4 Steps to Lasting Authentic Confidence
“You just need to be more confident,” people always told me.
I’d nod, smile, and do my best to hold back an eye roll. How the heck am I supposed to do that? Confidence is something that always seems so elusive. It’s here one day and gone the next, with no explanation. And authentic confidence? Forget it. That was way too elusive. Authenticity and confidence were two separate things that surely couldn’t go together.
So how can confidence be both lasting and authentic? Let’s explore it.
Defining authentic confidence is the first step towards achieving it. And the best part? It’s authentic to you. It’s unique to what you believe, your personality, and who you are. Confidence to me isn’t going to mean the same thing as it will to you. It’ll look and feel different for each of us.
Here’s a definition: Confidence is having the belief that you are good enough to go after what you really want. It’s the driver that gets you from where you are to where you want to be. It helps to bring your ideas and truth into the real world to create action. Confidence is having the innate belief that no matter what happens, you’ll be alright. You don’t have to win all the battles, get the promotion, or be the most extraverted person in the room to have it. It’s the belief that no matter what happens, you have the tools and self-belief to continue on.
Sounds nice, right? But why does it feel so darn hard in practice?
The truth is this: We need to take risks in order to build confidence…not the other way around! It’s not some personality trait that some people have, and others don’t. It’s a skill that requires practice. So, before we start discovering how to achieve lasting authentic confidence, there’s something you should know. Confidence isn’t something we can just affirm to ourselves.
“I am confident, strong, and capable.”
Sure, it might feel good for a minute or two, but eventually we go back to feeling exactly like we did before. We can spurt affirmations to ourselves all day but without real, concrete action we’re going to wonder if they’re just a bunch of fluff.
The key-take away: we need to act.
Before going any further, here’s a side note for all you affirmation lovers (hey, that’s me too!): affirmations have a time and place in every situation. I personally love them. But when we are thinking about concrete ways to build lasting authentic confidence, affirmations don’t make the list because action is so much more powerful.
So how can we build lasting authentic confidence in a way that feels good? Here’s four ways to build both lasting and authentic confidence in your life:
1| Define authentic confidence for yourself
Like I said before, you need to define what authenticity and confidence mean to you before you can start living it out. Maybe it looks like being true to you and stating your opinion after years of staying silent. Or maybe authentic confidence is claiming your worth and asking for the promotion at work that you know you deserve. It could even be as simple as signing up for a 5k because you love running but always put it off. Authenticity and confidence are entirely unique to you. Once you discover and define what it means, have the courage to be yourself!
2| Make an awesomeness list
Like we learned earlier, authenticity starts with you. What better way to achieve authentic confidence than to recognize all the unique accomplishments and experiences that have made you feel confident? Keep a list close by, whether it’s in a notebook in your purse or in your phone, of all your experiences, events, and accomplishments that made you feel confident and competent. Write them all down then get curious about any similarities that arise between the experiences. What do you notice? How can you recreate that?
Whenever you’re struggling with showing your own brand of authentic confidence,whip out this list for 2 minutes and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. You’re awesome. Allow yourself to realize it.
3| Act with the courage to fail
Remember how I told you that affirmations aren’t the key to lasting confidence? Well, it’s still true and now we’re going to take it a step further. Act instead of affirm. Take action and the confidence will follow, instead of affirming and waiting for the confidence to arrive. You’ll be surprised to find how capable you already are.
To take it a step further, act with the courage to fail. Keep this phrase in mind: fail fast and fail often. Start seeing authentic confidence as a way for you to have courage to fail and continue going. Because if you aren’t failing, you aren’t learning, growing, or becoming the person you want to be. Have the courage to act and fail. You have the ability to pick yourself up (plus, you’ll already feel more confident for trying in the first place!).
4| Prioritize health and self-care
While obvious, taking care of yourself is instrumental in feeling confident. But we often brush it off as not that important. If we don’t feel good about ourselves, how are we going to feel confident, let alone authentically confident? We must take care of the ground work first, which means prioritizing health and self-care. Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat well, and move your body. Just taking those steps alone will boost your self-love meter and help bring about authentic confidence.
There you have it! Four steps to lasting authentic confidence. How do you achieve lasting authentic confidence in your life?
Bailey Opsal is a dedicated life and empowerment coach guiding women to embrace who they truly are, awaken to their truth + live from a place of worthiness. Bailey loves to work with highly sensitive women who struggle with perfectionism, shame, and body dissatisfaction. She helps women seeking self-acceptance build a happier, more fulfilling life by guiding them to unconditional self-love, creating boundaries + letting go of perfect to embrace ‘what is’. Through her 1-on-1 coaching, online presence, free resources + courses, she supports women in awakening to their truth + reclaiming their power. Her free course, 7-days to Body Acceptance (https://baileyopsal.teachable.com/p/body-acceptance-course ), has been completed by women all over the world to reclaim the power of their bodies. You can find her blog + additional free resources at www.baileyopsal.com.