Wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year. As 2021 dawns on us we all want to feel more self-confident. However tough 2020 might have been we can make a fresh start in 2021. This is a great time to recalibrate our priorities. Self-confidence is wonderful quality strongly correlated with success. A lot of times we see people who are highly successful and it is a direct result of their self-confidence. It is not something that you just have when you are born but rather it is something internalized after years of hard work and proving your competence in your area of expertise.

 Here are the 15 ways I have identified to become a more self-confident person. 

Keep track of your accomplishments – Everyone has had success at some point in life either in school, extracurricular activities or college. Write down every single achievement you have ever had right from your start. This can be anything from learning a language, learning a sport, or academic achievements. This will give you a good start on your journey towards increasing self-confidence. Some authors advise to have a victory log of all your accomplishments and looking at this daily increases your self-confidence. The other thing you can do is to write down all your victories from 2020.

Celebrate your strengths – Write down all your strengths that you can think of. It could be self-discipline, honesty, friendliness, courage etc. This boosts your self-esteem and confidence. It gives you a track to run on. A lot of us haven’t taken the time to understand where our strengths lie. Some tools like Strengths Finder 2.0 are great and get to the heart of this task. Once you know your strengths and concentrate on those your self-confidence soars. Everyone has some unique strength and understanding where your strengths lie is the key to get your self-confidence up. It is also the key to your personal growth. At work focus on your strengths and complement your weakness by delegating those tasks to others who are stronger in those areas.

Set some career goals – A lack of self-confidence can also be due to a lack of direction in your career. Setting some long-term goals for your career will surely energize you and boost your self-confidence. The fact that you have a vision forces you to think positive and creates a rush of endorphins and propels you forward. Breaking down those long-term goals into 90 day increments is another great step towards becoming more self-confident. On the side setting some personal goals and achieving those also result in greater self-confidence. 

Study your job description – A well prepared mind gives confidence. Learn everything about your job and the expectations before stepping onto the playing field and your confidence will sky rocket. When you align your day to day activities with the overall objectives that you have been hired to accomplish you will be on the fast track in your career. When you know with acute clarity on what is expected of you and prepare accordingly your confidence will be enhanced.

Read books in your area of expertise – Being the most well-read person increases self-confidence. Now with the internet you can get access to the masters in your field much easier than at any point in history. Read their blogs, listen to their podcasts, document what you have learnt and share it with your network. Other books like Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, How to Win friends and Influence people, The Magic of Thinking BIG, and Linchpin are great starting points in the quest for better skills, strategies and confidence. Some recent books I read are Conscious Leadership, Winning Now Winning Later, How I built this, The Practice, and Post Corona.

Associate with confident people – When you seek out people who are confident that would rub off on you and your confidence will improve. There is a lot of talk about emotional contagion which basically means we become like the people whom we associate with. So having confident role models and spending time with them will increase the qualities making you a more self-confident person. 

Go the extra mile – In your work it is critical to put your best foot forward and keep showing your colleagues, boss and all other stake holders the hunger you have to succeed. If you put in the time and effort, results will be inevitable. Your self-confidence will automatically improve as you are on the extra mile and doing better than others. I think this saying has a lot of merit “When you do more than you are paid for eventually you will be paid more than you are currently.”

Believe in yourself when no one else does – When you start off it is unlikely that others will have confidence in you till the results come. It is in this stretch of life that you should have immense belief in yourself and never give up. You can be down but never stay down. There are so many examples of people overcoming adversity study those who have overcome adversity and revel in your skills/powers. The bottom line is if you have faith in your abilities and develop grit then you will be a self-confident person. 

Stay committed to your long term vision – The most important step for self-confidence is commitment. You need to be committed to your life, career and everything that happens to you. You are the CEO of your life so take bold, audacious decisions and stay focused on your growth. Your self-confidence will soar and you will see victory at the end. If you have a long term vision it will propel you in-spite of your setbacks. 

Stop worrying about what others think – You can only control your thoughts so don’t second guess yourself. Put your best foot forward, pick up when you make mistakes, and act confident. As someone said what others think of you is none of your business. This is a wonderful quote from Henry David Thoreau “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Never compare yourself to others – A lack of self-confidence sometimes stems from the fact that we don’t feel good enough when we compare with others. The only way to overcome this is to totally be comfortable with yourself. Appreciate your uniqueness and don’t be worried if it is different from what others have. Be appreciative of all the wonderful qualities you possess. There will always be people who have more money, better looks but comparisons never help. Appreciate what you have.

Stay Grateful – A lack of self-confidence can also stem from a lack of something. Sometimes we may want a bigger house, better income and so many other things we don’t have. The best way to overcome this is to make a list of everything you are grateful for. Write this down and look at it daily. For example you can write all the positive things you are happy about your job. Just this shift in mindset will help you stay confident that things are good as it is.

Public Speaking – A lack of self-confidence may also stem from an inability to communicate your thoughts successfully to others. The more you improve your communication skills the more confident you become. If you are afraid of public speaking take up a course on it. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to give speeches but the ability to get your ideas is critical to increase your self-confidence and move forward in your career. Talk like Ted is a wonderful book on this topic.

Have a personal mission statement – A lack of self-confidence may also stem from lack of a strong purpose for your life. Without a purpose you will not have the passion to get up every day with enthusiasm. The best way to overcome this is to create a personal mission statement for your life. You can do this by clearly defining what you want your life to stand for, writing what you want your eulogy to say and revisiting this on a regular basis. Once you align your life according to your personal mission defined by you your confidence will soar.

Define your success – A lack of self-confidence may also stem from not defining what success really means to you. There are a lot of external influences which sometimes make us feel inadequate and the best way to overcome this is to clearly articulate what success means to you. It is not for us to decide if someone is successful or not. The only choice we have is to determine if we are successful against the standards and definition we set for ourselves. If we attain success against the definition we set for ourselves then we are a success period. We owe it to ourselves to define what success will be for us.

There you have it the 15 ways to develop rock solid self-confidence. Remember self-confidence is a quality that must be developed if we want to achieve all the goals that we have set for ourselves.

Thanks for reading this post and wish you a great 2021.

The views expressed in this article are my own and do not represent my organization