How do you build lasting, stable self-confidence? Maybe you think you already have this type of confidence, or that you did before you experienced a setback. Or maybe you’ve never felt truly confident at all.
Regardless of whether you identify with any of these examples, it’s important to understand that the right type of confidence comes down to what it’s based on. In their new book, Redefining Possible, Dustin Hillis and Ron Alford define confidence as “the authentic expression of having certainty and belief in what you are doing and how you are moving toward your goals.”
To fully understand what this definition means, let’s see how it stacks up against other types of confidence:
- False confidence: This type of confidence says all the right things but feels wrong. It’s that friend or co-worker who always says they’re doing great and on top of things but actually feels like they can’t accomplish their goals and that everything is falling apart. It’s the type of confidence that talks a big game but is internally blocked by belief barriers, negative affirmations, and dangerous excuses.
- Conditional confidence: This type of confidence relies on external factors and is therefore easily shattered. It’s like a student attaching their intelligence to having a perfect GPA and then crumbling when they receive a B: “I guess I’m not as smart as I thought I was!” This is fertile ground for belief barriers. People often attach their self-worth to achieving particular results – even those they can’t control – which is a recipe for disappointment.
- Unconditional confidence: This type of confidence is what Hillis and Alford have in mind. It’s based on your beliefs and habits, which are things you can develop and control. It’s being aware of your fallibility. You’re human and will make mistakes. But it doesn’t accept failures as the status quo. It’s unshakeable, purpose-driven, and focused confidence that operates without conditions.
So how do you develop unconditional confidence?
Step 1: Let Go
Let go of things you can’t control. This frees you to focus on a few important things you can control:
- Your attitude: Positive self-talk can be used to shape your attitude, but the company you keep is equally important. Surrounding yourself with people who encourage and affirm you will go a long way in lifting your attitude. If you spend time with people who are negative and needlessly critical of your dreams, your outlook will suffer.
- Your activities: To get some oversight on how you spend your time, create a list of all of your daily activities, personal and professional. Next, put a checkmark next to the activities you have control over. These are the ones you can influence and will help you reach your goals by developing unconditional confidence.
- Your schedule: Time is the medium in which we conduct our lives. By focusing on your schedule, you gain control of your time. It’s your responsibility to teach others how to interact with you and respect your schedule. Respecting your schedule is an extension of respecting you, which also develops unconditional confidence.
To learn more steps for cultivating confidence, check out Redefining Possible by Dustin Hillis and Ron Alford.