How to Increase Your Confidence

How to Increase Your Confidence

What is confidence and why is it important to women and their goal setting efforts? Confidence is the act of believing in yourself and knowing or trusting that you can accomplish whatever goals you set for yourself. Your confidence can increase or decrease depending on situations and various contexts that you find yourself in.


How to increase your confidence isn’t always an easy problem to solve. However, it is always a worthwhile pursuit to set a goal to increase your confidence, because it will compound your success with the rest of your goals. When you believe in yourself you are more likely to do whatever it takes to approach your goals with confidence. However, confidence takes work as well.  Here are some of the best tips on how to increase your confidence – tips based on actual research!


1. Write down all your accomplishments in each area of your life – career, relationships, money, health and so on. Taking time to recognize your accomplishments will provide validation that you are an effective, productive, intelligent person capable of producing the results that you set out to achieve.


2. Celebrate any accomplishment that has personal meaning to you. For instance, let’s say that you’ve just bought your dream home. While you might be tired from all the time invested into the project and a bit short on money, it’s worth celebrating to reward yourself for your efforts. What if I don’t need rewards? Many people think celebrating is silly. By celebrating your success, you are owning your accomplishments and taking time to recognize and integrate those successes into your life. You are also giving yourself that pat on the back, and when you celebrate by doing something that is fun or enjoyable, you are providing a source of positive reinforcement for you brain, programming it to want to achieve even more.


3. Keep a warm and fuzzy file. This means keeping a list of all the great complements that other people have given to you. This could be accolades from coworkers or bosses, or it could simply validating comments that others have said to you and comments that simply make you feel good about who you are. When we like who we are (high self-esteem), this positive stance about ourselves is also likely to increase our confidence in ourselves and the goals that we set out to execute. Read this list when you are questioning your abilities, and I promise that almost every time it will bring you up a few notches in terms of your self-confidence.


4. Create a list of all your strengths and skills. The point in doing this is to make sure that you are maximizing your use of these strengths, and ensuring that you use these strengths as much as possible in your career and personal life. The more you rely on your strengths (activities or pursuits that you’re passionate about and good at) in your goal setting pursuits, career and personal life, the better the results you will experience, and the more quickly you will become successful. Also, people who tap into their strengths receive more positive feedback from others and promotions at work, which leads to increased confidence. When women pursue goals that are aligned with their strengths, they are more confident about what they are doing, they achieve better results and they enjoy the process. This means they are also more likely to invest more time into their goal setting pursuits. Increased confidence in one’s goal, along with hard work and great skills leads to excellent goal setting results!


5. Get in the habit of helping others. Once you know your passions and skills, why not utilize them to help others who don’t have that strength? What are your personal giveaways that you can get in the habit of offering others? Each time you lend a helping hand you increase your confidence because you are strengthening your skills even more. Also, the more people you help, the more positive feedback you receive on your performance and this in turn will boost your confidence. Another great benefit of helping others is that you will experience “helper’s high”, which means your brain will release endorphins that will make you feel good. When you’re feeling good about yourself and your life, you are that much more likely to work on your goals.


6. Conduct a Personal Performance Review regularly. Every quarter of the year, I suggest reviewing each area of your life for success and learning lessons with respect to your performance on your goals. This increases confidence in two ways. First, you can see your growth, and this boosts our confidence. Second, you can learn from your mistakes, and you can see all the efforts that you have put forth, which also increases confidence knowing that we are doing whatever it takes to turn our goals into a reality. You can read more about the personal performance review here.


7. Determine which of your personal qualities you and others like the most. What are the most important or valuable qualities about you? For instance, how do others describe you in a positive way? Do they think of you as witty, friendly or funny? By becoming aware of your key personal qualities you can’t help but feel good about yourself and confident at the same time. Try creating a list of your top 5 positive qualities. Post this list somewhere that you can read it every day.


8. Give yourself permission to feel like a million bucks! How on earth does this increase a person’s confidence? It’s very simple – when you allow yourself to partake in activities that you enjoy – you feel happy and positive, and this mindset will increase your confidence as you are pursuing your life goals. Don’t turn your goal setting efforts into a drudgerous chore. By taking time to enjoy the journey along the way, and to do things that make you feel good, you’ll keep yourself resilient during your goal setting efforts. For instance, for me – sometimes shopping can make me feel like a million bucks. Other times it’s allowing myself to splurge on a nice dinner with family and friends. Some days, it’s allowing myself to sit outside with a coffee to reflect on life. Think of this activity as something that will recharge your confidence batteries when you’re running on low.


9. Give yourself an image makeover. Studies have indicated that when women feel good about their personal appearance, they are more likely to have self-efficacy or self-confidence while pursuing their goals. It makes sense, because when we feel good about how we look and present ourselves to the world, we are more energized and motivated within. Try an experiment with it to see for yourself. Try going to work one day not feeling so good about your outfit or hair, and then try going to work another day making yourself look your absolute best. Notice a difference in your energy and confidence with respect to your productivity goals?  If your image effects your self-confidence, be sure to read my article on how to overcome a negative self-image.


10. Take action, even if you don’t feel confident. Try the old ‘fake it until you make’ theory. Even if you’re not confident that you can do something, pretend that you are. Talk with confidence and act with confidence. See if this in turn increases your confidence. Also, each time that you take action with your goals, you become one step closer to achieving your goal. Taking baby steps will increase your confidence because you know that you are doing your best to move yourself forward. If motivation is an issue, be sure to read my blog on how to instantly motivate yourself.


11. Last but not least, be sure to constantly set goals. Set daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and long term goals. Create a checklist each evening for what you want to accomplish the next day. It works every time! When you know what you are striving toward, you have meaning and purpose which ultimately increases your confidence with each action step that you take toward those goals. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to complete my goal setting and motivation program to get you started!


12. Be sure that you’re not doing things that subtract from making your goal setting a success. You can read about the dangers of goal setting here. Sometimes, we take our goal setting too far, and this can bring our self-confidence down and drain us of our goal setting excitement.

In sum, these are eleven ways that you can try to increase your confidence today. Experiment with them, and see what works for you. We’re also interested in your comments for what has worked for you personally.

How to Overcome a Negative Self-Image

How do we overcome a negative self-image? Every woman seems to have her own limiting beliefs regarding her self-image. Here are seven ways to overcome your limiting beliefs with respect to your image.

How to Overcome a Negative Self-Image – Body Shape Myth

1. Don’t believe that you need to be perfect, thin, at your ideal weight or have a certain type of body shape in order to have a great self-image. In order to overcome a negative self image you must realize that all shapes and sizes of women can look beautiful. I have worked with clients of all shapes and sizes, and I have noticed that some of the best looking and well put together women don’t have ideal body shapes or weight. Why is this? Simply put, they have worked on their own self-image and have invested the time into how to make themselves look their personal best.

Try an experiment to overcome a negative self-image. The next time you’re in a mall, or a public place, take note of women’s images, and notice what you find. You will quickly realize that many well put together women are not ideal stereotypes in terms of their height, shape, appearance and so forth. So, don’t believe in this myth that you need to have a certain type of figure in order to have a great self-image. A great self-image is built upon personal choices, actions and habits of how we put ourselves together each day. A great image is not built on genetics or body shape – that is a limiting belief in and of itself.

How to Overcome a Negative Self-Image – Age Myth

2. Realize that age has very little to do with having a positive self image. Don’t use this as an excuse. Once again, do an experiment and identify older women who have a positive self-image. What do they look like, how do they appear, and what do they say? It’s black and white thinking to believe that just because you are older you can’t have a great image. Remember, building a great image is a choice. As a more mature woman, you can still choose to create a wardrobe that is fashionable and that projects a positive image. If you believe you are too old to feel good about yourself, then that will become your reality.

How to Overcome a Negative Self-Image – Sexy is Good Myth

3. In order to overcome a negative self-image, it is important that you stop sexualizing yourself or seeing yourself as an object in which you are supposed to look a certain way. If you are wearing super tight clothes, showing too much cleavage up top or down below, then you’re probably drawing too much sexual attention to yourself, which can make you feel inferior and insecure as you are seeking approval and attention from the opposite sex. You’ll be less likely to be taken seriously in the business world. If what you’re wearing to work is something you’d wear out on a date, then don’t wear it. If you feel insecure about others looking at you or wondering if others might think your outfit is inappropriate, then don’t wear it.

How to Overcome a Negative Self-Image – Trendy Myth

4. It is a limiting belief to think that you need to be trendy in order to have a great self-image. There is a difference between being fashionable or stylish versus trendy. You can choose to put together a nice wardrobe and accessories based on your own unique preferences, colours and what looks good on your body. In order to overcome a negative self-image, you must follow your own rules, because you’ll be more self-confident. Also, ask yourself, what does trendy mean to you? This is all about choosing accessories that you like – not choosing something just because of a fad.

How to Overcome a Negative Self-Image – I Must Be Rich Myth

5. Money. A person does not need to have a lot of money in order to overcome a negative self-image. While some women will boast about the brand name clothes they buy, or the expensive hair salons that they go to, it is not mandatory to spend a lot of money on producing a great image. I have worked with clients in the past who have put together spectacular outfits largely from second hand stores. Identify just one or two very important pieces of clothing you need, and be sure it is high quality. Set your budget and stick to it. Be creative. Begin improving your self-image by analyzing your closet to see what nice outfits you already have. Take pictures of those outfits so that you remember all the great ‘looks’ that you have. Hang up the outfit on one hanger along with your matching jewellery sets and scarves as well. You might be surprised at what you already have in your closet without having to go out and spend more money.

How to Overcome a Negative Self-Image – Superficiality Myth

6. Many women have a limiting belief that paying attention to their image is too superficial. While image might not be a spiritual pursuit, investing time into your image has many benefits including increased self-confidence, self-esteem, and, according to many studies women (and men) are perceived as more valuable in the workplace when they have a great image. Whether or not it is superficial, your image can have a positive or negative impact on how others view you and treat you. Just remember, paying attention to your image is not superficial if you create a self-image that is unique to your own desires. Often times, people criticize looks they don’t agree with. So, ask yourself what image you would like to create for yourself? If you like it and it makes you self-confident, then it need not be thought of as a superficial pursuit.

There you have it – six reasons on how to overcome a negative self-image. Be sure to check out part of my goal setting program on how to identify and overcome limiting beliefs.