build your confidence HEADING: Hitting a confidence dip? Learn how to build your confidence with these practices

Confidence impacts everything we do. From our approach to challenge, to our response within conflict, to our performance at work. If yours is low, you’re one of many. But this truth still stands: Learning how to build your confidence can be transformative. The best part? it’s more doable than you may think.

“Self-confidence is contagious.”―Stephen Richards

Have you ever heard someone say that confidence is the most appealing characteristic? It’s a rather contagious one, that echoes a sense of self-assurance and authenticity. Self-confidence seems to say, ‘I know who I am.’ But what happens when you have a dip in confidence? Or perhaps you have areas in your life where it has always lacked? Becoming an active player in building your confidence gives you the chance to rewrite old narratives that have taken root in your life and brings you home to your authentic self.

Confidence Vs Self Esteem

It’s important to start by understanding that although connected, confidence and self-
esteem are different things.

– Confidence:

Confidence is described as “the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.” You can have confidence in your ability towards specific tasks, talents, or activities, but still be low on self-esteem.

– Self esteem:

While confidence is faith within your capabilities, self-esteem is assurance in your own sense of worth. It is influenced by your beliefs about who you are.

Confidence influences self-esteem, and vice versa. Therefore, if you want to grow your self-esteem, a good way to start is to build your confidence, using it to support new beliefs about yourself. Let’s take a look at how you can do this.

1) Capitalise On Your Strengths

build your confidence HEADING: Hitting a confidence dip? Learn how to build your confidence with these practices

Did you know that everyone has areas of strength where they sit in the top 25% for? Great news, right? Hopefully, even this stat gives you a little confidence boost.

Taking the time to discover these strengths allows you to maximise your talents and play in your areas of strength. And you can even take it a step further – combine your strengths to form a power combo of skills that sets you apart from others.

Of course, I’m all for being a student of life – in fact this is one of our core values at CAFE Life. When you maintain a mindset that seeks growth and understanding, the sky is your limit. But it’s pretty powerful to know where you’re already ahead of the game so you can use this as a way to build your confidence.

What are your areas of strengths? Write them down. Get creative and brainstorm how you can make your own power combo of strengths.

2) Track Your Growth & Progress

“In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find
themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
– Eric Hoffer

What a showstopper of a quote, right? We don’t want to become stuck, where we fear embracing a challenge and learning new skills. Becoming courageous enough to learn something new or strengthen your weaknesses, plays to your advantage. Make a point of visibly tracking your progress. Mark it on a calendar, or put it on a to do list, or chart. You can even become playful with it and add a sweet or coin to a jar whenever you make time for your targeted area of growth.

When you do track your growth, you create a breadcrumb trail for your progress. Now, you can easily see that you are indeed moving forward – no matter how small the steps are. This can be very invigorating, especially when you feel disheartened or unmotivated. And don’t forget to celebrate your achievements, by the way!

3) Reasons To Believe You Can Achieve

You haven’t got to where you are on luck. It’s taken blood, sweat, and tears at the least. But sometimes we forget the path we have walked and the hurdles we’ve overcome. Remind yourself, so that you can use these as reasons to believe you can climb your next mountain.

When you feel a lack of courage, ask yourself:

– Have I ever faced a similar challenge before? What helped me then?
– What resources do I have in my hands right now?
– Do I know anyone who has faced a similar challenge? What helped them?

Make an effort to remind yourself of these reasons to believe on a regular basis. Why don’t you create a mantra for yourself to use whenever you need it?

4) Pay Attention to Your Choice Of Language

Words can empower, or disempower. They can create paths of opportunity, or unpassable walls. What story are you telling yourself around your capabilities?

Pay close attention to what you say to yourself and others. You might just be reaffirming a lack of confidence instead of building your confidence.

Sometimes language can:

– Make you believe a problem is unsolvable
– Feed self-pity or lower your levels of choice
– Give meaning to something it doesn’t deserve

Don’t deny your pain or ignore your challenge. Instead, start taking note of your ‘unpassable wall’ talk and reframe it with language created around your reasons to believe you can achieve.

5) Don’t Forget to Dream

build your confidence HEADING: Hitting a confidence dip? Learn how to build your confidence with these practices

Here is a most powerful quote from the ‘dream-maker’ himself, Walt Disney. He says,

“The secret of making dreams come true can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy; and the greatest of these is Confidence.”

Before you can achieve, you must first desire to achieve. It definitely takes confidence to act on a dream! Sometimes you might feel safer keeping it as it is: just a dream. But wouldn’t you wonder whether something may have come from it?

Become comfortable with creating pictures of possibility in your mind. This invites you into a space of playfulness, where you remove your unpassable walls and entertain ideas freely.

You might even want to take a page from the book of another great storyteller, Pixar. Pixar is known for their famous formula for storytelling. They often get requests from people to make a movie out of recommended story lines. But they will always test the story to see whether it fits into these in 6 lines:

Once upon a time …
Every day….
One day…
Because of that…
Because of that…
Until finally…

Why don’t you play with your pictures of possibility and write out a story using Pixar’s formula?

In her book Becoming, Michelle Obama makes a stunning statement: “There’s a power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.”

This quote takes us beautifully into our next point.

6) Know your Unique Path and OWN it

This is your unique path. Nobody else in the world is quite like you or has walked your exact path. When you re-affirm your unique path, you can avoid the ominous ‘compare and despair’ that comes with focusing too much on other people’s lane. You also begin to create a strength and security in the knowledge that what you do, is within your own hands.

Own your circumstances, own your actions, and own what is yours to own with confidence.
Here’s some great practices to help you do this, taken from CAFE Life’s resource Resilience In A Box:
– Society popularises some things above others. Some of these popular paths need to be respectfully ignored so you can own your own path.

– When you’re feeling vulnerable, express the mantra, “This is my unique path.” Ponder on questions like…
How do I maximise what I’ve been given?
How do I live into the best version of me?
What is most important to me?

– When things feel out of control, shaky, or inconvenient, remind yourself to take ownership of what is yours to own and in your control. Say “I own…”

Building Your Confidence Supports A Healthy Self Esteem

I’m sure you can already see how these practices don’t only support you in growing your confidence and capabilities. They speak to the heart of the matter as well.

When you make time to reconnect with your values, purpose, dreams, and beliefs, you’re re-connecting with who you really are. You are reminding yourself, “this is me; this is my path.” And this builds self-esteem through authenticity.

Let’s take this mindset into our vision for 2023. Take a minute to contemplate what has worked well this year, and what hasn’t. What areas do you feel confident in after this year? Where can you use these as building blocks to excel? And what areas do you need to grow confidence in to improve your sense of wellbeing?

No one will ever be 100% confident in every area of their lives. This is human – and sometimes we simply need to have the confidence to express “this is not my forte.” And yet, when you take the time to notice if something is impacting your wellbeing and choose to work on it, you exercise one of your most powerful tools available: The ability to adapt.

build your confidence HEADING: Hitting a confidence dip? Learn how to build your confidence with these practices