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How to be Confident in 10 Easy Steps.

I sat next to him as we waited for the others to join us for dinner.
He mentioned that his confidence is perceived, yet, he compares himself to others who contain more confidence than him and he knows that his insecurities run deep.
I expressed my relation and thought of everyone I know who comes across as confident and all of the deep and heavy insecurities that we’re all carrying around with us.

The fact is, insecurity doesn’t have to eliminate confidence.
Dear readers, confidence isn’t a privilege given to the beautiful or the talented or the perfect.
Rather, it’s a right allotted to you as a human being.
Which brings me to the good news, which is that you can just take it.

Confidence is a renewable resource, there’s plenty to go around, so, for all of you beautiful souls who keep asking me, “how are you so confident?” Today I’m going to do my very best to find actual steps to confidence, here we go.

1. Focus on others.

 When I’m in a social situation that may leave me feeling nervous or inadequate, I find it helpful to stop focusing on myself. Ask lots of questions, engage in conversation, be genuinely interested in the people that surround you. I’ve found that any method of coping with social anxiety that involves too much focus on myself always leads me to either shutting down or saying something that I will later regret. Putting your personal attention onto those around you not only relieves you of the pressure to be interesting or attractive, but, it’s also a beautiful way to make those around you feel important and valued.

2. Try your hardest. 

I’ve found that I feel the worst about myself when I’m not putting in my full effort. When I try my hardest at the things in my life I know that I am doing everything I can to be the best that I can be. That’s enough for me to feel good about. I hope that you would feel the same for yourself. We can’t control the outcome, but, we can control the energy put into things.

3. Take care of yourself. 

This can mean whatever you’d like. Simply take the time to care for yourself in whatever way you may need. For me that means getting enough sleep, writing everyday, eating more healthy food than unhealthy food, exercising several times a week and having plenty of alone time paired with time spent with people that I love. That’s my personal recipe, yours probably does and should look differently, but, the idea remains the same. If you take care of yourself in the way that you need there’s a higher chance of feeling positive and loved and yes, confident.

4. Stare at yourself in the mirror.

This sounds silly I know. But, just try it. Stare at yourself in the mirror for extended periods of time everyday. Do it for a week. Stare at your eyes for a few minutes, stare at your hips, at your shoulders, stare at the parts of yourself that you hate the most. Do it again the next week but this time, stare at a different part of your body everyday and think something kind about it. I have a theory that if you look at anyone’s face for long enough you will eventually find something beautiful about them. I believe the same for ourselves.

5. Surround yourself well.

I’m going to be honest, I’m selective. I don’t allow very many people into the deep and consistent parts of my life. I have to trust you to be a positive and a steady force before I’m open to sharing my life with you. I view friendship as a community and I want my community to be positive and open and honest. Surround yourself with people that believe in you and people that you believe in. This is a GAME CHANGER!

6. Dress in a way that brings you joy. 

I don’t care what you wear. I don’t care if it’s fashionable or flattering or even if you’d rather just go nude. Dress in a way that makes you happy. Give little fucks about the opinion of the fashion industry and their minions. Wear the things that make you feel happy and comfortable. Be true to yourself and your happiness even when it comes to what you wear.

7. Be authentic.

Authenticity can cure a myriad of ailments. I think there’s no easier path to insecurity than trying to be something that you’re not and then trying to maintain that for extended periods of time. Be as honest as physically possible and watch yourself open up.

8. Give and receive compliments. 

Give honest compliments every time you think them. Share your positivity with the world around you, giving someone a moment of confidence will aid you in your path to a lifetime of it. Related, make sure you receive compliments that are given to you! I’m so very serious about this.
When someone compliments you do not combat it. JUST STOP DOING THAT! Say ‘thank you.’
Now, I’m going to encourage you to go one step further, say ‘thank you’ and then go home and write down exactly what they said to you. Write in a notebook, type it in the notepad of your phone, wherever you can keep it. But, write it down so you can commit it to memory and so that you can go back and re-read it when you’re not feeling quite up to par.

9. Acknowledge and laugh at your insecurities.

One of the greatest gifts I ever gave to myself was poking fun at my insecurities. Try it right now, pick an insecurity. Do you have it? Now, exaggerate it, either think or write out the most extreme version of this insecurity. What’s the worst case scenario of your nose being too big or your stretch marks existing or not making enough money to be cool? Now, read it or replay it to yourself as if it was someone else saying it to you. Now, someone you love. You would tell them they’re being ridiculous! Take them one at a time and mock them until they hold so little weight that they’re insignificant.

10. Remind yourself of what makes you unique. 

One of my favorite things to say is that there is only one you. There are a million amazing people in the world that we’d all like to be. If I could be a mix of Kate Upton, Emma Stone, Maya Angelou, Kevin Durant, David Sedaris and Anais Nin believe me, I would! But, I’m not. I’m me. The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. I’m the only person to exist on this planet that will ever contain my exact experiences, my exact features, the exact gifts that I possess and the way that I engage with those I care for and that’s freakin remarkable! The same goes for you. It’s a miracle that you even exist and I for one would never want to change you.

11. Live a grateful life. 

Here’s an extra for you.

Live a grateful life. Approach everything and everyone with gratitude and you will find it significantly more difficult to get lost in a sea of insecurity. I promise.

Daniel Ballard - April 21, 2015 - 2:00 am

So much goodness here. 🙂

Emily Peele - April 22, 2015 - 10:15 pm

This was a brave and awesome article. There’s always the fear that explaining a joke to someone will effectively rob it of its’ humor but conversely, here you only heighten interest in the active practice of confidence. As one of the lucky few allowed into your personal community, I can say you really do practice all of these steps and in your own sweet way have brought to my attention over the years my tendency not accept compliments. Your gentle attention to that fact has guided much in my awareness towards the long-term impact of shielding oneself from acceptance and love. Hoo-rah for Sarajane and your encouragement of self love in our community.

Denise Carbonell - April 25, 2015 - 7:11 pm

beautifully written.

Donna Dobbins McCall - April 26, 2015 - 7:39 pm

Beautiful advice

Meghan Bollenback - April 28, 2015 - 6:38 pm

I love this list. I completely agree with #5. I am slightly terrified by the thought of #4 to be totally honest, but I think your reasoning is sound.

Elisa Schulman - May 12, 2015 - 1:33 pm

You are a very intuitive young woman. I think this list you have written is an awesome way to go. Great advice for all. So happy I got to see this and now follow your blog. Lauren Stickels , because we are friends on FB is the reason I found Sarajane. Thank you both!

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