I recently saw a clip on social media that resonated with me. In the thirty-second clip, entrepreneur Ed Mylett explains how self-confidence is someone who keeps promises to themselves.
It’s 1,000% true. In order to truly be your most fulfilled self, you must have trust in yourself and your reputation. I, and many of my closest friends, have struggled with a lack of self-confidence. It comes in different flavors, but most of the time it comes in the form of shame or embarrassment with yourself and your decisions. It’s rarely driven by any external forces. Hell, 99% of the people in your life probably have no idea what you’re even ashamed of. But you do. And that’s where self-care and discipline need to take center stage in your life.
Naval Ravikant describes self-esteem as the reputation you have with yourself. I know when I lack self-confidence, it’s because I have not consistently kept the promises I made to myself.
The only effective way I know to gain confidence and shed the feeling of shame is by consistently doing the things you tell yourself you’re going to do. You, and nobody else, get to decide what promises you’ll keep with yourself. These internal handshakes are the little voices in your head that constantly talk to you. What they believe will become your reality, and they can either be your best friend or your worst enemy.
When you are satisfied with your own reputation, you don’t have to waste any time worrying about how other people think of you because you are happy with the results you’ve created in your own life. Intrinsic happiness versus extrinsic. If you’re always worried about what other people think about you, it’s because you really don’t think great about yourself.
If you set a goal to lose five pounds in the next month, do it full tilt. No sugar, no dessert, no alcohol – whatever it is, keep that promise every minute, every hour, every day for as long as you need to. When you and the voices in your head work in harmony, your self-confidence soars. But when you break promises with yourself, your life fills with anxiety, and your relationship with the rest of the world suffers. You start making fear-based decisions or compromises in ways that hurt you. You become sullen and withdrawn. When you don’t keep your word to yourself, you’re telling the voice in your head that it’s ok to break your promises.
This isn’t to say you have to accomplish every single goal you set. Every year, one of my goals is to make $100,000 extra and I’ve yet to do so, but I’m striving to meet that goal every day.
The difference is in the daily rituals and the commitment to stick to it. When I make an effort to write for 30 minutes every morning, I feel great. My confidence sores when I stick to the plans I’ve made in my head. When I consistently eat healthily, exercise every day, write for at least 30 minutes, and stay off my phone for hours on end, I’m as satisfied with myself as can be. This is what builds self-esteem. It’s not the stuff other people see. It’s the unglamorous promises you continue to deliver day in and day out.
That’s what builds self-esteem. No person or material item will ever fulfill it for you. Your confidence will come from your preparation. Consistently do the things you tell yourself you are going to do. Build a reputation with yourself that you can trust.