How to Gain Confidence: Build an Arsenal of Success in 5 Fun Steps

how to gain confidence author samantha eklund

In last week’s episode, I covered the reasons why your self-confidence needs to come from within, particularly when it comes the efforts you’re making on your dreams and goals.

In this episode I’m going to introduce you to five super-fun steps on how you can build your confidence, based on past experiences, compliments, good reviews, and so on.

At first glance, it might seem like I’m contradicting myself, but such is not the case. While yes, components of this arsenal are composed of compliments and glowing opinions of others, it’s largely composed of your successes (positive feedback from others tends to happen when we succeed).

For example, take a thank-you note from someone who expressed their appreciation for you being there for them when nobody else was. The goal is not to let their gratitude validate your actions, and thus cause you to expect a heartfelt thank-you from everyone for which you do something nice. No, instead their words should simply a reminder that you did do something beautiful for someone else.

See the distinction? Great! With that in mind, get started on creating your arsenal of success! It’s so much fun and such a cool thing to have on those days when you’re really feeling down.

Here are the five steps:

Step #1: Think of all the things you’ve been a part of in the past.

School projects, plays, clubs, former jobs, committees, volunteer activities, work projects, etc. Which ones made you feel confident and competent? Super accomplished? A help to others? Valued by your peers?

A couple examples I can give you are two particular experiences that date all the way back to high school. I was a part of National Honor’s Society (yeah yeah, I’m a nerd) and got to help with a community yard sale and then a little concert that was a tribute to Frank Sinatra (the king!). Both of them happened before I had a job, so they were my first real tastes of responsibility. I remember being amazed by two things: first, that people trusted me to help put together, coordinate, and run their events. The second thing I remember being struck by is the fact that I could do all those things. I was more capable than I had ever realized! It was such a cool revelation (both times) that it has stuck with me all this time.

Of course, I have a whole slew of other items I’d also write down for this step, but I just wanted to show you that you don’t have to limit yourself based on how long ago something happened. Feel free to even pull from your earliest memories!

Step #2: Think of all the times you got to help, support, or otherwise be there for someone.

Being a bridesmaid or groomsmen in a wedding, anonymously donating a good chunk of money (or whatever you could) to a meaningful cause on GoFundMe, attending a funeral to show your support, dropping everything to drive across the country when family needed you, taking a call late at night because your bestie needed to chat, giving food and water to that homeless person, pulling over to help someone who’s stranded, paying for the meal of the person behind you in the drive through, leaving that waitress $100 tip during the holidays, surprising a coworker with a random present, letting your spouse have the last cookie, etc.

Odds are good that you can think of a ton of these if you just ponder them for a little bit!

Step #3: Dig up old emails, texts, cards, voicemails, etc. and any instance you can think of where people expressed an appreciation for something you did, celebrated a success, thanked you for being there for them, or expressed how much you mean to them.

This is another one that at first you might not think you have, but you do! Just take some time to ponder it. If you keep birthday cards, those are a great place to start! If you don’t, start scrolling through your texts, social media feeds, or even work emails (if you have a great workplace, then you probably have a ton of compliments in those emails! Obviously when making this list, do NOT violate any of your company’s privacy or IP agreements; simply make note of the isolated compliment paid to you).

Believe it or not, I have a running list of these. Any time I get a new one, I add it to the list so I don’t forget about it. If you don’t have a bunch of old ones, start a new list!

Step #4: If you’ve already launched your dream or business, grab positive reviews or feedback of you or your product from wherever they may be posted.

Our dreams are the area most prone to taking a hit when our confidence isn’t high, so make sure you have some positive words about your dreams handy.

Even if you haven’t launched a business yet but have simply told someone about your dream and they had an exciting response, make note of it!

Step #5: Compile all of this! Put this all together in a way that makes the most sense for you!

A pretty PDF? A printed photo book? A scrapbook? Notes in your phone? Whatever you do, keep this wherever you can have access to it in the times when you’re feeling the most down and out.

In summary:

Building an arsenal of success can certainly be your secret weapon on the days when you need a reminder of all the amazing things you’ve already done. To create it, start thinking of all the things you’ve been involved in the past that made you feel like a million bucks, then think of all the times you got to be there for someone. Next, compile all of the times someone expressed appreciation for something you did, celebrated a success with you, thanked you for being there for them, or simply expressed how much you’ve impacted them.

Action item:

Flip through your arsenal any time you’re feeling lousy, or any time you feel like it!

Join the convo! ;-)

Before you go, leave a comment and let us all know which part of this activity was your favorite and how it made you feel to compile of these positive things about yourself!