confident.
So for yourself, on a daily basis, practice feeling more confident. As you do, this will be training the state within yourself.
"You need to get your mind used to feeling a certain way in order to have that become more of a natural state for yourself."
#4: Focus On What You Did Well
Whether we’re talking about after a practice, a game, a day at school, or a day at work, when you are faced with low confidence your natural tendency will be to examine all that you did wrong.
Even if this is coming from a more positive approach where you think if you focus on the areas that need improvement you’ll get better in the future, this does more harm than good.
Confidence is built through experience. Not just any experience, but experience seeing yourself succeed. If you only focus on what you did wrong, how much opportunity are you giving yourself for such experience? Very little.
Instead, what you need to begin doing is focusing on what you did well. After a performance, what this does is immediately boost your confidence. You’ll feel proud of yourself for the success you achieved (no matter how small). And that will be carried with you moving forward.
You can also use this concept to boost your confidence in the moment. What I mean is, using past moments of success to increase the confidence you feel in the present.
Think back to past games or days prior and remember all that you did well. This is going to reinforce that feeling of success and remind yourself that you are capable of doing so again.
#5: Learn To Take Feedback Well
Have you ever had a coach, teammate, parent, or anyone else give you feedback that hurt your feelings? Now, I know you may not want to own up to this because you feel as though you should be tough enough to take it. But the truth is, feedback can sometimes hurt.
However, if you want to boost your confidence, you need to learn how to take feedback well. And by well, what I really mean is objectively.
When we are objective, it’s almost as though we are looking at the situation, separate from ourselves. Every word spoken is not taken as a personal attack. You can listen, examine, and then do as you choose with the information.
The reason this helps to boost your confidence comes in two forms. First, you are immediately elevating your confidence by strengthening your mind. By not allowing feedback to be taken personally, it won’t have a negative effect on your self-belief.
Therefore, you will raise your confidence over the long run, since every time someone gives you feedback, it won’t come as a personal attack.
Another way it boosts your confidence is by providing you with information you can actually apply to your game. When feedback isn’t taken well, it’s often difficult to use it to improve.
By viewing it objectively, you allow yourself to take the information, apply it to your life, and grow as a result. This growth will lead to a boost in your confidence.
"When we are objective, it’s almost as though we are looking at the situation, separate from ourselves. Every word spoken is not taken as a personal attack."
#6: Seek Out Confident People
Who you’re around plays a large role in the way you think, feel, and how you behave.
In the introduction, I said people tend to gravitate towards those who exhibit high levels of confidence. Why do you think that is?
One reason is because their confidence is infectious. Simply by being around them, it’s hard not to adopt similar feelings of confidence yourself.
Sometimes it’s easy to understand this concept by thinking about it from the opposite point of view. Have you ever been around a really negative person? The type who always has something to complain about and will find the smallest dark cloud in a clear blue sky?
How do you feel when you’re around them? From personal experience, naturally, I tend to develop a bit of negativity myself. When I'm around such people, I have to work incredibly hard to keep my mood positive.
Luckily, the same is true for confident people. Surround yourself with individuals who have high levels of confidence and you can be sure at least a little bit of their self-belief will rub off on you.
Confident people also do not need to put others down. Quite on the contrary, actually. They tend to be the ones who speak positively to others and seek to lift them up.
Only those who doubt themselves must aim to tear others down.
When you’re looking for ways to boost your own confidence, start by examining who you surround yourself with and see if you can add just a few more people who embody the type of confidence you wish to have.
#7: Take On Small Challenges
There’s an incredible feeling of pride and success that comes along with doing something challenging. Stepping outside your comfort zone, pushing the limits of what you thought possible, there’s nothing quite like it.
Every time you accomplish a goal or complete a challenge you set for yourself, confidence raises. The main reason is because confidence thrives off experience.
In sports and in life, the more experience you have with seeing yourself win, the higher likelihood you will develop strong self-confidence.
But it’s not always easy to take on challenges, especially when you lack confidence. These can seem like insurmountable feats, as though you are standing at the base of a large mountain disappearing into the clouds above. You can’t imagine how you could ever reach the top.
What you need to do is start by setting small challenges for yourself. Don’t make them too terrifying, otherwise they will likely have the opposite effect and drop your confidence.
It’s all about taking small steps forward, pushing yourself each day outside your comfort zone. As you do, you’ll gain more and more confidence.
Consistently seeing yourself succeed at challenges you set (while they may be small), will have a greater impact on working to boost your confidence than a large challenge you set for yourself a few months to a year from now.
Aim for daily, or at the longest weekly, challenges. Make sure they test you, but are within your current abilities to accomplish. As you do, you’ll be amazed at how much of a positive impact this has on your confidence.
"In sports and in life, the more experience you have with seeing yourself win, the higher likelihood you will develop strong self-confidence."
#8: Focus On Your Self-Awareness
There are going to be certain moments where you doubt yourself more than others. Recognizing these and also recognizing what’s leading to the drop in confidence is crucial. This understanding comes by improving the skill known as self-awareness.
Self-awareness involves understanding your own thoughts and what’s leading to you thinking that way. Recognizing how those thoughts are making you feel and the actions the feelings you have are driving.
One of the earlier sections discussed self-talk and the importance the way you speak to yourself is on your confidence. Well, in order to regulate your self-talk, you must first understand what exactly you’re saying to yourself.
Self-awareness can be improved simply by paying better attention to your thoughts and how you feel. When you find self-doubt creeping into your mind, pause and see if you can identify what you’re thinking.
Look at the situation you’re in, see how that may be fueling the thoughts you're having. Once you begin to focus more on self-awareness, you’ll start to understand yourself much better.
You can use this understanding to be prepared when normal thoughts of doubt are present and substitute them for more positive and uplifting ones that drive confidence.
#9: Write Daily
Negative self-beliefs are the foundation for low confidence. Coming face to face with these beliefs is important in altering the way you see yourself and developing a strong base out of which high confidence can grow.
However, it is often scary to simply think about your negative beliefs. As you do, your mind will work to suppress the thoughts, switching them out for more pleasant ones in the moment.
That’s where writing comes into play.
Instead of trying to think about the negative self-beliefs you have, only to have your mind save you by stuffing the thoughts deep back within your subconscious, you can bring those beliefs to the surface.
Writing provides the opportunity to work through the negative beliefs you hold about yourself. You can also challenge these beliefs, digging deep on paper as to why you have the belief in the first place and where it came from.
The more you write about them, the less power they hold over you. Uncovering the negative beliefs you hold provides you with incredible knowledge. You can use that information to alter those beliefs.
You can also use your daily writing practice to remind yourself of what you did well that day or the day before. This will be building that memory of success and instilling a sense of positive self-belief.
Writing is a fantastic way to bring thoughts that may be suppressed deep within to the surface, boosting your confidence in the process.
"Negative self-beliefs are the foundation for low confidence. Coming face to face with these beliefs is important in altering the way you see yourself and developing a strong base out of which high confidence can grow."
#10: Practice Using Visualization
You need to practice feeling confidence in order to be more confident. You also need to see yourself succeed in order to instill a memory of success within your mind. So how can you take these two concepts and combine them into one practice?
Visualization is the practice of creating a scene within your mind. By closing your eyes, you can recreate a real-life scene, bringing in all the details and emotions that go along with it.
This is one of the best ways to train yourself to feel more confident and see yourself succeed over and over.
There are many different ways you can practice visualization and as many different scenes to visualize as you can imagine. But at the core, two principles need to be followed: go into great detail and feel as much as you see.
To make a visualization real, detail must be involved. Create an image in your mind and go into as much detail as possible.
Next, you want to be sure you bring emotion into the visualization. Feel confident while you are performing the act you are visualizing and feel successful once it's completed.
The more you see yourself succeed by using visualization and anchor that memory with a feeling of confidence and success, the more of a boost this will have on your overall level of confidence.
You won’t get far without confidence.
No matter what sport you play or what you do, there must be a belief within yourself that you have the skills necessary to succeed.
But sometimes confidence does not feel like a trait you were blessed with. However, you must understand that confidence can be developed. No matter whether you struggle with confidence right now or if you’re looking for more ways to boost your confidence, the ten ways outlined in this article will help.
Start putting them into practice and watch as your self-confidence begins to rise.
If you are an athlete or performer struggling with confidence, you need a more direct approach to building this belief within yourself. That’s where 1-1 mental game coaching comes into play.
Through our twelve-week program, we will uncover the mental game challenges keeping you from performing freely and confidently. Then create a custom mental game plan to build upon your strengths and improve your weaknesses to elevate your confidence and raise your game.
If you’re interested in learning more about mental game coaching, click here.
Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of success in all that you do.
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