How to develop self confidence

A lot of us have dreams but lack the confidence to execute them. Many lack the confidence to live the lives they’ve always wanted to have. Confidence is something that  can be developed. That is why I compiled the hacks in this article that will help you build or boost your self confidence.

Simply put confidence is belief in yourself and  your abilities.However this definition is too simplistic that it doesn’t really tell us all that we need to Know about self confidence and the different ways that confidence manifests itself.

No matter how much you accomplish if you can’t find your confidence within then all those external successes or achievements simply mean nothing.
Confidence is the belief that you have in your spirit that regardless of your circumstance
You will face every obstacle or difficulty to achieve your aim.
Michael Andrews

I love  this description because it describes confidence as something that starts from within. It is belief that we are capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. You can have everything outwardly but still lack confidence. It all begins in belief that it is all going to work out in the end.

Confident people don’t degrade others to make themselves feel better. Confidence is not arrogance nor is it over confidence. Confident people don’t look for validation outside of themselves. Finally confident people don’t compare themselves with others.

**Delivering my first speech in front of the whole school**
Being a head girl at my secondary School I was tasked to deliver a welcoming speech for the canossian sisters from Tanzania. It was my first time to deliver a speech oddly enough  you didn’t have to say much when they appointed you head girl.

I stressed more about writing the speech than I did about delivering it. I even got a friend to help me come up with the write up. When I got to the stage my heart racing, every voice in my head telling me to run and never look back, I started. The adrenaline rush made me rush through the whole speech and the next thing I knew I was saying “thank you for your attention”. When I finished not paying attention to whether anybody clapped their hands at all or not I got off the stage and back to my seat. Hours later standing in front of sister Lacy, she said I’d done a good job with the the speech but I had to work on my pace, I was too fast.

This brings me to point number one for building self confidence which is practice. Whoever said that practice makes perfect wasn’t kidding around, they were right. You gain the confidence to do something by doing it. The more you do it the more you get comfortable doing it. What I should have done was to practice delivering the speech in front of my friends. I should have read up on cues to pay attention to when delivering a speech because then I would have known that  your pace matters. Practicing doing something will help you get the confidence you need when you are doing the actual thing in front of many people.

Secondly, to build confidence you must practice confidence. In other words Fake it till you make it.

Dale Carnegie said and I quote
By regulating the action  which is under the more direct control of the will we can indirectly regulate the feeling which is not.

Here he means acting as if you already had that confidence will regulate the feeling of having confidence. Think of how one acts like when they have confidence and will yourself into doing and the end result will be that you will feel confident.

To develop lasting self confidence you need to practice acceptance of your strengths, weaknesses and yourself. Accepting yourself as you are without judgement is one of the skills that we all need to develop. We are so used to to judging ourselves everytime we feel that there is something wrong with us that we are actually the ones bringing ourselves down. Accept that you have weaknesses because nobody is perfect.

On the flip side you need to accept your strengths. Realize that there is something about you that makes you good at doing whatever it is that you do. Try new things explore and discover your strengths. Capitalize on those strengths, use them to your advantage. Part of accepting your strengths is accepting compliments. If someone says “ooh you’re good at doing…..” Say thank you accept it because it just might be that they see something in you that you don’t see. Compliments really open your eyes to the array of strengths and capabilities that you process.

All in all accept yourself as a whole. You are one complex human being full of magic and wonder, embrace that. Also embrace the fact that you have flaws, none of us is perfect really. Don’t let your bad parts dim the light of your good parts. Let your strengths shine over your weaknesses and imperfections.

In addition to that use positive affirmations to develop confidence. I say it this all the time the more you say it to yourself the more you believe it and the more it manifests in your life. Your perception of your self is ingrained in your subconscious. The reason why you have low self confidence is because you’ve told yourself that you’re worthless and cannot accomplish anything so many times that you got to believe. Our aim with positive confidence affirmations is to reprogram your subconscious through repetition of positive affirmations that will help you develop self confidence. Say it to yourself everyday that you get to believe and in turn becomes ingrained in your mind. Confidence becomes your new programming. You become wired for confidence.

Say this to yourself with conviction;

I am confident and strong

I breathe in confidence and I breathe out timidity

When I walk, talk and in every act I exude confidence

I do not need validation from others

There is nothing I am not able to overcome

I believe in my abilities

I don’t have to justify anything to anyone

Aside from these you can make cool affirmations on your own about the things you are(you want to be). Incorporate them in your daily routine and choose a time in your day when you get to repeat the affirmations. Mornings are better because they signify new beginnings. Look in the mirror say positive things into life and feel good about yourself!

Another way to develop confidence is by taking care of yourself.
For me exercising helps me relieve stress. It’s a way of burning the extra energy , makes me feel light afterwards. Aside from that exercising will help you to stay fit and maintain a great body. Alot of people have lost their confidence because they don’t like their bodies. Exercising is one way to get you that beautiful body you’ve always wanted that will help you carry yourself with confidence wherever you go. Ever noticed that when you’re doing what you are supposed to be doing you feel great? When I miss exercise sessions I feel guilt, makes me feel bad about myself. Immediately after exercising though I feel like a badass.

Eat healthy
Garbage in, garbage out.
What you put in your body will manifest itself in your health and body shape. You’re diet can determine whether you’re gonna get sick for eating harmful foods or if you’re gonna stay healthy. Eat your vegetables, fruits and drink a lot of water. If you want to lose weight eat less carbs (carbohydrates), eat less sugar and avoid eating junk foods.

Smell great
Your scent is a major factor that can determine if you’re confident or not. When you smell good you feel better about yourself. Invest in that deodorant  your confidence depends on it.

Pay attention to what you wear
Make your brain work, what are you wearing when you finally have confidence? When you’ve figured that out go and wear it. Wear clothes that make you look and feel confident.

Visualization is one of the effective ways of transforming your thoughts which play a big role in developing self confidence. When you think positive thoughts positive things tend to follow (it’s the law of attraction) and so is the opposite true. Use visualization by picturing a more confident you going out there accomplishing your goals. This triggers good feelings and positive thought processes.  Visualize what a confident you would look like, what is she wearing? What is she doing? What are you saying? How are you feeling? Get more specific. Create a story of how you want to feel and what you want to achieve in life and visualize it over and over again until your subconscious gets the idea. The reason why this works is that when you imagine yourself doing something  you create psychological patterns in your brain just as if you had physically performed the task . Our brains can not differentiate between a memory, an image you’ve made up with something that is happening now.

In addition to that write down your strengths.This is just to remind you of the things you’re good at and all your good traits that make you good at the things you do. This strengthens belief in oneself and helps you to use those strengths to achieve all your goal. Also whenever you’re down going through that list reminds you of who you are and what you can do .

Try something that is outside your comfort zone (something that scares you)
Doing something that is outside your comfort zone is uncomfortable. Nevertheless succeeding in doing something that is something outside our comfort zone boosts confidence. This is because you conquer your fear and discover that you can do just about anything aslong as you will yourself to do them. Most people wait for confidence before they try something new, they want to feel ready before going out of their comfort. This doesn’t work most times because confidence is a product of doing something that you fear (of going outside your comfort zone).

Celebrate yourself
Celebrate your success, big or small celebrate them. Celebrate your journey , you’ve come this far and you have accomplished alot. This opens your eyes to the  potential that you hold within you. You can achieve anything that you set your mind on.

Don’t compare yourself with others(  check out my post, “Don’t compare yourself with others”)
Confidence is not walking  into a room and thinking that you are better than everyone else. It’s walking into a room and not having to compare yourself  to anyone else in the first place.
Unknown author
Confident people don’t have to compare themselves with others because they know that they are unique. Your journey is going to be different from anybody else’s  accept that .

Let go of the past (for those stuck in the past: let go and move on)
A lot of us fail to live a life filled with confidence because we let our past define who we are now. In my previous post on letting go of your past mistakes I talk about how you can let go of the past. One way is by making yourself conscious of your current thought process. By doing this you get to know when you’re marinating so that you can divert to the present or to more positive thoughts. Another way is by accepting your past without judgement and realising that you can’t change your past but you can make a conscious choice to create a better future through your actions now. Finally forgive yourself for your past mistakes and move on. Live in the present and leave the past where it belongs, in the past.

Practice mindfulness(I talk more about mindfulness in my blog post “for those stuck in the past: let go and move on)
Pay attention to your thought patterns. Consciously pay attention to your thoughts. That way you can stop negative self talk and incorporate positive self talk.

Looking at the tips that I’ve shared you’ll realize that many of them work hand in hand  to get you the confidence that you deserve. Their goal is to put you in a positive mind frame where you are in peace with yourself and you operate with belief in your abilities. Let me know on which tips really spoke to you, which ones you are ready to try out and others that you think should have been added to this list.

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