by Cynthia Gregory, MFA, CPCC

One of my amazing clients asked me for a “confidence cheat sheet” the other day. How brilliant is that?

We’ve all heard the old chestnut: “fake it till you make it.” But faking it only goes so far. Besides: who wants to build confidence from a bogus foundation?

A far more powerful way to build confidence is to speak the truth about what makes you so remarkable in the first place. Truth will not only reinforce your self-image, it will also emphasize how you’re already kind of killing it…and only getting better.

I’ve been studying Nonviolent Communication recently, and in a blinding light bulb moment not long ago, I realized that nonviolent communication start with the person in the mirror. Oh, snap!

Here are 8 things you can do this hot minute to build a habit of calling out your total awesomeness:

1.   Celebrate small wins daily. At night before falling asleep, make a ritual of honoring how you showed up in the world. Count your wins. It takes curiosity and hutzpah and about a thousand kinds of courage to simply show up in the world. Sometimes just lifting your head off the pillow is a win. If you wake up in the middle of the night and your minds starts to spin, repeat the process of counting your victories until you drift off again.

2.   Write all the achievements you’ve racked up in your career on small slips of paper. Keep those slips in a handsome container on your desk and pull one out when you’re feeling less than 1000% and you need some self-recognition.  Brave and lion-hearted? You bet.

3.   Help others celebrate *their achievements. All acts of kindness are, in a way, self-serving because they always provide bonus points to the giver. Don’t’ believe me? Try doing something nice for someone else and see if it doesn’t give you a glow.

4.   Keep an inventory of steps taken toward a goal. If you’re like some of the high achievers I work with, you often skip over giving credit to your own rock star work ethic, then go on to beat yourself up for not doing more, faster. The truth of the matter is: you don’t get to the top of Mount Everest without strapping on your boots. So go ahead, track your progress and celebrate it.  

5.   Write down what your inner critic tells you about yourself and then read back those words in a funny cartoon voice to really emphasize how ridiculous the critic sounds. We almost never question the nonstop voice in our head, but maybe we should. I personally make it a policy to never accept disapproval from a cartoon character.

6.   Do something that scares you. You win extra brownie points for doing something that makes your knees quiver a little. It doesn’t matter the outcome. If you petition your boss for a raise and she shuts you down, honor the fact that you reached beyond discomfort and asked for what you wanted. (And then talk to your coach about why you work for someone who can’t appreciate your value.)

7.   Practice gratitude. Appreciation starts with self and when you can see and grasp your own worth, confidence takes hold.

8.   When your sense of self-worth feels wobbly, finish this sentence: “I am awesome because….”

Sound silly and self-serving? Not a bit. This is authentic work, and there’s nothing fake about it.

Want to explore confidence and self-care with a free Discovery Session? Email me at [email protected]