Make Building Self-Confidence a Daily Habit
Just as there are many definitions of confidence, there are many books written on the subject (I have read quite a few of them.). Although I have overcomplicated confidence my entire life, especially throughout my professional years, I have managed to define confidence in a simple way that has allowed building confidence to become a daily part of my development.
After so many years studying the subject, the definition of self-confidence I carry with me is quite simple - self-confidence is a belief in your ability to keep the promises you make to yourself.
Confidence is like building a muscle - when you start exercising, you begin with light weights. As you become stronger, you increase the weight and as a result, become even stronger. Similarly with confidence, every time you keep a promise that you made to yourself, you are completing a muscle rep, and as you continue to do so, you strengthen your self-confidence.
For example, when you say to yourself, “I am not going to hit snooze tomorrow morning” or “I am going to give my mother a call” or “I am going to spend 30 minutes reading a book” and you stick to it, you complete a confidence rep. The more confidence reps you complete in a day, the stronger (and more confident) you become. If we want to become stronger physically, we must lift weights repeatedly to build a specific muscle. Similarly, if we want to become more confident, we must repeatedly build that figurative muscle inside ourselves.
If you can count on yourself to keep the many small promises you make to yourself every day, the bigger promises, such as “I am going to apply for the promotion” or “I am going start that side hustle” or “I am going to confront a friend who has been mistreating me,” will not seem so intimidating.
I always remind myself and my clients that confidence is not about the outcome of the action, confidence is about your commitment to completing the action. Confidence does not always mean you are right or deserving (that is arrogance). For example, you can apply for the promotion at work, but that does not mean you will receive it. A promotion is based on your performance history and professional successes, but you will never know if you do not fulfill that commitment to yourself and apply. Often confidence is confused with always getting what you want, but consistently accomplishing the desires that you set for yourself is not the same. Success starts with taking action.
If you know you can use a bit more self-confidence, start to build that muscle with daily repetitions of keeping promises. Very soon you will realize that you are stronger and more capable of keeping those promises than you think.