Confidence is something most of us struggle with. We often think that when we achieve that next goal, we’ll then have the confidence we want. But the truth is confidence doesn’t work like that. Because confidence isn’t actually tied to achievement, it’s tied to mindset. And it’s something we all need to choose and actively cultivate.

Here I’ll explain what confidence is (and isn’t) and offer some ideas for how you can easily boost your confidence today.

What is self-confidence?

Put simply, self-confidence is the certainty you have about your abilities.

Sometimes referred to as our self-esteem, it tends to vary in different areas of our lives and can fluctuate depending on the scenario and circumstances. It is linked to having a growth mindset and the belief that we can figure things out with effort and focus. And it is something that only you can grant yourself.

What it isn’t (words of warning)

There are few common pitfalls we can fall into when it comes to confidence.

The first is that we tie our own confidence to other peoples attention and/or approval. This means that when we have a negative experience or a less than perfect performance, we allow ourselves to doubt our abilities. This then erodes our self-esteem.

The second pitfall, particularly for women, is that we link our self-confidence to our image. We assume that unless we ‘look the part’, we are not adequately qualified or capable.

We need to be very conscious of these ideas and their limitations because they can often throw us off course. Instead, we need to remember that our confidence is linked to our ability to figure things out. We should, therefore, use feedback as a tool for increased self-awareness but it should never allow us to doubt our competence, skill or ability.

How to supercharge your confidence

There are lots of ways to improve your confidence and these 3 ideas will give you a quick self-esteem boost.

Intention is key

Brendon Burchard (one of the world’s leading high-performance coaches) explains confidence as being the outcome of having a clear intention and taking consistent, aligned action. And I can’t agree more!

Often we don’t clearly articulate what our intention is which creates ambiguity and no clear pathway forward, which then results in self-doubt and uncertainty.

So, get 100% clear on what you are trying to achieve in your life and commit to making that intention your reality. This will give you clarity and purpose which will allow your self-esteem to soar. (If you’re feeling stuck on articulating your goals, this free workbook will help you).

Get the skills

In order to achieve our goals, we need to have the right skill set.

Start by identifying what the key skills are that you need and consider how you can develop them. Consider all your options including:

  • Self-guided learning: through books, blogs or podcasts on the topic
  • Finding mentors: this could be people you know personally or that you can follow and learn from virtually
  • Engaging with a community with the same goals and intentions: this might be in real life through meet-ups (when we can do that again!) or via an online community; or through
  • Formal training: such as a course, membership program or certification.

From there, create a deliberate plan to learn the skills you need and develop mastery in them. Schedule and invest the time to keep improving and up-skilling you’ll reaffirm your abilities.

Focus on others

Confidence is like a muscle and the more you exercise it the stronger it gets.

The easiest way to exercise confidence is to show up and be engaged and present for other people. This takes the pressure off you and what you want and allows you to create deep connections with others by listening and thoughtfully engaging with them.

From this place you’re, authenticity will show and you’ll be able to add value to others, which in term will validate your own belief in yourself.

So whenever you feel your self-confidence taking a dive, stop focusing on yourself and commit to being of service to others. You’ll quickly notice a spike in your mood and your confidence.

Know someone who needs a little confidence boost? Be a friend and share this with her using the links below.