Confidence, like growth or healing, has no set formulas or specifications. Ingrained in our human capacity for love and hope, it is also the unique makeup of our own mindsets and beliefs, of the people we’ve met and what they’ve taught us, both implicitly and explicitly. It’s why it often grows with time, along with the longevity of self and the comprehension that builds with experience.
And yet, confidence can be a springboard for connection, or passion, or purpose—whatever those constructs may mean for you. Because, you see, we humans are like flowers. We grow toward the light. Instinctively, we turn toward and open our hearts to what feeds us. And when we bloom, that energy source allows us to, in turn, feed others in myriad ways. Cultivating confidence is reflecting in, to reach out. Sort of like how the most effective way to make others happy is to be happy yourself. The ultimate pay it forward.
Here are 5 things we can all practice every day to help instill confidence within ourselves:
Choose your environment
Exposing yourself to places and people builds proof for the belief that there is no one “right” way to live confidently. Surround yourself with beauty—meaning simply what and who lights you up—whether it’s through your closet, absorbing yourself in books, or even revisiting your own memories. The sunny living room where your views were first challenged, the times you grew the most, those from your past who are always with you. Remember it is entirely possible to live in a beautiful space, and nothing true to you will ever be far away.
Plan what you plant
Confidence is recognizing that who you are and who you may become is decided specifically by you. The things that draw you in and attract you are those you love the most about yourself and your life. The lines you’ve read and tucked into your heart and worldview, all of your devastatingly incommunicable realizations, all the people who have changed you. Aim to be a channel for everything that strikes you as good and true. Who you become will be a reflection of the people and things with which you surround yourself.
Lean toward the light
All that comes most easily to you are your unique and beloved qualities. Start by understanding your favorite things, then what makes you hopeful and excited, all the way to what drives you and what serves as your most powerful motivators. Reaching toward your ideal version of you transforms all that you do and all that happens to you into a platform for the beautiful things to come.
Grow higher and higher
Confidence is born from having empathy for yourself—the past, present, and future versions of you. It is born from having gratitude—for all that got you here, whether you continue to bring it forward or not. Like perseverance and faith, confidence as a concept necessitates overcoming obstacles. All of the messiness and confusion along with the most brilliant, inspiring, and thrilling times are the filaments that compose the totally imperfect and completely stunning tapestry of your entire life. Look up often. Live there.
Confidence is born from having empathy for yourself—the past, present, and future versions of you. It is born from having gratitude—for all that got you here, whether you continue to bring it forward or not.
Bloom and flourish
Confidence cultivated is the opposite of judgment, whether for yourself or others. It allows you to break through the ceilings and walls we so often create for ourselves. Remember, you are an integral part of the world as it is, and the world changes as you do. Credit yourself and you validate that which makes you you, and can bring it to the world.
Ultimately, confidence is like immeasurable value or personal freedom. It’s not something given to you or that only some people have. It’s here, already, for you to nurture in new and creative ways. To cultivate to become ever more. To be you at your most expansive. To flourish.
Bre Arends aims to be a catalyst: of deep and authentic connections, new and prismatic perspectives, and, always, drawing out beauty and light.