Building self-confidence as an introvert can be challenging. You might feel like the only way to truly be confident is to become an extrovert.
Growing up I would often compare myself to the popular extroverted kids…and feel totally inadequate. I thought being self-confident meant being outgoing and gregarious. But there is so much more to it than that.
For introverts, self-confidence means peace of mind. Instead of constantly worrying about whether we’re saying or doing the right thing, we can relax and know that we’re enough.
Self-confidence also means courage. We’re brave enough to be who we really are, even if that means that we’re quiet and need to be alone sometimes.
When I started embracing my authentic self and building self-confidence in my own introverted way, a few surprising things happened.
I started attracting people who accepted me just as I am. These people were also less triggering and draining than the energy vampires I used to attract.
I started to feel more respected and seen by the people in my life—all without pretending to be an extrovert.
If you’re looking to build real self-confidence, read on for 6 ways to do so on your own introverted terms.
Manage your energy
As an introvert, you may already know that your energy is precious. But did you know that your energy levels also impact your confidence.
Your physiological state heavily influences your thoughts, emotions, mood and overall happiness.
Think of a time when your energy tanks were low. Maybe you were tired from a long day at work and too much peopling.
What kinds of thoughts came up when you were in that state? Chances are they were self-defeating thoughts like “I’m too boring” or “why would anyone like me?”
Managing your energy will help prevent these dips in self-confidence. You can keep your energy levels more consistent by taking introvert breaks, minimizing stimulation (loud music, screen time, busy environments) and saying “no” to draining activities.
Focus on one step at a time
There are many steps to building self-confidence. If you try to do everything at once, you’ll likely get overwhelmed and feel even worse.
That’s why I always tell my confidence students and clients to focus on one step at a time. For example, if you’re working on confident body language, practice one skill (such as eye contact) at a time.
Release self-defeating beliefs
Most introverts who come to me for confidence coaching struggle with self-defeating thoughts. Even if they know what they should do to be more confident, their negative self-talk holds them back.
When you’re caught up in a negative thought loop, it can be hard to think of anything else. Like a hungry dog gnawing on a bone, your instinct is to keep chewing on those self-defeating thoughts until your self-esteem is picked clean.
There are many practical tools to release negative thoughts and emotions, such as Emotional Freedom Technique, Neurolinguistic Programming, mindfulness, limiting belief work—all of which I incorporate into my 1:1 confidence coaching for introverts.
The important thing is to be aware of these thoughts and the fact that they are not true and they are not you. It’s ok to let them go. Or at least put them aside for a while so that you can get on with building self-confidence.
Build better habits
Your daily habits and routines heavily influence how you feel about yourself. When you slip into bad habits, your self-confidence starts to suffer.
Of course, no one has perfect habits all the time. I recommend having at least one “lynchpin habit” to keep you anchored. This is a habit that keeps you on track in several areas of your life.
Exercise is a lynchpin habit for a lot of people because when you do it, you find it easier to stick to other good habits like getting up early, eating healthy and spending time outdoors.
Other great habits for building self-confidence include:
- healthy diet
- gratitude lists
- creative expression
Let go of unhealthy relationships
If you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship, you know how quickly it can destroy your self-confidence. But even relationships with “good people” can slowly erode your self-esteem.
If you constantly spend time with people who don’t accept you and try to change you (overtly or covertly), you’ll never feel good enough.
Other potentially unhealthy dynamics include relationships with people who:
- drain you
- criticize you
- take you for granted
- disregard your feelings
- don’t listen to you
If you’re not sure if a relationship is unhealthy, ask yourself: How do I feel when I’m spending time with this person (and afterwards)?
If you feel more bad than good, the relationship is likely eroding your self-confidence. Have the courage to let it go so that you’re free to become your best self.
We introverts feel most confident when we spend quality time with ourselves. “Dating yourself” simply means gifting yourself some loving kindness and attention from the person you’re guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with: you.
Take yourself out to enjoy nice dinners and adventures in nature. Even if you’re staying in, you can romance yourself by lighting candles and cooking yourself a beautiful meal.
More confidence tools
If you’re looking for more ways to build social confidence, be sure to grab my free Introvert Conversation Cheat Sheet.
P.S. I help introverts build magnetic confidence to improve their social life and excel at work. Book a complimentary Confidence Breakthrough Session to see if 1:1 coaching is right for you.