How to Build Your Confidence
May 11, 2020
Confidence. You have it… most days.
But you’ve also had those moments... those meetings… those experiences where you put on a smile, pulled your shoulders back and faked it!
You walked in like a boss. Big smile. Sharp style. High heels. Strong ideas.
But inside, you were unglued, uncertain and just praying for the fastest way out—before someone called you out!
When it comes to building confidence, seasoned leaders will give you their best advice. It may be to “fake it” or “faith it” ‘til you make it. Some will tell you to dress the part. Others will guide you through visualization tactics to prepare. Still others will say to be positive or have the right attitude. Talk slowly. Stand tall. Learn more. Practice. Clean your desk. Exercise.
This advice can help you get to a better place mentally and physically. But there’s always more to do, to learn and to achieve. What works right now may not sustain your confidence at the next level or even in your next conversation.
Unshakeable confidence—the kind that responds to both uncertainty and accomplishment in the same way—comes from something you can’t fake, purchase or visualize. It comes from inside, from what you believe.
Women with unshakable confidence share three belief-boosting habits. You can step into greater confidence by adopting these habits too.
THREE WAYS TO BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE.
- Keep your word.
Building your confidence starts with you being confident in your own words. This takes effort. You’ve got to follow through on what you say with what you do. Alyssa’s always quoting Joyce Meyer on this, saying “your who and your do” must match.
To build your own confidence, you must keep your word.
It may sound basic, but how many times has someone repeatedly said something to you and not kept their word?
We see this happening all the time, from canceling plans at the last minute because its no longer convenient to promising a call and never calling. One or two broken commitments may not be the end of the world, but when the pattern persists, the value of that person’s word starts to decrease, right? You stop believing what they say and start watching to see if they actually do it. When words and actions don’t align, you lose faith.
But when people keep their word, it builds your confidence in them.
So, when you keep your word, it builds the confidence others have in you and the confidence that you have in yourself.
Next time you have the opportunity to offer a quick “yes” or hurried promise, STOP! Give yourself time to think (Ecc. 5:1) so that you don’t make promises you can’t keep. If you need some help, use these tried and true responses to give yourself some intentional space.
This sounds great! If you need an answer right now, I’ll have to pass. If I can have some time to get back to you, I’ll check my schedule and see if this is possible.
Thank you for thinking of me! Unfortunately, I already have plans. But... thanks, again, for thinking of me. (Just for clarity, those plans might be taking a bubble bath or playing legos with your kids. You don't have to explain.)
And remember the poetic wisdom of Maya Angelou, “The wise woman thinks twice and speaks once or, better yet, does not speak at all.”
When you keep your word and don’t offer it carelessly, you build your confidence well.
- Be prepared.
Preparation is part of leading yourself and others well, so it should come as no surprise that confidence comes from being prepared.
But not all preparation is the same.
We know you have a planner and lists. We do too! The kind of confidence-building preparation we’re talking about here is more than setting tasks in order or carefully planning your schedule. The preparation we’re talking about takes place behind the scenes of your everyday life. It happens in your heart.
In the Bible, preparation of the heart is the act of being ready for whatever comes your way, regardless of what you feel or what’s happening in your life. It’s a readiness based in purpose.
Paul wrote about it to his protege, Timothy, a young pastor who was “on-call” all the time as his people were growing in their faith. Paul said to Timothy, “be prepared in season and out of season” (2. Tim. 4:2, NIV). Notice Paul’s choice of words: be prepared, not get prepared. He knew that Timothy would face difficulties. He also knew that without a readiness in his heart, Timothy’s confidence would waver.
In practical terms, Paul was saying: be learning, be leading and be loving others with your purpose in mind. No matter what’s going on or how you feel in the moment, remember why you’re doing this. Remember your purpose among these people.
At the time of this letter, Paul was nearing the end of his ministry and life. His advice came from his experience. He knew that plans and people would change. But he also knew a prepared heart could weather any situation.
This is the preparation we’re talking about! When you’re prepared with purpose in your heart, your confidence comes from the inside out. So ask yourself, how ready am I?
- Pursue what’s true.
Confidence comes from the things you pursue, especially in your thought life. This is how it works: You catch a thought (true or not) and keep it. This thought becomes an idea—an idea you internalize. Ideas become beliefs. Beliefs become actions. And actions shape your character. In other words: where your mind goes, you follow.
Confidence comes from catching the right and true thoughts and releasing the others.
In Philippians 4:8 (NIV), we’re given a filter for pursuing and catching what’s true. It’s something you can use to filter every. single. thought. that comes into your mind, whether it’s about yourself or others. Here’s what this verse says: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
This is how you pursue what’s true: you catch your thoughts and put them through this filter.
--> Ask yourself, Is this thought true?
If the answer is YES, move on to the next step.
--> Ask yourself, Is this thought noble (moral and accurate)?
If the answer is yes, the process continues.
You get to keep a thought that makes it to the end of the process and is deemed admirable.
If at any point in the process the thought can’t pass to the next word, let that thought go!
Let us give you an example:
Your last meeting ran long. You’re 30 minutes late leaving work, and you need to get home because dinner isn't even started.
You decide to go through the drive through, for the third time this week. As you pull through, you play the soundtrack of other moms on social media as they talk about the healthy meals they make their kids. You feel guilty. Instantly.
The thought that follows might sound something like, “Clearly… I'm not a good mom!”
STOP. Now process that thought through the filter we just discussed..
--> Ask yourself, Is this thought true?
The answer should be a resounding NO!
--> Now… Let that thought go… and order the apple slices instead of the fries.
This may be new to you, so it could take a minute to get comfortable with this process. To stay focused, pick one area of life as a starting point, just like our example. It might be how you process yourself as a mom or how you think about a particular friend or colleague. Now put your thoughts about that person through this filter.
When you pursue what’s true, you build confidence in your own ability to discern what’s right. You may not get it right every time, but you’ll get better as you go. The more you pursue what’s true, the more you’ll build your confidence and your life well.
Building and sustaining your confidence may not be an easy 1, 2, 3… but it is as simple as making these three habits a part of your everyday life.
You can do this—one step, one thought at a time.
Until next week, keep building life well.