If you’re looking for a solution for how to be more confident in yourself, you’re in the right place. You’ll learn many principles and walk away with 9 actionable steps to practice whenever you feel like you’re battling with your confidence.
When I got off the plan in San Antonio, Texas, on my way to BMT (Basic Military Training), I didn’t feel like any Warrior. In fact, I had many doubts about whether I’d even make it in Basic Training. I thought to myself:
“Am I too girly for this?”
“Will I be able to keep up with all the exercise?”
“Can I handle the yelling MTI’s all the time?”
On top of the thoughts, there were facts…
I had never shot a gun before
I didn’t know how I would tolerate the gas chamber
I liked to keep my hair and nails a certain way, and I wasn’t sure how I would keep them done
I didn’t know how I would make it, and I wasn’t sure I would graduate UNTIL I did. I was constantly focused on the task at hand, and there were so many challenges, I never knew if one of the challenges would forfeit my chance at a military career.
There were days when I was more motivated than others. Other days, I needed many strong pushes from others who wanted to see me succeed.
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Calling and crying to my parents. I felt mistreated, trapped, and like I’d “bitten off more than I could chew”, but I kept going…
It’s a Part of the Process
I’m sure you may have experienced the same emotions and thoughts–maybe not about Basic Military Training–but about another challenge you’re staring at. You may doubt yourself and maybe you don’t have confidence that you can do it.
I get it. I’ve been there many many times.
Confidence is the cornerstone to going into a new endeavor. Even if you have many doubts, you have to have a small inkling that maybe you can, otherwise, you may forfeit putting effort towards the new venture.
I want you to challenge yourself to grow, which means you’ll have to build resilience and pursue unfamiliar things. If you’re going to pursue these new things, you have to at least have the mustard seed size faith that you can do it, and that’s why I’m writing this here…This is my formula for how to be more confident in yourself…
1. Address Self-Limiting Beliefs
I told you my thoughts. When I came to Texas, I thought maybe I was too girly or maybe I couldn’t handle BMT.
What malfunctions do you think you have? Why do you think those things would stop you from being able to accomplish the goal?
I love the story of Nick Vujivic.
He was born with no legs and no arms.
He tells the story of when he wanted an item from high on a bookshelf, and he asked his parents for help. They said, “No”.
He thought “I have no arms and legs. How can I get that item from high up?”
Most people would have sympathized for him and allowed him to hold that self-limiting belief. His parents weren’t intentionally being mean to him. Instead, they wanted him to overcome beliefs that made him think he was limited because he didn’t have arms and legs, and guess what?!!!
He figured it out!
He learned how to maneuver his body to get the item he wanted.
Fastforward many years, and Nick has:
- Driven a car
- Had children
- Gotten married
- Travels the world as one of the highest paid speakers in the world
- Reached something like half of the world’s population with his ministry “Life without Limbs”
- And, accomplished many many more things most people would say he could not do since he doesn’t have arms and legs
See his full interview here:
It’s easy to believe a self-limiting belief is legitimate and to find people to rally into that belief with you. It’s more of a challenge to work around the presupposed limitation, but…
YOU CAN DO IT!
Here’s an article I wrote with 67 Limiting Beliefs you Should Avoid. Check it out!
2. Start making and keeping promises to yourself
Often times, our confidence is not optimal because we’ve broken alot of promises to ourselves. For example:
- Said you wouldn’t eat anymore sugar, but you let the temptation overtake you.
- Committed to yourself that you would not have sex until you were married, but you got caught up in the moment, and had premarital sex
- Said you would start working out to get in shape, and whenever your reminder goes off on your phone, you shut it off
When you continually make promises to yourself, and you don’t keep them, you start to decline into lower and lower confidence levels. Then, before you know it, you’re making excuses for yourself like…
I can’t stay away from sugar because my body just needs it more than everybody else
Some people can abstain from sex, but I just can’t because my body just can’t operate without it
I’m not able to work out because I just don’t have the wear-with-all to do it
and the excuses can go on and on…
To change the momentum, you have to start keeping promises to yourself. Start small and build up.
When I was in BMT, I wasn’t sure if I could accomplish the full training program, but I started looking at each task one-at-a-time. If they asked for pushups, I would do the pushups without considering whether they’d ask me to do more afterwards.
For you, you can make small promises to yourself and keep those. If you said you would stop using sugar, break the goal down. You could say, “I won’t eat sugar with my dinner tonight”, then once you accomplish the small goal, make another.
3. Don’t Confuse Memory with Facts
Our memories can be quite tricky. We can try a piece of cake and strongly inflate how good the cake tasted because our memory stores things in a way that’s relevant to us. We see things from a paradigm.
That’s why you can have several people who witness the same event and each person could tell the story differently.
Each person has an embedded bias based on their values, beliefs, experiences, and upbringing. The bias can be right or wrong, but it creates responses that are filtered thru a mashup of emotions, willpower, ego, and background, which is not how you should base all of your decisions.
Don’t get me wrong, you can get wisdom from experience, but you can also create fallacies and limitations that aren’t factually there.
You have to come to grips with the fact that your memory could be serving you wrong. It’s typical that when you’re wanting to pursue something new, and you lack the confidence that you’re memory would serve you similar situations that may not have worked out well.
In these times, you have to resort to facts and make your memory subservient to the facts.
4. Affirm Yourself
You can use:
- Positive experiences
- or, simply positive affirmations
- Your goal is to monopolize your thoughts with positive thoughts about yourself.
5. Pray and Meditate
I have a biblical worldview, so I believe, your Manufacturer designed you in His likeness, and often we grossly underestimate what that means, and what we’re capable of. There’s so many self-inflicted limits we have that we can cancel by praying and meditating on who God is.
Often times, we can lack confidence simply because we’re thinking about our capabilities based on a broken paradigm. When we read a scripture, it can repair our paradigms because rather than being “just a girl from Akron”, you become “fearfully and wonderfully made”. When you think about how the same God that designed the Earth cared enough to know how many hairs you have on your head, it’s mind-blowing.
Meditating on the thoughts of God towards you helps you think about how you fit into a much bigger picture than the vantage point you normally see.
6. Crave Applied Knowledge
There’s a lie going around that “knowledge is power”. Shelved knowledge has no power. Instead, applied knowledge is power.
Continually learn and find opportunities to practice what you’ve learned.
7. Leverage Experience
When David went to fight Goliath, he was very small, and appeared to be no competition for such a large giant. I can only imagine seeing a short skinny teenage looking kid try to go head-to head with a muscular, 10+ foot, military trained Giant with armor.
Why would David have the confidence to publicly attempt a battle with Goliath? Didn’t he think it was possible for him to lose? Wouldn’t it have been embarrassing to lose to Goliath in front of the army of Israel?
David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”
Saul said, “Go. And God help you!” 1 Samuel 17:34-37 (The Message)
David leveraged his experiences. Rather than correlating bad events and leveraging them to stay paralyzed and indecisive, you can leverage past success and use it as leverage to pursue something you’re not confident about.
8. Face your Fears
Action is the best medicine. My mantra is “The worst case scenario is I try and try again”. You may or may not succeed on your first attempt, but there’s lesser regret from trying your best.
When asked, “What made you quit your great job, move to Washington State, and ‘try’ starting a business?”, Jess Bezos said he thought about when he’s 80 years old. He thought which would he regret more: trying and failing or not trying at all. He thought he would have more regret from staying on the “safe route” than he would if he challenged himself, sacrificed his financial stability, and started his business.
As a result of his choice, the world has Amazon. People who had limited products, now have two-day shipping.
When you face your fears, it can have a positive effect on you and billions of others. Your choices will effect this generation and future ones. Will you leave a positive legacy? That’s your choice.
9. Commit to Taking Action and Proving Your Negative Biases Wrong
The best way to build confidence is by taking action. You have to practice and commit to improvement and mastery.
In life, you start off bad in most things. If you think about it, you can’t walk, talk, or even use the bathroom when you start out. Then, with time, action, and practice, you learn, improve, and master things.
As you go thru the process of action, practice, and mastery, you gain confidence gradually. Begin taking action.
Final Words on How To Be More Confident in Yourself
The goal of this article was to show you how to be more confident in yourself. If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section. I’d love to help you out!
Now, it’s Your Turn…
Have you experienced times where you didn’t have confidence? How did you handle it? Would you add or take anything out of the process I’ve said? Leave your comments, questions, and feedback in the comments section below.