8 Tips to Crank Up Your Confidence
Confidence doesn’t just happen! Confidence is the result of successfully enduring the heat in life or work – the challenges, obstacles, or learning curves that turn up the heat and show you what you are made up of. Those high heat moments have a way of eliminating the excess and reducing you down to your core.
Maybe you’ve watched Chopped. As foodies, it’s one of the TV shows I like to watch with my family. For those non-foodies, Chopped is a show where chefs are given a basket containing three to five ingredients, some of which are rather unusual, like dried fermented scallops or Durian – an Asian fruit that smells disgusting. They must use these ingredients to create an appetizer, entrée, or dessert depending on the round. Ultimately, one of the four chefs competing wins when they escape being chopped.
More than once, winning came down to the success of a reduction sauce. That’s because if done well, a reduction sauce not only boosts the flavor of a dish, but also makes for an impressive presentation.
Just like the name suggests, the process of creating a reduction sauce involves cooking down liquid ingredients until it thickens and reduces in volume and intensifies the flavor. It’s a process that requires heat and some time.
Reduction Sauces & Confidence
Now, you might be wondering what in the world a reduction sauce has to do with confidence. Stick with me! The truth is that you don’t gain confidence when life is easy, your confidence grows when you are forced to step up and face significant challenges – when you are in the heat of something difficult.
Persevering and successfully coming out on the other side of something tough is empowering. I know when I’ve achieved a significant certification or navigated a huge hurdle in life, it feels good. I’ve proven to myself that I’m more capable than I previously might have believed I was.
But what about those moments where you flounder in the challenge? Feel like the obstacle got the best of you? Maybe you even feel like you failed. Those are pivotal moments! What you choose to focus on makes all the difference. Do you choose to focus on the lack you perceive, or do you choose to focus on the fact that even though there is room for growth, you survived! You are learning and growing even if you aren’t where you want to be yet.
James shares this:
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 (MSG)
The passage suggests that those heat-filled pressure-cooker kind of moments are also what grows our faith. Have you ever considered what the connection between confidence and faith is? You see, confidence isn’t about you mustering up what you need to make something happen, it’s about you trusting God enough to step out courageously and do what needs to be done knowing that God loves you deeply and is everything you need. Ultimately, your confidence is in Him.
Another point made in the passage in James is that difficulties are a gift. That seems odd on the surface, but God keeps showing me that there is a “gift” in every circumstance – even those prolonged heat moments – if I chose to accept the gift. Those moments are a part of the “reduction” process that is making me into more of who I need to be.
As I surrender to the heat filled moments, my capacity increases and so does my confidence, effectiveness, and influence as a leader. You might say my flavor improves as a result of that reduction process.
Fight it, and who I am as a leader will suffer and so will my confidence.
I bet you wouldn’t mind being a more confident! Not a believing-more-in-yourself kind of confidence, but a deep believing-in-God’s-ability-to-work-through-you kind of confidence. One that allows you to operate with boldness. Confidence that makes a difference in the lives around you. That’s a person who radiates confidence.
You have a unique purpose to walk out. My desire for you is that you would walk in that purpose with a brilliant confidence!
So, consider the hard stuff that comes your way joy. Let it boil you down to who you need to be. Rely fully on God in the process and begin developing the following proactive habits to help:
1. Saying “no” More Often
Saying yes to something new means less time for what you are already committed to. Keep saying yes and pretty soon you are overwhelmed, which rarely makes you feel confident. It also conveys to others that you aren’t clear on the activities, opportunities, etc. that are actually best for you. If you are unsure whether or not to say yes, get in the habit of taking at least 24 hours to decide.
If your decision is no, just say “no.” No need to over-explain or get their approval. And the more you say no, the easier it gets. Plus, it feels pretty sweet to know exactly what’s right for you.
2. Prioritizing Daily
I like to plan my day each morning as a part of my time with God. You may prefer to plan the night before. Whenever you plan, make sure your priorities for the day are His priorities, and be willing to flex should He switch them up midway through the day! Don’t miss out on divine interruptions.
Choose to invest your time in the tasks that will produce the results you are after. It may not always be a monetary return. It might be a Kingdom return. And don’t forget that you were made for relationship- people often turn out to be divine interruptions!
3. Noticing Your Self-talk
The number one way I see people working against themselves when it comes to confidence is having horrible self-talk. In fact, many of you talk to yourselves in ways you would NEVER talk to your friends or family members.
You can’t expect others to treat you better than you treat yourself.
4. Setting Realistic Goals
I’m the first to want to challenge myself and accomplish BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). However, if you consistently set goals that are too lofty and you repeatedly fail to reach them, it will chip away at your confidence. Or if you set such big goals everything else suffers in the process, that won’t boost your confidence either.
Instead, create realistic, compelling goals and break them down into smaller sized action steps. Then, each time you achieve a milestone or goal your confidence grows.
5. Honoring Your Values
Your values are what’s most important to you – what you are willing to fight for. Operating out of your values keeps your life in alignment and in turn increases your confidence.
Not sure what your values are? Identify them here.
6. Practicing Gratitude
Another part of my morning routine includes writing down five things about the previous day that I am grateful for. Some days I have six. Some days it is a struggle to reach five. Either way, it helps me focus on the ways I’m blessed and shifts my attitude and heart in a positive way.
7. Stop Procrastinating!
Nothing diminishes your confidence more than putting off important tasks. In essence, it’s like letting yourself down repeatedly. On the flip side, tackling hard tasks is invigorating when they are done!
Stop feeling like everything has to be perfect, because you don’t have to be perfect to be confident! If that were true no one would be confident! Accomplishing tough chores shows you that you are more capable than you thought – especially with God’s help!
8. Celebrate Progress
Finally, take a moment to notice how far you’ve come and celebrate your progress. Acknowledge even the tiniest bit of forward movement! I set goals that I review at the end of each month. Seeing what I’ve accomplished in black and white is motivating! It’s incentive to continue and it boosts my confidence.
Where is the “heat rising” in your life or work? How are you allowing it to crank up your confidence?