How to Build Confidence

Who’s cooler, you or Clooney? If you want to learn how to gain confidence in life then your answer is very important.

Your answer to that question may hold the key to your ultimate happiness since how you think about yourself can be the number one predictor of your happiness.

And how you think about yourself is largely based on your self-confidence. How to work on confidence is one of the biggest challenges we all face.  More on that in a bit.

The way you look at yourself drives everything.

If you think you’re awesome, chances are you are. And if you think you suck, well….

Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true. 

And you know who taught me that? The person who gave me such sage advice?

I did.

Well, it’s not like I woke up one day and said it to myself, that just didn’t happen (I’m not that smart)

But what happened is that I started taking a good look at myself and I didn’t like what I saw.

It’s not that I didn’t like my life or my potential.

Quite the opposite, I just didn’t like how I felt about myself and how I felt about me:

What if my work sucks?

What if no one gives a f*ck about my message?

These fears are directly related to lacking self confidence in that moment.

One thing I finally realized is that I was asking the wrong questions that were leading to a flawed belief system and a lack of self confidence.

And guess what?  That f*cking blows..

Have you ever done this?

Just get totally spun out because you don’t think you’re worth shit in the world. Well here’s the thing:

You’re probably wrong (just like me).

Two things I’m pretty sure we have in common

1. We both create value in the world even though neither of us is perfect.

2. We both have done awesome things for others and probably didn’t even realize we were doing it.

In regards to #2, I had a crazy experience a couple of years ago when I went back for my high-school reunion. At the reunion (in the gym) with the 80s music playing (of course) I talked to a woman who was in my homeroom. 

She was quiet in high-school and I didn’t know her very well. She told me about a time she was really upset & crying at her locker (I don’t remember this at all) and I was walking by in the empty hallway.

Apparently I stopped and asked her if she was ok and if I could do anything to help her. (I don’t remember this at all)

So here we are in this reunion with Carless Whisper blasting away, eating bad food & drinking Coronas’ and she’s telling me how much I helped her then.

How she was in a really bad place and just me talking to her for a sec helped her feel a ton better.

Again I have zero memory of this. And I’m not pointing this out to make myself look good (maybe a little), I’m doing it because we ALL do shit every day and never realize it. 

Here’s how it usually goes

  1. You do something small (it’s not) for someone else
  2. It leaves a huge impression on them
  3. You forget it happened
  4. They never do
  5. Something shitty comes up later and you think you’re shit

So let’s you and I stop doing this, ok?  Seems counter productive.

I’ll make you a deal:

If you’re willing to work on this with me, I’ll work on it too.  I’m a pretty confident guy but I’m always interested in learning more self confidence boosters too.

Together, let’s stop questioning our value to the world.

Together, let’s build a belief system that serves us and doesn’t work against us.

Let’s drive with the emergency brake off.

We need to build our beliefs around our successes, not our fears, insecurities and self-criticism.

So here’s how to gain confidence in life:

Complete these statements:

“I believe I am  ___________________”

(Mine: I believe I am a good person who honestly tries to help others)

“I believe in ______________________”

(Mine: I believe in the goodness of people and the beauty of the world)

“One thing I know I’m good at is ____________________”

(Mine: One thing I know I’m good at is inspiring/coaching others)

“Two things I suck at completely are ____________________”

(Mine: Two things I suck at completely are accounting & yoga)

“One good thing I did to day was ______________________”

(Mine: One good thing I did today was I fed the dogs and didn’t yell at the woman on the road who cut me off”)

2- Stop expecting to be perfect and be surprised when you f*ck up.

3- Stop comparing yourself to anyone else.  This. Is. A. Losing. Proposition. Completely.

4. Hold the possibility that you’ve done great things for others and don’t even know about it.

5- Celebrate small victories. “I woke up today and didn’t break any dishes! Awesome-sauce!!”

6- Entertain the possibility that YOU are someone else’s role model. This is probably more real than you think.

I hope that short list is helpful for you.  Let me know what’s worked for you to build confidence as well, ok?

I firmly believe that self-confidence drives most of what we do in life.  That’s probably why I write/podcast/talk and think about it so much:)

Talk soon…