Wondering if you want to build confidence? I’m here to advocate for it. Confidence is not something we are born with or something that happens to us. It is something we cultivate, grow and practice.
When we feel confident, we take inspired action, we have the boundary-setting conversations, we take the challenging action. Confidence is what helps us move through the fear and discomfort of the path of the warrior. It is a fundamental part of living a life we love.
How do we build confidence? Listen in to this week’s episode as I speak of a concept that works well for me. Bringing attention to building confidence daily supports me and my clients in living a life we love. This tool is a combination of Jonathan Fields and Kacia Fitzgerald‘s work and is what I call the confidence bucket.
The Confidence Bucket
Imagine a bucket: sturdy, strong, solid. This is your confidence bucket. Think of confidence like a bucket and something that can be filled up or emptied out. Approaching confidence in this manner allows us to think of the things we do during the day to investigate whether we are filling or emptying our bucket.
Are the actions you’re taking and the thoughts you’re thinking filling up your confidence bucket or emptying out your confidence bucket? Are you going through your day putting deposits in or emptying it out? Reflecting on yourself and your actions in this way builds confidence.
Furthermore, the concept of the confidence bucket helps us shut down our inner critic while building confidence. It is a tactical tool to help us focus on the fact that confidence doesn’t just happen. Confidence and building confidence takes deliberate action, best done with small, consistent, daily action.
How to Build Your Confidence
Here are ten ways I deplete my confidence bucket and the top ways I see others emptying their bucket.
1. Frequent Apologizing.
Stop apologizing for circumstances that aren’t yours to apologize for. When I think my apologizing is getting out of hand, I decide to write down when and what I’m apologizing for in the note app on my phone for a day. This usually helps me slow the roll. Try it!
2. Yes as Automatic Default
You know when someone asks you to do something or to go somewhere and your automatic default is yes? Confidence drain for sure! Use language from our boundary podcast with Terri Cole and institute a 24-hour break before saying yes.
3. Deflecting Compliments
Want to build your confidence? Accept compliments. Do you want to deplete your confidence? Deflect compliments. This looks like saying “oh this silly shirt? I’ve had it for years” when someone says they like your shirt. Choose to build your confidence by simply saying THANK YOU.
4. Detaching from your Feeling State:
How often do you get to the end of your day and realize you payed very little attention to the most important person in your life: YOU! Do you get to the end of your day and realize you never checked in to see how you’re physically and emotionally feeling. We have been so programmed to put others needs before ours which leads us to actually believing that others needs are more important than ours. Want to build your confidence? Set a timer to go off 2-3 times a day that reminds you to check in with your sweet self.
5. People Pleasing
When our go to is to think of others before ourselves, to habitually put other people’s needs before our own, our confidence bucket takes a huge hit. For most of my life, I was such an adept people pleaser, my confidence bucket was basically bottomless. When our default is to habitually put other peoples’ needs before our own, our confidence will suffer. Choose radical honesty instead. Know that this will feel uncomfortable as you’ll be bumping up against generations of programming yet bump we must. Say no when you mean no. Say yes when you mean yes. Have an opinion.
6. Self care
Obviously you’ve heard of the importance of self care. Without a doubt, it is crucial in our wellness. Did you also know it’s a confidence builder or buster? Hang with me here because this isn’t the usual self care of bubble baths or manicures. Rather my experience is that many of us aren’t taking time to perform basic acts of care for ourselves.
When we don’t care for ourselves the way we’d care for a stranger we drain our confidence. Build your confidence by choosing differently. Get dressed. Sit to eat your meals. Prioritize your sleep. Furthermore, choose to move your beautiful body daily in ways that support its’ health. Start filling your confidence bucket by taking actions that demonstrate to you (and anyone else watching) that you matter.
7. Speak Negatively About Yourself Aloud.
Not only do we often have a negative inner voice, sometimes we let that voice out in the open. Have you ever found yourself saying things like: “Dumb me!” or “Oh wow, I’m so stupid” or “What an idiot”. Along with that, we can sometimes be passive aggressive with ourselves! Saying things like “Come on, don’t offer me that! You know I don’t have self control” or “ha ha, we all know that won’t happen because of my organization.”
Choose to build your confidence by eliminating negative self talk, in our heads and externally in the world. There will always be people who judge us. Don’t be that person to yourself.
8 Perfectionist Thinking
One surefire way to hurt our confidence is to hold unrealistic standards for ourselves. I see warriors does this when we confusing lack of experience with lack of ability. We drain our confidence bucket when we think we can’t do something because we aren’t good at it or haven’t done it yet.
Don’t Confuse Inexperience with Inability
I choose the mantra “I’m working on it” as a way to allow myself to feel pride on the journey with progress instead of holding tight to perfectionistic thinking. Confusing your inexperience with inability is a big confidence suck and in invite you to adopt a growth mindset today.
9. Unhelpful or Unsupportive Relationships
How do you feel after you interact with the main players in your life? Choosing to stay in unhelpful or unsupportive relationships is one of the biggest confidence busters I see. Not only does their lifestyle and actions influence us, these types of people often support the negative voice in our head.
Why do we stay in these relationships? We have so many reasons. We tell ourselves we have to because:
- They’re family,
- We’ve been friends since grade school,
- They’re neighbors
- We’re afraid. Afraid of hurting their feelings, afraid of speaking up, afraid of what change would look like.
This is one confidence drainer where I’m going to suggest you get a coach. Even if just for a session. Having someone support you while redefining these relationships is paramount. Get support and stop draining your bucket.
10. Social Media Feed Drama
Our social media feed can be an outstandingly awful opportunity for us to deplete our confidence bucket. In the past I’ve encouraged you to investigate how you feel after you’re on social media. Today I’d like to double extend this invitation with the added layer to ask who’s profile were you just looking at? What were you thinking? Choose to take action to fix that leak. ‘Unfollow’ is my tool of choice. Stop feeding your brain opportunities to deplete your confidence.
Human-ing Is Hard
For as long as we are here on earth we are either growing or shrinking….the growing part means somedays we’ll feel GREAT! Those days when everything is going well, laundry is clean, kids are kind, dinner is not burnt. And then the next day??? Could be crap. Full of discomfort. That’s what being a warrior is. Choosing to live and grow a instead of distract and shrink.
What does that look like in terms of confidence and defeating our inner critic? It looks like you have awareness that feeling discomfort and fear are a sign you’re growing, you’re on the path to build your confidence, you’re on the journey of a life well lived. You’re human.
Make this the year you draw a line in the sand and leave your inner critic behind. Turn down the volume of her voice in your head while turning up the intensity with which you fill your bucket. Know that when you feel uncomfortable, that’s a sign you’re on the right path. I am here to encourage you to also think of that future you, that woman who’s consistently and consciously taking actions that fill her confidence bucket. That warrior? She is so damn psyched for the person you’re becoming.
Let’s go warrior. This is your one life. Your one month. Your one day. Today, this moment, is an amazing chance to choose an action to fill your bucket.