How to Be More Confident
Confidence is a tricky one. I think even when we’re not feeling confident, we sometimes try to bolster ourselves, dupe ourselves, and pretend we are. I’m guilty of this, especially during the most formative years, like middle school and high school. I would tromp around, wearing different things, embracing the label “unique,” to the point of even writing it on one of my folders. “Unique,” I wrote, “being the only one of its kind, unlike anything else.” But when it came down to it, my feelings were still crushed when someone didn’t like me. When a middle school bully poked fun at me for wearing purple eyeshadow even when it didn’t match my outfit, I felt small and low.
Because we often struggle with confidence in those aforementioned formative years, we can sometimes carry our issues with confidence into adulthood. Again, I’m guilty of this. But things started to change for me around 24 and by the time I was 25, I felt really in-tune to who I actually was. The thing with being confident in certain situations is that you likely have to achieve it in a general sense first. How can you be confident in school? In church? In the workplace? These are questions often asked and often Googled but I really do believe that before we can compartmentalize our confidence and aim it at individual tasks and situations, we first need to feel generally confident with ourselves: Who we really are. That achieved level of self-worth and individuality will then spill over into the areas of our lives we feel the most distrust.
Keep a journal
Journal about anything you want to but a focus on gratitude — the things, people, and blessings you’re grateful for — can help stress the areas of your life in which you’re most fortunate and blessed. In which areas do you feel most like yourself? If you had an amazing day surfing at the beach or spending time with a particularly kind friend, journaling about these circumstances (and then reading them back) will showcase all the places in which you organically thrive. “Know thyself” is the first, most important rule of confidence. Keeping a journal is an amazing way to do this, to notice patterns in your confidence and comparatively, your self-loathing. Once you are cognizant of these patterns, you will know yourself better and therefore know and understand both your strong and weak points.
About everything! Where do you feel most self-assured? Where do you feel insecure? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Making lists is another great way — like journaling — to see on paper where you thrive and where you struggle. List-making will also help you focus on the positives and the things you love about yourself. Increased self-love will in turn increase your confidence.
Know your convictions
What do you believe in? A belief system is hard to tear down, so if your confidence is backed up by a strong sense of faith, the opinions of others will seem less and less important. Conviction doesn’t have to mean religion, either; It can reference anything. Maybe your conviction is simply the credence of being kind. If you are whole-heartedly rooted in being kind to others, it’s going to be hard for a negative opinion to question what you know. You’ll feel more like yourself, more confident in yourself, if you have iron-clad convictions that can’t be challenged.
Focus on intentions
Be intentional with everything: With the people you surround yourself with, with the situations you put yourself in, and the areas of your life you’d like to focus on. Don’t spend time in places, situations, or with people that don’t make you feel genuinely good, genuinely like the most true version of yourself. What’s your intention in this place? In this situation? With this person? Make sure it’s a positive one or else it won’t give you what you’re looking for. Ignore places, situations, and people with bad intentions, with negative connotations, that give you bad feelings. Only surround yourself with the happiest, best, and most enjoyable of intentions. How could you not feel good, positive, and confident
Do what you love
While there is something to be said about leaving one’s comfort zone, there is also something enormous to be said for doing what you love and knowing your zone. Being cognizant of the areas you are most self-assured in is crucial to building up self-esteem. Do you want to be confident in your writing? Write, write, write! The more you do it, the more like home it will feel. How can you not feel confident at home?