The Best-Kept Secret on How to Gain Confidence

how to gain confidence author samantha eklund

Have you wondered how some people are so confident when others of us aren’t? Want to know what the best-kept secret to being confident is? I’ll hit you with it right away:

Don't compare yourself to others!

While seeing the progress of others can certainly be inspiring and motivating, there’s a difference between utilizing someone’s success for inspiration and simply comparing yourself to them and making yourself feel awful.

The way to gain confidence is by action—your own! Comparing yourself, where you’re at on your journey, how skilled you are, etc., does nothing to help you.

Here are the reasons why:

Reason #1: Oftentimes we focus on the things that are impossible for us to change.

This does nothing but invite in despair, which is paralyzing. Ladies, when we scroll through Instagram and look at all of the unfairly beautiful women, we’re focusing on what we can’t change.

If I focus on how awesome everyone with long legs looks and sit there wishing I had a pair, how does that serve me? I will never have gazelle legs, and that’s that. Instead of dwelling on it and letting myself feel defeated and frumpy the rest of the day, I choose to let it go and not think about it. Instead, you and I should think about all of the wonderful things that make us uniquely us!!!

Reason #2: You have no idea what they’re really going through.

This is especially true if you’re comparing yourself to another business owner or dreamer who so seems ridiculously ahead of you. I have totally been guilty of this numerous times, especially when it feels like I’m giving my everything to my dreams and getting nowhere, only to see this other person skyrocket in their sales and followership.

Thank goodness, though, that when I get lost in this wallowing of self-pity and frustration, my amazing hubby has been there to remind me that I don’t know what’s really going on behind the scenes. While, yes, their life could be as fun-filled and carefree as they make it look online, who knows if that’s the case.

Maybe their business is flourishing at the expense of personal relationships. Maybe they actually hate what they’re doing. Maybe they have a ton of money and the coolest things it can buy, but their life is empty or meaningless. Maybe they actually don’t have any sales but just make it look that way. You never know! Never wish for someone else’s life because you don’t actually know what it consists of.

Reason #3: You don’t know how long they’ve been at this.

Yes, there are absolutely the exceptions and special cases where someone sets out on their dreams or launches their business and immediately they find success. Let me assure you though, those are RARE, and oftentimes they don’t last. As #firstworldproblems as it sounds, finding success too soon can be detrimental to your long-term plan because most of us aren’t ready for that (think child actors or singers who turn into the worst human beings you’ve ever seen because they found success too soon).

For example, I’m an author so I follow authors. One of the biggest names out there right now began her journey by getting a degree in creative writing. As such, it would be easy to think she got her degree, popped out a story, immediately got published, and found fame. But as I’ve dug deeper into her story, I’ve found that it has been a much longer and arduous journey than it appears to be on the surface.

Same goes with almost every “famous” person in every industry. Although it can certainly seem like celebrities come out of nowhere, most of them have been working their booties off most of their life, and what seems like overnight success is just them finally breaking through the barrier after a decade or two of grueling effort.

In summary:

You do your dreams a disservice when you compare yourself to others! You are uniquely and wonderfully made—you don’t need to be like anyone else! The best-kept secret on how to gain confidence is to just be comfortable with who you are and not worry about others.

One of the reasons this is true is because when we’re comparing ourselves to others, we’re typically focus on the things they have that we don’t, which are totes beyond our control (circumstances, physical appearance, etc.).

We also have no idea what their life is really like, no matter how good it looks on the outside. They could just be putting on a really, really good show. And possibly the most important reason this is true is because we don’t know how long they’ve been building the life you see them enjoying right now. Yes, some of them just woke up with it, but most of them did not.

All in all, there are too many things you can’t control or don’t have insight into for you to let yourself lose confidence over how somebody else’s life appears to be.

Action item:

Is there anyone in your field that makes you feel jealous or lousy about yourself because you constantly compare yourself to them? Do yourself a favor and remove them from your life! If it’s a business person or celebrity on Instagram, unfollow them! If it’s a coworker that you rarely actually work with, stop paying attention to every move they make. If that’s not possible—and even if it is, give this step a whirl—ask yourself why you’re comparing yourself to them and why it makes you feel so bad.

For example, there’s another author I follow on Instagram who’s self-published like I am, but it seems like she’s finding success a million times faster than me. She takes the best photos, has the best quotes, publishes two books a year, does speaking engagements, has done her own book tours, and so on. I found myself feeling miserable when I contemplated all of her apparent success.

However, when I took a deeper look at why I was feeling that way, the problem wasn’t with her (obviously). It was my own issue of feeling inadequate for various reasons. So, I made myself aware of those feelings and adjusted my attitude. I still follow her to see what she’s up to and to get potential ideas of things I could do in the future, but I don’t let myself get wrapped up in the ugly comparison game anymore.

Join the convo! ;-)

Have you ever found yourself comparing yourself to someone that you perceived to be better than you in some way? Are you going through that now? If so, try the action item and let us know how it turns out!