Since we can’t all be born brimming with confidence like Beyoncé (she woke up like that), you may sometimes wonder how to be more assertive, more sure of yourself, how to land the job you want, or attract the kind of partner you want, without exhaustively second guessing every decision you’re faced with. Confidence goes a long way in getting what you want, and attracting others who want to give it to you.
So what is confidence anyway? Confidence is feeling sure of yourself and your actions. It sounds simple, yet so many of us struggle with this. It’s good to remember that confidence is more than the idea of assertiveness, and it’s certainly more than being full of yourself—confidence is less about self-centeredness and more about self-efficacy. It’s not about being sure of yourself because you’re full of yourself. It’s about being sure of your capabilities, having a strong sense of who you are, and knowing what you can offer.
Most of us struggle with self-doubt. It’s normal to question yourself, and it’s normal to feel as though you’re not enough at times. But you are enough. Realizing this is the first step towards building healthy confidence in your life. This will improve the way you see yourself and how others see you. However, you should never associate your self-worth with what others think about you. In fact, confidence is the opposite of this—it’s believing in yourself outside of what others may think. Confidence is empowering and freeing. It’s an attractive quality at work, in a relationship, and in nearly all other important life domains.
Confident people are able to form strong relationships because they can easily relate to others and maneuver through social situations with ease. They’re approachable, don’t settle for being treated poorly, assert healthy boundaries, can easily express themselves, and move past setbacks and rejection.
Studies show that high self-esteem (i.e. confidence) can help you in your romantic relationships. A confident partner positively affects the other partner’s overall happiness. A confident couple can successfully exercise empathy and is more likely to experience positive social interactions. Outside of relationships, confidence also leads to a satisfying work life and better physical and mental health.
Confidence is synonymous with a healthy sense of self. How you feel about yourself affects how others feel about you. Confident daters want and seek out a confident partner. When you develop a healthy relationship with yourself, you are likely to develop healthy relationships with others. Confidence draws others in like a magnet. Sometimes confidence is natural and sometimes it isn’t. It totally depends on the individual. Struggling with self-doubt is normal. The good news is that you can build a confident you and attract the good things in life that you deserve.
Whether you need a quick boost, or a complete remodeling of your self-esteem, there are many ways you can work on building your confidence.
Make a list of personal achievements and strengths.
Self-efficacy is key to a healthy sense of self. Outlining what you’ve accomplished and what you’re good at shows that you are capable and moves you closer to appreciating your abilities.
Practice positive self-talk.
Your inner monologue holds a lot of power over your outward circumstances. Chronic negative self-talk promotes a toxic mindset that can convince you you’re not good enough, when in fact you are. Make an effort to be more aware of your thoughts throughout the day, especially when you’re faced with stress, challenges, or setbacks. You have the power to stop the negative self talk which hinders you from living your life to the fullest.
Develop a personal mantra.
Adopting a personal mantra is a way to consistently enforce your capabilities. Something as simple as, “I can handle this” can keep you on track when faced with opposition. Huffington Post recently published a series of celebrities’ favorite mantras:
“Love Yourself” –Leah Michelle
“Let your heart be your guide.” –Gisele Bundchen
“Control your emotions, direct yourself under pressure, and make the right choices.” –Taylor Swift
“Go to it and get through it.” -Kristen Bell
Try an affirmation app.
For a daily motivation and confidence boost, download an affirmation app on your phone. There are many available for both Android or iOS. Unique Daily Affirmations is free and rated very highly, giving you one encouraging affirmation per day. Today’s affirmation is “I appreciate the ones who have helped me, as well as crushed me, for I am stronger and better because of them.”
Do what makes you feel powerful.
It’s hard to feel confident when you don’t feel your best. We all have our little tricks when it comes to making ourselves feel better. Perhaps getting your hair done, or putting on some bright lipstick does it for you. In a piece by Ruthie Friedlander, Elle Magazine shares that Oprah’s way of dealing with lost confidence, is to “think like a queen,” while Beyoncé says she asks herself, “What’re you gonna do about it? I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.”
Building healthy confidence in your life takes time. Coming out of your shell, improving your own relationship with yourself, and changing the way you think takes some serious continuous effort. And since practice makes perfect, sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it. Even if you don’t feel confident, by acting confident, you are putting in motion the work that can get you there.
If you want to become more confident, act more confident. Want to be assertive? Act assertive. Practice until it becomes natural. Along the way, wear your bright lipstick, think like a queen, (might I recommend rocking Beyonce’s song, Flawless), and know that you are capable of getting what you want in life. Make confidence your best asset, and flaunt it.