I’ve had a strange relationship with confidence all my life, but I learned (after so many years on this earth) how to do it. For me, there is only way to become more confident in yourself and I’d like to share that with you. If you’re looking for a magic pill this isn’t it. This solution is effective and takes a lot of hard work.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CONFIDENCE
I’ve always had confidence in myself growing up. I was shorter than almost all the kids in my class and I knew I wasn’t the most intellectually gifted. What I did have was my creativity and work ethic. I had some of the top marks at school because I studied hard. I used my creativity to build my confidence by leaning in on my ability to sketch and be imaginative. My relationship with confidence hasn’t always been great because of bullying, but that’s a story for another time.
What are you confident about in your life?
What kind of confidence do you struggle with?
Confidence isn’t a one-aspect thing; you can be confident in some ways and not in others. For example, you may be confident in your ability to tell the most amazing campfire stories, but when it comes to fashion style you are scared to go past a regular t-shirt and jeans. If you’re reading this then you already have a good idea about the type of confidence you struggle with and if I were to guess, I’d say that 90% of readers struggle with the confidence associated with their physical appearance. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. The media makes you think you have to look like a certain person, but you just don’t. And that’s okay.
My solution to become more confident in yourself takes a few steps.
HOW TO BECOME MORE CONFIDENT
STEP 1: GOALS
What do you want to be more confident about?
Be as specific as possible. Do you wish you were a better public speaker? Do you wish you had the confidence to wear purple shoes?
STEP 2: STRENGTHS
What are you already confident about?
This doesn’t have to be big. Maybe you’re really good at drawing hearts or maybe you can make the most mouth-watering peanut-butter and jelly sandwich (mmm!).
STEP 3: LEAN ON YOUR STRENGTHS WHILE WORKING ON YOUR GOALS
The one way to become more confident in yourself (at least through my own personal experience) is by using the things you are already confident about to keep you afloat while building your confidence in the ways that you want.
Now for the secret.
It takes practice to become confident.
If you wanted to become a better public speaker you’d have to start practicing. Start with talking to just one person. You could volunteer somewhere where you could use the talents you are already confident about. Use your ability to draw perfect hearts at a senior’s home. If you’re good with hearts I’m sure you’re good with other shapes too. You can help them make greeting cards for loved ones. Show them one person at a time how to draw. As you get better at that you can show them in groups.
If you wanted to become confident enough to wear purple shoes and you regularly wear black outfits then start by adding subtle colours to your wardrobe. Figure out ways of building into more vibrant colours until you feel comfortable enough to go crazy with it. Let’s be clear though. Something like this isn’t really about us, but about the way we feel like others see us. If you were home alone you could easily wear those purple shoes. Out in public you think everyone will look at your funny. So build that confidence little by little.
YOUR CONFIDENCE IS ALREADY INSIDE YOU
At the end of the day confidence is just in our heads. I’m not saying you should then be able to just switch it on; far from it actually. The only way to become more confident is through practice. Confidence comes from believing in ourselves and if you’re like me then seeing is believing. Practicing and getting better ways are a sure-fire way of proving it to yourself and with that comes a momentum of confidence.
So…what are you looking to become more confident in?
Jonathan How is the portrait photographer behind Made by Ten and specializes in creating beautiful, creative portraits of real women. He uses portrait photography (and this blog) to help them build confidence and love for themselves and creates artistic images for their homes and offices. He is based out of Milton and works in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario, Canada.