Do you remember what it felt like to give your first presentation in front of a classroom or speak to a large group of people? How about building up the courage to talk to a love interest or someone you admire? Were you scared? Nervous? Well, from personal experience, I know that building self-esteem and self-confidence is something that doesn't necessarily happen overnight for most people. When I was younger, I was terrified of public speaking and admired the people that could get up on a stage and speak to a large crowd with such ease and grace.
In order for me to step into my own personal power, and to feel confident speaking in front of people, I had to overcome the fear of failure and self-doubt that was holding me back. Today, I’m happy to say I’ve confidently spoken on tons of stages, to crowds of thousands of people!
The inner work that I've done over the years to overcome my pre-programmed limiting beliefs is what’s guided me to living a life full of confidence. And now I have the ability to teach this to students of my own. So if you too are ready to learn how to be confident (in any situation), then check my top 10 ways to do just that!
1. Mental check-ins
No matter what you are doing, a positive mindset is one of the most significant ways to boost self-confidence. The attitude you have toward any task or project, big or small, is going to help you get that much closer to becoming a more confident person. And in basic terms around the Law of Attraction, thoughts become your reality, so the more you focus on negativity, the more likely it is for a negative outcome to manifest itself in some form.
The next time you notice your mind wandering down a road of "what ifs" of what could possibly go wrong, or telling yourself you can’t do it - gently bring yourself back to the present moment with a few deep breaths. Say a couple of positive affirmations to yourself to help remind you that you ARE capable and to shift your mind back to a more positive, calm state.
By choosing to shift your energy toward positivity, you instantly emit a can-do mindset, inadvertently raising your vibration. And by raising your vibration, you give yourself permission to step into your personal power to experience more clarity, love, and peace – all qualities of confident individuals. So at the end of the day, sometimes building more confidence starts with first checking in to make sure your mindset is where it needs to be to fully thrive.
Visualization actually plays quite a big role in developing confidence. When you use visualization to see yourself doing things that require confidence, whatever that looks like for you, you are tricking your brain into thinking it's reality. That’s because your brain can't tell the difference between the actual experience and a visualization!
Personally, this is one of my favorite exercises to use before a speaking event. To help keep my limiting beliefs and nerves at bay, I visualize myself smiling, and engaging with the audience, and I see their delighted reactions. When I do this, I’m getting more and more comfortable with the situation and attracting a positive outcome.
3. Be kind to yourself
When you lead your life with love and kindness, it becomes very easy for the Universe to show you more of that. But the key here is to remember that you must also love yourself too. When you choose to love and appreciate all that you are, you are restrengthening the neuro-pathways responsible for building confidence. So that's everything from the way you talk to yourself, caring for your physical body, acknowledging all of your accomplishments (big and small), personal grooming, or even putting on a nice outfit from time to time. Don't let self-sabotage get in the way of the confident life that you are absolutely deserving of.
4. Don't be afraid to fail
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to share our wins as opposed to our failures? You see, confidence doesn't necessarily equal perfection…Think about when you learned how to do something for the very first time – like tying your shoes or riding a bike or even learning a new language. It's only necessary to try and try again until you get it. So when you can get comfortable owning the fact that success comes from failing over and over, you'll understand the value of putting your best (and most confident) foot forward, no matter the outcome. It's important to not let the need for perfection get in the way of even having the confidence and courage to try.
5. Get uncomfortable
Through trial and error, I have found that it's often the things we do outside of our comfort zone that propels us to new levels in life. It's totally normal to feel nervous or uncomfortable doing things we're not always used to. But instead of shying away from discomfort, it's important to lean into those feelings and use them as stepping stones to move forward. Rather than getting stuck lingering in discomfort and nervousness, embrace it (because you're human!) and know that all it takes is one small step to get on the other side.
You see, confidence is not just being able to walk or talk a certain way. It's paying attention to what makes you human and using your uniqueness to work through the discomfort, instead of bypassing it. And remember, this is what makes life exciting! So when you embrace discomfort, you are opening up your life to new opportunities and possibilities, all helping you step into a more confident version of yourself (even if it's just a baby step). So maybe try something completely new that scares you - this is going to be great practice in boosting your self-confidence.
6. Be curious
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day."
- Albert Einstein
Think about the curiosity of a baby or a child and how willing they are to explore and navigate new ways to understand something unknown. Curiosity takes guts and requires action, adventure, and thoughtfulness… And that, my friends, is confidence. A curious mind is a confident mind, so even the willingness to learn brings about incredible, long-lasting benefits to becoming your true self.
7. Pay attention to your body language
The way you carry yourself plays a pretty big role in having confidence. Body language is almost like the unspoken first impression you give to others. So if you are slouching your shoulders and walking with your head down, this may be a signal to those around you that you're shy or nervous or even unapproachable. But things as simple as adjusting your posture, standing up straight, and making eye contact are great ways to step into your power and be more confident. You are letting others know (and yourself) that you are comfortable in your own skin, often allowing others to feel more comfortable around you. It takes very little energy to smile, so start with that and pay attention to how your day unfolds.
8. Be kind to others
Kindness and generosity toward others (without expecting anything in return) not only just makes you feel really good inside, but it can also boost your self-confidence. If you have the ability to help someone else, you are helping to raise the vibration for yourself and that person. Having an impact on someone's day, no matter the gesture, speaks volumes to your character. Having the confidence to do something as simple as waving to a neighbor or smiling at a stranger passing by sparks an instant boost in self-esteem. And often, it's those small frequent gestures that allow us to get more comfortable using our unique gifts. Making a difference in even one person's life matters, because little by little, you are making a difference in the entire world. And in my opinion, there's so much confidence in knowing that!
9. Talk to your future self
Maybe your goal isn't overcoming a fear of speaking in front of others. It could be being more assertive or confident in a work environment or your relationships. Or perhaps it's going after a big goal you have set for yourself. So every once in a while, it's important to shift gears and talk to your future (and more confident) self. Using the lessons we know about visualization and the power of affirmations, you can talk to your future self to help welcome more successful opportunities and outcomes in your life. Because it's the success and happiness we bring into our lives that help us to stay motivated, take action, and keep pushing for what we truly want.
10. Get rid of excuses
If you want to build more confidence in any area of your life, you've got to throw those pesky excuses out the window. It's time to really surrender to becoming the courageous and confident person you've always imagined. When you get bogged down with excuses, you are stalling the manifestation process, preventing you from stepping into your personal power. Confidence happens from within, and when you don't have excuses holding you back, you'll start to feel even more comfortable and confident in your own skin.
But have you ever wondered if there's something else that could be holding back from true self-esteem and actually hindering your success? If you’d like to look further inside, I invite you to explore my personal Introspection Process to get to the bottom of what's keeping you stressed, broke, or crippled by self-doubt.
If you’re ready to take control of your life and really step into the most confident version of yourself… Get FREE Instant Access to this eye-opening exercise to uncover the hidden subconscious programming that may be blocking your highest potential. Your future self will thank you for it!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.