Who else is guilty of living by the popular cliche: “Fake it till you make it”? Yup, us too. And while the concept is innocent enough, when you dig a little deeper, faking it isn’t a really a road to making it all. When you decide to put on a facade to make it appear you’ve got it all figured out, you miss out on doing the work to gain the true confidence that you desire. And when you add in the effects on your self-esteem, you’ll realize that “faking it” is simply putting a band-aid on the wound instead of getting clear on the root of the issue.
So how do you gain true confidence? By gaining competence. Whatever area of your life that is affecting your self-esteem, when you do the work of becoming more competent in that area you’ll begin to feel more confident and sure of yourself. Genuinely. And it all starts with getting real.
We’re going to suggest something that is often shied away from in the space of wellness and positivity. Think about the times where you’ve felt less confident or the times when your self-esteem has been at its lowest. Many times, we run away from these thoughts but getting familiar with the cause of your lack of confidence can help you identify the areas you need to work on. This exercise may even surprise you as you find your confidence is tied to only certain events, circumstances, aspects, or situations. Once you’re clear on where your self-esteem and confidence issues are rooted, you can move on to taking the steps to competency in those areas.
After you’ve identified the things that impact your confidence and self-esteem for the worse, it’s time to get informed. You’ll want to educate yourself as much as possible on the areas you’re hoping to improve. If your confidence is struggling because you haven’t reached a certain point in your career, for example, take some professional development class or head to a conference in your industry. Or say, your self-esteem is lacking because you’re not feeling good about your hair, reach out to a professional stylist to not only style your hair but to give you some intimate knowledge about your hair and how best to care for it. Visit the websites, sign up for the newsletters, listen to podcasts. The more you know, the better you’ll feel about what you need to do.
We’ll let you in on a secret. One of the best confidence boosters is success. And the only way to success is to practice. It’s important that you continue your journey past the education step. Putting that knowledge into practice will help you gain competency which will ultimately give you the confidence you lack. Not only does practice inevitably make perfect, but practice gets you in the habit of examining and addressing your self-esteem.
Practice is essential on road to competence and confidence but, getting uncomfortable is where the magic happens. This is the part where you step outside your zone, yes the same one that had you feeling less than confident, and flex your knowledge and new found skills. You’ll refine those areas that need the most work, prove to yourself that you can accomplish what you set out to do, and ultimately become more comfortable in and outside of your box.
Give Yourself Grace
Remember, gaining competence isn’t a race. The worst thing you can do to your confidence and self-esteem is to beat yourself up over the areas that you’re lacking. Recognize the things you want to improve and direct that energy to more productive tasks. Stay the course and embrace the positive changes. More competence = more confidence = more self-esteem.