Like most things in life, confidence is a skill. It can be learned and applied to your life.
When it comes to being confident, you either are or you wish you were. It’s hard to look at people and not compare your skillset with theirs or how many likes they get on social media, or worry about what other people think of you, or even trying to live your life so people will like you.
With how much social media invades every part of life (Post pics of food! Of pets! Of writing! Make sure people know you had the BEST vacation! Show off your awesome life!), it can sometimes feel like everyone has their shit figured out except for you.
When was the last time you danced in public or sang karaoke or talked in a funny accent where other people could hear?
What is holding you back?
Many people might say they would be embarrassed or self-conscious or that people would laugh at them or think they are weird. Which COULD be true.
Except that everyone is the star of their own movie. The rest of the world, all of life, we are all the background characters.
The reason no one is judging your dancing is because they are all too busy wondering what they look like themselves.
The reason that terrible singer is rocking the mic at karaoke night is because they have learned the secret — you are your own biggest critic and no one else cares.
At first, that might feel harsh or scary, but for me it has always been liberating. I can do what I want. No one else in the world is concerned with what I’m doing, and even if they were for some reason, strangers' opinions are of no concern to me. After all, they’re strangers and their opinion doesn’t actually affect me.
It is very difficult to embarrass me (much to my husband’s chagrin), simply because I don’t care what people think of me, so when I am goofing around in public or being silly, I don’t find that embarrassing.
How can you get to that point?
Here are the 3 ways to get and keep confidence:
- Stop caring about what other people think
- Do something you love
- Fake it ’til you make it
When I say stop caring about what people think, I am talking about the world at large. Strangers. The people you pass on the streets whom you’ll never see again, the people who are at the gym while you’re running and flailing like a running basset hound, the random people at the beach where you’re trying to relax but feel weird in a bathing suit.
Those people don’t matter. They don’t affect your life. You don’t affect theirs. There is COMFORT in that anonymity. You don’t know them, why should you care about their opinions of you? You’ll never see them again, why do you care what any of their thoughts are? For all you know, they are dumb as a rock. But in reality, they simply don’t notice you, they are focused on themselves.
With close friends and your family, of COURSE, you should care about them and what they think and their opinions, but I also feel you shouldn’t live your life for anyone else. Do what makes you happy and stop thinking so much about other people’s opinions. Each person is the hero of their own adventure. Literally everyone else is just filler and background.
Do something you love! The best way to feel confident is by doing something you are confident in. Are you a straight-up singing goddess? Are you the best seamstress on the block? Maybe you’re awesome at telling stories or can play the absolute heck out of a piano. Or you are really good at drawing or painting or the best basketball player of all your friends?
When it comes to confidence, it is that feeling you get when you’re doing something you know you’re good at. Remind yourself of that when you need to be doing something you love to do, are good at doing, or simply feel confident in. I’m terrible at video games, but I play them sometimes because my husband loves for us to play them together, and his joy makes me feel more confident and enjoy it. I’m a good singer and I love singing, so singing, even at home alone, makes me feel confident and happy. I am a decent writer, so writing makes me feel good and strong. Becoming a paid writer and building my business makes me feel confident.
You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s true. Fake it ’til you make it. What does this mean to you?
It means walking with your head up and shoulders back, using body language to portray your burgeoning confidence. It means looking people in the eye when you talk and not making a statement into a question when you are the expert. It means owning your knowledge. It means knowing when to ask for help, as confident people are not afraid of needing help sometimes, and knowing when you can do it yourself.
The phrase “fake it ’til you make it” means that you will fake the vibe of confidence until it becomes so much a part of you are that it becomes real confidence and a part of who you are as a person moving forward. No longer faking it, you have assimilated the right mindset and body language to actually BE confident in yourself.
Listen, everyone has insecurities and bouts of being self-conscious. This isn’t about erasing that or trying to tell you those won’t exist anymore. Everyone has those. I certainly do! I get self-conscious about my body or my hairline (I have an autoimmune disease which causes thinning hair, ugh). We all feel insecure sometimes. You aren’t trying to get to a place where NO insecurities exist, I don’t think that’s possible. We’re only human. You want to get to a point where your insecurities don’t keep you down or keep you from living the life you want.
It’s about finding the skills and abilities YOU have and are good at and allowing yourself to be confident and proud of who you are — without having to ask permission from the rest of the world.
What makes you feel confident? What makes you feel gorgeous and strong? How can you help yourself feel that way more often?