Confidence may be a pretty tricky mindset to embrace every day, as many who struggle with low esteem likely know too well.
For one thing, psychologists have discovered that our levels of self-assurance can fluctuate daily and even hourly—this is something that they call state self-esteem. It means that certain events or situations can either make us feel over the moon or in low spirits—for instance, getting a promotion, a divorce, or receiving criticism. Or just simply having a bad day.
On the other hand—just to make sure we all grasp this—long-term confidence needs a long-term strategy (and execution). It’s not easy—and I’m sorry to be the one to deliver the gloomy news to you.
It takes time, and it takes efforts.
And most of all—it takes a desire to improve. You must show up and do the work. You must set specific goals, micro-goals and then steps geared toward gaining confidence; be very disciplined and follow through.
Oh, and likely—to remedy your ailing self-esteem—you will have to take a trip back and re-live parts of your own history—right to first crushes and love disappointments, to the acne, the braces, the social awkwardness, the failures, the bullying, the embarrassments.
You have to go back to the source—the thing or things which cast this dark shadow over your ability to love yourself unconditionally and unapologetically today.
However, on the bright side (thankfully), there are ways to cross into the sunshine land every day—that is, to feel better about yourself and more confident in your ability to take on the world on any given day.
This is what I simply call:
It’s very straight-forward, quick and it does work (I practice it daily) to put you into a confidence-state-of-mind.
What does it all mean?
Each morning, before you start your day, do the 3 things below. (I usually do them on my commute to work).
Express: 1 Gratitude
Pledge: 1 Thing you’ll do today
Commit: 1 Strength you’ll use today
Here is why it works, according to science:
I probably don’t have to convince you in the power of gratitude. Its benefits are well studies and documented.
But just to make sure we are all on the same page, here are some of the advantages you will gain by practicing gratitude on a daily basis. It improves physical and mental health, increases happiness, sleep, reduces social comparisons, makes us more patient, improves our relationships and self-care.
It’s a well-decorated winner, no doubt.
In terms of boosting confidence, gratitude works as it makes us appreciate what we have or are, as opposed to looking into others’ plate all the time and feeling bad about our own lives.
Tony Robbins is a devoted supported to the gratitude approach. In his words, “gratitude is the antidote to the things that mess us up. You can’t be angry and grateful simultaneously. You can’t be fearful and grateful simultaneously. So, gratitude is the solution to both anger and fear.”
You can’t be grateful and insecure and the same time.
So, spend 1 minute every morning to express 1 thing you are thankful for in your life.
It’s a powerful mind-shifter.
Pledge ONE thing that you will do today (and make sure you do it)
And let’s be clear here. I’m not advocating that you must commit to solve the world hunger crisis today or find a cure for cancer. I’m talking about small things—such as, I’ll call my parents and tell them I love them; or go to the gym; or talk to the cute barista in the coffee shop.
Whatever it is, say it to yourself that you’ll do it and make sure that you follow through.
What does it do for your confidence? Plenty.
Goal completion establishes a track record of your ability to set an aim and achieve it. It’s telling your brain: Evelyn did well today. She pulled this off successfully. I like her. We can work together.
Sense of accomplishment—Success makes us feel good about ourselves. And feeling good boosts your self-esteem. By the closing off your daily commitment—i.e. achieving your goal—you ensure that you feed yourself some positive vibes. Therefore, you fuel your confidence every day.
Build trust with yourself. By keeping your daily promise, you also prove to yourself that you are dependable, that you can do the things you set your mind on. This strengthens your sense of mastery and self-efficacy. According to some psychologists, these two are the most powerful boosters of self-esteem there are.
So, establish to yourself that you are in control of the many of the things that happen to you and that you are an achiever.
It’s a great confidence creator.
Commit to ONE Strength you will use today
I feel quite strongly about this one.
Many self-help books and articles advocate that we must focus on our weakness and work on enhancing ourselves. This is how we become better drafts of ourselves, we are repeatedly told.
Well, not exactly.
Think about accomplished individuals—say Bill Gates. Sure enough, he must have weaknesses, which he probably tries to improve on. However, what made him who he is today are not his flaws and his ability to deal with them, but his strengths—as programming skills and his entrepreneurial aptitude.
So, it’s vital that we know our strengths. And even more crucial is that we work on honing these proficiencies and that we put them to practice. Simply put, if we don’t actively engage with our strengths, we might see them fade.
Your strengths are the source of your self-esteem, not your shortcomings. Absolutely, you need to know the latter and strive to progress, but too much focus on your foibles can make you insecure.
So, pick one of your strengths daily and put it to action. It may be something as simple as giving a buck to a homeless man because you are a kind person. Or volunteer to do the graphs and charts for the next team meeting since you are good with numbers.
Just make sure that you do this purposely—from the conscious desire to put the spotlight on your talents.
. . .
So, let’s wrap it up with a bow—confidence is achievable. Priming yourself for self-assurance daily can help you build up the resilience and courage to stand up to the world and will bring you closer to the version of yourself you aspire to be.
You just need to take the time—and 3 minutes a day is what you can start with.
And trust me, when you make an effort to improve, confidence will show up at your door, invited.