2 Keys To Growing Your Inner Confidence
Updated: Aug 17, 2022
I've been coaching for a while now, and the biggest thing I've learned - both for me and for my clients - is that inner confidence is the key to it all. It’s something that all of us struggle with at times, particularly when we are on a journey of self-improvement or launching into something new. It takes time and practice.
There are different strategies, ways of thinking, patterns of behavior, and practical tips for improving your life and feeling better about yourself, but they all rest on the foundation that is YOU. That foundation is the real you, the you that you know deep down you are. The trick is that it takes confidence to find that and to bring out who you are – here are the two keys to real inner confidence.
1. Get To Know Your Values
Personal values are a big passion of mine and I often get carried away with myself when I talk about them. I make no apology for that though – they’re one of the most important things you can know about yourself and are vital in getting genuine inner confidence. Your values are ten thousand feet down inside you, right at the very core of who you are; and they’re the building blocks, the foundations and cornerstones for your life. A value is something in yourself, in others, or in the world that’s most important to you, and include things like beliefs, progress, family, fun, nature, achievement or freedom.
Why is it that some people and situations leave you feeling angry, frustrated, demotivated or deflated? It’s because one or more of your values is being denied, suppressed or repressed – and we experience that as a negative experience, because it’s denying a fundamental piece of who you are. And sometimes we ourselves are the very person that denies, suppresses, or represses a value out of an unconscious fear, like fear of rejection or even fear of success! You know those times when you’ve felt really alive, amazing or buzzing with excitement for life? Those are the times when one or more of your values are being honored, and you can get more of that by living according to them.
Your values are all yours, and no matter what happens, no one can ever take them away. You have to believe that. You can have absolute confidence in them because they’re there all the time just waiting for you to notice and use them. When you get to know your values, you can start to make choices and align your life around them. It’s so simple and it feels amazing because it allows you to live as who you are in the real world.
2. Exercise the Muscle
Confidence is a skill. You can compare it to a muscle, and like any muscle you need to exercise it so that it doesn’t shrink and waste away. The problem is that unlike your biceps or glutes, which tend to stay in the same place, your confidence muscle can be harder to find. How do you develop your biceps or firm up your glutes? By doing exercises that are designed to work that muscle over a period of time until you see the results you were looking for.
It’s just the same with confidence. Let’s say that you’re the kind of person that doesn’t take many risks, the kind of person who goes through each day doing what needs to be done and doing it well, but not really stretching yourself. You might talk yourself out of doing something because it’s too scary or because you think to yourself ‘I’m not good enough,’ ‘that’s not who I am’ or ‘I don’t really want it anyway.’ That kind of person lives within what they know and what keeps them safe and comfortable. The fewer risks they take, the less confident they need to be, and the deny themselves the opportunity to gain confidence.
To work your confidence muscle you need to be prepared to take risks – big or small. You need to be willing to stretch yourself in an unfamiliar direction, to try something new or try something in a slightly different way. You need to open yourself up to the possibilities around you and push yourself to increase what you know, what you do and who you are. The more open you are to risk, opportunity and possibility, the more confident you need to be, and so the more confidence you’ll develop.
You also need to learn to celebrate the tiniest of successes. So often we completely ignore small successes, because we only see value in big successes. But that's just not true! When we choose to celebrate these small wins of acting in ways that align with our values, this grows confidence little by little, day by day. When we have that inner confidence, we act in accordance to the amazing person we believe that we are. And this gets us to our goals in life whether it be weight loss, career goals, fitness goal, relationship goals. So I challenge you to find that confidence muscle and think about what you can do to grow it. It’s not easy but the results can be life changing!