How To Feel More Confident + Successful (Without Changing Anything About Your Life)

Want to feel more confident? Who doesn't? Click through for unusual advice on how to improve your self-esteem and grow your confidence

A few weeks ago, while stuffing our faces with overpriced bread pudding, a friend asked for advice on how to handle a professional kerfuffle. “I’m asking you,” she said “because you always seem so confident.”

“Oh! Ha! Well, I’m glad I’ve successfully tricked you into thinking that. Ha!” I wanted to say. But that’s wildly unhelpful so I resisted the urge to brush off the compliment and did my best to answer her question.(For the record, I told her to do this.) 

But afterwards, while I continued to wolf down those $11 carbs, I thought about what she’d said. Why did I seem confident to her? Was I confident? 

Because no one who has seen me attempt a team sport would call me confident. If you’ve ever watched me try to read a map, you’d never call me confident. And higher math? I am not confident about that. Like at all.

But somewhere around ninth grade – an age when team sports and maps and higher math mattered – I developed a confidence-building technique that I’m apparently still using (and you can use, too)

Borrow confidence + success from one area of your life and apply it to other areas. Click To Tweet

Maybe I wasn’t great at sports, but I was good with people. Even if I struck out every time, I could still chat happily with my teammates in the outfield and joke around in the dugout.

Maybe it took me a year to learn to drive a stick shift and I haaaated driver’s ed, but I could study and write like whoa and aced the written parts of the class.

This holds true for life outside of high school. If you’re great at something, you’re probably great at that thing in every area of your life – even if you don’t realize it right now.

If you can be great at your job, you can be great at your relationships

Succeeding professionally requires compromise, good communication skills, and working well with others. If you can work happily with a team or see a big, long-term project to completion, you can totally, totally be a good partner.

If you can be an amazing parent, you can be a great manager

You can convince a toddler to sit quietly and eat everything on her plate? You can convince her to pick up her toys? Dude, you can absolutely manage a group of well-mannered adults.

If you can run a marathon, you can build a social circle of amazing friends

If you have the wherewithal to run for miles and miles and miles or the guts to wear those tiny shorts in public, you have the wherewithal to invite that cool girl to your party. You have the guts to reach out to people you’d like to know better or plan group trips.
Running a marathon is so much harder than inviting a Twitter buddy to coffee!Now, I’m 100% sure that you’re great at something. I’m sure there’s an area of your life where you’re killing it. Maybe you’re acing every assignment grad school throws your way. Or you’re raising the happiest, most well-adjusted kids on the planet. Or you’re on your third promotion this year.

Whatever you’re great at, know that you can use that confidence and success anywhere else in your life. If you’re good at this you can totally be great at that.

Where could you borrow confidence and success in your life? For a few years I ‘borrowed’ the confidence I had in my friendships and applied it to my romantic life. What do you do when you need a confidence boost? 

P.S. This is what personal growth feels like (and it’s, um, not what I expected) 

photo by tim trad // cc

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  1. Bruja

    Gracias! Super great idea! I will try it.

  2. Ashley

    I LOVE YOU blather blather
    high fives and cat dances for everyone!

  3. Anonymous

    LoL, so true:
    ‘You can convince a toddler to sit quietly and eat everything on her plate? You can convince her to pick up her toys? Dude, you can absolutely manage a group of well-mannered adults.’

  4. Heidi

    This sounds like the movie Jumanji (2017). The story goes that a group of kids get stuck in the game and have to use the strengths they already have in order to survive and complete the game. In other words, they borrow confidence they had in their real lives and use it in the videogame jungle.

    I’m just trying to better understand this concept.

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