Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Dr. Katelyn Baker Psy.D
5 Steps To Conquer Your Lack Of Confidence
Published Jun 1st, 2021 & updated on Jan 19th, 2022
Sometimes, self-esteem and self-confidence get mixed up. Self-esteem is how much you value yourself and your worth as a human being, and self-confidence is how much you trust you have in your abilities and your likelihood to succeed. The two tend to go hand-in-hand, and a lack of either can really affect your mental health. If you’re dealing with a lack of confidence then today we’re gonna show you how to make confidence your middle name (so you can conquer allll the things)!
What Is Self-Confidence?
Like we said above, being self-confident means you have trust in your abilities, qualities and judgement. You’re not being arrogant, you just know deep down that you’re capable of making the right decision when you’re at a crossroads — or succeeding in that competition! In short, you don’t doubt yourself (which is a very good quality to have — and we’re gonna get into why shortly).
How A Lack Of Confidence Affects You
Having self-confidence is important in relationships, in the workplace, and in handling anything that life throws at you! You can be vulnerable with partners or family members and not feel the need to second guess how they feel about you. You feel prepared to ask for that raise at work and have clear and effective communication with your coworkers. And whatever happens, you know you have the ability to stand back up and try again!
On the other hand, a lack of confidence can be pretty hard on your mental health (and we defs don’t want that). Here are some ways it can show up…
- Social anxiety
- Lack of assertiveness
- Communication problems
- Increased risk for mental health problems
How To Increase Self-Confidence
Now, if you’re wondering how to build self-confidence (and avoid the things above), don’t worry — we’re not gonna leave you hanging! Gaining confidence is not always easy because it takes a lot of willpower to genuinely think highly of yourself. We’re all our own harshest critics, right? So, let’s look at some little steps you can take to walk towards improved self-confidence!
1. Do What You’re Best At
It may sound simple, but you have to play to your strengths (at least at first). Do what you know you’re good at, what you love, and what comes easy to you because it shows you how capable you are! From there, you can take baby steps and work toward newer and bigger challenges. If you start with a suuuper big and daunting project, chances are you’re gonna be overwhelmed. But if you work towards it, each small step will prepare you for the one ahead!
2. Use Positive Affirmations
You wouldn’t think that looking in a mirror and telling yourself how awesome you are would work, but it totally does! If you manifest those good vibes out into the universe, they will come back to you. So, say these with us (or write them on a sticky note and put ‘em on your computer, whatever works)!
I believe in my skills and abilities.
I am intelligent and capable.
Challenges are opportunities to grow and improve.
I show up every day and do my best.
I am becoming a better version of myself one day at a time.
3. Accept Compliments
Accepting a compliment can be the hardest thing in the world (trust us, we know)! When you’re already hard on yourself due to your lack of confidence, it can feel like you don’t deserve that praise and a bit of that imposter syndrome slips in. But, if someone is giving you a compliment, it’s probably because they truly mean it. And you should view that as a little win — it means that someone else already sees in you what you want to achieve! So, next time, don’t brush it off or say something like “Nah, you don’t mean that.” OWN your compliment and push that confidence boost outwards!
4. Stop The Self-Criticism & Choose Self-Compassion
It can be really easy to fall into a loop of self-criticism and being hard on yourself. But, at the end of the day, it’s just gonna foster MORE self-doubt and prevent you from pursuing your goals. Despite what you may have seen some overly ambitious sports coaches do, being mean doesn’t actually help motivate you! Instead, invite allll of the self-love in and adopt “can” over “can’t.” You CAN do this! And, if it doesn’t work out this time then you can always try again!
5. Learn From Mistakes & Set Goals
Messing up is inevitable, so don’t automatically label yourself as a failure if something isn’t perfect on your first try! (Even Steve Jobs made a ton of mistakes before he got it right! And if he hadn’t tried at all…worldwide technologies would look completely different.)
Dwelling on the mishaps isn’t going to help because you can’t go back to change anything. Try to view them as lessons instead. Do you know what goes hand-in-hand with learning from mistakes? Setting goals! Taking risks is a biiiig factor in upping that self-confidence, and the same goes for saying what’s on your mind and taking action when you say you will!
These 5 steps aren’t the easiest to incorporate…but that’s what makes them effective! And, remember what we said about taking risks. Once you’ve mastered the art of self-compassion, accepting compliments and learning from mistakes, you’ll be able to handle any obstacle thrown your way.