04/16/2014 02:50 pm ET Updated Jun 16, 2014

Having Confidence Is Not As Hard As You Think

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Last week, in my women's coaching circle, one of the women was sharing about a work situation and expressed that she "needs to work on being more confident." She believed that she would be more respected in her company if she communicated like the other employees who she perceives as being more confident.

Can you relate? Are there situations in your life where you wish you felt more confident?

We have all had moments of mild to extreme self-consciousness where the feeling of confidence seems about as far away as Jupiter. Those awkward moments or instances where we feel judged by others often make us believe that we need to "work on" becoming more confident.

How have you "worked on" being more confident? Perhaps by taking public speaking classes? Rehearsing things you want to say in front a mirror? Getting a coach? Buying a new outfit?

While all those things are wonderful forms of self-support, feeling more confident actually takes way less effort. I explain in more detail in the video below, but here is the bottom line: The only reason that you do not feel confident is because you are judging yourself.

The instant you stop judging yourself and stop looking for all of the ways you should be more, better or different you will experience confidence. You do not feel confident because you are not accepting yourself fully for who you are.

Let's break this down by reviewing the actual definition of confidence:

  • A feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something
  • The feeling of being certain that something is true
  • A feeling or consciousness of one's powers

You do not need to go dredging through your past to find some issue where you had confidence triggered out of you. You do not need to buy another self-help book or enroll in another course to feel more confident. Instead, lean into the certainty you have about your gifts and skills. Be certain that all qualities you love about yourself are more than enough. Feel your own very special powers that make you unique. Rather than collecting evidence about what you judge as missing or different, step more fully into the truth of who you are.

Please, please stop measuring yourself up to other people to determine who you should be or how you should act, and please stop putting what other people think of you above what you think of yourself.

Self-acceptance is at the heart of feeling confident. The best way to "work on" feeling more confident is to be certain of your gifts and truth by fully accepting yourself. Then, you can buy that new outfit simply because you like it -- not because you expect it to make you feel a certain way (that's a lot of pressure to put on an outfit!).

Only you can be you. So stop judging yourself and working on yourself, and go be you because you're awesome.