6 Proven Principles to Increase Self-Confidence Almost Instantly

How to Increase Confidence

Hey, I'm Emilie!

A certified life coach, meditation instructor, and spiritual entrepreneur. I’m here to help you create a vibrant life around your higher purpose and heart’s desires. 

When you don’t believe in yourself, it isn’t easy to achieve your goals.

For example, if you don’t think you can actually get your dream job, you’ll likely settle for doing mediocre work that doesn’t fulfill you.

If you believe you’re not good enough to be with your dream partner, you likely won’t even ask them out and then will never know what it could have been like to wake up by their side every morning.

One could basically say that self-confidence is the foundation for living a fulfilling life; a lack of it could result in a life full of regrets.

Here’s the thing…

A lack of self-confidence does NOT have to be permanent.  Self-confidence isn’t an innate talent; it’s something you develop.

In this article, I share 6 principles that will help you build healthy, genuine self-confidence (not arrogance).

If you apply even just one of these principles starting today, you’ll notice a real difference in how you feel and act in only a few weeks.

(Don’t miss the sixth tip; it could be a game-changer!)

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Principle #1: Competence Breeds Confidence

John Lee Dumas, the host of the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, often says, “Practice breeds competence, and competence breeds confidence.”

I love this statement. It states that confidence is the result of becoming competent.

To become competent, we must practice our craft, whether it’s writing magnetic blog posts, cooking, or asking someone out.

The more we do it, the better we become at it; and the more competent we are, the more confident we become in our ability to do things right.

This statement is very empowering because it puts the power in your own hands. It’s telling us that confidence isn’t something that falls out of the sky and into the hands of a chosen few but something we acquire through practice.

It’s the compensation we get for showing up, putting in the effort, and being perseverant.

When I created my first online meditation course, I was very self-conscious about having an accent (I’m French-Canadian). I was so scared that people wouldn’t like my accent that I hired a voice talent to record my guided meditations.

It took a good year of practicing making videos and recording guided meditations before I felt confident enough to record the guided meditations myself.

Today, the idea of hiring a voice talent sounds ridiculous. But I had to practice and gain some experience before feeling confident in my ability to do it right. Nowadays, when I lack self-confidence, I remind myself that practice breeds competence and competence breeds confidence.

how to feel confident

Principle #2: Self-Trust Breeds Self-Confidence

The next tip comes from Ed Mylett, a successful entrepreneur, speaker, and podcaster.

He says that self-confidence comes from building a reputation with yourself, and to build a reputation with yourself, you must keep your promises.

When you say that you’re going to do something, you do it even when it gets hard or when you don’t feel like it.

Imagine that your goal is to lose 20 pounds.

Every time you choose not to give in to instant gratification (like saying “no” to that second piece of cake) in favor of your long-term goal (losing the weight), you build trust in yourself that you can do what it takes to attain your goal and that you are the type of person who succeeds.

That’s how you build a good reputation with yourself.

However, every time you break your promises, you betray and diminish that trust.

To build trust in yourself, you must keep your promises. And by doing so, you build character and self-confidence.

Personally, I struggle with that. After coming across the idea that self-confidence comes from building self-trust, I started to create monthly challenges to build a better reputation with myself.

Every month, I set a new challenge. Last month, I did a water fast. This month, I’m not eating sugar for 30 days.

I encourage you to try monthly challenges. They are also a great method to build or break habits.

how to boost your confidence

Principle #3: Don’t Let External Factors Define You

Ed Mylett also says NOT to “tie your sense of self-worth or your identity to external factors,” such as:

✦ Your material possessions: you are NOT the things you own.

✦ Your achievements: you are NOT the results you get. Like basketball coach John Wooden said, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” Focus on your effort, not the result you get.

✦ The approval of others: you are NOT what others think of you (whether their perception of you is good or bad).

✦ Your physical appearance: how worthy you are as a human being has NOTHING to do with your physical appearance.

If you link your self-worth and build your identity around those things, your self-confidence will always depend on factors that aren’t under your control.

You can gain a lot of money and lose it all. You can obtain a promotion and then a couple of years later be let go. You cannot control what people think of you. And if you tie your worth and identity to how you look, you risk becoming miserable as you age.

The more you build a reputation with yourself (which we’ve talked about before), the less you’ll need the approval of others or other external factors to feel good about yourself.

how to become confident

Principle #4: Raise the Bar of Your Comfort Zone

Another tip way to build self-confidence is to continually raise the bar of what you believe you are capable of.

How?

By doing things that are a bit outside of your comfort zone. The size of your comfort zone has a direct impact on how confident you feel.

Getting outside of your comfort zone doesn’t mean that you have to go bungee jumping. Doing simple actions that make you even slightly uncomfortable can train your mind to have the courage to approach challenges with more confidence.

It could be as simple as:

  • Smiling and saying “hi” to a stranger
  • Asking a stranger out for the time
  • Singing out loud in the street
  • Asking someone on a date
  • Taking cold showers
  • Going for a drink by yourself at a busy bar on a Saturday night
  • Wearing a mismatched outfit
  • Donating blood

Make a list of what makes you uncomfortable. Place the items on the list in order from the least scary to the scariest. Start with your least challenging fear. Overcome it. Then, move on to the next item on your list.

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” ― Theodore Roosevelt.

self confidence tips

Principle #5: Take Baby Steps

The easiest way to move toward a goal that scares you is by taking baby steps.

Speaking on stage in front of large crowds may feel a bit scary if you have never spoken in front of even ten people.

But if you harness the courage to enroll in ToastMasters and practice speaking in front of a small audience, after a few months, you’ll likely feel confident enough to speak at small conferences. 

After doing that a few times, you’ll feel confident to speak in front of even larger crowds. Perhaps one day, you’ll have built enough skill and confidence to share the stage with Tony Robbins!

Again, practice breeds competence and competence breeds confidence.

Self-confidence Hacks

Principle #6: Fake It in Private Before Going Public

One of the best ways you can make yourself believe that you can do something – whether it’s asking someone out, speaking on stage, writing a book, or traveling to a foreign country on your own – is to visualize yourself doing it.

Your subconscious mind doesn’t differentiate between something that happens to you in real life and a scene that you vividly imagine with emotion.

If you visualize yourself being the person you want to be and doing the things you want to do, your subconscious mind will believe that you are that person and can do these things.

It’s not a joke; it does work. I overcame social anxiety by visualizing myself being comfortable interacting with people.

You can use the same technique to become more confident and change almost any belief you want. Just imagine being and feeling confident.

Fake it in private, and then go public.

Remember, a Lack of Self-Confidence Doesn’t Have to Be Permanent

Self-confidence is not an innate talent; it’s something you must develop.

Suppose you practice your craft, keep your promises to yourself, don’t let external factors define your worthiness, take baby steps, and visualize yourself being confident.

If that becomes the case, there’s no doubt you’ll become the confident person you want to be, and very quickly.  

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