Self-confidence isn’t something that happens overnight and it certainly doesn’t happen through a magic diet pill. We’ve been conditioned to believe that confidence comes from how people see us – our appearance, titles, wealth, achievements, etc. But when we depend on external validation or people to make us feel confident, that feeling becomes conditional. If we lose that job, relationship or waist size, all that confidence gets swept away. Confidence needs to come from within, a source that can’t be taken away. There’s a reason why it’s called “self” confidence.
A quick and efficient way to help us build more self-confidence is with our decision-making skills – learning to trust ourselves to make choices that feel best for us.
We make a ton of decisions throughout our day that impact our lives, whether it’s choosing our exercise, how we respond to a colleague or smiling at a stranger. I like to call these “micro-decisions.” If we can feel confident in our day-to-day choices, we begin to feel more confident in ourselves. Since we spend most of our days making decisions, if we aren’t confident in ourselves, we can often feel anxious and overwhelmed.
When we “make” these “micro-decisions,” the answer may seem instinctive and automatic, but we’re still faced with a choice: is this decision in alignment with the best version of myself? Will this action bring me closer or farther from my end goal? Those small decisions we make throughout the day may seem meaningless, but they can profoundly impact our lives.
Think about saving $1 each day. Today, $1 doesn’t seem like anything at all. But save $1 every day for a year and you get $365. That’s a round-trip flight somewhere with a beach!
It’s the compound effect – little by little by little creates a lot.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
So how do we practice being more confident in our micro-decisions? Here are a few questions to help guide you:
Is this bringing me closer or farther from my goals and vision?
It’s really challenging to feel confident in your decisions when you don’t know where you’re going or what’s important to you. When we wander through life without a guiding compass to keep us focused on moving forward, things might feel untethered, chaotic, and confusing. When you’ve clearly defined your goals and what it will feel like when you’ve achieved them, this helps us navigate micro-decisions more confidently. Check out this blog to help you clearly define your goals.
How does this decision make me feel?
When we lack the confidence to make decisions on our own, we tend to go to others for help. Sure, there will be times in our lives when we need to go to loved ones to help make a tough decision. But if we’re going to others for a majority of our decisions, we aren’t giving ourselves a chance to build that self-confidence on our own.
When you’re confronted with a decision, instead of going to someone else for guidance, see what you come up with on your own. How does that decision feel? If it feels right, act on it. Be decisive! And if it doesn’t work out, great. That’s more research and evidence that gets stored away for future decisions. You learn and move forward, now with more data in your arsenal.
Am I doing this for myself or for the opinions of others?
This question tends to be the most challenging for my female clients to answer. And I am right there with them. Women not only have to deal with the pressure from society to uphold appearances every single day, but we also hold the burden that generations of women before us had to carry as well.
If you find yourself making decisions based on how others will see you, that’s okay! We’re human. All we have to do is acknowledge it without judgment. Ask yourself: How did that choice feel? What would you have rather chosen? We always have the option to choose again because there are no right or wrong choices in life. Remember, progress is not linear. The more times we fall off course, the more resilient we become.
Self-confidence isn’t achieved overnight. It can feel discouraging thinking about how far we have to go. But when we focus on the small actions one day at a time, the journey seems a little less daunting. We can’t get distracted by how far you have to go, how much you have to learn, everything you have to do, just focus on what you can do today. When we release the expectations around how long something will take or what it will look like, it gives us a little more freedom to enjoy the journey and how everything feels. At the end of the day, it’s a feeling we’re really chasing, right
Big results come from doing the little things right and celebrating your wins and your failures. How are your micro-decisions serving you and your goals?