High self-confidence is a state of mind which only a handful of people manage to develop and maintain during their life.
Being confident in your skin means believing in your own self and capabilities.
Confident people never doubt themselves and their abilities; they let no one negatively influence them, they always stand their ground even with no person by their side, they always act according to their values, and most importantly, they most definitely succeed in earning what they desire.
Thankfully, self-confidence is something that can be cultivated and mastered through the right practices, just like any other skill.
Once mastered, every single facet of your life will start transforming for the better.
In this article, I am going to let you get a glimpse at some steps, tips, and mind-hacks on how to develop your self-confidence and beat feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt, and insecurity once and for all.
Let us commence!
1 – Oppose Your Negative Thoughts
If you are not self-confident, one of your prominent enemies is your own mind.
You see, most of the time your mind is running its own scenarios based on past predominant thought patterns.
If those patterns were of insecurity and low self-confidence and you have never done anything to change them, they will just keep running indefinitely, most likely becoming stronger and more influential, manifesting more insecurities and crushing your self-confidence even more.
Good news is that you have the power to interrupt and replace such patterns by consciously rejecting them and planting into your mind their exact opposite.
For example, right now while writing those very words, my mind was all like “Nobody will read your post so let’s start watching some cute animal youtube videos” and I am all like “Fuck you mind, no! I don’t fucking care about your stupid shit! I will keep writing this shit till I am done.”
After that, I am stating something like: “Everyone is going to read this so let’s keep writing”, which is basically the exact opposite of what my mind had told me earlier, in order to take my attention away from writing.
This practice is called polarization because by consciously inducing and mentally repeating the exact opposite pole of a negative state of mind, this negative state of mind steadily disappears and eventually becomes replaced with its repeated opposite pole.
The steps to this practice are:
- Becoming aware of your limiting self-talk
- Negating it; Denying it
- Replacing it with its exact opposite
Those are the steps.
This practice is really simple but it is no easy task and it will take time to get used to and master.
However, you will notice that the more you keep practicing polarization, the less frequent the thoughts that diminish your self-confidence become, until they eventually disappear once and for all and your self-confidence is allowed to sprout.
High and low self-confidence are basically the same thing in different scales, so all you have to do is find ways to tip the scale towards the side of your preference.
As James Allen beautifully quotes in his book As a Man Thinketh:
Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts.
2 – Visualize Yourself as Already Being Confident
What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.~Napoleon Hill
Visualization is a technique whereas you are trying to create in your own mind an image of the person that you want to become.
Struggling with low self-confidence means that through misuse of your ability to visualize, you have created a poor perception of yourself, that is most likely inaccurate.
Mentally picturing yourself being who you want to become and already having attained what you want to attain, can induce immense feelings of self-assurance and prepare your mind and body for success.
Practice visualization daily until the ideal images that you are mentally creating become dominant inside your mind.
The dominant images inhabiting your mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality.
Therefore, concentrate your thoughts for at least ten minutes daily, upon the task of visualizing of the person you intend to become, thereby creating in your mind a clear mental picture of that person.
The more detailed your vision of becoming your ideal self, the more confident you’ll feel that you will indeed become this person.
Take a look at The Best Visualization Techniques… A Step-by-Step Guide + Tips to find out more about the amazingly helpful practice of visualization!
3 – Set Small Goals and Celebrate Their Completion
Goal setting might be one of the most important steps towards improving your self-confidence.
Most people set goals in life but very few will actually achieve theirs.
The reason is that the more time it takes for us to achieve a goal, the less confident we become in our ability to achieve this specific goal and the likelihood of quitting before realizing it greatly increases.
This happens mostly because we usually fail to recognize that the ONLY WAY to achieve our goals is through the achievement of smaller goals.
Not only we ought to set those smaller goals ourselves, we also have to celebrate and reward their completion.
This will induce a sense of accomplishment in us, our confidence that we can accomplish same or similar goals will dramatically increase, and our mind will be programmed to go after the reward that comes with the accomplishment of any goal, no matter how small.
That is motivation!
However, keep in mind that no matter how small the goal, you will definitely need to cultivate some specific skills in order to complete it.
Identify the skills needed to achieve each of your smaller goals and then start looking for ways to acquire those skills.
Don’t go after and just accept mediocre solutions… Look for solutions, programs or courses that are going to fully equip you towards completely conquering every single one of your smaller goals.
The skills that you will have to acquire towards the accomplishment of the smaller goals are definitely those that will eventually drive you to the accomplishment of your main goal.
4 – Embrace Imperfection
Only a few habits can be as destructive for your self-confidence as chasing after perfection.
I am telling you this first hand, as I am kind of a perfectionist myself.
When you are after perfection, you tend to think so hard about how you will make everything unfold as perfectly as you have imagined it, but let me tell you that you are up for disappointment 99% of the time…
If after your first few failed attempts at making everything perfect you still are unable to realize that perfection is not something achievable and that if you keep going after it you will never be satisfied with your performance, your circumstances, and yourself, your self-confidence will keep decreasing.
After all, not having everything unfolded as you wish, feels frustrating and even devastating.
The more you keep feeling that way, the less motivated you become; taking action feels harder and harder until you eventually become so paralyzed with fear and frustration of not living up to your ridiculously perfect standards that you will most likely stop taking action altogether.
No action equals no desirable results, and no desirable results equal to an even more crushed self-confidence.
If you are a perfectionist I know that you can relate and at that point, you are most probably asking “How could I ever be able to embrace imperfection?”
Those who can be considered highly self-confident people, almost never go after perfection; they might not even care about it.
They are just doing things their own way, they try to do their best with what they have and they are always aiming not for perfect results, but for good enough ones, and that’s what actually makes their results perfect.
Circumstances seem to be unfolding way more perfectly when you are not after perfection.
Moreover, remember that no person was, is, or ever will be perfect.
Perfection is simply unattainable for any of us. Let it go. You’re never going to be perfect because perfection does not exist; it is an illusion our ego has created to hold us back.
The most self-confident people are so much more imperfect than you think but the sum of their imperfections along with the fact that they don’t even care about them is what makes those people perfect!
So, get imperfect in order to be perfect!
5 – Get out of the Comparison Trap
When you compare what you are and have in life, with what other people are and have in their own lives, then you have fallen into the hands of a destructive habit which has to be uprooted.
If you want your self-confidence to increase, stop comparing yourself to others.
Instead, make sure that you focus on improving your own life for the better, not on making your life more like your best friend’s, your older brother’s, or the stranger’s sitting 3 tables away from you at the bar who seemed happy and content.
The one thing that you need to always keep in mind is that there will always be someone who is prettier, smarter, and richer than you, just like there will always be someone who is less attractive, less intelligent, and less wealthy than you.
Nevertheless, this is not a competition and as long as you are viewing it this way, you can never win the game of life.
Somehow, you have convinced yourself that everyone else around you lives a perfect life do but this is an illusion. Every single life has its ups and downs.
To simply generalize and say, “I suck. I’m bad at this. I can’t do anything.” just because someone else’s life may seem better than yours, is to tell yourself a simple but often convincing lie which sets you for failure and guilt.
I’m here to tell you the truth…
We all suck from time to time.
So replace this comparison habit with something better now.
Look at how far you have come so far instead. Compare yourself to yourself. Focus on you. On your results. And on how you can improve those results.
This will both motivate you and raise your self-confidence.
At the end of the day, what does matter, is if you’re happy by your very own standards and not those of other people.
6 – Meditate
Well, no one truly knows how meditation really works but it’s undeniable that its benefits are extremely vast and as it seems improvement in an individual’s self-confidence is one of them.
Low self-confidence is nothing more than a limiting way of perceiving yourself; it is an aggregation of false negative assumptions about yourself and your capabilities…
Meditation can help you face those false beliefs head on and see them for the ungrounded delusions that they truly are.
Moreover, since low self-confidence results from taking past experiences of failure and inadequacy of yours and projecting them into your future, and meditation is one of the most potent ways to pull your attention back in the present moment, it should be a pretty good darn way to prevent those aimless projections thus increasing your self-confidence.
7 – Fake a Smile
Smiling not just makes you seem more self-confident but actually makes you feel more self-confident.
Research has shown that a fake smile can induce a variety of very real positive emotions such as happiness, self-confidence, and serenity.
Don’t just smile when feeling confident… Smile to start feeling confident.
A very easy but powerful practice is to stand in front of the mirror and smile back to yourself for 2-3 minutes as soon as you wake up.
Just 2 minutes of smiling can go a long way.
8 – Surround Yourself With Self-Confident People
You become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.~Jim Rohn
If you keep spending the majority of your free time with people with low self-confidence, who are constantly complaining about their lives and their lack of power to make a change, you are definitely set to be following their example sooner or later.
This principle applies if you surround yourself with successful, self-confident, and powerful people.
Choose the people who surround you wisely.
Sometimes your friends might be unwillingly hurting your confidence and well-being as much or even way more than your enemies do.
As Jim Rohn amazingly stated:
It does not matter if your coffee is poisoned by an enemy or a friend… It will kill you either way.
9 – Get Into Shape
Regular exercise helps our body produce more endorphins which are considered natural pain and stress fighters.
Moreover, during exercising your attention is naturally drawn away from what is troubling you and directed more towards your bodily movements.
However, what truly skyrockets your self-confidence is the figure in the mirror.
As you watch your body getting fitter, your self-confidence explodes.
It feels amazing to own a healthy, nice-looking body.
Exercising can be considered anything from taking a 30-minute walk, to rock climbing 1 mile on a side of a steep mountain.
If exercising hasn’t been “your thing”, just start slowly and patiently and you’ll see how it goes.
10 – Write Down Your Goals
There is something about writing down your goals; it makes them feel more attainable and real.
You should clearly write down a description of your ULTIMATE GOAL in life, and make a promise with yourself that you will never stop trying until you shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.
Write down what you want to become rather than what you want to get because you will always get only to the extent that you are.
Convince yourself that you have the ability to achieve each one of your goals and DEMAND of yourself persistence and continuous action for their attainment.
Do this by reading aloud the list of your goals at least once a day, with full faith until it gradually influences your thoughts and actions, guiding them towards actually accomplishing those goals.
This is an amazing practice, greatly helping you in maintaining your motivation and confidence at the highest scales.
11 – Be of Service
One with true virtue always seeks a way to give. One who lacks true virtue always seeks a way to get. To the giver comes the fullness of life; to the taker, just an empty hand.~Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao, by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Giving does not necessarily apply just to your material possessions but also to helping people by giving parts of yourself to them.
Find something to do which makes a positive difference in other people’s lives in one way or another(even if this is something very small such as giving your bus seat to another person).
Knowing that you are bringing out a positive vibe in the world will definitely boost your self-confidence.
Seek out ways to make helping others a part of your daily routine until it becomes a habit.
The act of helping will not only benefit others, but it will build your confidence because you’ll realize how much you have to actually offer to other people.
Being a giver isn’t just making the world a better place… It will be making YOUR world a better place.
In his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill stated that great wealth can never be achieved while self-confidence is absent and that great self-confidence can never be truly achieved unless built upon serving and benefiting other people.
Thus, to develop your self-confidence in getting everything you want, you first have to find ways to give to the world everything you can.
The more you give the more you get, and the more you get the more self-confident you become.
12 – Be Yourself
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “be yourself” so many times that it has started to sound like a cliche to you.
However, the fact is that so very few people can actually live up to this phrase.
Being yourself in a world where everyone is constantly striving to be someone else, can be considered a revolutionary act.
Learn to paint the world with your own true colors…
Leave your unique stigma everywhere you go and in everything you do…
Living in tune with who you really are is the pathway to creating the best life you could possibly live.
WARNING! Being fully in tune with who you causes a serious, life-enhancing condition called “happiness”! There is simply no happier feeling in the world than looking around at everything and everyone that’s in your life and saying, “Yes, this is Me”. Being You feels great and there’s simply no greater state than that to help you achieve whatever you desire almost effortlessly.~Manifestation Miracle, by Heather Matthews
13 – Go After Rejection
Rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.~Bo Bennett
Jia Jiang has become famous for trying to beat his low self-confidence by purposefully making crazy requests to random people in order to get rejected.
His purpose was to desensitize himself to rejection, and he found the most powerful way to actually achieve it.
This is not a new trick but actually something that has been used by many extremely self-confident people over the years.
A while ago, I came across the lessons of some pick-up artists.
Those guys are amongst the most self-confident on the face of the earth, and their lessons can be applied not only to picking up women but to every aspect of one’s life.
There was this time when I caught a live coaching session between a pick-up artist and a person who wanted to become better at getting women and here are the very first steps towards actually achieving it:
- Go out on the street, or a plaza and start getting rejected by as many women as you possibly can.
And those are all the steps!
No theory, no excuses… Just stone-cold rejection from the get-go and guess what!
It seemed to be working.
After 4-5, 2-hour sessions of mere, brutal rejection, the self-confidence of the rejectionee(yeap! I am inventing my own words now :P), seemed to skyrocket.
It almost felt like rejection has become something so natural to them, that they stopped noticing it; it wasn’t there for them.
No rejection… Just opportunity!
This can be applied to any aspect of one’s life, for example, job interviews.
Almost everyone is nervous before a new job interview so here is what you could do to counteract such states.
Start applying for some jobs that are way out of your league and arrange interviews with them.
You won’t go there for any other reason than to be rejected so just relax and be yourself.
The funny thing is that his nonchalance of yours might even impress someone and hire you to work a job you’ve never even dreamt of.
This practice is so powerful, that could propel you, by itself, to new heights of self-confidence, never even imagined by you.
You could as well forget everything that you have read before it if you start applying it.
Closing the door to rejection opens the door to self-confidence.
Take out a piece of paper, note down those tips above which stroke you the most, and start applying them daily for at least 2 months and watch your self-confidence explode.
Keep coming back to this post once in a while and keep experimenting with the practices that you haven’t yet tried.
Start making adjustments to those practices to fit your own needs.
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