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7 ways to be more confident.

Inner confidence, a healthy love for self, these go a long way to making your life that much more enjoyable.

But how can we become that self-assured person we long to be?

It’s taken me 20 years to go from being an anxious, people-pleaser with low self-esteem, to becoming, as one entrepreneur told me some time back “a self-assured person”. It was a full circle moment.

So what does it take? Here are some tips:

  1. Do work you love & get really good at it. There’s no describing the confidence you start to feel, when most of your time is spent in your element. Taking risks, failing, rising, getting better and being paid for your products and services. We’re at work most of the time, so it helps your self-esteem to be doing work that you are really proud of. The opposite — going to a job you’re ambivalent about or you hate — does just the opposite. Erodes your self-confidence.
  2. Let go of drainers in your life — even if they are relatives. We all have to deal with difficult people in life. And the negative consequences to your overall health, that these drainers have, can not be under-estimated. Time you spend engaging with drainers, is time you could be spending working on projects that uplift you or hanging out with people that make you a better person. Saying goodbye to drainers creates space for you to do other things — things that are better for your overall wellbeing and self-esteem. Once you’ve said goodbye to a drainer and the world doesn’t collapse, you realise you should have done that a long time ago. And the sense of relief you feel is palpable.
  3. Learn to love your culture (while respecting & enjoying other cultures). You were born where you were born. Your skin colour is what it is. Your country’s history is what it is. Do whatever you need to do to love your culture — for better or worse. I was born in Kenya. There’s a narrative that people like to attach to Kenya — the corruption. Yes, there is corruption, but there’s ALOT more going on in this beautiful crazy country I was born in. While we’re at it, there’s ALOT more going on in this beautiful crazy continent of Africa. And the number of smart, savvy people from overseas who are moving here, coming to join the party, is proof of that.
  4. Try and fail. And do this over and over again. The more you fail and rise up, the grittier you become. Once you’ve failed and survived enough times you realise you will be okay. Too many people become afraid after the first fail. This is a mistake. Fail, fail and fail some more. You’ll realise who your true friends are, you’ll be humbled (always important), you’ll care less and less about what people think and you’ll become a resilient human being.
  5. Be willing to have hard conversations. The more you keep silent in the face of someone crossing your boundaries, the more your self-esteem gets chipped away. Does anyone love hard conversations? I doubt it. Yet hard conversations create superheroes, as I like to say. Hard conversations can even bring people closer together. The elephants in the room are looked at and dealt with, each one knows where the other stands. Honesty eventually helps us all relax because we know where we stand. And knowing where you stand, while establishing clear boundaries with others, is good for you.
  6. Speak up more. Got a great idea? Speak up. Thought of something that no one else thought of? Speak up. Noticed something important? Speak up. Have some life-changing information? Speak up. Whether your ideas are shot down or accepted with much cheering, just the act of speaking up makes you more courageous for the next time you need to say something. Just make sure you’ve thought things through — this isn’t about being the chatterbox that others will eventually tune out.
  7. Get a coach. Having someone in your corner, helping your respond incisively to your life’s challenges is invaluable. The best thing I did for myself, was get a coach 10 years ago. It’s cathartic, you don’t feel alone, you’re constantly learning through your coach. It’s an experience worth investing in. Thinking of something and actually achieving it with the help of a coach takes you from being the dreamer to the dreamer-doer. And that is a self-esteem booster and a half.

Want more tips on boosting your self-esteem in healthy lasting ways? Visit the podcast: