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How to Build Confidence

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

It's not uncommon for many people to feel as though they have always lacked confidence. Some people, though not all, who lack confidence identify themselves as a "doormat person," "people pleaser," and "yes person."

Sound familiar?

People who struggle with confidence have likely had a variety of negative experiences early in life that have communicated the message that they are not good enough and this can oftentimes carry over into adulthood if left unchecked.

So here's how you fix it:

1) Recognize the areas in your life that are currently on, or can potentially be put on, autopilot. Autopilot means that this area of your life doesn't require much attention from you and that it basically runs itself. (Some examples are going to work, perhaps your relationship with your parents, paying bills).

Please note that being on autopilot, in this sense, doesn't mean that these tasks don't require any of your attention but rather that they require less of it. In this regard, you can have some confidence in recognizing that your attention isn't needed in these areas all of the time so this frees up your attention and bandwidth to focus on other things that are more deserving of your attention.

2) Identify areas in your life where you can invite discomfort for the purpose of growth. Then, select one small thing each week that scares you and/or makes you uncomfortable and do it.

This task should enable the risk of failure, being seen, practicing vulnerability, etc. One of the most important aspects of this step is to focus on something small because if we shoot too big, we're more likely to pscyh ourselves out and we wind up doing nothing or simply quitting.

Make sure that your goal focuses on the two R's: what is Realistic and Reasonable

Some examples are talking to a stranger, sign up for a Meet Up and attend a group consisting of people who have something in common with you, asking that girl/guy out on a date, setting a boundary with a family member, asking for what you need.

Now stick with me here because this is where it starts to sound a little counterintuitive - a helpful tip is to keep in mind that you won't actually wind up doing this every week.

While this is the goal, life is going to get in the way sometimes. Maybe you feel depressed that week, maybe you're on vacation, or maybe you're simply too consumed with mundane tasks that just simply have to get done and you don't have the energy to get it all done.

Forgive yourself. Go slow. Practice some self-compassion.

But whatever you do, just don't give up.

Get right back to it the following week and adopt the mantra that consistency is key.

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