It Takes Confidence to Build Confidence

It feels hard to portray yourself as a confident person when you don’t feel confident. This is especially true when you start a business and you really want to attract customers.

When you don’t feel super confident, because you don’t have a lot of experience, it can become a barrier to getting started. Your lack of confidence becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You don’t feel confident because you don’t have experience so you avoid situations because you are afraid that people will sense your lack of confidence. Ultimately, you are afraid that if you try you might fail, and the only thing worse than failure is failing in front of someone you want to impress.

Don’t let your fear of other people’s perception of you stop you in your tracks or you may never start. When it comes to confidence, you are your own worst enemy because we are often highly critical of ourselves and do not see all the greatness within us that is apparent to everyone else.

It takes confidence to build confidence: you need to muster up confidence in yourself to begin. Share on X

So, how do you do this? It’s not easy, but it is also not impossible. I have been told by people that I “exude confidence.” This is something I find quite funny because confidence is something I work on every single day.

This is how I do it:

1. Take Care of Yourself

Self-confidence comes from feeling good about yourself and in order to feel good about yourself, you need to take care of yourself.

Create a morning ritual that lends itself to making you feel confident before you hit the office. I get out of bed at least two hours before my first appointment, usually three hours. During that time I meditate, read, write in my gratitude journal, go for a walk, shower, do my hair, put makeup on and get dressed.

When you meditate, it shrinks the amygdala in your brain leaving you feeling less fearful, and more centered and calm. When you read, you are building competence and that makes you feel more confident about what you know. When you journal, you spend time noticing all the good things that happen in your life and gratitude is the ultimate juice for confidence. When you walk, you jump-start your energy, clear your mind and feel good about yourself because you took the time to exercise. When you shower and “get ready” you look and feel better about yourself too.

It’s easy to skip these things every day and rationalize why you don’t have time. If you really want to build confidence, I suggest you try this for two weeks and see the difference it makes in your life.

2. Get Clear

Most people don’t know what they want and that is why they don’t feel confident about taking action. They have big ideas and those ideas are all over the place. When you don’t know what you want, it becomes really hard to focus.

When you have clarity as to what you really want in your life, you feel energized and inspired to take action and you are able to focus on meeting those goals. Clarity helps you feel much more confident about the path you are on and leads you to the next step, baby steps.

3. Baby Steps

When you take action toward your goals and you reflect on your progress daily, you start to believe more in yourself because you can see your wins. If your goals are really big, they can feel intimidating and instead of inspiring you, they can overwhelm you.

Take your big goal and break it down into tiny steps and celebrate your progress along the way. If you can, hire a coach to help support you through this process so you don’t give up and stay stuck. When you get stuck, you lose confidence so it only stands to reason that when you take action, you build confidence.

When it comes to taking baby steps, recognize that when you take your first step, you may fall down. Babies do it and they get right back up and try again.

The first time I got into the pool for adult swimming lessons, I did not learn how to swim.

The first time I spoke in front of 1000 people on stage I got so nervous the night before that I forgot my talk.

The first time I did a video, I wanted to delete it and never do a video again.

Your first is often your worst, but if you keep taking those steps, you will reach your destination and you will build confidence and belief in yourself to overcome anything.

Confidence is perception. You believe others have it and you think you don’t. You are probably wrong on both counts. Share on X

Here is a blog post by Zen Habits I that I love on confidence.

The best book I have ever read on the topic is The Confidence Code.

Now it’s your turn, what’s one thing you have done that has really helped you to build up your confidence? Please share it in the comments, I would love to hear your tips on this very important topic.



18 thoughts on “It Takes Confidence to Build Confidence”

  1. You’ve hit all my major confidence building points, Lisa! It’s an ongoing challenge for me to do all these things, especially when my ego is in there saying, “Is that totally necessary?” Or “There isn’t time for that!”. Never under estimate self care.
    One thing I would add is affirmations. Give yourself a default thought to come back to when you feel your mind spiralling down into negative thoughts.
    Mine’s pretty simple these days: “I’m just going to be Brave”. It’s been a real help through all the new things I’m doing in my business.

  2. Great post, Lisa. I appreciate your openness and honesty. I know I need to get into a morning routine to set myself up for a good day. so grateful you shared what you do. Ellen

  3. Heather Chernofsky

    This really hit home. As an introvert, it is difficult to project confidence at times. I know my stuff but find it hard to present it. I have been working with a life coach and am slowly emerging from this. Definitely, saying affirmations daily and journaling has helped me. I have also started reading the Success Principles (10th Anniversary Edition) by Jack Canfield and have found several pointers to be very helpful.

    1. Love that book too! I agree, and I think I am a bit of an introvert at times too. In a crowd, I have to force myself to engage with others. It is not natural. Don’t let your label stop you Heather, I think you are awesome! I especially like how much you show up, share, and add value for others through social media.

  4. Great tips, Lisa! I loved what you said about baby steps. I remind myself of that whenever I think my speech stunk. There was a time the though of speaking to five people was an impossible feat.

    Speaking to middle grade kids first sparked my confidence. Half ‘seemed’ interested and the other half looked bored out of their minds. I thought I bombed until a handful of kids came up and hugged me afterward and told me how much they enjoy my talk. My message made an impact. YAY!

    1. Thank you for sharing Elke. It is so powerful when you realize that your words have made an impact on someone’s life, especially when that person is so young. Congrats!

  5. I remember a chat with one of my mentors many years ago after a presentation I did. I told her all about how badly it went and that it would be a long time before I did that sort of thing again.

    She said, “Hold on a minute. When the presentation was over and you realized that it didn’t go well, did you see any sign of blood on yourself?” I couldn’t for the life of me figure out where she was going with that so I didn’t say anything; I just looked baffled. That’s when she said, “The next time something you do goes badly, look down and check yourself for signs of bleeding. If you’re not bleeding then you’re just fine. Shake yourself off and keep going. No bleeding, no quitting!”

    To this day it makes me laugh and it gives me the confidence to try all sorts of things because it really isn’t such a big deal if I fail. I can always try again. And without trying, we will never succeed.

  6. Great post Lisa! Love the tips of self care, getting clear on what you want, and then making a plan and completing them with baby steps. I too agree with the use of affirmations and mantras. To which I would only add: make them positive. In order to retrain your brain to be more confident, then provide it with a positive message. Just like driving…Your brain goes where it leads and follows. One other point: in a reply to a comment above, you ‘should’ yourself…in the CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) world, there’s a saying…”Don’t should on yourself or others” to which I add: “you’ll both end up feeling crappy!” Watch the language you use to speak to yourself…turn that ‘should’ into a ‘could’ or an ‘I will’. Building confidence is a set of skills which can be learned, peppered in with self belief, and a bit of the old adage ‘fake it til ya make it’. I’m continually learning and am conscious of this as I prepare to step into the next phase of my business, and chapter in my life. Thank you for sharing this post and being so honest. It keeps it real, believable, and is valuable.

  7. Why do we think everyone else can do it but us? My favourite tactic around confidence is “fake it till you make it”. I learned this from my mom. She was painfully introverted but when my dad left, she had to reinvent herself. So when she started a new job at an art school, she just ‘pretended’ she was confident until one day when she realized it felt natural! Your 2nd tweet is bang on.

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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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