How Can I Be More Confident? 5 Spiritual Tips to Build Self-Assurance

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How Can I Be More Confident? 5 Spiritual Tips to Build Self-Assurance

Adapted from Monica and Michael Berg’s Spiritually Hungry podcast. Listen and subscribe here.
May 20, 2024
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We all know someone who exudes confidence. That person who commands the room and holds themselves with poise and self-assurance. Some people are naturally more confident than others, but for most of us, it’s a skill like any other that needs to be strengthened and developed. Confidence is not just a personality trait; it’s the ability to believe in yourself, even when you have insecurities, are vulnerable, or don’t feel your best.

Here are 5 spiritual tips to develop confidence:

1. Use fear as a tool to propel you forward instead of holding you back.

When it comes to negative emotions like sadness, anger, or fear, people often try to avoid, remove, or run away from them as much as possible. But even our negative emotions are important signals to us that there is something we need to pay attention to. They can provide great motivators for us to change in powerful ways.

Depending on how we approach fear, it can either hold us back or push us forward. Identify what fears are preventing you from feeling confident. Is it fear of rejection, failure, looking stupid, not fitting in, or not being qualified? Recognize the emotion when it arises and dig to determine what it is telling you. It could be a signal to focus less on what others think of you or a motivator to prepare and not procrastinate to get something done. Embrace the fear as an opportunity to better yourself.

2. Focus on being curious instead of worrying about how others see you.

We’ve all been in situations where we feel that we’re in over our heads. Whether it’s being the least qualified person in a meeting or having to give a speech in front of a large crowd, the feeling of inadequacy can be overwhelming.

Instead of worrying that you will fall on your face or look uninformed, try taking the approach of a learner and embracing the fact that you don’t know everything. Be really curious. Ask questions when you don’t understand something. Focusing on learning and gathering information can put your ego aside and shift the way you feel in an uncomfortable situation.

3. Resist the urge to compare your beginning to someone else’s end.

Any skill requires a process to develop. You can’t go to the gym for the first time and immediately lift 200-pound weights. Nor can you start a new job and expect to know the ins and outs of the business on your first day. Yet it can feel intimidating when we see others who are so far ahead of us in their development. It can feel like we’ll never reach the level they’re at, so why even try?

Resist comparing the beginning of your process to someone else’s end. Chances are they were just like you at one time – starting at the humble beginning. Take the time it takes to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue your goals. Understand that everyone has their own process and their own speed through which they progress.

4. Seek advice from others, not validation.

It’s only natural that we want people to like or even admire us and to reassure us that we are talented, smart, good-looking, or hard-working. Unfortunately, it’s easy to become addicted to receiving that validation from other people to the point that we stop living authentically. We start to hide our weaknesses and the things we’re embarrassed by because we don’t want others to see them while trying to highlight the things that we're good at, all so that we get their approval.

The truth is you can’t please everyone all the time. Constantly seeking validation from others is a dead end. Ask yourself if you are living your life for you or for them. Learn to trust your own instincts and to show up as the truest version of yourself. You’ll find that the less energy you put into what others think of you, the less you will constantly seek their validation, and the more self-assured you will become.

5. Complete small steps to show yourself what you’re capable of. Competence leads to confidence.

A common misconception is that you first need to find confidence before you accomplish a goal. With that frame of thought, we hold ourselves back when we don’t feel confident. In truth, we build our confidence through testing ourselves and what we are capable of.

Break down your goals into small incremental steps that are realistic for you to accomplish. Taking action and completing these mini goals builds your competence, and the competence leads to confidence. It takes consistent action and practice to develop your skills and your faith in yourself. The more you see what you are capable of achieving, the more confidence you will have in your abilities.

Confidence is not about believing that we are perfect or about showing our best side to the world at all times. It’s about showing up fully as ourselves, flawed, and in the middle of life’s messy process. It’s a skill that you can develop through focusing less on other people and more on your opportunities to learn and grow from every situation. Resist comparing yourself to others or seeking their approval and instead take actions that propel you forward and prove to yourself how capable you really are. That’s where true confidence comes from.

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