Let’s tackle the topic of how to build self confidence today. Once you feel truly confident, you can achieve just about anything in your life or reinvent yourself.
Self confidence is something that you can build and create. I’ll show you how.
What exactly is self confidence?
40+style is all about looking and feeling your best. You want to feel confident and beautiful!
The main tool we have used on this site to accomplish those feeling has been to learn how to style yourself.
I have given you MANY tools to better understand your body, your personality, your best colors, your best silhouette and I even take you on a complete journey in my 21 Steps to a More Stylish You course.
Style is something that you can learn.
Just being aware of what YOU feel good in can make a huge difference.
Just being aware of your body and which clothes highlight the parts you like most about it, can make a big difference in how you look and feel.
Once you have applied much of the advice on this site or have taken yourself though the course, you understand your style, your preferences, what works for you and what doesn’t.
That knowledge has made you more skillful. You feel more confident.
The confidence that comes from skill
That’s what I refer to as the confidence that comes from skill.
You have learned a new skill, have applied it repeatedly and once you have done it several times repeatedly, you feel confident.
That doesn’t mean, that you do it right all the time though.
You may still pick an outfit sometimes and it just doesn’t quite work. However, if you feel confident, you will just see this as just a minor mistake.
You know how to style yourself; you’ll just do it better next time.
For example, you feel confident putting on your shoes right? If one day, you have trouble putting on some new shoes, you’re not saying to yourself: “I really don’t feel confident about putting on shoes”.
You know you’ve got this. You know that even though your have difficulty putting on your shoes today, you’re confident about putting on shoes.
Here’s one actual definition of confidence in Wikipedia:
A feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
Feeling confident because you acquired the skill is useful but can also limit you
Getting confidence by feeling that you acquired a new skill can be useful but can also limit you.
If you only feel confident from an assurance that you can do a certain thing, how can you feel confident in areas of your life where you haven’t quite build the experience?
How can you feel confident about something that you haven’t done before?
Let’s say a miracle happened and you’ve just been invited to attend the Oscars ceremony!
Even though you feel confident about dressing yourself, this feels like a different level.
You may start to panic about what to wear.
How can you feel confident dressing for an occasion like this?
How can you feel confident about doing something you have never done before?
The difference between confidence and self confidence
It’s important to distinguish between confidence and self confidence.
Confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
Self-confidence is being secure in yourself and your abilities. It’s your ability to trust yourself, knowing that you can experience any emotion (including humiliation or failure) without being harmed.
Can you see the difference?
Self confidence doesn’t solely rely on your experience of things you have done before.
Self confidence is an innate belief that you can do anything you set your mind to because you are willing to experience any emotion.
It’s an innate ability to trust yourself.
Do you have the self confidence to get dressed for the Oscars?
Here’s some of the traditional advice on how to build self confidence
Before I share the one thing you must master on how to get self confidence so you are confident in doing things you haven’t done before, let’s first look at some of the traditional advice on how to build self confidence.
Traditional advice #1: Create and practice Affirmations
You can create a list of affirmations and repeat that every day.
Here are just things you could say to yourself:
- I’m 100% lovable
- I’m 100% worthy
- I’m exactly where I need to be
- I can do this
- I know how to dress myself
- I look good no matter what I’m wearing that night
Having these affirmations and listening to them daily can certainly help, but they aren’t great at changing your inner belief of confidence.
They can act more as motivators.
The reason this often doesn’t work is that you don’t actually believe the affirmations. Thinking more positive thoughts is a great idea, but you need to believe the thoughts for them to be truly effective.
Traditional advice #2: Set small goals and gradually work your way up to bigger goals
How often have we heard of SMART goals?
We are told that our goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Time Bound.
Let’s zoom in on the words attainable and realistic. Does that requirement really lead to more self confidence?
What it does is that it builds on the premise that you get confident by accomplishing something.
Again, it doesn’t install that innate belief in yourself to become truly self confident.
Traditional advice #3: Stop criticizing yourself
Certainly it will help if you stop to criticize yourself.
Negative thoughts hardly ever lead to positive results.
It’s good to become aware of these thoughts though, as they can show you how you can possibly sabotage yourself. This is something you can do with self-coaching which I will discuss in a future article.
Just telling yourself off is not so effective though.
You need to understand where the criticism comes from in the first place. Awareness is key.
What is the ONE THING that will build that true self confidence?
If all the previous tips don’t help you to build true self confidence, then what will?
We already learned that just confidence comes from experience.
From having done something before and knowing you can do it.
However, self confidence comes from inside of you.
Here is what self confidence is:
It is a willingness to fail.
The willingness to feel any kind of feeling (like humiliation) and just feel it.
It’s your ability to have your own back and to truly trust yourself.
If you can do that, you know that you can learn and do anything.
No matter what.
And you will approach any task 100% because you aren’t afraid.
Great! But how do I do that? Isn’t that the hard part?
It is and it isn’t.
It isn’t because what you essentially need to learn is to be willing to feel a sensation in your body.
It is because it will take some practice to be able to do this well.
Think about humiliation.
How does it feel in your body?
Does you stomach tighten? Does your neck feel a bit constricted? Where does it feel unpleasant?
Feeling humiliation is an uncomfortable feeling for sure, but will it kill you?
It’s just a sensation in your body.
Let’s go back to the Oscars ceremony
Let’s take the dressing for the Oscars as an example again.
What’s the worst thing that can happen here?
Maybe it’s ending up on the worst dressed list?
Some people would shrug their shoulders at that and think: “no big deal; at least I got noticed!”.
However, you may make it mean that you are humiliated in front of the world.
And how do you experience that humiliation?
As a sensation in your body!
A tightening of the stomach perhaps. Not being able to breathe as deeply perhaps.
It’s a sensation in your body. It will not kill you.
It will be uncomfortable for a bit and then it will pass.
If you know that the worst thing that can happen is simply a sensation in your body, is it really worth all the anguish and feeling of dread?
You are capable of dealing with a sensation in your body.
You can even practice that feeling ahead of time, so you KNOW that you can cope with that feeling.
When you’re not afraid of feeling a sensation in your body you can go after your dreams!
Self confidence is the currency for your dreams.
If you practice your capacity to deal with uncomfortable feelings in your body, you can deal with almost anything.
- You can start that business
- You can dress the way YOU want to dress
- You can record that video
- You can do new and exciting things with confidence
Check this short video where I show you why it’s important to take action despite discomfort
Being able to allow the feelings that make your uncomfortable and just feel sensations in your body is a practice and I will discuss that in later articles.
But it’s something you can become really good at.
And when you do, you know that you have built true self confidence.
You know that you can trust yourself and that you can experience any emotion (including humiliation or failure) without being harmed.
Because you’re not afraid to feel a sensation in your body. And you’re willing to feel it to fulfill your wildest dreams!
Are you willing to feel discomfort on your journey to growth? Have you mastered self confidence?
- How to reinvent yourself after 40
- How to create your best year ever
- How to live a life of freedom and joy
- How to feel good from the inside out
- How to feel confident in your clothes
p.s. Do you know what you like to do in 2020? Or do you want to know how to achieve your goals? Join the Bucket List challenge and get clear on your dreams and how to reach them!
p.p.s. If you want help building your self confidence I’m offering 1:1 support for a limited time. You can find more info here.
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Feature image by Misja B
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