Self-confidence is a skill – which means that you CAN learn it.
Like jogging or playing the piano.
And like learning anything new, when you follow a process consistently, you get results.
In this blog post, I’m going to teach you a step-by-step process you can use to build a self-confident mindset.
The Daily Process to Build Self-Confidence
First, let’s go over a couple quick definitions:
- Mindset: the attitude that you have in general or on a particular day
- Managing your mind: being aware of the negative, self-sabotaging parts of your mindset, choosing new attitudes and practicing making those new attitudes permanent
Step 0: Schedule daily time to work on your mindset
This is the most important step! If you don’t make time for yourself, or leave this work as an after thought or something you add on while you’re driving to work, you won’t get the results you seek. (You can’t drive and practice piano after all!)
Choose a dedicated time to work on your mindset each day. Either in the morning or at night work best.
With just 5-15 minutes you can change your self and create amazing things in your life.
Step 1: Clean out negative thoughts by doing a thought inventory
Grab a pen and paper and let’s get started!
For more background on the impact of negative thoughts, you can read , Why you have low self-confidence.
First things first is you have to make room for new thoughts, which means clearing out old negative thoughts.
- Using a whole sheet of paper, write down the name of an area where you have low self-confidence. This could be simply “myself” or “my life”. Or it could be more specific like “public speaking” or “getting a new job”.
- As fast as you can without rushing, write down ALL your thoughts about that topic, especially the negative thoughts. It can look something like this:
- Example topic: my life
- It sucks
- I feel trapped
- I’m stuck
- I don’t know what to do
- I’ll never get out of this
- I’m too quiet
- Example topic: my life
- Fill up the entire page with your thoughts
- Take a deep breath and take in what you wrote. Try your best to not judge yourself and stay curious.
The thought inventory that you just did is akin to emptying all the junk out of your junk drawer so you can see what’s in there.
Now you get to decide what you want to put back into your drawer (i.e. your brain). This is where you create your self-confident mindset.
Step 2. Program your brain with new empowering thoughts
So, now you’re going to choose new thoughts (sentences) that will create more self-confidence.
Why? Because your thoughts create your feelings.
What you think directly influences how you feel. Because self-confidence is a feeling, then if you want to feel it you have to choose thoughts that generate that feeling.
For a deeper explanation of how thoughts create your feelings check out Understand why you feel like a fraud.
Before we start, I know that some of you will want to turn this part into wishful thinking where you become a unicorn instantly.
Wishing yourself more self-confident isn’t the answer. Believing in yourself is.
That often means that we have to start small, with a baby step – a ladder thought.
A ladder thought is a thought that is a little more positive and still believable.
For example, if right now you’re at “I’ll never feel confident” then DO NOT choose a new thought like “I always feel confident”.
THAT is wishful thinking. And I bet it feels totally bogus.
Instead, choose a ladder thought like “perhaps I can feel confident”.
Then ask yourself, how does it feel?
Is it believable? Does it feel even a little bit true?
If the answer is yes then you’ve found yourself a ladder thought!
Maybe your ladder thought doesn’t generate the feeling of self-confidence in and of itself but it’s opening you up to the possibility that you can feel self-confidence.
That, my friend, is progress.
So, here’s how to do this Step #2: Program your brain with new thoughts:
- Ask yourself “What do I want to believe about myself/my life/my topic of focus?” or “What ladder thoughts can I choose that feel true”?
- Come up with 1-3 new empowering thoughts
- Write each one down and spend about a minute reciting it to yourself (out loud if you can!)
- Repeat your empowering thoughts to yourself throughout the day
Example empowering thoughts
- I can learn self-confidence
- I am learning self-confidence
- I am willing to try and fail
- I can do hard things
- I have what it takes
Like any skill, practice consistently to see big results.
Reprogramming the brain takes time and it can be uncomfortable to believe both old thoughts and new thoughts at the same time.
You truly are in control of your own self-confidence, once you decide to be.
Wishing you dedication and much success.
Building self-confidence involves taking a deep look at yourself and letting go of old ways of thinking. Having guidance through this process, someone who can help you work through the stuck spots, can help you make big progress.