So last week I did a thing. I did a thing that was totally out of my comfort zone and got me thinking about the importance of confidence. It led me to this question – is confidence a skill that can be learned? If so, how do you master it and become more confident?
Curious about the thing I did? You might not think it’s a big deal, but it was for me!
I posted my first video ever of myself speaking on my social media (see it below). I had been resistant to this for a long time. I am not at all confident when it comes to public speaking and thus a video of me speaking is definitely outside of my comfort zone! But, I did it and it felt pretty good.
I’m still not totally comfortable in this area, but I know I can get there! Perhaps you also have things you want to pursue in life, but you’re lacking the confidence to do so?
Read on to learn more about the importance of confidence, the benefits of self confidence, and 6 important ways to improve your confidence.
Importance of Confidence
The importance of confidence cannot be overstated. It affects every area of our lives, including career, family, happiness, as well as physical and mental health and well-being.
Here are some of the benefits of self confidence:
➡️ Confidence can lead to a longer and healthier life.
This could be due to the positive health benefits of the emotions associated with confidence, including happiness, optimism, and satisfaction. On the contrary, people who lack confidence are more likely to struggle with depression, stress, and anxiety, which can have negative health effects.
➡️ Confidence helps with decision-making.
When you have confidence, you are less likely to doubt and second guess yourself when making decisions. Confidence helps you feel more secure in your ability to make good decisions and if the outcome isn’t as expected, then you’re better able to adjust and adapt.
➡️ Confidence makes you more resilient.
It helps you put failures into perspective and take challenges in stride. Thus you become more resilient.
➡️ Confidence fosters better relationships.
This is a major one. When you’re confident, you are more comfortable showing your true self to others and thus this fosters more honest, open, and rewarding relationships. Furthermore, you are less likely to need outside approval of your self-worth, encouraging healthier boundaries and less likelihood of staying in emotionally or physically abusive relationships.
➡️ Confidence makes you a better communicator.
Someone with low self-confidence may struggle with communicating clearly because they’re unsure of themselves or afraid of how others might perceive them or respond. This lack of clarity makes misunderstandings more likely. Confidence, on the other hand, has the opposite effect.
➡️ Confidence gives you motivation to go after what you want.
Having confidence helps you face challenges and see them as opportunities for growth and improvement. This provides the motivation needed to go after what you want, rather than shying away from difficult challenges.
Is Confidence a Skill?
When you look at successful, highly confident people, do you wonder if they were born with this confidence?
Here is the short answer to that question – they most definitely were not! Confidence is not something we are born with. It is a skill we can work on developing throughout our lives.
Self-confidence is defined as “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.”
Think about trust for a second. Do you naturally trust other people right off the bat or must they earn your trust?
The same is true when it comes to trusting yourself. You must learn to trust yourself by proving your own abilities, qualities, and judgment to yourself.
As you prove yourself more and more, you earn your own trust and acquire self-confidence. Thus, confidence is a skill you develop as you go through life and learn to trust yourself.
So how do you start earning your own trust and improving your confidence?
6 Ways to Improve Your Confidence
1.) Hold yourself accountable
Would you trust someone who repeatedly lets you down and doesn’t follow through on the things they say they’re going to do?
Think about that friend who is constantly canceling plans on you. Are you going to trust them to take care of your dog when you go out of town? Of course not! That person is constantly going back on their word and is totally unreliable.
By the same token, you have to be able to rely on yourself to keep the promises you make to yourself. Therefore, you have to hold yourself accountable and actually do the things you say you’re going to do.
Start with the small things. Let’s say you want to give yourself more time to get ready in the morning so you promise yourself you’ll wake up 30 minutes earlier everyday. If you find after 2 or 3 days of doing this, you start snoozing later and later until eventually, you’re back to your old wake up time, you have allowed yourself to go back on your word.
It might not seem like a big deal, but if you find that you consistently don’t follow through on the small things you set out to do, then how are you supposed to have any confidence in yourself to follow through on the big things and larger goals that you set?
It’s important to show up for yourself and hold yourself accountable.
2.) Change the way you talk to yourself
It can’t be disputed that we are often much harder on ourselves than we are on others. You might say mean and hurtful things to yourself, about yourself, that you would never dare say to someone else.
This can be really detrimental to your confidence.
The way you talk to yourself matters and the first step in combating this negative self-talk is to become aware that you are doing it. Then, stop the negative thought and replace it with something more positive.
So, the next time you find yourself in this negative headspace, stop and remind yourself that these thoughts and feelings are not necessarily reality. Then, try reframing these thoughts or replacing them with something positive that is also accurate.
One way to help do this is to use positive affirmations to reinforce the positive things you believe about yourself and allow them to take root in your mind, rather than letting the negative self-talk dominate the conversation.
3.) Say “yes”, then figure it out
When an opportunity is presented to you, say yes, even if you don’t know how to accomplish the task at hand. By saying yes to things, you are challenging yourself to learn something new.
If you consistently shy away from things simply because you don’t know how to do them, then you are foregoing opportunities to learn new things. Say yes, then figure out how to do it later.
But the caveat to this is that you should not just say “yes” blindly to everything that comes in your path. It has to feel right to you. Let your intuition guide you and say yes to challenges that align with your values and the person you want to be.
When you say yes to things that don’t align with your values, then you are actually working against building confidence because in order to trust yourself, you must be operating in a manner that honors what is important to you.
4.) Don’t listen to fear
Confident people aren’t fearless. They feel the fear, but they have learned how to control their thoughts surrounding it in order to move forward.
Learn to use fear to understand yourself better. Fear shows you the edge of your comfort zone and is a totally normal feeling when pushing this boundary, but it’s never the full picture. Rather, it is a mechanism our brain uses to try to protect us from perceived danger, but it is not necessarily reality.
“Our fears are more numerous than our dangers, and we suffer more in our imagination than reality.”-Seneca, Roman Stoic philosopher
Once you learn to stop listening to fear and start taking action, you will find that you naturally become more confident and it becomes easier and easier to take more action, which in turn builds even more confidence in yourself.
5.) Strive for improvement, not perfection
In order to be a confident person, realize that the goal is not to strive for perfection. Rather, it is to always try to improve. When you have confidence, you are able to reflect on your weaknesses and even your failures, and see them as opportunities for learning and growth.
A growth mindset helps you take every challenge as an opportunity to learn how to do better the next time. By realizing where your shortcomings may lie, you will be motivated to refine your skills in those areas and thus continuously improve all around.
6.) Celebrate the small wins
We are often hyper focused on what we do wrong, but fail to celebrate what we are doing right. Try focusing on your triumphs, not just where you think you may fall short.
It’s especially important to celebrate your small wins. Stack those small wins throughout your day. Start stacking from the moment you wake up.
Did you wake up when the alarm went off instead of hitting snooze? Were you able to squeeze in a workout? Did you choose to eat the apple instead of the bag of chips?
Each of these are small wins, but they add up in your subconscious. Win more than you lose and you will see that these little wins make you closer to the person you want to be and boost your self-confidence.
I hope this post has given you some valuable insight on the importance of confidence and how you can work to improve your own self-confidence.
I’d love to know how you work to improve your own self-confidence! Do you have any tips I didn’t mention? Comment below.
Carly is a wife, mom, and former NYC fashion industry executive turned writer and life coach. Through her writings on littlevoicebigmatter.com, she shares practical advice, heartfelt insights, and actionable resources to inspire and support women in motherhood, relationships, wellness, and life. Carly also helps women create better balance in their lives and live with more joy, purpose, and connection every day through her coaching.