Google gives the following definition for self-confidence:
“a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.”
I believe if you trust your abilities, you are more able to tap into your strengths and passions. You carry out the things in life that light you up and work towards making your vision a reality. In trusting your qualities, you accept yourself exactly as you are. Knowing that your “imperfections” are exactly what make you relatable and perfectly human. When you trust your judgement, you believe your voice deserves to be heard and your opinion matters. You do all of this not worrying about what other people think, but come from a place of honesty.
While this sounds all nice and lovely, trusting yourself can definitely be difficult. It takes courage to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. Speaking from personal experience, the more I reach out of my comfort zone the more I have strengthened my confidence. It is definitely not easy, but everyone has to start somewhere. You will likely make mistakes along the way, however, the awesome side-effect of this is personal growth.
Being confident is easier for some than it is for others. By nature, I have a tendency to be an introvert. I am a homebody and love my alone time. I can easily get lost in my own thoughts and am very reflective. In the past, I had more of a tendency to internalize things and to not share my true feelings, especially with colleagues and new people. The fear of being “wrong” or being judged would outweigh the desire to express myself. Little by little, I began speaking up more often. As my confidence grew I started to not care as much about what others thought. It became so freeing to share my opinion, thoughts, and views. Not only did this build my confidence, but left space for me to explore myself creatively. My creative and playful spirit was being bogged down by all of my unspoken words and lack of authentic action.
Putting yourself out there can be very daunting, but there are things you can do to help prepare yourself for these situations. One tool that I find useful is positive affirmations. The wonderful motivational author and self-help guru, Louise Hay, uses affirmation as a healing technique. Affirmations are simple, but powerful statements. When you say or think these statements there is a shift in your thoughts that ultimately create your reality. Here are some examples to help with self-confidence:
- I am at ease in speaking in front of others. I have confidence in myself.
- I am one with the power and wisdom of the universe. I claim this power, and it is easy for me to stand up for myself.
- My intuition is always on my side. I trust it will be there at all times. I am safe.
- My unique and creative talents and abilities flow through me and are expressed in deeply satisfying ways. My creativity is always in demand.
An excellent way to incorporate this into your life is to write three or four different affirmations on post-it notes and leave them in places that you normally encounter throughout your day. Your bathroom mirror, car visor, computer monitor, jewelry box, or tool box are all possible options.
Do you feel you need to build more confidence? Grab some colourful post-its and write down a few affirmations like the ones above. I recommend saying them out loud several times in a row. Saying them into a mirror is even more powerful.
Do you have other tools or techniques that help build confidence? Have you used affirmations for any other aspect of your life? Did you find them useful? Please share your experience below!