I am lucky enough to be a business coach to many amazing women and a common challenge I see is self-confidence. If this is your challenge too then read on, because here are 5 easy things you can do to build genuine, authentic, self-confidence.

Reflect on your proudest moments

Make a list of the things you have achieved that you are most proud of. It could be overcoming an obstacle, nailing a key project, learning a new skill, becoming a parent, or doing something nice for someone around you. They don’t have to be global achievements, just things you’ve done when you’ve been at your best.

Firstly, take a few moments to enjoy the reflection of these great moments and the lovely memories they bring. Then ask yourself:

  • What was happening for me when I was involved in these proudest moments?
  • What was happening in the environment around me?
  • How could I create more moments like this, more often?

Get to know your strengths better

Your strengths –  key qualities and behaviors – are a source of achievement, pride and energy IF you are aware of them and harness them well. The challenge is that too few people really know their strengths and intentionally plan their activities to harness them. Your strengths will help you with the most difficult challenges you face, you just need to use more of them, more of the time.

Ask yourself:

  • When have I been most fulfilled? What strengths was I using?
  • What qualities do others consistently praise me for?
  • What activities energize me? What strengths am I using?
  • What are three actions I could put in place to help me use more of my strengths more often?
  • How can I stop doing activities that don’t align with my strengths and replace them with those that do?

Take small steps

My favorite quote is “The journey of one thousand miles starts with one small step”. Every day I see people trying to climb mountains in a single step. They set a crazy-big goals and want to achieve them almost instantly. Then they get disappointed and even despondent when they don’t succeed.

Rather than achieving crazy-big, the important thing is that you just start walking. Small steps in the general direction of where you want to go will build momentum. GET MOVING and let yourself feel happy (and dare I say confident) that you are on your way towards your goal.

4. Tune in to your negative self-talk

We all have voices in our head, chatting away. Sometimes these voices can be supportive and build us up, and sometimes they can be terribly critical.

Often  we aren’t aware, at an intelligent level, of what is being said. So it is important that you start to “tune in” to this self-talk. Consider it as if you were an unemotional scientist reflecting on a research subject. Notice what is happening, who and what is around you, when the voices are supportive and likewise what’s happening when that self-talk gets more negative.

Make decisions based on what you’re noticing about who and what is giving you energy and who or what is zapping your confidence.

Ask yourself:

  • What situations, people and environments do I need to be in to have more confident moments?
  • What action could I take when I notice my self-talk turn negative?
  • Are there situations, people and environments I should reduce contact with or stay away from all together?

Ban the “C” word – CAN’T

We put so many limitations on ourselves with the word can’t. “I can’t” is one of the earliest phrases a child learns and we repeat it often in our lives.

Next time you think “I can’t” add the word YET to the end of the sentence to feel an amazing transformation. “I can’t…yet” gives you permission to consider if you actually want to put in the work required to do whatever it is you are talking about. And you know what? It’s totally OK to say “I actually don’t want to, in fact, I choose not to!” Can’t is passive and gives away your personal power. “I chose not to” is empowering, it owns the outcome and so will you.

About the author:

Shannon Lyndon-Lugg is the founder of Lyndon Lugg Consulting (www.lyndonlugg.com). An Executive Coach with expertise in Human Resources, Leadership Development and Diversity. Shannon works with companies to unleash potential, improve leadership, inclusion and diversity, culture and performance.