Have you ever heard of the phrase “fake it till you make it?” Lots of professionals swear by this idea – pretending to have confidence helps you achieve your goals, regardless of how you feel. In many ways, I think they’re right: confidence is key in this world, and the people who achieve their goals are the ones who approach the world with charisma, style, and self-esteem.
But I think there’s also something to be said about fake confidence versus real confidence. Faking it works to a certain extent, but people can tell when you truly believe in yourself and when you’re simply holding your head high. Real confidence shows itself through genuine actions and an ability to affirm yourself with ease, and it makes you a healthier, more satisfied individual. Let’s talk about some strategies you can implement to improve your self-confidence, and how it can transform the way you lead your life.
Owning your narrative
Many people lack confidence in themselves because they’re filled with regrets, self-doubt, and “what ifs.” It’s only human to think about what could have been, and it’s easy to linger on mistakes you’ve made.
However, acknowledging your mistakes means you’ve learned from them, and that wisdom has guided you to where you are now! This is an instance where you need to reframe the way you think about your life. Though things could have worked out differently, your past experiences – both positive and negative – have landed you where you are now. The blessings of friends and family, your career, your health, and your goals are all shaped by these decisions. Taking ownership of your life without prescribing a value judgment against them is the first step to appreciating the actions you have taken to make a better life for yourself. Own it!
Staying true to yourself
Our society often encourages us to be someone different. We’re told to look different, act different, and fake being someone else in order to succeed. This is where I take problem with the phrase “fake it till you make it” – sure, you made it, but has that made you more confident in yourself and your success? Did you succeed, or did the performance succeed?
The second step to being more confident is simply being yourself. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy” – if you’re constantly wishing to be someone else, comparing yourself to an “ideal,” or acting like someone you’re not, you rob yourself of loving your life for yourself. Living confidently means living for yourself, and all the beauty that comes with it.
Start your day with affirmations
What do you think of when you wake up in the morning? Your dreams from last night? What you have to get done today? What you’re dreading? Our brains naturally dwell on the past or the future, so much so that we create a bad habit of being trapped outside of the present. The way to fix this is to start your morning with positive affirmations – focusing on the here and now, tell yourself that you’ll accomplish what you need to accomplish today, and reward yourself for the life you’re living. Sometimes, you’re your own biggest cheerleader, so start each morning with a pep rally, and watch your confidence grow.
Set realistic goals
A source of insecurity for many professionals is that they don’t get enough done in the day. This insecurity partially comes from comparison – we see other people leading successful lives, so we should be too. I’ve already mentioned the dangers of comparison; in addition to this, setting unrealistic goals only serves to hurt our confidence and wellbeing. We create lofty expectations that we either can’t commit to, or we do commit to them at the sacrifice of our health or social lives. Confidence comes with balance and healthy achievement, so while you should dream big and set your sights high, don’t set them so high that you can’t see the ground.
Surround yourself with positive people
Does your friend group make you feel supported? Do your coworkers acknowledge your hard work? Confidence is something we choose to create for ourselves, but humans are social creatures, and we naturally rely on others to help form our self-opinions and guide our thoughts and morals. Surrounding yourself with positive energy helps foster positive energy, creating a positive feedback loop of confidence and wellbeing.
These five tips demonstrate the power of habit. If we create positive, self-affirming habits that respect our boundaries and acknowledge our talents, we inevitably end up as kinder, more confident human beings.
If you’re looking to improve yourself in your esteem, confidence, success, or wellbeing, I’m here to guide you towards a better, more authentic YOU. Learn more about me and my history in personal development coaching at CoryChapman.com.