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How to be more confident (cultivate self-confidence and belief)

Do you wish you were more confident in your professional or personal life? You’re not alone! So many women wish they had more confidence, whether that’s having the confidence to say what they really think at work, to put themselves out there more, take risks, and so much more...


Luckily, confidence is a skill that can be learned and developed. In this short article, we’re going to cover how to cultivate unwavering self-confidence and belief, so you can confidently step into, and show up as, your best self!


How to be more confident

What is confidence?

By definition, confidence is full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing. For example, it could include us having confidence in our own ability to succeed. 


Confidence is having belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance.


Confidence means feeling sure of yourself and your abilities — and not in an arrogant or egotistical way, but in a realistic, secure way. 


Confidence isn't about feeling superior to others. It's a quiet inner knowledge that you're capable, that you’ve got this, and you can do it. 


Even if you’ve never done it before, you’re confident in your ability to learn/develop/improve. 


What confidence is not…

Confidence isn’t arrogance, fearlessness or boldness. Being extroverted and the loudest voice in the room doesn’t necessarily mean you’re confident, either, but unfortunately this is often mistaken for confidence. 


Often we mistake confidence for competence, too. Just because someone appears confident in themselves and their abilities due to the way they speak or hold themselves, it doesn’t mean they're competent. In fact, studies have shown there’s only a 10% overlap between confidence and competence, which means we should be wary! 


True self-confidence comes from a place of surrender and self-acceptance—not from a place of comparison or competition. It means believing in yourself and your abilities, not necessarily that you’re the best at something, but more that you believe in yourself and your ability to achieve a result or improve with practice and perseverance. 


The truth about confidence

The truth about confidence: it’s made up…

Want to know the truth about confidence? It’s actually a made up thing. It’s nothing more than a cognitive bias we hold in our brains, and is a belief we create that’s based on how we see ourselves and the world around us. 


Since confidence is very much linked to how you view yourself and your abilities, it’s linked to our own levels of self-worth (your sense of your own value) and self-efficacy (your belief in yourself). 


This comes down to the results we’ve created in the past, our knowledge, past experiences and events, and our environment. Whether you think you’re ‘worthy’ or ‘good enough’, and if you believe you have responsibility over your outcomes and therefore control over them. 


How can I become more confident?

What a great question! It really comes down to what makes YOU feel more confident, but here are 13 different ways to feel more confident in your personal and professional life and be seen as your most confident self. 


Develop a growth mindset 

If you have a growth mindset, you’re likely to feel more confident. That’s because you know you can develop skills, acquire knowledge and make changes with effort, and don’t necessarily need to have previous experience and results to be able to achieve something. 


If you have a fixed mindset, you’re likely not to feel as confident about things you have no prior experience or knowledge in. 


Developing a growth mindset takes time, tools and practice. If you’d like to learn how to develop a growth mindset, my Mindset Mastery 1-on-1 Coaching Program is designed to help you do just that in 12 weeks. Learn more about mindset coaching, and reach out to me to book a free consultation!


Growth mindset you got this

Know your strengths

Identify and acknowledge your strengths because recognising your skills and accomplishments contributes to a positive self-image, and helps you shine, which in turn builds self-confidence. 


Taking personality tests like Clifton Strengths and Myer Briggs’ 15 Personalities can help you to quickly uncover some of your greatest strengths based on your personality type and is a good place to start. You can also ask your friends, family members and colleagues what they consider to be your greatest strengths. This can be a really fun, eye-opening exercise! 


As part of my Mindset Mastery Coaching Program, it includes a Clifton Strengths assessment where you’ll discover what your top five strengths are in the workplace, helping you to gain clarity on the areas you can excel at and feel truly empowered and confident in. 


Get some ‘wins’ on the board 

To develop confidence in our ability to do something, it’s important we get some wins on the board. That’s because that builds our belief in our abilities to do that thing. What I mean by that is breaking down larger goals or projects into smaller, achievable tasks that are more manageable to achieve, and CELEBRATE each accomplishment, no matter how small, to build a sense of competence and thus, confidence! 


Take action and experiment 

You don't start out with confidence, you develop confidence over time. Confidence grows with action, and decreases with inaction, so make sure you’re taking action, experimenting, and trying things out to build your confidence. 


To do this, take microsteps and small actions, look at it as an experiment and with curiosity of what could happen, rather than being attached to the outcome (hence the term ‘experiment’), and see what happens! 


Thomas Edison failed at making the lightbulb over a thousand times, but he saw each time as an experiment, and instead saw it as learning 1000 ways not to make a lightbulb. That’s the mindset you need to take when you’re experimenting and developing confidence. 


Take action and experiment

Become friends with failure

This is closely linked to the previous point about taking action and experimenting. When you try new things and take action, YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL MORE THAN YOU SUCCEED. That’s life. That’s how we learn. That’s how we grow. 


If you’re not failing, you’re not taking enough action and experimenting enough. So get comfortable with failure - become best friends with failure. Because failure leads to the fastest growth, and gets you to your goals so much faster. 


Learn from your failures and mistakes instead of beating yourself up over them - look at them as golden lessons you need to go through in order to get you to where you need to go. Be kind to yourself, and celebrate failure! 


After all, what’s the worst that could happen? You will survive failure, I promise.


Develop your knowledge and expertise

Often, to feel more confident at something, acquiring knowledge and developing our skillset in that area can help us to develop our confidence. So invest time in developing your skills and knowledge. Becoming an ‘expert’ in your field can boost your confidence and credibility. This will help you become more confident. 


But also remember that it’s impossible to know everything! You can’t be expected to know it all, and it’s important not to pretend to. This again ties into the first point of the importance of a growth mindset for cultivating confidence, because while you may not have knowledge/expertise in some areas YET, you can learn. 


If there isn’t an opportunity to develop in your role, volunteer for projects or tasks that align with your strengths and interests. Proactively taking on challenges builds confidence in your abilities.


Ask for feedback

It’s challenging to feel confident when we don’t know for sure how we’re doing, particularly at work. If you’re not getting adequate feedback to know how you’re performing and whether you’re on the right track, ASK. 


And don’t accept meaningless feedback, either. If they say you’re doing a good job, ask for more details of what you’re doing well. Then you have clarity on where you’re excelling. 


And be receptive to all feedback, positive and negative. Again, it provides the opportunity to grow and develop (again, it’s about having a growth mindset). All feedback is good feedback, but negative feedback helps us grow. 


Woman getting feedback online from manager

Practice speaking up

If you struggle to speak up, practice expressing your opinions and ideas in meetings. Each time you do it, you’ll build your confidence. 


If you struggle to articulate your thoughts and communicate effectively, I highly recommend joining a Toastmasters club where you get to practise in a supportive environment. I did Toastmasters for 2 years and it was one of the best things I did for my career.


Being a confident communicator is so important in the workplace, and if you nail that skillset you’ll be able to express your ideas and speak up without any fear! 


Be ‘Wonder Woman’

NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) is a powerful psychological approach that focuses on the connection between the mind, language, and behaviour. There is scientific evidence that proves that power poses reduce stress and improve confidence, and doing any power pose can lower cortisol which is the stress hormone. 


The “Wonder Woman” power pose can be described as setting your feet apart, putting your hand on your hips, and tilting your chin upward. This pose is meant to make you feel powerful in general. We can change the way we feel in a moment with this pose. Go on, stand up and do it now and you will see. Preferably for 1-2 minutes to get the best results. 


Do this before important meetings or presentations and you’ll feel so much more confident!


Wonder woman power pose for confidence

Wear clothes you feel confident in 

If you’re heard that old phrase ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ that actually can make a difference to our outcomes. Why? Because when we feel great, we feel more confident, we take inspired action, and we create better results. 


Wear attire that makes you feel confident. Dressing well can positively impact your self-perception and the way others perceive you, too. So, if you’re in need of a confidence boost, go shopping and get an outfit that makes you feel like the BOSS you really are! 


Positive affirmations

The words we use and say to ourselves on a daily basis have a direct impact on our outcomes in life. When you choose to say positive, empowering things to yourself, rather than always jumping to the negative side, amazing things can happen. 


Use positive affirmations to reinforce self-belief. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and capabilities regularly. It will help to keep you motivated, moving forward and have the perseverance it takes to develop confidence and mastery. 


For example, write yourself a little positive affirmation list, and read it each morning as soon as you wake up. This will put you in a good mindset for the day, and also rewire the neural pathways in your brain over time, meaning eventually this will be how you naturally think about and perceive yourself - shaping your own identity and self-image! Awesome, right?


Creative visualisation

Creative visualisation is a way to expand your perceptions of what’s possible. If you visualise yourself being confident in the area you wish to be more confident in as if it’s your current reality, it helps get your brain on-board with the outcome you wish to create. 


Athletes have been using creative visualisation/mental rehearsal for a long time. It’s no secret, and it works. If you want to develop confidence in a specific area, visualise yourself being confident and what that would look like. Evoke the five senses and envision it to be true. Then, your brain will start looking out for ways to make it true. 


Woman meditating for confidence

Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis 

Hypnotherapy is an effective tool for increasing confidence and self-belief by creating change at a subconscious level. Completely safe, it feels like a lovely relaxing meditation, but one that results in increased confidence. Hypnotherapy uses creative visualisation to get the unconscious mind on-board with your goals and the outcomes you want to create, so if you’re struggling to become more confident, a couple of hypnotherapy sessions can be the quick solution you’re looking for! 


I offer hypnotherapy services (both online and in person in Wellington, New Zealand) to help with self-image and confidence. Learn more about hypnotherapy and book a free consult with me to see if it’s the right fit for you. 


I also have created a self-hypnosis meditation for cultivating self-confidence, which you can purchase from my shop. Listen to it before you go to bed each night for a few weeks and you’ll notice a significant difference in your confidence!


Cultivating self-confidence is a journey

Remember, confidence is a journey, and building it takes time and consistent effort. Be patient with yourself and aim for 1% better each day. You’ve got this! 


If you need help on your journey, book a free consult with me – I’m a certified life coach, hypnotherapist and accredited cognitive behavioural therapy practitioner who specialises in helping ambitious peeps like you to reinvent themselves from the inside-out and achieve their biggest goals. I know I can help you get the accelerated growth and progress you otherwise probably wouldn’t think is possible! 


Thanks for reading! If you want more, check out my other blogs, follow me on Facebook: @Janellekeesue, TikTok: @janelle.keesue, Instagram: @janellekeesue. You can also book a free session with me here


About the author, Janelle Kee-Sue

Janelle Kee-Sue is a Certified Life and Mindset Coach, accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Practitioner, Self-Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner, and is completing a Diploma in Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy and NLP with the New Zealand School of Professional Hypnotherapy. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, she specialises in helping people to change their thinking so they can change their lives; to reprogram their negative thought patterns, banish limiting beliefs for good, learn techniques for being less stressed and anxious, more emotionally regulated, positive and resilient, so they can achieve any goal, and lead happier, more fulfilling lives. In her spare time, you’ll find her at the gym, working on her novel, or hanging with her floofy Samoyed Zeus and her husband Ricky. Learn more about Janelle.


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