Building confidence is much like learning any new skill. There are the basics, then there are the higher level nuances. This article will share with you the 6 stages that you want to journey through to build your confidence. Each stage begins with the basics.

Go through all six stages simply getting down the basics at first. Once you complete that first cycle, you can go back and use the steps to focus on specific details of building confidence whether it be in your communication, relationships, business, etc.

These six steps provide a framework for assessing where you are in your confidence level and how to get where you want to be. Begin building your confidence today so you can have the life you love and deserve!

Stage 1: Awareness, Desire, Decision, Commitment

In order to build confidence, you need to first decide that’s what you want and consider how you will benefit by greater confidence. Begin to think about where you sabotage yourself and where you support yourself. Where in your life are you already confident and where do you need to boost your confidence? This is the gear up stage where you are setting the stage for what you want to be, do and have. It’s a good idea to get a journal for keeping track of your thoughts as you move through the six stages.

Stage 2: Get to Know You – Shyness, Self-Esteem, Fun & Self-Love

Spend time thinking about who you are and who you want to be. What are your strengths? Vulnerabilities? Dreams? Fears? All of who you are matters. You are wonderful and to be truly confident, you need to see it and believe it for yourself. Embrace your flaws. Our vulnerabilities are part of who we are and not “bad” things. We all have fears and insecurities, acknowledge them and, rather than let them rule your life, plan your life in a way that takes into account that these areas may need special attention when you take actions. In the same way that we would take insulin if we have diabetes, we can set up systems that take into account our areas of weakness without judgment and without giving in to our fears. Enlist the help of loved ones to get started if this feels overwhelming. Ask the people who care about you what is special about you (and believe them!). Make a list in your journal of your attributes (make sure you have more “pros” than “cons” – EVERYBODY has more strengths than weaknesses). Also list things you like or are interested in, these are part of what makes you special. Include your favorite color, television show, continent, etc.

Stage 3: Shift to Empowering Beliefs & Rewrite Your Inner & Outer Conversations

This stage may take some time. The key is to just get started. Think about the ways you see yourself, think about yourself and talk to yourself. Anything negative needs to be reframed in a way that won’t hold you back from confidence. That doesn’t mean you need to be perfect or pretend a bad situation is good, it means you are taking responsibility for yourself and your life. Be willing to accept your vulnerabilities AND your strengths and admit to yourself that you really are quite special. Make a list in your journal of some of your negative beliefs and some ways you can reframe them to serve you better. For example, if you have a habit of telling yourself you aren’t smart, that’s your negative belief. What are some ways you can reframe it? List something you know a lot about. List something you like to learn about. List a time when you did well on an exam or presentation or throwing a party for a friend. We all have our special talents and intelligences.

Stage 4: Build Your Courage Muscle with Confident & Consistent Action

Here’s the really fun part. Once you create the foundation with stages 1 through 3, you build confidence the way you improve any skill, with practice. Do things that make you feel confident and do them often. Start with the easy stuff and work your way up to the big stuff. If this feels scary, start with something you are already good at and get better at it, then move on to new activities. Make a list in your journal of 5 confident actions you can take this week to recharge your confidence batteries. Some ideas are to eat in a restaurant alone (bring a magazine or book to read), offer to speak for your local chamber of commerce breakfast, chaperone your child’s school trip, wear something bolder than you are used to, call someone out of the blue, etc. Notice that there may be something on this list that would be easy for you. See how confidence is just a matter of focus, experience and self-love? When we are confident about something, we tend to feel it isn’t something that requires confidence. However, any “bold” move requires confidence. It’s all about how you define bold and how much emotional support you give yourself.

Stage 5: Celebrate Your Progress, Accomplishments & Efforts

Congratulations! You’ve done all the hard work and now you get to acknowledge how far you’ve come. Recognize every accomplishment, large AND small – including trying something that didn’t go as planned. This not only keeps you motivated, it builds self-esteem which is vital to real confidence. Keep track in your journal of all the accomplishments for which you can celebrate yourself. Don’t stint on the celebrations. Throw yourself a party, buy yourself flowers, share your triumph with the world on Facebook, etc.

Stage 6: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Like any emotion, confidence has it’s ebb and flow moments. As you build your confidence and begin to play a bigger role in your life, the challenges may get bigger as well. Maintain high levels of confidence and self-esteem the same way you maintain any skill, with thoughtful and consistent positive action. On an ongoing basis and whenever you need a particular boost repeat the 5 steps above. Make a list in your journal of some ongoing confident habit you can adopt. Do something that makes you feel confident every day and do something that steps you outside your comfort zone every week. You’ll feel your confidence soar!

Author's Bio: 

Ruth Hegarty is founder and lead coach at Leap of Confidence, a company that helps women entrepreneurs create effortless success through confidence building and concrete business practices. Download Ruth's free Confidence Boosting Strategies e-book and join her Effortless Success for Women Entrepreneurs Facebook group at