What’s the difference between you and the person out there following their dreams? It’s not talent or ability – it’s confidence.

Self-confidence is evident in everyone who has it, and it makes those who possess it admirable and inspirational to everyone around them.

Growing your confidence is a worthwhile project because it’s about more than walking into a room with your head held high. It also helps you overcome fear, maintain a positive attitude, and prioritize self-respect above all else in difficult situations.

Can you imagine what your life could be if you had the confidence you see in others?

Stop imagining a more confident you and make it happen with these confidence strategies.

Be Kind

Kindness is a simple command, but it’s one of the hardest to follow for many reasons.

For some, kindness is said to be a weakness. In others, it’s a praised form of meekness – almost a requirement if we want to exist in society without too much hassle.

But kindness doesn’t mean becoming a doormat. In fact, assertiveness and kindness go hand and hand because you can find your daily battles, including your battle with self-doubt, with positivity.

Kindness is one of the best confidence strategies because it encourages you to radiate light on others while also supporting yourself. Even better, practicing being kind to yourself is essential for learning confidence.

Being kind simply feels good, and it makes you and everyone around you happy. The happiness you produce puts you in a good mood and creates a solid foundation for building confidence because you don’t have to dig yourself out of a hole before lifting yourself up – you’re already on solid ground.

Instead of putting yourself down, you can say, “I was kind today.” You might be surprised at how easy it is to eliminate self-doubt when you have one positive thing to say.

So rather than channeling a bad day into anger or frustration and failing to solve anything, say something nice about yourself (or someone else) and reap the benefits in confidence.

Ditch the Negativity

If you’re like many people, the self-doubt you feel doesn’t always come solely from inside your own head.

Most of us have co-workers, acquaintances, and even friends and family members who rain negativity down on our lives.

Whether they consistently sow doubt in your life or they’re just constantly raining on everyone’s parade, these negative forces likely impact you in ways you may not see right now.

Take the time to evaluate your relationships, especially with those close to you. Do they lift you up or quietly chip away at your self-esteem? How do you feel when during moments of vulnerability or when you’re open and honest with them?

No one’s saying you need to ditch your best friend because she’s a Debbie Downer. But even taking time away from those relationships can give you the clarity needed to re-assess your own self-worth and build up a negativity shield.

Whatever you do and whoever you’re with, be the person who brings positivity into the room, even if you’re not confident yet. Light is infectious, and you might inspire a complete change in tone upon your next meeting.

Get to Know Yourself

One of the biggest confidence busters is trying to live up to everyone else’s standards without knowing who you are.

Getting to know yourself and what you want allows you to build confidence in who you are as a person and your abilities to reach your goals.

How? Knowing who you are calms those inner conflicts by allowing your actions to come in line with your values and feelings. When you’re not self-sabotaging, it’s easier to think and act confidently and see far better results.

So how do you get to know yourself? Consider finding what Meg Selig calls your VITAL Signs.

According to Meg, you need to dig deep to realize what your Values, Interests, Temperament, Around-the-Clock, Life Mission and Goals, and Strengths are.

Here are a few questions to help you get started:

  • What’s important to you?
  • What things draw your attention and pique your curiosity?
  • Do you feel your best alone or absorbing energy from other others?
  • Are you a morning person?
  • What are your character strengths?
  • Where do your talents and abilities lie?

Once you can answer these questions honestly, you’ll be able to act according to your strengths and beliefs to send your confidence soaring.

Stop Censoring Yourself

When was the last time you thought of a great idea but held back because you were unsure?

Maybe you censored yourself because your boss was in the room or maybe you lacked the confidence to speak up.

Censoring yourself and your ideas are more than remaining quiet in a meeting – you’re preventing yourself from being who you are.

While we should all censor ourselves to some degree, like holding back on a sarcastic or catty remark, policing your thoughts and words all the time prevents you from expressing even your good ideas.

When you automatically doubt every idea, you’ll never share them out loud. And without doing that, you’ll find it impossible to gain confidence.

Make it a point to say at least one thing that’s popped into your mind at your next meeting, coffee date, or anywhere else you might otherwise remain mum.

It doesn’t matter if you say something silly. Flexing that muscle will build your confidence and ensure all your best ideas get shared.

Prepare Solutions

A lack of confidence directs our gaze to potential problems, generating negative feelings and re-enforcing self-doubt.

How many times a day do you think:

“What if I can’t…?”

“What if it doesn’t work out?”

Instead of worrying about a problem, dedicate your time to building solutions.

Becoming solution-oriented is a great way to build confidence because each step towards making this shift also teaches you how to hold your head higher.

It all starts with a change in attitude and learning to immediately turn to solutions instead of waving your hands in the air in defeat. When you find yourself facing a problem, stop digging yourself deeper and immediately transition into tackling it.

Preparing solutions also requires sound critical thinking skills. While you’re not focusing on the problem to fixate on frustration, you need to be able to provide enough focus to understand the problem. You also need to use your creativity to think of solutions that might otherwise fall outside the bounds of your normal way of thinking.

By becoming solution oriented, you’re not only tackling your problems, but you’re building your own confidence to take on anything.

Do Something that Scares You

Fear is a significant factor in confidence. After all, a lack of confidence is often rooted in a fear of failure – or even fear of success.

While fear is primal and even healthy, some of our fears get the better of us and begin to control our lives. You need to embrace fear if you want to prevent it from holding you back. And the best way to get rid of controlling fear is to face it head-on.

So, do as Eleanor Roosevelt says, and “do one thing every day that scares you.”

Now, no one is telling you to jump off a cliff or seek out the biggest spider you can find. Instead, focus on broadening your decision-making skills in your daily life. Pick up the phone and call someone. Try parallel parking. Move to the next level in your favorite exercise class.

By removing fear, you’re also tackling the self-imposed limits preventing you from realizing and appreciating your full potential. Naturally, those same limits hold back your confidence.

Go out and be brave. Whether it’s changing up your tried-and-true Starbucks order or telling someone how you really feel, do something that scares you and grow your confidence to new heights.

Appreciate What Your Body Can Do

Body confidence is very much related to overall confidence and self-esteem. Yet, it’s one of the confidence critical skills so many people – both men and women – lack.

Build overall confidence and body confidence at the same time by getting the nutrition you need and doing exercise that makes you appreciate your body.

Focus on the things your body can do, whether its powerlifting or light yoga, and appreciate your ability to do them well.

Not only will you begin to feel better about your body, but good health brings with it a healthy, present mind. You’ll find yourself feeling and looking better than you ever have – and what boosts confidence more than that?

Grow Your Confidence Naturally

If you’ve spent years wondering how to build confidence, know that the best way for you to build confidence isn’t to change who you are but to appreciate who you are. When you can find the good in yourself, it’s easier to see what others see in you. Once you’re there, you can build all the confidence you need to tackle your biggest fears and march toward your biggest successes.

Do you have any confidence boosting tips? Share your stories in the comments below.