5 Proven Ways to Build Self Confidence and Take Life Head On

We need self-confidence to get ahead in life and feel good about ourselves. Luckily, confidence is not something you are born with, it’s something that you can build with practice.

Of course, family atmosphere and childhood environment are crucial factors that build our self-esteem. But once we become adults, it’s in our power to turn our life around irrespective of other factors. We have to take full responsibility for our lives.

Here are five ways to build self confidence and take life head on:

1. Build Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the foundation of self-confidence but is often overlooked. Before you take action, you must know what you’re working with, who you are at the core. You have to understand your strengths and weaknesses, desires and dreams. This is one of the greatest ways to build self confidence. 

There are many ways to gain self-awareness. Here are some of the best:

  • Go sit alone in a room and be silent. Do it for at least 2 hours. Read your life story from the eyes of an observer, how it has shaped you and who you have become.
  • Ask your closest friends and family and tell them you’re open to criticism. Ask them what they think you’re good at, what you should improve and so on.
  • Practice sentence completion exercise: According to a renowned psychologist Nathaniel Branden, “Sentence-completion work is a deceptively simple yet uniquely powerful tool for raising self-understanding, self-esteem and personal effectiveness.”

Here are some sentence stems to complete to better know yourself. Remember, you have to complete the sentences spontaneously without thinking too much.

My biggest achievements till date include:

Something that makes me unique is:

The things I want to change in my life are:

The happiest moments of my life include:

In school, I was good at:

2. Set Goals And Achieve Them

Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”. It’s right that we should keep moving, but we also need to move towards something worthwhile that is going to fulfill us. That’s why it is important to set goals that matter to you.

Confidence is built on accomplishment. In his book, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience”, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has also mentioned the value of goals. He says that “the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

Therefore, if you want to enjoy life to the fullest and in turn, boost your confidence, you have to chase goals. Start setting daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. Break down big goals into small goals to achieve them with ease.

3. Exercise

The years old adage, “a healthy mind lives in a healthy body” is indeed true. Exercising for even three times a week can help you feel much more energetic, boost your creativity, improve your focus and concentration and ward off stress and negativity.

Life coach Robin Sharma says that, “If you don’t make time for fitness, you’ll have to make time for fitness”. In our technology-driven sedentary lifestyle, exercise serves as a great tool to lift our spirits and give us a sense of adventure. It also improves our body image and hence improves our self-confidence.

4. Do What Makes You Happy

Once you become self-aware and know what makes you happy, do more of it. Take some time to wind down every day instead of just killing time on your smartphone. Confidence comes easily when you’re happy with your life. So don’t hesitate to reward yourself.

Perhaps you love to go outdoors for hiking, kayaking, or camping, or perhaps you live for those comedy shows on TV and love watching them with your family. Whatever it is, make space for it in your life. This is one of the best ways to build self confidence. 

5. Practice Positive Self-Talk and Visualization

One of the most common things that shatters people’s confidence is negativity. They listen to the discouraging things people say to them and internalize them as their own truth.

Olympic athletes, Navy SEALs and other top performers around the world know the importance of positive self-talk. You have to have an encouraging voice inside to succeed. So whenever you doubt yourself or hear a negative voice in your head, remind yourself of your achievements. Tell yourself how you’re a badass. As David Goggins says, you need to have a cookie jar to draw strength from.

In addition, positive visualization is also essential to get ahead in life and works much like self-talk. After you set a goal, visualize yourself achieving it and feel all the emotions you’ll feel if you had already achieved it. This harnesses the power of your subconscious mind and prepares you for peak performance. As Conor McGregor says, it’s easy to visualize good things when everything is going good. But when things aren’t going great, that’s when it actually counts.

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