5 Simple Steps For Building Self-Confidence

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How To Build Self-Confidence In 5 Steps

Self-confidence is a necessary component in achieving success and happiness on your own terms, which is why learning how to build confidence — and maintain it — can help you create the life you want.

After all, you must believe in yourself and your abilities if you're going to go your own way, which is critical if you want:

  • A life that feels balanced.
  • To feel fulfilled by the work you're doing.
  • To feel at peace with your decisions and the path that you're on.

So, in order to be happier and have more success reaching your goals, you must first take steps toward building your self-confidence.

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Here are 5 simple steps on how to build self-confidence.

1. Be intentional.

Learning how to be confident isn't something that comes to you one day out of the blue. It's not about luck either. Self-confidence must be developed and nurtured daily, which requires intention.

Here's how to be more intentional:

  • Self-assess: Being intentional about your self-confidence starts with a self-assessment. You must audit your self-confidence levels to determine what they are now (and why they're where they are at this moment); get clarity around what makes you feel good about and more confident in yourself and your capabilities; understand your strengths and how to leverage them (because they'll help to boost your self-confidence); and honestly identify your weaknesses so that you can plan around them plus work to develop them further (so that they won't always be a weakness)
  • Take action: Once you've assessed where you are, determine what can be done about it and put together a plan of action by identifying activities that deplete your self-confidence and limiting the amount of time you spend on them; honestly identifying people who drag you down and reducing the amount of time you spend with them; and incorporating more confidence-building activities and people into your life.

It's time to be intentional about how you spend your time and who you spend it with.

For example, when I'm on Instagram, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn, I tend to compare myself and my new business to women who've been around for 10+ years and think "I can't do that" or "I'll never get to that point." Needless to say, it kills my confidence. Yet, I must be on social media for my business.

To deal with this, I don't go onto any social media site without having a clear reason why I'm there (and I stick to only those things). I also limit my time on social media by setting a timer and getting off when the timer goes off. And it works! I no longer have the time to go off on tangents or get caught up looking at what others are doing.

2. Set a routine.

Once you understand your current self-confidence levels, why they're where they are, and what you can do to improve them so you can be happier, it's time to start building confidence with a routine.

To do this, focus on the things you identified in the first step that help grow your self-confidence levels and start a practice of good, old-fashioned self-care.

Self-care involves taking care of your mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. But it's about more than that — self-care is really about self-respect. How can you expect to feel confident in yourself, if you're not respecting yourself enough to take good care of your body, mind, and soul?

When you're building your confidence-boosting self-care routine, try to:

  • Include physical activity: Ever notice how confident you feel after you've finished a tough workout? Not only does working out make you physically healthier, but it also increases your self-esteem and self-confidence levels.
  • Prioritize sleep: You know that sleep is necessary for optimal cognitive function (and to feel good), but it's also directly linked to your mood, optimism levels, and sociability. And that has obvious connections to your self-confidence levels.
  • Eat well: If you don't eat healthily, you're less likely to feel good about yourself. By eating well, I mean eating nutritious foods on a regular basis. Don't skip meals.
  • Be mindful: Mindfulness is about being more present at the moment and attuned to your internal thoughts and feelings, as well as the thoughts and feelings of those around you. Simple mindfulness self-care practices including meditation, mindful breathing, journaling, and even gratitude.

3. Focus on your body language.

Your body language has an impact on your self-confidence and happiness.

It's time to use it to your benefit by:

This sounds incredibly simple (because it is!). But don't think for a second that you're "faking" it. You're simply using psychology to your benefit.

4. Affirm yourself.

Your brain has loads of thoughts running through it every day — many of which are within your subconscious. Every time you have the same thought, your belief in it gets stronger.

The point for adopting positive affirmations is to build new neural pathways within your brain that are positive and crowd out the negative ones. But does that work?

For most people, telling yourself that you're abundant, self-confident, and/or loved doesn't ring true (especially if it's the reason you've adopted the affirmation in the first place). So your brain revolts. No matter how often you tell yourself that you're worthy, you can't believe it.

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I understand this thinking, as it's what happened to me when I first implemented positive affirmations into my life. The first time I tried affirmations, I had recently made partner in my law firm. I was facing new challenges that made me question myself and my abilities. And I'd lost much of the support that had been there for me while trying to make partner.

So, I tried confidence-building self-affirmations ... and they didn't work. They felt fake — and my brain knew it. That's when the lawyer in me took over. I did my research and discovered how to make positive affirmations work for me.

You can create positive affirmations that will help build your self-confidence, instead of making you question yourself even more:

  • Script them as a timeline of where you are, what you're doing to grow, and where you're working to end up. Be realistic and specific. And change the script as you develop.
  • Keep your language neutral, instead of overly positive.
  • Be honest about the highs and lows of the process of getting to where you want to be.
  • Try turning your statements into questions. Instead of phrasing as "I am" or "I will," say "Will I?" There is evidence that rephrasing goal-oriented behavior as a question is a more powerful positive motivator than phrasing it as a command or fact.

Instead of saying, "Every day I become more confident in myself and my abilities", try: "I'm doing the work needed to grow my self-confidence. Some days are better than others and I feel great, yet other days I don't. But no matter where I am in the process, I continue to work on this for improvement. I've had better days than today and I've also had worse. Today, I'm okay."

And if you want to turn your affirmation into a question, you could say, "Will I increase my self-confidence?" This may sound too-good-to-be-true or a bit "woo" for you, but I encourage you to give positive affirmations a chance. These science-backed ways aren't "woo" at all. They're just simple.

5. Challenge yourself, while focusing on enjoyment.

In the first step, you identified your strengths. Now it's time to use that information to your advantage. Challenge yourself to do something using those skills and strengths.

For this to work, you need to:

  • Get creative and think of new ways to use your skills and strengths.
  • Make certain that you'll find the activity enjoyable (at least most of the time).

The best way to grow your self-confidence is by overcoming adversity or rising to a new challenge. This step will likely be the most difficult, as it requires you to be courageous and step out of your comfort zone. But, the point of it is to create a challenge that you'll be motivated to complete.

Although it might sound a bit daunting, it's easier to do once you've implemented the prior steps for building self-confidence.

Start with something low-risk, like a new hobby. For example, if you enjoy running, consider training and competing in a marathon. If you like to cook, invite friends over for a dinner party.

But don't limit yourself. Bring this step into the workplace by offering your assistance on projects that your skills are suited for. Speak up and be heard.

Follow the steps above to build your self-confidence levels so that you can achieve success and happiness on your own terms. Success your way won't happen if you're not willing to confidently move forward on your own path.

RELATED: 15 Ways To Improve Your Self-Esteem (That You Can Do From Anywhere)

Heather Moulder is an executive career and life coach, attorney, speaker, and founder of Course Correction Coaching, who helps women who are successful on paper — yet feel exhausted and unfulfilled — reignite their purpose, overcome overwhelm and self-doubt, and confidently create sustainable success on their own terms. Connect with Heather for free strategies and tips on how to create a life that energizes and fulfills you.

This article was originally published at Course Correction Coaching. Reprinted with permission from the author.