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I remember the exact day it happened. It was April 26, 2011. It was a Tuesday, and an ordinary one at that. Except for one thing.  I went to the gas station that afternoon and I said, “$50 on number 8.” There was no hesitation in my request. There was not a slightest high pitch, lilt at the end of my statement. For the first time in my life I was confident in what I was asking.

Just weeks earlier I was apologizing profusely when I had to stop working from a serious bout of food poisoning. In between bathroom breaks, I continued to work on my laptop. Months before that I questioned the validity in ending a relationship with a client who went from benign to ballistic in mere months.

I often got confused as a teenager when calling people on the phone. When I was 25 years old a classmate who I hadn’t seen in years asked me what I was doing for a living. I mumbled, “Loaned Executive.” I was quite proud of it actually, but I was too embarrassed of my pride to spit out the words. This was the result of years of grooming. Never stand too high among the grass. Better to hide than to stick out. Better to blend in with the crowd than to rise above it. But something changed. I went from 13 to 33 in six months.

What sparked this spontaneous bout of confidence?

It took my entire life, but I realized that to live my dreams, not just dream them I needed to strip away at every thought and belief I had about myself. I had to leave the inner critic on the wayside. I needed to rise about the limitations that kept me bounded with fear for so long.

In a few words, I learned to have the courage to be me.

 

How do you cultivate your own self-confidence?

  • Begin focusing on your passion. Read books that fill that need. Attend lectures, workshops. Find people who share that passion with you. When you are filled with what moves you, your confidence will rise to the top.

  • Fake it until you make it. Everyone starts from the bottom. Until you have the confidence that comes from experience, act as if you do. Act as if you already believe you have the skills, talent, and years to back up your career. You may surprise yourself and realize you already do.

  • Communicate with confidence. Everyone experiences a lack of self-confidence at one time or another. Maybe it’s the weight you gained or your inexperience that has you lacking the big C. I find that if I focus on the person in front of me instead of on myself, insecurities and fear fades and my confidence soars.

  • Confidence comes from self-worth. Like a flower that needs care, it’s important to spend time growing your self-esteem. Keep a daily success journal with all the things you have accomplished in a day. Reflect on moments where you surprised yourself and achieved great things. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Nurture your inner spirit by learning to trust your instincts and respect your decisions.
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    Remember that cultivating confidence takes time. Remember that you cannot buy it with fancy clothes. Remember that confidence comes from an inner strength of being not outward actions to impress others.

    Today, I heard a talk on love. The person asked, “What if you were to love yourself just the way you are?”

    If you can begin to practice doing that, you will exude confidence effortlessly. For confidence doesn’t just come from what you wear and how you shake someone’s hand. It comes from the belief that you are worthy of success and happiness and by believing in yourself and your endeavors.

    Pretty powerful stuff!

    What did it take for you to cultivate your own sense of self-confidence?

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    2 thoughts on “Cultivating Confidence”

    1. THIS IS SUPERB! I connect with everything you have written in so many ways. It reflects my own experience of life and the dramatic changes that have occurred over the last 18 months or so. Those erroneous “hiding in the crowd” feelings were mine, however I spent most of my life screaming to get out of that. Making that journey as you describe is the true meaning of freedom. Thank you for sharing a wonderful article.

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