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The Secret to Instant Self-Confidence

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~Dalai Lama

Self-confidence is an interesting concept.

You see, we all have ways of feeling good, bad, low, light, and peaceful. We all have triggers that tell us when to experience these states.

The really interesting part is that you can challenge how you respond to those triggers and change the strategies you use.

There have been countless times in my life where I haven’t felt absolutely confident.

For example, I used to be very shy around people. I just didn’t believe I had anything to say, so I used to freeze. I was afraid of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong people.

It felt safer to be quiet, but after awhile it got really boring—and when someone is really bored, they’re often in fear because they’ve put so many restrictions on themselves.

What helped me work through the fear and start being me was tapping into a feeling of confidence, or sometimes just another positive feeling.

It could be as simple as thinking of something that made me feel good, or even thinking about the fact that we are all human, and we are all made of the same earth.

It’s not going to happen overnight, but once you become aware of the triggers in your life, you can exponentially increase the amount of bliss you experience.

You can try to resist feeling happy all you want, but sooner or later you will start experiencing that bubbly joyous feeling inside of you, because that is who you really are deep down inside.

That is who we all are.

The Strategies We Have

Children are naturally confident. They ask and get what they want, or at least they try to.

Have you ever seen a child want something? They keep asking until they get it. It doesn’t matter if it’s an expensive bike or a new doll.

They are endlessly creative in influencing their parents or anyone else who can help them get what they want.

We are all naturally like that, but somewhere along the way, people started opposing our actions. For some of us that meant becoming shy, while for others it meant losing their natural self confidence.

The good news is that you can tap back into that confidence if you want.

How Do You Tap Into Your Natural Confidence?

As I mentioned before, we all have triggers and strategies. We have triggers that make us feel stressed and bad, and strategies to deal with those feelings.

A strategy could be as simple as finding a friend who taps you on your shoulder and looks into your eyes, smiling.

It’s a feel-good strategy that you know generally works for you.

So what is your self-confidence strategy? Because I’m sure there are times when you do feel confident, so it’s not like you lack confidence altogether.

In fact, you may be awfully confident about the fact that you lack confidence.

Maybe you feel low when you’re around men (if you’re a woman) or women (if you’re a man).

When you’ve identified the events that trigger lowered confidence, you can now question the strategy you’ve adopted to feel comfortable in those situations.

What do you do when something triggers low self-confidence for you?

Do you go inside and imagine the worst possible outcome? Do you say negative things to yourself in your head? This is your strategy for dealing with your low confidence, and it ends up being a trigger for feeling bad.

If you start to look within, you will recognize these strategies and triggers and realize you can change them.

It’s fascinating how we are the ones in control, even though we may not think we are.

Changing Your Strategy

Often becoming aware that you have a strategy is enough to break it.

The start is to identify what triggers low confidence for you, and then observe what happens inside of you. What do you feel? What do you say to yourself? How do you act?

Your strategy may have been put in place by a younger you. It may have been there to protect you from something that is no longer there.

When you’ve identified your strategy in a certain situation, you can start imagining how you would like to be different.

You can change your inner state and become more confident by asking yourself: How would I be without this thought/strategy?

So imagine if you didn’t feel bad in a particular situation. What would it look like? What would you think instead? What would you do instead? Would you be happier, feel lighter, or even be more outgoing?

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Your Natural Power is Inside

You are already aware at some level how naturally confident you are. When you remove the negative thoughts, strategies, and beliefs, you become your ideal self.

You have the power to easily become who you want to be. You see, you are already the person you’ve been dreaming about becoming.

As you take that in, it may sound confusing, but it’s completely true.

It’s just that you have a lot of layers on top of that ideal person that stops it from shining through. All you have to do is slowly but surely start letting go of the layers.

Letting go of them isn’t always easy because you’ve spent years accumulating all of it, and it’s designed to protect you from the “outside dangers.”

A good example of this is when we interact with someone and put on a façade because we think it will please the other person.

However, each time we do this, we move further and further away from who we truly are.

It takes significant effort for us to stay self-conscious and unhappy, but once you remove the layers, you become that person you want to be—just by removing the strategies that get in the way.

Once you accept this, you will discover a feeling of freedom that you’ve never experienced before.

The thing we all really want is to feel good, so why not let go of the thoughts and beliefs that are in the way and do it right now?

Photo by Yashna M

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001642911068 Jen Nguyen

    This is something I must work on doing. I used to be a very confident kid, of course a natural case like many other children. But growing up in an abusive household, I was not allowed to be confident. Confidence here is viewed as troublesome. My parents keep thinking I’m going to run out and go get crazy wild with drinking, etc. I have no intention on doing drugs or drinking, it’s ridiculous. I was never allowed to talk at home, or at school whenever either of my parents were around. I was forced to stand in line every morning without saying a word until class started. At home my parents never liked talking to me really.. everytime I wanted to chat with them when I was a kid, I was always pushed away saying I am a big annoyance.

    With that said, I grew up thinking everyone is annoyed whenever I open my mouth. I have noticed that happening though, I can be a bit chatty… but a habit I have that a few friends of mine have pointed out is that sometimes I’d talk quite a bit and then all of a sudden shut up, even though nobody’s telling me to stop talking. I often find it hard to socialize now – not that I’m allowed a social life anyway. So I try going out of my way to be out of the house as much as possible (I’m 20) and just improve on things.

    This guy I been seeing hates it when I’m totally quiet. I’m just always so scared I’ll say something to get him mad, etc. But he has constantly told me it’s okay he understands but it can’t hurt to say other things that would be on my mind either.

    I’m gonna start going to counseling next week to improve myself and such. hopefully it goes well.

    This was a wonderful article esp mentioning about speaking on what’s on our minds. Thank you.

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  • Laura

    Hang in there Jen! Let your light shine – people are going to listen and respond without violence and annoyance when you share what’s on your heart. One day you will look back at this time in your life and realize that your pain became one if your strengths. Namaste.

  • Whoa_blerta

    Great post.

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  • Vineeta Makhija

    Hi Jen.. Reading your story gave me a recap of wat happened to me previously.. I went through the same.. I always try to read stuff on how i improvise my confidence.. so during tht I have learnt a few things like:
    I always try to be with people who love me ( for eg. my friends)
    I try my level best to understand myself.. I may make a few mistakes but What I really say to myself is I love myself unconditionally.. I accept my mistake and be line ant and then I try to solve it..
    Just tell me one thing: How would you deal your own kid if they were going through the same thing?? Just deal yourself tht way..
    I wish you good luck for the counseling session but you know deep down inside your heart you already know all your answers.. Isn’t it? God Bless.. :-)

  • Tayvondemby

    Wow! This post is life changing! Thank you!!!!!!!

  • Gzardo

    I read on a book that this happens because we think too much, all the time. And in the craft of thinking, we expose ourselves to the restraints our bad experiences have put on us, making us feel the same way we’ve felt in the past and triggering the fear sentiment.
    All this happens because we are not living in the “present” moment: here and now. If we could perceive that, and instantly change the focus of our mind to the “here” and the “now”, paying attention to our REAL feelings in THAT moment, everything will become instantly allright. Cause we all are just that: we are allright!

  • Gzardo

    I read on a book that this happens because we think too much, all the time. And in the craft of thinking, we expose ourselves to the restraints our bad experiences have put on us, making us feel the same way we’ve felt in the past and triggering the fear sentiment.
    All this happens because we are not living in the “present” moment: here and now. If we could perceive that, and instantly change the focus of our mind to the “here” and the “now”, paying attention to our REAL feelings in THAT moment, everything will become instantly allright. Cause we all are just that: we are allright!

  • Juanitarn76

    What book is this from? Sounds like something I’d like to read. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Jen!

    Just by you being aware of what’s going on means that you can start taking steps in the right direction, which you already have, and that’s awesome.

    We aren’t always put in the best of circumstances in life, but when you get through them, you will be much stronger for it.

    One step at a time and keep rocking!

  • http://www.wakeupcloud.com/ Henri Junttila

    Thank you for reading! :)

  • http://www.wakeupcloud.com/ Henri Junttila

    Thanks!

  • http://www.wakeupcloud.com/ Henri Junttila

    That’s true, although it doesn’t work for most people (from my experience), which means that there’s a piece missing, or at least I think there is! Some can do it, but some don’t.

  • Dan

    Thanks for the thought provoking post. I take issue with this sentence, though:

    Maybe you feel low when you’re around men (if you’re a woman) or women (if you’re a man).

    It stands perfectly well without the parenthetical comments, why alienate some people (such as myself) by adding them?

  • Janschlupp

    While you are totally right to question heteronormativity, I honestly think a phrase like that is inserted so unconsciously that I dont think the Author meant anything by it. Just throwing that out there.

  • Yassine

    “it’s better ot be hated for what you are then loved for what you’re not” I red this quote few weeks ago and just after reading this article I and especially qhen you talk about the layers on the top what we truely are and the façade we put on to please the others, I can picture what is realy going on!! great article!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001762960544 Prashant Parekh

    Letting go of them isn’t always easy because you’ve spent years
    accumulating all of it, and it’s designed to protect you from the
    “outside dangers.”

    A good example of this is when we interact with someone and put on a façade because we think it will please the other person.

    so true  thanks

  • http://kharmah.com Kharmah

    Hi, Henri:
    Great post another time.

    You say well when you talk about the layers over our ideal person that we already are. The Sedona Method talks about nine layers of feelings or emotions. I think this is an easy way to let go these feelings and be who we already are. Do you know it?

    Gracias
    _________

    Hola, Henri:
    Gran artículo de nuevo.

    Dices bien cuando hablas sobre las capas que hay sobre el “yo” ideal que en realidad ya somos. El Método Sedona habla sobre nueve capas de sentimientos o emociones. Creo que es un modo sencillo de soltar estos sentimientos y así ser quienes ya somos. ¿Lo conoces?

    Gracias

  • Pingback: Cómo Recuperar la Confianza en Nosotros Mismos « Kharmah

  • http://the-nail-biter.blogspot.com/ Melaniereno

    I use a cute voice to talk to myself when I realize I’m engaging in negative thinking or having imaginary fights with people in my head. It really helps and goes a little something like this: “Hey Smelly Melly, oops you did it again, but it’s all good girl!” 

  • Samantha Pozzie

    This was a great read especially at this moment in my life. I have been dating my boyfriend for a bit over a year now. When we started dating I was confident, happy, rational. I was me. Although nothing is certain, in the first few months of the relationship, I was CONFIDENT that my boyfriend had very loving feelings for me (more than I had for him) and he had good reason to have those feelings because I believe I have loving qualities. As time went on, my uncertain feelings for him developed into love. Once I felt love for him, I suddenly realized I have something/someone to lose. Thats when I lost myself. I lost my confidence. I have become irrational about everything he says and does. I question if he still has those same feelings for me he once had. I upset myself about this because he is a great man and we have a wonderful bond. I feel at this moment, I have ruined (or negatively influenced) the relationship and his feelings for me. He continues to tell me that he loves me, we share nearly everyday together and he still talks about moving in together so I try to use that bit of evidence to boost my confidence however, I know deep down the confidence must come from within. I am working on my irrational thoughts with my mentor though I would also value any advice or thoughts from this crowd.
    Peace be with all.

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  • Varsha

    hi i used to be very confident during my college days and i was an outstanding student.But when i started my career in a reputed MNC ,i lost all of my confidence when seeing people around me and seeing their tremendous work(Awesome oding skills etc).I am struggling to work .Deep inside i developed a thought i am not fit to work or survive.Please help me.:(

  • MohamedIqbal89

    You remind me of myself. I fizzled out due to negativity when things were going on so perfect and at the right moment I just lost confidence in myself and just could not do it. I just wish I had the confidence to do it rather than feel that it was too good to be true. I just consoled myself by saying that god made me do it this time and the next time, god would guide me and make me do it

  • MohamedIqbal89

    Awesome coding skills are due to copy paste. Try copy pasting effectively and testing things rigrously and you might just come out successful. It happened to me also in the start of my career.

  • http://twitter.com/BuyTaoOfBadAss Tao of Badass

    Thanks for the tips! I also use these tips found at my blog:

    http://baytaobadass.com

  • Sid

    Hi Henry,

    Interesting post. Although, I am not sure I follow and agree with this part. I am open to the idea of accepting that I may have misinterpreted and henceforth wrong.

    “It takes significant effort for us to stay self-conscious and unhappy, but once you remove the layers, you become that person you want to be—just by removing the strategies that get in the way.”

    You spoke about the strategies that we can use to be monitor and combat the negative stimuli that may prohibit us from being confident. How, then, can we let go of these strategies in order to let the real us shine? Aren’t those two contradicting suggestions?

    Thank you for reading.
    Cheers from Helsinki!

    Sid

  • abhi

    Good article. The Golden rule is – The more you socialize the more confident you will become in social situations. The confidence can be hard to develop If you give yourself the right tools to cope with life’s ups and downs, you will be much better equipped to build confidence and a belief in themselves.
    -Abhi

  • pomagranite

    O my goodness this is me all the way! I ruined a really good relationship this way and I hate that a do this :(

  • Francesca

    I suffer from low confidence. I constantly get asked by people why I’m so quiet and it chips away at my self esteem even more. I don’t think shyness is a personality trait that you’re born with, I think it’s a by-product of trauma and we stay quiet to protect ourselves from further humiliation. Great points in this article. I’m going to practise them even more because why the f**k should I have zero confidence? Why should anyone have low confidence? Who has that right to make us feel inferior? All of us humble people need to step our game up & show the world our bright & colourful personality! x

  • B

    Very nice article, you hit the nail on the head. I think much the same, happiness and confidence starts from within. Come take a look at my site “Strengthinconfidence.com” and tell me what you think, people

  • francine123

    I am now in the same position and I am going to do everything I can to get that girl that I was when we first met back … and back for good! It’f funny how we are the ones making ourselves unhappy and also our partner unhappy when you could have a loving and fun relationship! It actually baffles my mind.

    Todays the day I am going to make a movement for my own interest, but especially for my boyfriend. Its not fair what so ever for him to have to deal with this. I really need to get back to the old me.

  • eran

    all i have to say is… holy shit, thank you! I mean every word. greatly appreciated

  • Ashley Wells

    It is important for kids to have self-confidence and realistic, positive perceptions of themselves.

    http://raiseselfesteem.net

  • Ashley Wells

    Develop a positive approach to providing structure for your child. All kids and teens need to accept responsibility for their behavior. They should learn self-discipline.

    http://raiseselfesteem.net

  • Ashley Wells

    Your child will naturally become more self-confident and resilient, if you can model the two necessary ingredients to self-esteem in your role as a parent.

    http://raiseselfesteem.net

  • nic

    I’m at a very strange time in my life. I’m in a pretty frightening position with two wonderful young daughters to support and suddenly no job. Alongside the worries that come with this, is the realisation that my inability to achieve anything solid (a good living, regular wage etc) or too maintain any sense of comfort and generally having failed, or perceived failure, in regards to all attempts at doing anything, is down more or less entirely to my own lack of confidence, Iv’e had moments of confidence but generally believe I am going to fail.
    At the moment I feel very strongly that I need to get over this for the sake of my family, and the thought that I might be letting them down is destroying me.
    I’m 34 years old and failed at hundreds of thing whilst managing to make a humble living out of them, I’ve done every minimum wage job a man could do, run business’ (into the ground) and failed miserably whilst lacking the confidence to do what I KNOW I can do,
    and as much as I know it, I cant seem to shake it.
    Negativity is the modern control mechanism, think of it this way, when you watch the news and some awfull dewpressing negative story about something awfull involving children or other innocents, it’s clearly distressing, BUT DO WE NEED TO KNOW, of what importance to me is that slice of negative world drama, it is nothing more than a leach on my sense of well being, and it is everywere, like a modern epidemic, like a word virus, a virus of souls, negative be thy name. I know my triggers now, I can deal with most of it, but can I escape the imposed negativity of the all encompassing hyperculture of society. (um do you have to escape something that doesn’t exist).
    but yes this article made me feel better, after a good ten years of confidence battering behaviour, earlier this evening I had a sense of urgency and it was all like one quick move or your dead, now it’s one more quick move ‘l ‘uckin’ kill me.

  • Guest

    I enjoyed reading your article. Its very My struggle is slightly different to what most people have. I feel very low confident when I am around my own people. By my own people I mean my friends (I have a lot of friends but not close ones), my family (other than parents and siblings) and people in my religious community (the most) and people who know me from a long time and share a lot of life events with me. I feel that when i speak infront of these people i will say something stupid or something wrong or ill just freeze and they will judge me and laugh at me. Most of these people that i feel low confident go to very good universities and have been blessed with education from the start. I have been struggling with education because of financial difficulties in the earlier times and now I am thankful to be blessed with quality education. I used to live in a small town and moved to the big city to pursue my secondary education at with minimal english literacy. I have been made fun of by my close friends (particularly my best friends) at the time for not being able to speak the language properly and it haunts me till today. Also, the fact that i moved to the big city a little late made it very difficult for me to make real close friends that would stick around till todate. Now its very hard for me to make friends. Actually i will rephrase that, its very easy for me to make friends but not friends who are girls. I have grown up with boys (my brothers) and maybe that could be the reason if not some other one. i must also confess that i am a perfectionist and i judge myself a lot and i am very hard on myself. i judge my self physically and always point out the imperfections and feel I am not that pretty where as a lot of “my friends” and other people consider me pretty. Altogether these are the reasons i feel very low confident around my own kind of people. However when it comes to strangers or class presentations i can assure you that i have always been the most confident and always give my opinion during class discussions without the fear of being judged. I have always lead most projects, assignments, group works and always topped them all. I really want to reach my full potential and be successful in life however i feel that the above mentioned reasons will not let me be that person. Also, forgot to mention, when i try to make friends i am always extra nice to other person but they never show interest in furthering the new friendship, only if its a guy and with guys they almost always want to take it to dating where as I am looking for plain friendship. One thing I am thinking of doing is going to a university where most people from my community go and face my fears and conquer them. Please advise me :)

  • warrior

    I enjoyed reading your article. Its very straight to the point and i can sort of relate to some of the examples mentioned above. My struggle is slightly different to what most people have. I feel very low confident when I am around my own people. By my own people I mean my friends (I have a lot of friends but not close ones), my family (other than parents and siblings) and people in my religious community (the most) and people who know me from a long time and share a lot of life events with me. I feel that when i speak infront of these people i will say something stupid or something wrong or ill just freeze and they will judge me and laugh at me. Most of these people that i feel low confident go to very good universities and have been blessed with education from the start. I have been struggling with education because of financial difficulties in the earlier times and now I am thankful to be blessed with quality education. I used to live in a small town and moved to the big city to pursue my secondary education at with minimal english literacy. I have been made fun of by my close friends (particularly my best friends) at the time for not being able to speak the language properly and it haunts me till today. Also, the fact that i moved to the big city a little late made it very difficult for me to make real close friends that would stick around till todate. Now its very hard for me to make friends. Actually i will rephrase that, its very easy for me to make friends but not friends who are girls. I have grown up with boys (my brothers) and maybe that could be the reason if not some other one. i must also confess that i am a perfectionist and i judge myself a lot and i am very hard on myself. i judge my self physically and always point out the imperfections and feel I am not that pretty where as a lot of “my friends” and other people consider me pretty. Altogether these are the reasons i feel very low confident around my own kind of people. However when it comes to strangers or class presentations i can assure you that i have always been the most confident and always give my opinion during class discussions without the fear of being judged. I have always lead most projects, assignments, group works and always topped them all. I really want to reach my full potential and be successful in life however i feel that the above mentioned reasons will not let me be that person. Also, forgot to mention, when i try to make friends i am always extra nice to other person but they never show interest in furthering the new friendship, only if its a guy and with guys they almost always want to take it to dating where as I am looking for plain friendship. One thing I am thinking of doing is going to a university where most people from my community go and face my fears and conquer them. Please advise me :)

  • Seasons

    Exact same situation with me. Can you share what your mentor says? I get an urge to let my boyfriend go so I can be my original happy self.

  • Ryuno

    I used to be a very confident during my high school days. I was also very friendly that I could make friends with stranger with just a few minutes of conversation, I was into theater acting and I acted right in front of many people without being uncomfortable; but now all of those were just memories, now I’m this silent type guy that trembles when too many people speak with me and when I’m right in front of many people. I’m also having a hard time communicating with others and making friends that used to be effortless now requires hard work

  • Allison Ivy

    IMO, it’s time to let that relationship go and spend some good time working on yourself and building your confidence back up. It may be the person you are dating, and it can partially be you as well. It’s also about setting boundaries (so important) and making sure to take the relationship slowly and make that person an addition to your life, and not a replacement (ie: keep all original hobbies, friends, etc.). Also, watch to make sure you are not changing yourself for this person, as in sayin things they would want to hear or not speaking your opinion or letting go of your goals, morals, values, and visions. It is very easy to get “lost in love” and forget about holding yourself up at the same place where you started. A relationship should push you forward, not hold you down. And lastly, remember that the person you are dating is your equal, not your father or your mother and you are not a baby. You must always rely on yourself, so that you can both be at peace with each other in a safe and balanced way.

    XO

    It will get better. Put yourself first and stick to it!

  • Mel

    This is a brilliant article,I was a very fun popular child full of laughter and a care free relaxed attitude.i come from a family of high expectations, religion and very strict rules for example I couldn’t play out in evenings with other kids and some of my friends my parents wouldn’t “agree with”.at around13/14 after getting into trouble at school I had it ingrained in me tht to please my family I must study hard.this behaviour continued and has done up until now (I am now 26).sure I have plenty of qualifications on paper,so inevitably to impress family I now have a “good successful career”, however deep down I’m not “me” people look at me and see a nervous shy girl… Yet when they get to know me they’re astounded how funny, bubbly and relaxed I become.im not confident in my “career”, and generally this successful “ambitious” person iv developed into, because deep down that’s not me,I’m not sensible enough to be like this! Deep down I have recently become aware I want more than anything to be that popular, fun, daring, care free child I once was.

  • Peter Pan

    I have found that in this very material world we live in that it helps to have a decent paying job. A person can be self confident and be homeless or in a monastary but what truly gives people self confidence is knowing that what ever system they believe in or follow if it be religious or non religious can provide for them away of of poverty or atleast with some basic material goods needed to sustain life.While peace of mind doesnt come from money alone it helps in this global system of capitalism we live in.