After studying 100’s of ultra-successful people with unbreakable confidence, a pattern has emerged. The most successful people typically fall into two categories:
- They have a level of unbreakable confidence that is almost off the charts.
- They had low confidence, but an enormous chip on their shoulders. They need to prove themselves or prove someone in their life wrong.
Confidence allows leaders to make quick decisions, moving their business forward.
When you believe in yourself, you are assertive, positive, and will take on calculated risks that can pay dividends throughout life.
Low confidence can hold you back. Not believing in yourself means you won’t take the chances needed to succeed or maybe just never start. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t’ take!
Read on to discover 14 ways to develop unbreakable confidence.
What is Self Confidence?
Self-confidence is the belief in yourself, belief in your abilities, and belief in your ideas. It means you value yourself, even when others may not yet have the same belief in you.
To become successful, you need to have self-confidence and trust your own judgment.
You are smart.
You are worthy.
Even self-confident people fail sometimes. But, they believe in themselves, learn from their mistakes, and keep moving forward.
Self confidence leads to determination, and determination leads to success.
Why Self Confidence Matters
Self-confidence affects every decision you make, starting from your education, to your career aspirations, or the choice to actually go for your dreams.
All of the high performing individuals I’ve studied dared to take on big challenges, to chase their dreams. They do this because they had an unwavering degree of belief that they could achieve their goals.
On the flip-side, low self-esteem can be a death-spiral, a vicious cycle of negative thinking that can hinder your opportunities for a lifetime.
Little successes add up over time to build confidence. Low confidence individuals either do not take the chances to get these little wins or they do not perceive their little wins as true successes, missing out on these confidence-building opportunities.
Self-confidence is vital in almost every aspect of our lives, yet many people struggle to find it. Sadly, this can be a vicious cycle: people who lack self-confidence are less likely to achieve the success that could give them more confidence.
Low-confidence individuals are much less likely to take the steps needed to do big things, to follow their dreams, or to make a lasting impact.
This is not you, my friend. You are special!
How Self Confidence Develops?
According to KidsHealth, “Self-esteem can start as early as babyhood. It develops slowly over time. It can start just because a child feels safe, loved, and accepted. It can start when a baby gets positive attention and loving care.
As babies become toddlers and young children, they're able to do some things all by themselves. They feel good about themselves when they can use their new skills.”
Your parents and friends have a major impact on how you view yourself. But even if you have negative influences hurting your self-confidence, you can still develop unbreakable self-confidence!
Building self confidence starts with recognizing your successes. Take time to reflect when something good happens and consider what action you took to achieve it.
Every “win” is another brick in your “wall of self confidence.” As you stack your wins, you will become more confident in yourself.
Common Characteristics of Self-Confident Individuals
Confident people inspire others to action. It is typically easy to spot, but sometimes it may be on a subconscious feeling that this person knows what they are doing!
Here are a few common characteristics of people with unbreakable confidence:
What is Unbreakable Confidence?
I don’t want you just to build your self confidence. I want you to develop unbreakable confidence.
What is Unbreakable Confidence?
Unbreakable confidence is believing in yourself to the point where a negative comment, a setback, or even a major loss does not break you.
Unbreakable confidence is when confidence comes from within. It is knowing deep down within yourself that you can achieve. A person may discourage you for a moment, but your fire only flickers and grows stronger.
In the following steps, I’ll show you exactly how to start developing your self confidence and put you on the path to unbreakable confidence.
How to Immediately Appear More Confident to Others & Establish a Baseline For Unbreakable Confidence
Self-confidence is manifested in many ways. Your body language, how you speak, your behaviors and mannerisms, and even the way you dress can all influence how others perceive your confidence level.
Even if you have self-doubt, you want others to perceive you as confident.
This is a true case of fake it ‘till you make it.
Appearing confident on the outside will help you improve your internal feelings of self confidence. Your audience seeing you as confident creates a positive experience for you, creating a confidence building domino effect - one layer at a time.
1. Visualize Your Desired Interaction & Outcome
The concept of visualization seemed like some silly self help bullshit to me until I realized the number of successful people who practice it.
I imagined this:
However, Conor McGregor, credits visualization for his meteoric rise to success. After some more research, I found that celebrities like Schwarzenegger, Oprah, and even Will Smith believe in visualization, too.
By visualizing your interactions and your outcomes, you put your mind in a state of comfort. It tricks your mind. You’ve already seen it happen, so you’ve already learned from the experience even though you haven’t actually physically experienced it yet.
Before a big presentation, visualize yourself giving the presentation. Visualize the audience clapping.
Before a sales meeting, visualize the interaction, and signing the deal.
Job interview? Visualize yourself in the interview, singing the job offer, and what you will be doing in your new role.
Visualization is a powerful tool.
2. Body Language
Humans are programmed with a fight or flight response. Our ancestors needed to quickly size up new individuals to decide whether they were a threat to the tribe.
This same response still happens subconsciously when we meet others. Your body language plays a big role in how confident or unconfident you are perceived.
Vanessa Van Edwards is an expert in body language. She cited a University of British Columbia study that showed that we get bigger in our bodies (hands up or fists raised) in victory and smaller in our bodies (head down or shoulders slumped) in defeat. This study was conducted in blind individuals who have not seen this response, meaning it is innate.
So how can we utilize body language to appear more confident?
Vanessa’s three tips
- Stand or sit tall
- Keep your arms loose by your side or place a hands on your hips
- Relax Your Shoulders & Open Your Chest
Vanessa’s tips are great for appearing confident to others. But what about your internal confidence? That’s right, we need to get your head right.
Amy Cuddy’s TED talk explores power poses and their effect on risk tolerance and testosterone/cortisol levels.
In their experiment, they found that holding a power pose for two minutes increased testosterone ~8% (associated with risk-taking behavior) and lowered cortisol ~10% (associated with stress response).
Although this study is controversial, I believe that power poses coupled with visualization techniques are a very powerful confidence booster.
Now, don’t go hold a superman pose in your next big meeting because you’ll look pretty silly. Instead, do it in the car or in the bathroom beforehand.
3. Dress for the Occasion
What you wear can provide an immediate impact on how people view your confidence level and credibility.
Numerous studies show that what you wear can not only impact how others view your authority, but they can also influence cognition.
In one of the most infamous studies conducted by Stanley Milgram, an assistant professor at Yale, they observed that most people would obey instructions to administer potentially fatal shocks to innocent participants if told to do so by an authority figure. We’ll refer to this as the lab coat effect.
Wearing a suit or a lab coat instantly changes how you are perceived. A suit can make you feel powerful. A lab coat can make you feel smart.
There is a dual purpose here: outward appearance and your own internal perception.
Get a makeover, or a new haircut. Feel good about yourself!
For outward appearance, wear something your audience would perceive as authoritative. This could be a suit, but I’ve also seen people who buck the trend and go super casual or even outrageous to stick out from the crowd.
For your internal perception, wear something that makes you feel attractive, powerful, and comfortable.
Strike a balance between the two for the greatest benefit.
4. Speak Confidently
Confident speakers are instantly noticed. They are viewed as smarter and more authoritative.
Why? Because most people want to be led.
Upping your speaking game can boost your internal confidence as well as how the people listening view you.
Here are a few things you can do to speak more confidently.
- Smile More - A genuine smile disarms the listener and makes them more likely to listen
- Speak with Certainty - Drop the upward inflection at the end of a statement. Maintain an even tone to project confidence in your statements.
- Slow Down - People tend to speak faster when they are nervous. Speak at a comfortable pace, Carmine Gallo claims this should be 190 words a minute.
- Ditch Filler Words- I STRUGGLE with the “uhmm’s” Try to notice when you are utilizing filler words, and work to fill those spaces with pauses.
- Use Pauses - The effective use of pauses is so underutilized. Most people are afraid of silence. Being silent can regain your audience’s attention and help them understand important points. This is also a very effective negotiating technique!
- Stop Using Caveats - Be concise. Instead of caveating with, “Well, this is just my opinion,” state your opinion directly. So drop the safety net and just say it, “Dog are much better pets than cats.”
- Practice - If you have a prepared speech for a presentation, a meeting, or even a toast at your friend’s wedding, practice!
- Control Your Breathing - Your breathing plays a large role in controlling your emotions. Caroline Goyder's TED Talk speaks about this in more detail.
5. Create a Persona | Trick Yourself Into Becoming a Socialite
Does the thought of social situations make you uncomfortable or nervous?
Develop a persona.
Think of one of your favorite characters in a movie and how they effortlessly navigate the room, intriguing and entertaining all whom they encounter.
Create your own character, and become an actor.
What character traits would the ideal socialite have? Are they entertaining, engaging, or even fearless?
Your persona should be uniquely you sprinkled with the ideal traits for your given situation. Before walking into the room, pretend to be the character you created. It can be a fun game, and if you ever wanted to be an actor, this is your perfect chance.
The idea is not to change who you are. It is to help build the skills needed to become more confident in social situations.
6. Practice by Putting Yourself in Uncomfortable Situations
Awkward situations. Everyone has at least one awkward situation from childhood they’ll never forget.
When I was in 2nd grade, I had a crush on a girl that lived down the street. One day I was riding my bike, and out of nowhere, there she was riding her bike next to me. She asked if I’d like to ride bikes with her. I couldn’t believe my luck! In my excitement, I took off to do some cool trick to try and impress her. When I turned around she was gone. Evidently, I had forgotten to say yes.
She was probably off crying somewhere because I rejected her. I felt so stupid because I screwed up this opportunity that just fell in my lap. We both wanted the same thing. I don’t think we ever spoke again before one of us moved out the neighborhood.
Silly stories aside, awkward situations become less awkward as your confidence builds.
One way to increase your confidence is to intentionally put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Practice when it doesn’t matter so you’ll be ready when it counts.
You don’t like public speaking? Actively look for speaking opportunities or join Toastmasters.
Do you hate having to meet new people? Sign up for classes, meetups, or local events that will force you to meet new people.
These situations are only uncomfortable because they are new and scary. Once you’ve done it a few times, it gets much easier.
Actively look to put yourself in uncomfortable situations.
The challenge is simple. Go to a coffee shop and ask for a discount (10% or 20% off). Sounds easy right?
Try it. I’ve read 100’s of comments and blog posts of people that have actually done this. They all experienced incredible anxiety. Yet, all felt incredibly liberated after they did it.
Advanced Strategies to go From Confident to Unbreakable Self Confidence
Alright, you’ve got the basics down?
These next tips will help you go from confident to unbreakable.
7 . Adjust Your Attitude with Gratitude
After watching Tony Robbins’ I am Not Your Guru on Netflix, I decided to read his book, “Awaken the Giant Within.”
If you can take away one tip from a book, it is totally worth reading. Sure enough, I took away just one tip, implemented it into my daily routine, and it changed my life for the better.
Gratitude. Tony suggests vocalizing three things you are grateful for every day. I did this for almost 3 months straight, and then I had a mindset change. I became grateful for everything around me.
In life, we are bombarded by advertising. The ever increasing desire for more. More money, more things, fast cars, bigger houses, and amazing experiences.
Gratitude has made me realize that it is the little things. Yes, I strive to be better. I strive to build my business and make an impact on the world. But. It is the little things that matter the most. My family, my friends, a roof over my head, health. That is all we truly need.
Gratitude can help you. I promise you this. Hate your job? That’s okay.
- Be grateful you have a source of income.
- Be grateful that someone believes enough in you to employ you.
- Be grateful that your employer is paying you to become a better person, to improve yourself, to educate yourself, and maybe even funding your job search.
You can choose to be negative, but a positive outlook will make a huge impact on your confidence.
If you fail, you no longer have to dwell in the pain and misery of failure. Be grateful for the experience, the chance to learn, and the opportunity of new beginnings.
Gratitude is the key to unbreakable confidence.
8. Combine Knowledge & Passion | A Dynamite Confidence Combo
I’ve given 100’s of presentations and worked on deals over to $250 million. You’d think that you’d get nervous on bigger business deals, but that was never the case. I was fine.
There were times where I was a nervous wreck, especially when I had to present on a subject I didn’t know as well as I’d like. I’d feel it. The butterflies. The sweaty palms.
As your knowledge, experience, and success builds in your niche or line of work, your confidence grows along with it. You know your stuff, and more importantly, you know you know your stuff.
Nothing gives a bigger confidence boost than knowing you are an expert.
Except one thing, passion.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and noticed the switch?
You’re having a normal conversation, but then you see the whole dynamic change in an instant. The person you are speaking with gets excited. Their eyes light up. They speak faster. They are 100% focused. They’ve started talking about their passion. It could be their kids, sports, their Hot Wheels collection - you name it.
You may have no interest in this passion of theirs. But, you’re excited they are excited!
When you are working on or are speaking about your passion, confidence explodes. This is your jam.
If you can find work that you are passionate about and combine it with a deep knowledge of the subject, you will be unstoppable.
9. Surround Yourself with the Right People
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before:
This statement is clearly over-generalized, but there is some truth to it.
If you are surrounded by unsuccessful, unmotivated, negative people, you’re likely to have the same mindset.
This type of neural programming makes you feel like a victim of circumstance. But Paul, I can’t do it. It’s already been done. I didn’t go to an Ivy League school. Taco Bell quit selling Mexican Pizzas!
It is important to surround yourself with positive and successful people. People that are ahead of you in the game. They will force you to see the potential. You’ll better recognize opportunities. You’ll have a soundboard for ideas. You will see what success looks like.
I know a coach who was stuck at $20k per month. No matter what he did, he just couldn’t seem to get past $20k. It wasn’t until he visited his mentor’s house and saw all this unreal stuff in person - the house, the cars, the art, etc. The mentor didn’t give him any advice or anything that made the difference. It was when he realized that his mentor was a real person. I mean, the mentor was smart, no doubt, but he was just a normal dude. This is when he broke the mental model that allowed him to get to $100k per month. It wasn’t some secret. It was all in his own head.
But Paul, I don’t know any successful people! I know me, too. I come from a small town in Louisiana. I don’t know these people either.
Here’s the thing. Today we have so much access. We have books, blogs, podcasts, and videos that give us insight into some of the most successful people in the world. Start here.
As you grow, you can start adding successful people in real life.
Just stay away from truly negative people. They will hold you back.
10. Develop an Abundance Mindset
In Stephen Covey’s highly recommended book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he outlined the difference between a Scarcity Mentality and an Abundance Mentality.
Covey outlined the Scarcity Mentality as:
“Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else."
- Stephen Covey
The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production. The also have a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.”
Operating with a Scarcity Mentality limits your potential. You are always afraid someone will take what is yours.
How can you ever feel truly confident living in fear?
Covey outlines the Abundance Mentality as:
“The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.”
- Stephen Covey
When Home Depot moves in next to your little mom and pop home improvement store, you’re scared shitless. But there is a reason Lowe’s is always by a Home Depot.
There’s a reason McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell build next to each other. There is enough to go around for everyone.
Did you know, in Houston, there was a Starbucks across the street from a Starbucks (Comedian Lewis Black has a hilarious skit about this).. You could literally throw a rock from one location to the other.
Jokes aside, developing a Growth Mindset will free you. It will allow you to feel happiness and joy. It will help you spot opportunity, and it will help you take action.
11. Positive Thinking & The Role of Luck
Negative thinking is a downward spiral.
If you look for the bad in every situation, you’ll find it. You’ll start to think that bad things always happen to me. Man, I’m so unlucky.
With this mindset, your self doubt will take over, and you won’t even see opportunities when they are staring you in the face.
Positive thinking lead to luck and believing you are lucky will put you on the path to unbreakable self confidence.
Dr. Richard Wiseman, a Psychology Professor at the University of Hertfordshire, is renown for his studies in positive thinking and luck, and has been dubbed “The Most Interesting and Innovative Experimental Psychologist in the World Today” by the Scientific American.
In one experiment, he took two groups of people who were self-proclaimed as unlucky. His idea was to see if he could get them to think and behave like a lucky person, would it increase their luck?
In the experiment, he asked the participants to keep a journal and write down the positive things that happened to them that day, or something negative that used to happen that no longer happens any more. Sounds like the gratitude exercise above, right?
The psychological impact of positive thinking reoriented the study participant’s thinking very quickly. Their mindset changed from negative to positive. They started seeing good things happen in their lives and spotting opportunities. They became more lucky.
Speaking of opportunities, Richard Branson’s story of how he started Virgin Airlines is a great example.
Back in the early 1980’s, a 30-something year old Richard Branson was stuck on the tarmac in Puerto Rico, flight cancelled. His girlfriend was waiting for him on his private Necker Island, and he couldn’t wait to see her.
In a moment when most people would get angry or just resign to their fate, Branson saw opportunity. Branson walked into the airport and chartered a private plane to the Virgin Islands.
He then borrowed a black board and wrote - $39 to the Virgin Islands. He walked his sign in front of all the other passengers of his flight and filled his first plane. This was the start of Virgin Airlines. All because he spotted an opportunity and really missed his girlfriend.
Change your psychology. Change your luck!
12. Define Your Values. Live Your Values
What defines you as a person? Your values define the core of who you are.
If you’re not living your values, you are not living true to yourself. This can lead to self-doubt, regret, or just a feelling of living in conflict.
To define your values, you need to be brutally honest with yourself. What do you want? How do you want to live? What values do you want to live by?
Forget about what your parents, friends, or even society wants for a second. Deep down, what is the life you want to live.
Define your values.
For example, my values are:
- Family & Friends - Love everyone, but family and friends are the #1 thing.
- Loyalty - A man sticks by his word. Stay loyal.
- Caring - Care about all people, animals, and the environment.
- Impact - Make an impact on the world. Help others achieve their goals and live their best life.
- Gratitude - Be thankful for all that I’ve been given and achieved.
Once your values are defined, make an effort to live by them. Do not deviate from them, and you will feel you are living your life’s work.
13. Be Curious & Grow
Curiosity and continuous learning are the keys to growth.
Growth helps you avoid stagnation and keeps you on top of your game.
As we grow older and better understand our world, we tend to lose this sense of curiosity.
Well, not me. I’m still a 7 year old at heart.
The thing is, children are innately curious. How does this thing work? Why is the grass green? What would happen if I did this? Kids are continuously exploring, pushing their limits, and using their imagination.
Try to think like a kid. Be curious. Ask why.
This applies to so many different areas in business and life in general
All good ideas come from questioning the status quo.
Curiosity can lead to a new business idea, a new marketing method, improving a business process, and becoming more efficient.
Curiosity can lead to better relationships, diverse experiences, and appreciation of different cultures.
These ideas and new perspectives can change your thinking patterns.
Albert Einstein said, "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious
14. Daily Exercise for Mind, Health, and Body
Daily exercise is crucial to building unbreakable confidence.
Your body and your perception of your body play a large part in your self image. Ever been embarrassed to take your shirt off at the pool? I have.
Self image is just part of it though.
Exercise also plays a large part in how much energy you have.
Tony Robbins has a mini-trampoline backstage. He hops on this trampoline just before going on stage.
Steve Jobs was known for his walking meetings to stimulate creativity.
The importance of exercise in your daily routine can not be overstated.
I hope that this guide provides some value to supercharge your confidence.
I know there is a lot here, so I want to ask:
Which technique do you want to try first?
Are you just in the beginning of your confidence journey, or have you advanced to building unbreakable confidence?
Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.