Starting a company and public speaking at 15 years-old really teaches you a thing or two about confidence. You know when swim instructors throw a small child in a pool to show them that they can swim? Yeah, it’s kind of like that. Terrifying at first, but then you realize you had it in you all along. The only reason it was scary was because we had false, preconceived notions about what being in the water is like.

Look, I don’t want to throw you in a pool. I don’t want you to be terrified.

Those fears you have about chasing your goals and stepping into your future only exist because we have false, preconceived notions about our worth, our abilities, and fear. The thing is, we all have the ability to confidently pursue our dreams. There is a bold, unapologetically confident version of yourself waiting to come out. So, let’s dismantle those misconceptions and engage that version of yourself.

How to Be More Confident:

01. | Confidence is a choice, not a character trait.

We usually associate confidence with the “perfect” women who have it all together. We assume that those who radiate effortless confidence just came out of the womb that way. But anyone can choose to be confident, even before they feel it.

“Fake it, till you feel it,” as I always say. I’ve been living my life this way for a decade + it has gotten me to where I am today! I said “yes” to the opportunities that terrified me but I knew deep down I really wanted. I wouldn’t let fear dictate my life or call the shots. Want to be confident? Start saying “yes” even when you’re nervous + get what you want. It’s just waiting for you on the other side of your fear.

02. | Confidence isn’t something for a chosen few. You can train your brain to be more confident by practicing confidence every day.

The neurons in your brain strengthen + grow based on habits you do regularly. This means, the more you do step 01 above, the more you are training your brain to make more confident choices. It’s kind of like there is a confidence muscle in your brain. The more you work it out, the larger it will become.

Want to become more confident? Practice confident choices every day, and you will build your brain to be confident + it will get easier each time. The more you “fake it until you feel it,” the more your confidence muscle will grow, and the more confident you will genuinely begin to feel.

03. | Confidence is not self-centered. Confidence is the revolutionary’s choice.

I know many people who hold themselves back from being confident because they think confident people are self-centered. However, people who are confident are not necessarily full of themselves. Everyone has insecurities or things they don’t like about themselves. But confident people decide what they are confident for us bigger than their own insecurities. Confidence actually usually requires some self-sacrifice: time, energy, risk of failure. Being confident is the reason our history-makers — MLK, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai — pursued changing the world at all. They all had insecurities but knew that their dreams where too important to let fear hold them back.

Your dreams are too big to be held back by insecurity, too. I know it feels like being thrown into the water for the first time, but you already have everything you need to swim. It will take time and concentrated effort, but you can learn how to be more confident.

What is one confident step you’re going to take toward your dreams this week?

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