Everyone wants to be more confident. We want to live with our heads held high and be able to walk into any situation feeling comfortable.
What is the secret to confidence? How do we get more of it and how can we call on our confidence when we need it?
This article is written to teach you how to be more confident. Let’s get started.
#1 – Don’t Say Bad Things About Other People
When I was younger, I felt that bad-mouthing others was a way for me to build myself up. Our culture tells us arrogance is the same thing as confidence.
But we know in our hearts it isn’t true. In most cases, arrogance comes off as insecurity.
Only insecure people talk about how other people don’t measure up to their standards. When you talk negatively about other people you are doing two things.
- You are saying (without saying) that your ideals are the best possible ideals.
- You are shutting yourself off to the possibility of learning.
When you bring other people down, you never actually make progress. You don’t build yourself up. Instead of trying to get stronger, you spend your energy trying to make other people weaker. There is nothing virtuous about this. There is nothing noble in tearing others down so that you don’t feel insecure.
It can feel so good to gossip or bad mouth your colleagues, competitors, or strangers. In the moment, it gives us a feeling of instant gratification.
“I really showed that guy” we think.
But in the end, we are only hurting ourselves. Being a bad mouth does the opposite of building confidence, it creates insecurity. Every time we speak poorly against others, we are chipping away at our own character. We become anxious because we don’t want others to discover that we are frauds.
No matter what, don’t say negative things about other people.
When you tear other people down, there is no personal growth. You stay still. You stay stagnant. As a result, you will walk into the next situation feeling just as insecure as you always have.
Confidence is a resource. We must protect our confidence in the same way that we would protect our money or our time. We must value it. We must build ourselves up on a solid foundation. This solid foundation should be built on integrity and virtue.
The first step to building more confidence is building a solid foundation of good character. Talking bad about others chips away at your character.
#2 – Learn As Much as You Possibly Can
Knowing what you’re doing is a straight forward way to build confidence. My boy Neil says it best…
When I walk into a gym, I feel confident.
I’ve been an athlete my entire life. I know how to step into a squat rack. I know what weights to put on. I know how to use the right form while doing complicated compound movements.
I know what I’m doing. I’ve practiced. I’ve learned.
But if you put me in front of 30 people and asked me to do an algebra problem, I would quiver. I would instantly lose my confidence.
Confidence is competence. The more you know, the less you fear.
Don’t over-complicate this. This is a simple and practical solution. If you want to learn how to be more confident, you need to educate yourself so that you are prepared.
Confidence isn’t a magic pill. It’s more than a mindset. It’s measurable. It’s quantifiable. It’s scalable. You can invest in yourself by educating yourself and the more investments you make the more of a payoff you will have.
If you’re feeling insecure about a particular subject matter, the first thing you should do is start learning about it. This could be anything..
- the stock market
- dog training
- building houses
There is so much in this world to learn and know. The more you learn, the more prepared you will be to walk into a given situation with confidence and poise.
#3 – Approach Situations with a Willingness to Fail
Let’s be real.
You can’t know everything. You can’t read every book and have knowledge in every single situation you find yourself in.
So how do you approach a situation that is foreign to you? and do so with confidence?
You must be willing to fail.
This makes me think of my friend Josh. Josh walks around with a smile on his face and a light hardheartedness about him. I’ve always envied that about him.
What is it about Josh that allows him to have this persona? He’s fearless. People want to be around him. People want to listen to what he has to say.
How does he do it?
He’s simply willing to fail in public. He doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Years ago, Josh and I started a clothing company. It was a t-shirt company and a lifestyle brand.
Neither of us had a clue what we were doing. We were completely making it up as we went along. There were many failures, and many successes as well.
During this time, Josh, myself and a group of our best friends all packed into an RV and drove to Tennessee to attend a music festival called Bonnaroo.
We were trying to think of a cool marketing campaign for the clothing line and Josh had the amazing idea of creating tank tops for the festival. The plan was to give them away to as many people as possible and collect emails and build the brand and build relationships.
(I took a quick trip down memory lane and I found a picture of the shirts we made 😁)
I remember feeling very uncomfortable about the idea. I was shy and awkward. I couldn’t imagine walking up to strangers and introducing myself and interacting with them. But Josh didn’t think of it as a “succeed or fail” situation. He just went for it. He didn’t take himself too seriously.
He had the idea to stand on top of an RV and start screaming at all the people who walked by. Within 5 minutes there was a crowd of people circling around the bus, reaching with their hands up, trying to get a free tank top.
It was amazing. I felt like a superstar. There was a swarm of people all cheering us on, wanting to be involved.
It all stemmed from Josh’s willingness to “go for it”, to fail in public, to potentially look stupid.
If you want to learn how to be confident, you must learn how to be vulnerable. Confidence is not knowing what to do in every situation, confidence is being willing to find out.
#4 – Workout Hard
I don’t think there is an easier way to build confidence than to workout.
Working out makes you feel great, it makes you look great, and it gives you control and power over the world around you.
When I was into endurance training, I loved knowing that I could outlast almost everyone I came into contact with.
Now that I am doing more strength training, I love knowing that I am likely stronger and more fit than most everyone I come into contact with.
People that have great utility over their bodies generally don’t need to scream and yell and convince everyone how tough they are.
Fitness makes it so that you don’t need to prove to others what you can do. You’ve already proven it to yourself. There’s no one else to convince.
Granted, there is value in competition. There is value in winning and I encourage everyone to face off against other people. But there is a difference between confidence and competition. Competition is a battle against another person. Fitness is a battle against yourself.
There is no other way to get stronger than to lift weights. There’s no cheating. If you want to get faster, you have to do sprints. If you want to increase your bench press, you have to do the bench press.
And guess what? Sprints suck. Lifting weights hurts. Fitness requires suffering. And suffering builds confidence. Suffering is the only way to discover what you can sustain.
If you want to learn how to be more confident, you need to learn how much you can endure. Fitness does that.
#5 – Get Things Done
Success begets success. Momentum builds. Achievement creates a culture of winning and possibility.
The problem is that most people want to know how to be more confident overnight. They don’t want to do anything to earn that confidence. They just want to have it. They are looking for the “hack.”
But confidence is built. It is not given and it is not found.
Accomplishment, even small accomplishments will add up over time.
I know what you’re thinking.
“It’s not that simple.”
Yes it is. It is really that simple. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. Here’s what you do.
Start by making your bed every morning. As soon as you wake up, make your bed. No bullshit. No excuses. Make your bed immediately. Make your bed as perfectly as you possibly can. Put your pillows in the right spot. Make sure your blankets are even on both sides of your bed. Make the most perfect bed you can possibly make, and do that every morning for a week.
After that, make a commitment to never let your laundry pile up in the corner. Most likely, you will do a load of laundry every 3-4 days. When you do your laundry, do it all the way. Put it through the washer AND through the dryer AND fold your laundry AND put your damn laundry away. You do your laundry as perfectly as your laundry can be done.
After two weeks, you’ve built a habit of perfect bed making and perfect laundry.
After the third week, add another task. Perhaps you decide to write 500 words each day. Or perhaps you decide to show up to work 30 minutes early every day. Whatever it is, do it. Get it done.
Then the next week, add another. And another. And another.
Before you know it, these won’t be chores. These won’t be “things to do.” This will be a lifestyle. You will have slowly and securely built a lifestyle of excellence. You can then apply this excellence to all areas of your life.
Building confidence requires competency. Competency requires experience and skill. If you do things, and if you do them well, you will have built your confidence and you will have earned every bit of it.
When I was growing up, I was always insecure. No matter where I went, I felt like I was doing something wrong. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t do a lot of the things I wanted to do because I was afraid.
So when we talk about confidence, we are talking about life. We are talking about experience. We are talking about having the courage to do the things you secretly want to do.
- talking to attractive people in the opposite sex
- getting the raise
- quitting the job you hate
- traveling to new places
- building a business
- having a great body
I think everyone should be more keen on how to build confidence. It’s important because it affects the quality of your life.
Don’t go through life afraid. Don’t stand in the corner. Don’t look over the side of the cliff.
Jump. Dance. Live.
Wanting to know how to be more confident isn’t about impressing people or about looking cool. It’s about living the best possible life you can. So go do it.
Thanks for reading. Leave your comments below. 😎