How to Build Confidence

What is Confidence?

Confidence can be defined by exhibiting a trust in yourself. It is typically described as a feeling of self-assurance or expectation which arises from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities, based on repeated experience. 

One of the most important aspects of consistent performance is a high degree of confidence. Confidence is built up by keeping small promises you made to yourself (first and fundamental) and then to others. This nurtures a self-trust that is built one decision at a time. For instance, what time did you say you’d wake up in the morning? Did you follow through? Did you promise someone you’d meet them somewhere on a specific date at a certain time? Did you follow through? The fact is that most people over-promise and under-deliver. Developing a habit of not following through, usually is created slowly. It happens for a variety of reasons, depending on the person, but the reasons we see the most often are:

  1. Over-Promising: Most people who have a hard time saying “no” to others, typically find themselves in situations where they can’t follow through because they forget they are human like the rest of us,  and can’t do it all. This happens usually at the start, when someone asks them to do something or attend an event. In the moment, they immediately say yes, before weighing the costs of their decision to comply. They’d rather not deal with the uncomfortable situation of turning down an opportunity (or additional responsibility) and end up finding it easier to cancel last minute or miss a deadline. These are people known for their “flakiness” even if it’s first paved with good intentions. Learn how to say “no” first, and commit to your “yes.” We recommend a book called Boundaries by Henry Cloud to learn how to do this better, especially with family. 
  2. Under-Delivering: Most people don’t watch their words. What they say, in their mind, has no consequence, because they rarely view it as binding. Have you ever said “oh yeah, I’ll call you back,” but then completely forget? Have you ever told a friend you’d attend their event and then in the moment, decided you didn’t feel like driving across town to make the effort to show up? We’ve all been there. This is typically because those who don’t view their word as binding, typically let their emotions run their day. They base most of their actions on how they feel, rather than who they are. This is an important distinction, and mainly comes from a lack of maturity. People who are mature can say yes and follow through because they not only regard their word with weighted measure, but they also trust themselves that they will follow through when the moment demands it, regardless of their emotions. If you want to become successful, you must master your emotions, or your emotions will master you. Oh and by the way, if you don’t master your emotions, you can never master your money (more on that in a later post).

In today’s world, people only do long-term business with those they trust. And trust, most of the time, comes from your ability to express your true, authentic, and real confidence; especially in the beginning. The right type of confidence, real confidence, is built on solidity of character, and character means you are consistent in everything you say and do. “Success is on the top floor, and you must take the staircase to get there.” This means, to be successful, learn to embrace the hard work it takes to build the right kind of confidence that people can trust.  

Confidence, as you’ll see described below, is built by following through on one small decision at a time:

How to Build Confidence in Business:

Stage One

  • Borrow Confidence Work with a Coach with a PROVEN record
    • Work with someone that knows what they’re doing. If you ever have the opportunity to learn and work with someone who has been there and done that, they can save you a lot of time and money if you learn to listen and duplicate. This is where you must learn to first submit your ego, and be the best student possible. The best students of an industry, skill, craft, or business will eventually become the best teachers. 

Stage Two

  • Build Confidence Character & Competency
    • Nurture Self-Confidence: Learn to nurture self-confidence by following through on everything you know you should be doing. Start small, with things you know how to do. Then, stretch yourself just a little beyond your comfort zone. You are learning to put on a new version of yourself and it takes time, be patient. As Joe Dispenza has said, “to create a new reality, you must first change your personality.” All this means, is you have to grow into the person that makes the amount of phone calls, connections, business deals, etc. who would be operating the business you want to create. In the meantime, learn to identify, in yourself, if you fall to some of the over-promising or under-delivering pitfalls listed above, and begin to change them. 
    • Learn Your Craft: Develop confidence by becoming competent on every skill area required by your industry. No exceptions. If you want to have more, you must become more. This might mean learning how to make a proper phone call or learning how to give a presentation. Whatever your industry requires, go after it, and resolve to become one of the best, become a “master.” For more on the Levels of Mastery, check out our previous blogpost. 
    • Visualize Your Success: The best way to predict your future is to create it. Your mind is your gateway to your future. You must do what all successful people do, and that is “picturing what you want.” You do this through affirmations, visualizations, vision boards, meditation techniques, the mirror technique, and Tony Robbins’ favorite; in-can-tations. More on how to do each of these in a later blog. Look them up, they need to become part of your routine if you are going to create your future with your mind. You can create the vivid experience of your future in your mind, and experience first hand, with all the feelings and especially emotions, that come with it. This does an enormous amount for you personally and your confidence. Start with applying one technique that you relate to at a time, and you have at least one key to creating the confidence in yourself that you’ve always desired. 
    • Work It!: We would be misleading you if we didn’t put this on here. Nothing replaces good ol’ fashion hard work. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and you can do all of the methods above to build your self-confidence but if you are not doing the work it takes (every industry is different, so consult an expert) to succeed, then they won’t have the effect they are meant to have. The visualizations, the studious preparations, the following-through on promises are the seeds, but the work is the soil. The soil gives the seed the activation and the environment to grow. A plant cannot grow without a seed, and seed cannot grow without good soil. Therefore, you must work to make your dreams and your confidence grow.

The Five Pillars of Success

From the Book The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne

When you study success, you will notice that successful people follow a similar pattern to achieve a goal. We’re going to analyze that pattern by looking at the five pillars of success. If one or more of these pillars is missing, it will significantly decrease your chances of success.

Start and end with your personal responsibility – recognize that you and ONLY YOU are responsible for exactly where you are in life. Train yourself to bookend your day with good habits in the morning and evening.

Having the 5 pillars in your life provides you with behaviors to “conquer the chaos” in your life. The following list is a recipe that, when executed with discipline and determination, can help drive you to the top!

  1. Planning and Preparation
    • Before you start any task, prepare everything first (tools, set up rituals, etc)
    • Everything you do sets you up for success, or creates another obstacle
    • Eliminate the temptations that stand in your way
    • Attack early in the morning (fewest external distractions) and highest willpower
    • Identify and remove temptation, especially in the morning (different for each person, ex: office drama, negative news, naps)
    • Recognize what gets between you and your goals. What can you do to eliminate the distractions?
      • Happy hours after work? Create obligations after work so you aren’t tempted to go out.
      • Not fitting in a work out? Bring your clothes with you and don’t go home until you stop by the gym.
    • Tips:
      • Don’t check your e-mail until after the first hour of your day, or longer, until your most important tasks are complete.
      • Planning on the front end, saves you time on the back end (meeting prep, meal prep, errand prep)
      • Planning sometimes requires more elimination than preparation – (not taking phone calls during designated times, social media boundaries, etc.)
  2. Professional Accountability
    • Everyone needs the power of a pro
    • We all need a coach – even the best at the pinnacle of performance in sports or the arts
    • Make sure they are experts in what you are asking them to coach you through – don’t hire a chubby trainer!
    • A professional mentor/coach/instructor teaches us what to do and holds us accountable
    • Expert feedback creates better decision-making skills and leads to better habits
    • Transformation requires habit formation
    • You show character and commitment through action
    • You can become the teacher for others in your circle of influence
    • When you instruct by example, it forces you to live by example
      • Demands that you get better at what you’re teaching
      • While we teach we learn and gain a greater understanding when we explain it to someone else.
      • Demands integrity from us that we practice what we preach – practice what you preach, and then practice preaching
      • “Can’t brighten another’s path without first brightening your own”
      • When you’re down, you become the helping hand to someone else and you feel better
  3. Social Support
    • Harness the power of other people – positive people!
    • Your positive social circle can help you win the war and even heal your scars
    • Create your circle – seek them out, build your network, develop a mastermind group
    • You are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most
    • As you go through your day, pretend these people are counting on you and watching you – this will help take the eyes off yourself
    • How you use your time and who you spend it with are the most important
    • Remember, you can’t sore with eagles if you keep hanging around turkeys!
  4. Incentive
    • Treat yourself to big victories
    • Celebrate success, feel the full pain of failure
    • Release the power of delayed gratification – delay the good for the great
      • Example of delayed gratification: not going on a trip when you have debt, or want to hold out for a better one
    • Pay first, play second; otherwise you will play first and pay second, but you will pay with interest
    • Delayed gratification is a muscle and essential for success
  5. A Big Deadline
    • Learn to accelerate your progress by reminding yourself of the limited time you have to achieve your goals
    • Realization that we are all running out of time
    • Without big deadlines, we procrastinate. We must have deadlines – harsh, honest, and unforgiving
    • Attach this power to your daily routine – everyone is productive before vacation – most people get done in a day what they could get done in a week
    • Set limits
      • Example: Set limits on your workday – create a “cutoff time.” This challenges you to get done what you need to get done in a certain amount of time.
    • Without deadlines, tasks last longer than needed without proper planning
    • Develop an end date for each goal – a good starting point would be ideally 90 days or less
    • Parkinson’s law: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for it’s completion.”
    • Emotional deadlines: What do you want to achieve while your parents are still alive? What experiences do you want to have while you are still young?

“Every successful person, no matter whether they realize it or not, has put the 5 Pillars of Success to work for them. They Plan and Prepare properly, they have Professional Accountability and Social Support, they have chosen an Incentive to inspire them, and they have given themselves a Big Deadline.”

Craig Ballantyne, Author of The Perfect Day Formula