What Is Confidence, Anyway? 6 Pillars and How to Practice Them

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Hi hi! This is my first blog post I’m publishing here and I’m so excited to get right into it!As a coach who will be supporting my clients with their visions and goals, I wanted to kick off my first blog topic with the root of it all – confidence.

What is confidence, anyway? What do we mean when we say, “that person has the confidence to go after whatever they pursue?” It’s a word we throw around a lot in coaching and wellness lingo but what is it, really, and how does one gain it and keep it?

Dictionary.com defines confidence as “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.” When referring to confidence in self, the formal definition is “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”

Self-assurance, firm trust. K…makes sense. But how does that translate into real life? What actions equate to building that? How do you or I or anyone else on this planet practice that self assurance and trust daily? There’s so many ways to break this down (the list is literally endless), but here are 6 pillars I consider the most important to cultivating deep self-confidence in all aspects of life.

  1. Recognize your value.
  2. Express and clearly articulate your thoughts.
  3. Be your own cheerleader.
  4. Set boundaries.
  5. Go after what you want.
  6. Feel the fear and doing it anyway.
Now, how does one execute these pillars? Read on for some suggestions that relate to each factor.
  1. We each have unique qualities and contribute amazing things to those around us. Make a list of those things. Write them down into reality. They are there! Focus on the good and the good will grow.
  2. Your thoughts, feelings and opinions have significance. Express them. Articulate them. Even if it’s just to yourself at first. Say things out loud. Figure out your strengths when communicating – maybe it’s through writing, maybe it’s through public speaking, maybe it’s through creating. You were given a voice. Start using it.
  3. No one is going to believe in you like you can believe in you (not even your mom!). If you root for yourself, others will eventually have no choice but to believe you and follow suit. Some still might not, but honestly, who cares about them? Play up your strengths and celebrate your accomplishments. Learn from your mistakes and failures, but seriously, don’t dwell on them so much. Focus on the good. Let the “bad” flow in and out of your mind like water.
  4. Say “no” when you want to say no. Keep distance from people who drain your energy or give off a negative vibe. You don’t need to explain anything to anyone. If someone you’ve been staying away from asks where you’ve been, you can decide how much you want to let them in. Also remember that setting boundaries is 100% a form of self-care and circles back to Pillar #1, recognizing your value.
  5. What are your goals in life? What is important to you? What are you good at? Iron it down (again, writing really helps) and plan big action steps. Then, plan 10 small action steps for every big step. When you actually go after what you want, you turn your visions into a reality, and can look back and say “I did that!” What better confidence-builder than the sense of accomplishment?!
  6. Fear can either be a huge hindrance or an amazing driver. Which side of it will you be on? Everyone feels fear sometimes. It’s a natural human emotion. But on the other side of fear is the potential for great accomplishment and self-worth. So feel it, acknowledge it, and push forward. Be your own cheerleader (Pillar #3!) and tell yourself you got this. The reward is likely to be much greater than the risk.

These examples are like muscles that need to be exercised every day in order to strengthen. There are also countless other examples and methods to gain and practice self-confidence separate from the ones I’ve listed here. Finally, they are unique to each individual. Certain tactics might work for some but won’t be ideal for others. That’s what 1-1 coaching sessions explore in more detail. Customized solutions that work for you. You can take yourself to the next level in whatever aspect of your life you are looking to improve. As a coach and fellow human on the other side of the screen, I believe in you!

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