5 Habits To Improve Your Confidence
Confidence is not something that we have but something that we build through consistency by following these simple practices
Most people think that true confidence comes from a personality trait or something that we are born with, but it’s not. The truth is it’s a skill that you develop through consistency day by day.
How you build your confidence is just like how you build your muscle by working out every single day for long enough. At first, maybe you feel pain and uncomfortable but months after months you see some progress and believe in yourself that you can do the right thing on a daily basis.
True confidence within you is not something you get from reading some books, skimming dozens of articles, watching motivation videos, listening to podcast, or saying repeatedly affirmation. I’m not saying they are not useful, but if you rely on them without believing on it and taking action, it’s all meaningless. You will keep awake at night by thinking you are not good enough.
Unfortunately, confidence is not a product of doing something that you can fake it, even though people don’t recognize it but deep inside you know that you lie to yourself. Trying to fake your personality, seeking external validation, and proving yourself to others are not signs of true confidence, it is a sign of insecurity.
No one will believe in your quality and ability before you put trust in yourself first.
Yes, I know we all have limited beliefs and insecurity within us, that’s why it’s hard to change how we see inside of us than we see outside of us. But the good news is you can overcome your insecurities and improve your confidence by following these simple habits.
1. Don’t Give a Shit About Other People's Opinions of You
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner”
— Lao Tzu
One of the reasons people lack of confidence is because they are afraid of what other people might say about them. If you always listen to what others expect you to do, don’t get me wrong that you will lose your ability to know yourself because you let others define who you are.
I’m not saying don’t listen to your boss, parents or best friends. It’s alright to listen to them if their feedback is constructive and helps you to become a better person. But if you get criticism on how you live your life either what career you must take or what relationship you should have, just ignore it. They don’t know anything what you feel, this is your life, not theirs.
No one knows about yourself better than you are.
The point is if you want to gain your confidence, instead of following other people’s opinion of you, you can start to risk yourself to go after what you want, even though in the end, your journey doesn’t go well. But, at least, you get one thing for sure, is your self-assurance.
Start by believing in yourself to take a small risk and trying to figure the thing out on your own. If it does not happen the way you expect it to be, yes perhaps you got nothing but at least your confidence improves.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves”
Just because someone treats you like shit, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong within you. The truth is, it says a lot more about their insecurity and inner conflict. Maybe their parents don’t give their attention when they grow up or their social circle tries to suppress their feeling and in the end, you become the target of their insecurity.
I know it’s hard not to take it personally when it comes from your close friends, a part of your heart gets kicked many times and the other part of your heart expects them to change. The harsh truth is nobody can heal their insecurity except themselves. So, never waste your time or energy if they always put you down, leave them and move on.
Just remind yourself that what others people say about you is just only their opinion, not an absolute truth. Once you understand what these people say is nothing to do with yourself, but it reveals who they are. You set yourself to be free to express the way you feel and think.
Prioritize your relationship with yourself first before you put on others. The better you know about yourself, the less affect other’s opinions of you.
3. Cut Off Toxic People From Your Life
It’s impossible to believe in yourself if you are surrounded by people who doubt you. But it’s easier for you to believe in yourself fully if you are surrounded by people who support and love you.
Your social circle is the most crucial thing to gain your confidence.
You will more struggle to improve your life if your friends or relationships are toxic, they just only drain your energy and hold you back to become the best version of yourselves. The funny thing about the toxic people is they never realize that they are toxic.
So, the first step that you need to do is prioritize your mental health above everything.
The second step is cutting toxic people out of your life and never look back. I guarantee, your confidence will increase and how you see your life will be profound not because of the life itself but because you already change the way you look at things differently.
Your energy and time are precious gifts that you can give to someone. So, make sure they are worthy of those resources.
The lesson here is you need to learn from your experiences when you face with toxic people. Be aware of how you feel after you meet them, are they draining or energizing you? are they giving a positive or negative vibe on you? are you feeling motivated or demotivated?. I’m pretty sure you already know those answers because you know exactly how it feels.
You will meet a lot of new people in this world who can treat you with respect, appreciation, and love. So never waste your time on the people who cannot give you those things that you deserved.
“When you start seeing your worth, you’ll find it harder to stay around people who don’t”
4. Focus on Your Small Wins
When was the last time you appreciate yourself? yes, it was a long time ago and when was the last time you criticize yourself? yes, it’s a couple minutes ago. See that’s the truth. Our brain is easier to focus on bad things rather than the good things. That’s why it feels harder to let go of our past mistakes than moving forward.
Most of us are more attracted to living in the past unconsciously by ruminating on our past mistakes which made us lack of confidence as the result.
However, the truth is the only way to gain more confidence is by reminding yourself about the good things in the past, it doesn’t matter whether it’s small or big. It can be that you are making someone laugh, getting a compliment from your boss, or helping someone to open the door. If you don’t highlight your small win in the past, you will more focus on the mistake you make and reduce your self-esteem.
I know, most of us grow in the formal education system which highlights more mistakes than appreciating our wins. That’s why it feels difficult for us to be proud of our little accomplishments. Yet there is nothing we can do to change our educational system but we can change how we see ourselves.
Rewarding and cheering on yourself when no one knows your small achievement.
5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
“All growth is a leap in the dark”
Your confidence doesn’t come from doing something you are familiar with, maybe you feel busy every day tackling some repetitive tasks but at the end, you just end up being the same person as you are yesterday, weeks, months, or even years.
Most of us surely will be more confident if we do something that we are competent about, but it’s not confidence. Real confidence comes from of doing something that you are not comfortable and familiar with by forcing yourself to face what you are afraid of. It is about the feeling that you are okay with not knowing, you are okay to be wrong and you are okay with a desire to learn.
Research shows that stepping outside of your comfort zone will increase your productivity, creativity, and ability to deal with an unexpected situation.
I’m not saying to take a big step out from your comfort zone, it’s impossible. What I’m trying to say is taking a small step to get out of your comfort zone. Maybe you stay in the same division in your workplace for too many years, instead of taking a big leap to be an entrepreneur, you can switch to a new division for challenging yourself.
Once you have already reached that tolerance and continue to push your boundaries, then you will realize that your comfort zone is not a place that you want to stay any longer.