If you have been looking at advice on how to become more confident, you might have come across certain advice that doesn’t really work. A lot of the content out there only focuses on the surface level things, without addressing the underlying psychology and reasons why you might not be feeling confident right now.
Some of these techniques might include:
- Wearing some nicer clothes
- Just fake it till you make it
- Seeking approval from other people
- Charisma hacks (smile more, take up more space, speak slowly, and so on)
- Just don’t compare yourself to others (great in theory, nearly impossible in practice)
In order to build real confidence, it needs to come from within and it needs to be justified confidence.
And so in this article, I’m going to share with you the #1 foundational block to building confidence that you absolutely must have in order to build real, lasting confidence. Without this one thing, I can guarantee you that you’re never going to actually become a confident person.
I break this confidence building technique down in this video as well:
Sidenote: The video above as well as the article below come from my FREE 5-day mini course on building unshakeable confidence. In just 5 days, you’ll get the lessons that took me a decade to learn through trial and error!
What Confidence Really Is
We talk a lot about confidence, but have you ever really thought about what it really means?
We all define things differently, but here’s mine:
Confidence is trust in yourself.
An example of this would be back when I was being bullied on a day to day basis and I felt terrible about myself. At the time I, I had zero confidence except for 1 specific area of my life. Back then video games where my escapism. I felt confident when playing because I knew I had the skills to do well and win!
A.k.a. I had trust in my abilities.
It goes for many things:
If you just start learning how to drive, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed (I know I did). When you have been driving for years, you’ll feel confident doing it. And a lot of times, you’re barely even aware of you doing it.
If you’re doing your first sales call as part of a new job, you probably lack confidence there. When you’ve done hundreds, you’re going to feel confident. Because you’ve built both the skill and trust in yourself to know that you’re going to do well.
In both those cases, you earned your confidence!
How to Break Trust With People
Let me segway with this question:
What is the best way to scatter the trust somebody has in you?
Of course, there are many ways (none of which I recommend), but one of the best ways to make sure that people will never trust you is to make promises you never keep. Always be late (or never show), say you do one thing and do something else, promise to help out and bail without a single word, and so on.
Do that, and people will have zero trust in you.
Which brings me to my next question:
Breaking promises to other people makes it so that they don’t trust you. But more important than that are the promises you make to yourself! The times when you say you get up early to get work done, the times you said you were going to the gym, the times you promised yourself you’d take action (and watched Netflix instead).
How many promises to YOURSELF have you broken (and do you break)?
Breaking promises to others lowers their trust in you.
Breaking promises to yourself lowers your trust in yourself (a.k.a. confidence & self esteem).
How to Actually Build Confidence
One of the ways to think of building confidence is as a bank account you have with yourself.
A bank of trust.
Every times you say you’re going to do something and don’t do it, you get further in debt with yourself. A vast amount of people will never actually become confident because they have gotten too deep in debt with themselves and are not taking steps to get out of it.
If you’re reading and this is making sense so far, here’s what I did to start (re)building my confidence:
- You need to have a compelling vision of what you want to get out of life (a.k.a. a meaningful goal). From myself and most people I have helped over the years, when someone didn’t have a goal, life felt meaningless. From being there for years, I can tell you that not having goals sucks all confidence, excitement and life out of you!
- Start making more promises to yourself. It can be something as mundane as setting your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier to get some work done. It could be going to the gym for an hour, it could be studying 2 hours extra. Start as big or as small as you can handle. But keep in mind:
- Whenever you make a promise to yourself or to others, you keep that promise! Regardless of how bad you feel when you have to get to the gym, you said you were going and so you’re going.
And yes, demanding that kind of discipline from yourself is hard!
Don’t expect to be perfect at following through on your word from day 1! Discipline is like a muscle, in the sense that the more you practice it, the stronger your ability to be disciplined gets. I did terrible at first… I couldn’t get myself to do much of anything, but I did develop this discipline over time.
This is the 5-step process I followed to do this:
The Confidence, Competence, Accomplishments Loop
Let me future pace what it’s going to look like when you’re building confidence this way:
When you start making and keeping more promises to yourself, a few things will happen. For starters, you’ll develop the belief in yourself that you do what you say you’re gonna do. This alone boosts your confidence, it’s that trust in yourself.
But something else happens:
When you’re taking action where other people are sitting idle, you build your competencies. You’re building real world skills, getting in shape, getting more knowledge and experience and so on. And again, when you know you’re going to ace something, you’ll feel more confident.
And thirdly, as you build your skills, you’re going to get shit done! You’ll have more accomplishments in your life.
You’ll have things that you can be proud of!
Through this process, you’ll have EARNED your confidence!
Nobody can take that away from you!
By now, hopefully you see the reason why a lot of the common “techniques” people share for building confidence don’t really work. You can wear nices clothes, smile and talk positively to yourself all day long, but on a deeper level, know you’re not living up to your potential.
I’d urge you to take this straightforward method for building confidence to heart.
It has been one of the foundational blocks for rebuilding my own confidence from pretty much zero!
If you’ve been reading all the way to this point, you’re obviously dedicated to becoming the best and most confident version of yourself that you can be. And so, I’d recommend taking my free 5-day mini course with way more techniques to do so!