When you think about it, it seems kind of silly to try and learn how to be confident just by reading a blog post.
However, that’s what is going to happen by the time you’re done with this.
Why do I believe this?
Because I have confidence in two people:
I have confidence in myself because I’ve spent years understanding what it takes to build up my own confidence.
I have confidence in you because just by coming to this post it means that part of you actively wants to be more confident. That part of you is going to grow and it’s going to drive you towards the things that you need.
Before we talk about how to build confidence I think it’s important to talk about what confidence is and why it’s there for some people and not others.
The Confident Athlete, the Scared Shitless Actor
I played soccer my whole life and I was good at it. This isn’t a cocky statement, it’s backed up by results.
I got a full ride to play soccer in college so you can say that every time I stepped onto the field I was confident.
I was confident in my ability to help my team beat any team that we faced.
Put me in a situation on the field and I was confident I could get the best out of it.
The complete opposite was true if you got me on stage in front of an audience.
In 6th grade I was in the Christmas play. I didn’t have many lines but that didn’t matter. I got lucky in the fact that my role required a clipboard which meant I could attach my lines to the clipboard and read them without being noticed.
I was shaky. I was nervous. I stumbled over the lines that WERE RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.
I was a wreck. I was never so happy to leave a situation in my life.
The same person (me) was confident in one situation and completely lacking in confidence in another.
What was the difference?
After playing 100+ soccer games it’s pretty hard not to feel good about yourself on the field. You’ve experienced a ton of different situations so you can see different outcomes.
For the school play I didn’t rehearse that much. I was never one to sit down and really put that kind of effort into something like that. Because of that I wasn’t prepared.
But what if I had been practicing my lines for a month every single day. That means that for 30 days I had gone over the same sequence of events over and over and over again.
By the time I would’ve gone on stage for the actual production, it would just seem like another practice because I had done it so many times.
So is that what confidence is, preparation? It can be but confidence is so much more.
The Definition of Confidence
Here is the dictionary’s definition of confidence:
the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something;
The simple belief that you can rely on someone or something.
By this defintion it seems like when you aren’t confident in yourself then that means you feel that you can’t rely on yourself.
That’s kind of a weird thing to say because you certainly rely on yourself to go to the bathroom in time so you don’t piss your pants.
But can you rely on yourself to get a crowd to laugh on stage at open mic night?
Confidence isn’t something that is constantly on. There can be moments where you’re full of confidence and moments where you have no confidence at all.
Sure, there are some guys that always seem confident but that’s probably because you only see them in one type of situation.
Almost everyone has a situation that you can put them in where they will lack confidence and you’ll understand why in a bit.
However, I think it’s important to understand that you can lack confidence and not be afraid of something.
You can be confident that you won’t succeed or perform well at something but you can be confident that you’ll try and that’s why you might lack fear.
And that’s exactly why confidence matters in all aspects of life.
Why Confidence Matters
There is quote that I came across one day. I have no idea where I saw it but I loved it:
Change only happens when you do.
Absolutely nothing changes in your life unless you do. If you stay the same then everything else stays the same.
Most people’s lives don’t change because they don’t have the confidence to try and make change.
If you lack confidence then you lack the ability to take action.
It’s great to have goals about all of the awesome things you want to accomplish but the reason they are goals and not things already checked off in the #wins column is because you haven’t made changes to make them a reality.
Would you be surprised to know that most people don’t do the things that they’ve always wanted to do in life?
It seems absolutely insane that many of you reading this will die not having come close to even TRYING to do the things you’ve wanted to do in life.
Forget accomplishing. I’m talking about just trying to do those things.
You can’t expect to wake up one day and the confidence for something to happen finally appears.
If you continue to lack confidence then your only option is to put your back against the wall and you don’t want to wait until then.
Action happens when confidence appears
When you’re confident you can tackle almost any obstacle. You can still be nervous but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to try. It just means you are nervous.
Taking action means you’re investing in yourself and that’s important.
Mindset + Skills = Confidence
If I ask you to cut a piece of cheese you’ll be pretty confident you can do it because you have the mindset that you can which is also backed up with the skills of you cutting cheese before.
A lot of people have the mindset but they don’t have the skills. That is arrogance.
It’s one thing to believe that you can learn anything if you put the time in.
It’s another thing to believe you can do anything without ever giving it a shot.
Arrogant people are arrogant because they need to fill the hole in their mindset that needs confirmation.
Confidence means you no longer are seeking that confirmation because you’ve already confirmed it. You know what your capable of and you know you can do it again whatever it is.
Being confident is about how you see yourself, not how others see you.
How to Be More Confident
Okay, all of this talk sounds great, but how do you actually become more confident?
There are some simple tricks that you can use.
1. Create Your Alter-Ego
Start with an alter-ego.
Give yourself an alter-ego. This alter-ego is the opposite of what you currently are when it comes to confidence.
Maybe you’re scared to speak in front of others but not your alter-ego. Instead, they live for these moments.
Paul (that’s me) can try to avoid social interaction and keep to himself but Scrivs (that’s also me) thrives in social settings.
Remember, confidence is partly about mindset. You’ll be surprised at the changes that will occur when you make a simple statement.
Scrivs loves the opportunity to meet new people and gain new knowledge from the conversations he has with them
Just by saying that I feel confident to go out and talk to some people.
Give your alter-ego a name (that’s always fun) and whenever you need to really step up on something, tell yourself that maybe it’s a job for insert alter-ego name here.
This is similar to a fake till you make it strategy but I find it easier to employ because it helps to adjust your mindset.
2. Fix Your Posture
Check out this TED Talk by Amy Cuddy:
It’s amazing how we set our confidence back before we even get started. By simply putting yourself in power poses you give yourself a better shot at being confident.
It’s very similar to working out to get stronger. Even when you feel like a crap, a shitty workout is better than no workout.
When you aren’t feeling confident going through the motions of being confident can greatly change how you feel.
You can check out the power poses here.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Dance?
Yeah man, dance!
Are you ever at home or in the car and a song comes on that you love and you just start moving? You don’t even think about how you look because you’re so focused on that song.
You will never not dance to the song because it’s your jam!
This is the power of music.
It’s much easier to be confident when your mind is focused on something else.
Do you think it’s a weird coincidence that you always see professional athletes with headphones on before the game?
4. Dress for Success
You know the saying.
It’s said for a reason.
Have you ever put on an outfit that makes you feel like you’re putting on a superhero costume?
When me and the boys would go to the club I would change into my club attire and feel like a completely different person.
Of course, if I dressed like that today I wouldn’t be as confident because my mindset is different and I dressed ridiculously.
But understanding how to dress can play a big role in your confidence.
I’m not making this up. Studies have shown that when workers wear nicer clothes, they achieve more.
To follow up on the last point make sure you keep yourself well-groomed. This means taking showers, shaving and getting a haircut.
Does anyone ever feel worse after getting a haircut?
It’s like you’re a new person. Every haircut is the beginning of a new life.
Remember that confidence is your mindset plus skills. When you practice things you become better at them. When you become better at them you become more confident.
You might say that you can’t practice them because you lack confidence. Fine, let your alter-ego practice them.
10 years ago if someone came to me and asked me to help them build a business I wouldn’t have the confidence in doing so because I lacked the skills. I had the arrogance though which is why many of my own businesses failed.
However, it’s a different story now.
Today I can build a business in almost any niche that I want because I’ve spent time acquiring the skills necessary to make it happen.
Many people as they get older stop learning.
I don’t know why, but they do. The more you learn, the more you expand what you do know which in turn helps you to build confidence.
Read books. Watch educational YouTube videos. Do what you can to learn a new skill.
I’m the type of guy with many interests and I have no problem diving into something new because I’ve done it so many times before.
This helps me out with future things that I’ve never done.
If you ask me to do something I’ve never done, I won’t be arrogant and believe I can do it even though I have no skill set. Instead, I’ll be confident that if you give me enough time I can learn the skills necessary to get the job done.
Because I’ve done it time and time again.
8. Adopt a Growth Mindset
This tip is the gamechanger.
Once I learned about the differences between a growth mindset vs fixed mindset it changed how I approached everything.
Instead of focusing on the result I focused on the process.
You don’t have to worry about confidence when you’re focused on the process because it’s always about learning.