When I work with young people, they always tell me they want more confidence… they want to know “How to be confident.”
I can relate.
I always heard people talking about being confident, but I never knew what that meant or how to be confident. I saw my friends, and they looked confident, but then when I talked with them, they were insecure about things like girls and grades.
That’s when it hit me… I knew what was missing.
I finally realized what confidence is… and maybe there’s a better word for it: “Authenticity”.
What is Confidence:
The truly confident (and powerful) people I’ve met are all authentic. That means they are who they are, and they are the same around everyone. They never act a certain way to impress people; they never fake their feelings; they never hold back what’s on their heart. They are very nice and genuine, and also extremely powerful and confident.
This is Confidence.
How to Be Confident
When you stop worrying about what other people think, and when you stop doing things because of what other people think, and you’re simply you – authentic and open – that’s confidence.
That means you won’t worry about making mistakes; you won’t worry about looking stupid or saying something dumb; you won’t worry if a girl or guy says, “no” when you ask them out; you won’t really worry about anything. The only thing you’ll pay attention to is being true and authentic to you.
This doesn’t mean you should be rude to other people. It’s important to respect others. But you won’t let other people determine how you think or act.
Think about some of the most confident people you know. Odds are they don’t care what others think. They’re also probably pretty nice and fun to be around.
How to Become Confident
What if you’re not confident and you’re not sure where to start?
At the root of confidence is self-belief and self-worth. Most people simply don’t have a strong self-belief, and they end up seeking validation from external sources. That means a key for developing confidence is helping to realize how great you are.
Here’s a great exercise to become more confident:
On a sheet of paper, write down all of the accomplishments in your life.
- Are you fit?
- Have you helped others?
- Do you have good grades?
- Are you a good athlete?
- Are you a good son/daughter/brother/sister?
- Are you thoughtful/considerate?
Now make a list of every good decision you’ve made:
- Did you choose not to do drugs?
- Have you passed on going to a party that would have been bad?
- Do you make good decisions as a driver?
- Scholastic decisions?
These lists are a great way for a person to start focusing on the greatness about them rather than the lack. Each time I do this exercise with kids, they get an instant shot of confidence because they realize that they are a great person, a good leader, and they feel good about who they are.
What You Can Do:
Think about the decisions you make because you think other people will like them or because you want to “look cool.” Now think about what you would do if there was no one else around. Focus on eliminating those differences and being authentic.
Let us know what you’ll do differently, and what decisions you’ll make coming from a place of authenticity and confidence.