What do you think of when I say self-confidence?

Do you lean into it with a, “Heck yeah—I am good to go. I know who I am, where I am going, and who I’m taking along for the ride?”

Or do you shrink away from the concept, and think, “I really need to work on that?”

Either way, the concept of self-confidence is important for everyone—ourselves, our spouses, our children, our friends, and our colleagues—that it is worth exploring what it means and how we can all get more of it.

People have been studying self-confidence for quite some time, and the consensus definition is simple: a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.

I agree with this formal definition, but I think there is an even simpler way to define it: Self confidence is the ability to make promises to yourself and keep them.

That’s it.

Can you make a promise to yourself and keep it?

Every time you do this, your self-confidence goes up a little bit. Every time you don’t? Your self-confidence takes a hit.

The easiest way to increase our self-confidence is by making small promises to ourselves every day and keeping them.

Forget about big things like losing 30 pounds or getting eight hours of sleep every night. What little promises can you make to yourself and actually keep?

  • Can you eat a salad for lunch today?
  • Can you avoid the Starbucks drive-through and calorie-laden “coffee?”
  • Can you, just for tonight, put your phone away five minutes before bedtime and focus on your breath for those five minutes instead?
  • Can you make your bedroom a phone-free zone so you are not tempted to scroll online when you are lying in bed ready to go to sleep?

What about in the workplace or at school? What are some professional behaviors you need to improve?

  • If you are consistently late meeting deadlines, can you pick just one project and meet the next deadline?
  • Can you leave for work five minutes earlier so you are not late?

First communicating an action to our brain and then actually doing it builds self confidence.

Right now, this minute, find a small promise to yourself that you can actually keep. Do that today, and you will see your self-confidence increase.

Do that tomorrow and see what happens.

And the next day, and the next.

You will become a more self confident person.

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