It’s very easy for a confident person to tell you how to build self-confidence. However, before you even do that you need to be aware of why you might not be confident at all.
You see, confidence doesn’t have to be an overarching mindset. You can be confident in some situations in life and not confident at all in others.
It’s totally dependent on the individual.
You’d probably be surprised if I pointed out to you the times that you are confident because you’re so focused on the times that you aren’t.
For example, think about the first time you talked to someone you had a crush on. Chances are you were pretty nervous. It’s not that you weren’t confident, you were just nervous. That’s not the same as a lack of confidence.
Even confident people get nervous! You don’t think professional athletes get a little nervous before a game? It’s because they don’t know the outcome. All they can do is prepare the best way possible and know what they are capable of.
I wanted to take the time to point some reasons why you might not be confident. Some of these reasons are not so obvious and some are. But if you can address these issues then you’ll be well on your way to boosting your confidence.
Why You Are Not Confident
Don’t read this as if I’m talking down to you. I’m not. I want you to be the most confident asshole on the planet and that’s why I’m sharing these things with you.
I want you to be able to tackle any situation in the world because you are capable of doing just that.
1. You Need Outside Validation
This is probably the biggest one. I’m not a psychologist or anything so I can’t pinpoint why this happens but a lot of people are constantly seeking outside validation.
Now, I do think there is a difference between putting in a ton of work and looking for validation that what you did worked versus just wanting validation for no apparent reason.
Just because you put on some nice clothes and groomed yourself doesn’t mean people should comment on it. You need to do those things for yourself.
However, if you spent all night saving your company’s ass with today’s presentation then there is nothing wrong for wanting people to tell you good job.
Whenever you’re doing something you need to ask yourself what is the result that you want?
Do you simply want to feel better about yourself and what you’ve done or do you really need someone to give you a positive comment?
If you need a positive comment you might be in trouble because then you’re relying on someone else to take an action that you can’t control. This leads people down some dark paths.
Do what you need to do for you and only you. People will respect that and in turn you will get those positive affirmations.
2. You Don’t Take Care of Yourself
There is something to be said about looking in the mirror and not being totally happy with what you see. How often do you shave and step out of the shower and feel worse?
When you take care of yourself in the right ways (grooming, dieting, exercising) you automatically begin to have more confidence because you’re investing in yourself. It feels like the right thing to do and when you do the right thing you feel good about it.
When you start to let yourself go because you just don’t care then why should you have confidence? Confidence is a byproduct of caring about yourself.
I don’t mean being superficial and using the most expensive hair gel to send a message. I mean if it was just you alone on an island, would you be happy with the things that you do for yourself?
I had a big issue early in life where I would mistake my ego for confidence and so I would get sloppy with things.
I wouldn’t shave. I wouldn’t shower. I wouldn’t do a lot of things that pretty much every man should do and my thinking was that I didn’t care what the world thought about me.
While that’s true, I was also telling myself, through my actions, that I also didn’t care about me.
Now I actively set time each day to take care of myself because I know it makes me feel better, makes me feel more confident, and overall leads to a better day.
3. You Have Social Media Envy
Social media has this secret effect on you that you might not have noticed. On social media, most people only show their best life.
This is a problem because it makes you think that you should be living this best life as well but when things go wrong during the day that means you aren’t living the best life.
You hop back onto social media and see that Bobby is having a great day and it must be because of his new Nikes. So you go out and buy those Nikes or even worse, you feel terrible because you can’t afford those Nikes.
But Bobby could be having a completely shitty day. You wouldn’t know because Bobby has done a good job of capturing a moment and posting it on Instagram to provide the world with an illusion.
Bobby could be totally happy but you wouldn’t know.
Going on social media is fine but do so with a purpose. Our Instagram accounts are not meant to cause envy. They are meant to inspire.
You don’t need what we have and we don’t need what you have.
We live our own lives and you live yours.
4. You Don’t Know Your Skills
If you’re good at something then you’re confident in it.
Simple as that.
There isn’t a skilled chef that isn’t confident in their ability to cook.
When you work on your skills you become more confident because acquiring skills can only happen through repetition and practice which is a key cornerstone to building confidence.
My wife laughs at all of the hobbies that I pick up and I can see why. However, to me, they are new skills to acquire. New avenues to explore.
Do you actively try to acquire new skills or do you believe you are who you are now and there is no turning back or moving forward?
Each time I acquire a new skill it gives me the confidence to learn new things. Which leads me to the next point about having a fixed mindset.
5. You Have a Fixed Mindset
A fixed mindset is a dangerous mindset to have. It leads you to believe that you need to settle with what you’re born with and that’s just the way of the world.
But it isn’t.
You can grow and learn new things. You can get better in what you choose to get better at.
A growth mindset allows you to tackle new things because you understand the process is the whole point of the journey. Every time you get a chance to face a challenge it’s a new opportunity to learn, not an opportunity to fail.
In fact, there is no such thing as failing. There are only opportunities to learn and get better.
This might sound cheesy but it is the difference between the man that looks like things just slide off of his back and the man who continues to build the chip on his shoulder.
Confidence Is a Skill
Confidence itself is a skill that you have to practice every day.
People like to think that you’re either born confident or not but you’re not.
You acquire confidence at a young age usually based on the result of things and the external feedback you receive from your environment.
That feedback can help to shape how you approach everything else in your life so some people have to reverse that and start again.
But first you need to understand why you aren’t confident and then you can focus on doing small things to boost your confidence.