Have you ever met someone and thought, “She just carries herself so confidently. I wish I could be more like her.” Yea?! Me too! One of the reasons why confidence is such a beautiful quality to possess is because it actually attracts people to you! Being with a confident person who is sure of who they are and knows they are living out God’s purposeful plan for their life kinda stirs something up inside of you, doesn’t it? There are two ways to respond to that stirring within your soul… we can either grow bitter with envy, or we can be inspired to live out more meaningful lives and walk confidently on our own path! Doesn’t the second response sound so much better?! I think so, too! But how can we practically build the confidence we see shining so radiantly in others we admire? Let’s talk about a few ways to build confidence and start living a more purposeful and fulfilling life today!
I’ve come up with five quick (maybe not necessarily easy, but simple!) steps to become more confident by the end of this week. All that’s required of you is to go out and make it happen! Maybe someday, you’ll be that confident person that someone else is looking up to… or maybe you already are.
WRITE DOWN THE COMPLIMENTS YOU RECEIVE
Easy enough, right?! This day and age when we constantly have a notebook in our pockets in the form of our cell phone, so it’s quicker than ever to jot something down that you don’t want to forget. Why don’t we keep ever track of the kind things people say about us? If you haven’t done this before, start now. I’ll give you one right here! You love to learn. You seek out knowledge that will improve your quality of life. You’re looking to better yourself and want to be willing to take large leaps to do so. You’re driven by your desire to be the best version of yourself, and that’s one pretty inspiring quality to have!
The next time someone hands you a compliment, don’t brush it off or tell yourself “Oh, they were probably just trying to be nice or make small talk.” No! That compliment likely came from somewhere rooted in truth! So keep a little note on your phone of these nuggets of gold and visit it every time you’re getting ready to perform, feeling a little down, or just need a quick pick-me-up!
ASK FOR ENCOURAGEMENT
The other day, I had a sweet friend send me the following text: “I’m working on a project and I was wondering – would you be willing to share how you feel I’m different or distinct? Working on embracing how the Lord has made me this year!!” Um, how incredible is that?! YES, please! Encouraging others is something people often compliment me on, and it’s a gift I love to use whenever I can. Sometimes I start encouraging people in the grocery store and Justin gets embarrassed and I have to remind myself that I don’t know this person and they probably don’t want to listen to me, but I share anyway because I fully believe kind words hold exponentially limitless power. You really can never know how one small piece of encouragement can change someone’s life.
So don’t hesitate to ask for that gift from your closest friends! They WANT to love you, and friendship looks like meeting people right where they are and loving them in the ways they need to be loved. Sometimes that looks like asking for encouragement and then returning the favor! It isn’t a sign of weakness to ask for strength. So text a friend (or two) right now and say, “I’m in need of a little encouragement today… could you remind me of who I am and why you became my friend?” I guarantee you’ll receive some life-giving words in return!! And if you don’t, write ME and I’ll give them to you!
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH CONFIDENT PEOPLE
The company we keep determines our character… it’s true! You’ve heard it said in more than one saying or catchphrase. The more time we spend with people, the more like them we become. I remember going on a 2 week trip with a friend and by the end of our time together, I was talking more like her and saying the things she would say in response! Our minds are so powerful and though I don’t understand the science behind it all, I know that the people I surround myself with directly affect the person I become.
Who have you been spending your time with lately? Be particular about the people you invest the most of it with. That confident girl you met last week? Start talking to her more! Ask if she wants to get coffee or lunch sometime. Like Taylor Swift once said… “It’s like this blazing bonfire. You can either be afraid of it because it’s so powerful and strong, or you can go stand near it, because it’s fun and it makes you brighter.” Don’t try to put someone else’s fire out… go stand near it so you can start your own!
LIST OUT YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
I think most of the time when we’re struggling with feeling confident, it’s because we latched on to ONE idea and then blindly ran with it. It could be the smallest whisper of a lie… “You really aren’t good at this thing you love to do,” which then becomes, “You should just quit.” Well who says we aren’t good? Who defines what “good” is, anyway?! Even if we aren’t winning awards, doing what we love offers so much more value than public recognition. Don’t you see? You get to paint your life into whatever picture you want it to be. Who cares if someone doesn’t like it?!
So tell me: what do YOU view as an achievement in your life? It could be something as seemingly “small” as the A+ you got on that one paper in high school… in my opinion, no achievement is small if it brings you joy and gives your life meaning. I’m counting the one business book I’ve read so far this year as an exciting achievement for me because I can’t remember the last time I actually finished a non-fiction book and I had set that as a goal for 2017! It’s a double whammy because now I’m confident that 1) have learned more about a specific topic and can use that knowledge to have educated discussions and improve my work life and 2) can set goals and achieve them! Join me in making a list of 3 achievements of yours!
PUT IN THE WORK
That book I read? It talked a lot about how many of us never live out the life we’re meant to live because of the excuses we make. The author calls it Resistance, but in straightforward terms, we tend to do a lot of talking but rarely just sit down, shut up, and do our work. As humans, we are made to be productive and fruitful. A world without work wouldn’t be a world at all. How would we eat? Where would we live? Good work is fulfilling and gives us purpose. At the very least, work is the means to an end, whether that’s making money to eat or pay for where we live, work is necessary and it can be good in almost all circumstances.
One of the best fruits of putting in the work? Confidence! When I shot my first wedding, I was shaking the entire drive to the church because I had no idea what I was doing. No clue. I hadn’t put in the work yet to learn, experience, and grow. Now that I’ve spent years studying my craft, I walk into a wedding day 100 times more confident than I was that first time I shot a wedding because I essentially have a “photography technique encyclopedia” in my head! The more you practice, the better you become… that’s a given! So obviously, the more you put in the work to become better at whatever it is you do, the more confidence you will have.
How can you learn more about what you’re passionate about today? How can you practice it tonight? Your work won’t be useless, even if you fail by the world’s standards. If it’s good and right and brings you joy, you owe yourself the time spent doing it. So what are you waiting for? Go and embrace the person you’re meant to become, and walk into tomorrow with more confidence than you had today.