People may think of introverts as “quiet,” but they are also highly capable of being, and feeling, confident. Here’s how.
Confidence plays a big role in what we believe we can do, and how we do it.
As an introvert, I find that confidence is sometimes hard to attain. This can happen in several ways, whether you’re in a meeting and someone starts talking over you or your boss calls on you to answer a question you’re not prepared to answer.
The good news is, throughout the years, I’ve found some methods that have helped me improve my level of confidence. I call it the “Boost or Build” strategy.
The “Boost” strategy is used when you need to inject your confidence level within a short period, and it usually works short-term. The confidence you feel will not last very long. The “Build” strategy is used when you want to have steady and solid confidence that doesn’t go away with time.
Let’s talk about the “Boost” strategy first.
4 Ways to Increase Your Short-Term Confidence as an Introvert
1. Remember a moment when you were confident and at your best.
Think back to a time when you felt really confident. Ask yourself some key questions: What did you do? Who were you in that moment? Where is this feeling located now? Does it have weight, temperature, texture, shape, or smell? What skills, talents, and strengths did you use in that situation? How can you use them in a current situation?
Just revisiting a past confident moment can boost your confidence drastically. The key for this method to work is to relive that moment, using your five senses, and recall that feeling you had. People may think of introverts as “quiet,” but they are also fierce and highly capable of feeling confident!
2. Talk to yourself either in the mirror or while taking a walk.
When in doubt and feeling unsure and unconfident, talk to yourself in the mirror. I know it may sound silly, but don’t be shy.
I do this exercise very often and my favorite question is to ask myself: “Whom do I choose to be now?” And then I answer as honestly as possible.
An alternative to the mirror exercise I do is go for a walk and talk to myself on the way. Nature recharges introverts anyway, so this is a win-win!
You will be amazed how many new insights you get by simply speaking your thoughts out loud.
It may seem crazy to some people, and what I did in the beginning was put in earbuds — without music playing — and pretended I was talking to someone on the phone.
But now I don’t care and just talk and walk. The more confident you become, the less you may care about how it looks, too.
3. Find your confidence triggers, from motivational books to speeches.
Sound has a special power. Every time I listen to Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University, I get a huge boost in motivation and confidence. In addition, I have a playlist on my phone that includes many motivational songs.
What confidence triggers can you set up for yourself? Maybe songs, speeches, podcasts, certain books or audiobooks, pictures, and so forth. Find some triggers and make them accessible for you to use whenever — and wherever — you need a boost.
Download them onto your phone, upload them to the Cloud, save them to your computer, print them out, paste them on the wall — do whatever it takes to remind yourself: “Don’t lose your fight, and don’t dim your light.”
4. Get into the “power pose.”
The well-known TED talk from Amy Cuddy has made people aware of the immediate impact of body language — specifically, the “power pose.” Try it. Put your hands up in the air, wide apart, or lie back, putting your feet onto a table. Do you feel an increase in your confidence level?
So now that we’ve talked about ways to boost confidence in the short-term, let’s talk about ways to build it in the long-term.
And below are the four strategies I use to build long-term confidence.
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4 Ways to Increase Your Long-Term Confidence as an Introvert
1. Journal and write down your “wins” for the day, every day.
No one wants to feel crappy about their day and themselves; however, many of us do exactly that every day. We look at all the uncrossed items on our to-do list instead of those crossed-off ones, and we worry about the things we haven’t done instead of feeling proud of the ones we have. We tend to regret the past and worry about the future.
If we never tell ourselves, “You can do this!” — how can we build confidence?
Start by reminding yourself how capable you are, and how many wonderful things you have done. At the end of each day, journal and write down at least three things that you did well that day. (Little things count, too!)
It may be that you took time for yourself to go for a walk. Or maybe it’s that you complimented a colleague, which made their day. Or it may have been as small as you took a mindful deep breath. (Mindfulness and meditation are great ways for us to get grounded in the present for times we feel we’re losing focus.)
By keeping track of your small wins every day, it helps keep your momentum going and will help you build confidence toward your next goal in life.
2. Learn from your failures.
No matter how competent or confident you are, at some point, you will make mistakes and fail. If you keep this in mind, you will be more confident in facing any challenges you have.
If the mistake was inevitable, just make sure that you learn from it. That way, you’ll learn not to fear mistakes and will be much more confident in trying new things (however challenging or difficult they may be).
3. Say: “One challenge a day makes your confidence, night and day.”
Try saying, “One challenge a day makes your confidence, night and day.” Catchy, right?
The foundation of self-confidence is the belief: “I believe I can.” Positive affirmations are popular for a reason — they work.
Every day, I say to myself: “I am confident.” But in reality, I am still not confident. My affirmation must not be working…
But the problem doesn’t lie in the positive affirmation, but in your belief. When you say, “I am confident and I can do this,” do you truly believe you are confident and you can do it?
There is probably a part of your brain that tries to tell you, “That’s a big lie! I am not confident at all! I can’t do it!” So you sabotage yourself. I get it — it’s hard to blindly believe in what you say. (It’s far easier to believe in what you see and experience.)
To make your positive affirmation work, you have to prove it to yourself by constantly achieving something that you find challenging. That’s why I recommend you commit to a small challenge every day. It shouldn’t be something that takes too much effort. Choose a doable challenge. For instance, commit to going for a walk every day, all week, or stop looking with your phone one hour before bedtime (you can make this part of your evening routine).
Start small. The point is to plant a seed in your mind that, “I mean what I say, and what I say will come true.” So then when you say, “I am confident,” each day, you will start to actually believe it.
4. Become extremely good at what you do.
Confidence varies depending on what area of our life we’re talking about. You may be completely unconfident in one area, yet completely confident in another. As you probably know, to be confident in an area, the key is to be extremely good at whatever it is (writing, planning, or what have you). If you know you are good at it, it will surely make you more confident.
They say, “Knowledge is power,” but I say, “Knowledge is only power when applied.”
Now that you’ve learned about how to boost and build your confidence, what is one action you can commit to doing within the next 24 hours to improve your level of confidence? Feel free to add it in a comment below!
Do ever you struggle to know what to say?
As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.
You might like:
- How to Feel More Confident and in Control as an Introvert
- How to Be Quiet and Fierce at the Same Time
- 4 Meditation Tips for Introverts Who Struggle to Focus
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