When your confidence goes up, your competence goes up.

Confidence is the single most important human ability. In fact, all other desirable abilities need confidence as a foundation. People with confidence can overcome, learn, transform and accomplish anything.

And, like any ability, confidence can be learned, mastered and applied any time you start to feel a crisis of confidence.

If you ever struggle with self-confidence, here are six helpful ways to build it up:

Review your accomplishments

You’ve already achieved some successes in your life, right?

List them, identify why they were important and identify the skills and strengths you’ve used to succeed.

Seek new knowledge

If you’re lacking any of the skills you need to achieve your goals, focus on learning them.

This process will remind you that you’re capable of growth, and mastering the skills will give you a mental boost.

Face your fears

Too often we sabotage our self-confidence by hiding from what frightens us.

Train yourself to identify and examine your fears so you can take action against potential setbacks. Be more powerful than what you’re trying to avoid.

Adjust your thought patterns

Avoid negative thinking, such as all-or-nothing thoughts (“If I don’t get this job, I’ll be a total failure”), seeing only the downside (“I finished the project, but what if people see how tough it was for me?”), jumping to conclusions (“Bob didn’t reply to my email—he hates me”), or putting yourself down.

Train yourself to see the positives in every situation. Practicing a daily gratitude ritual can help train your brain into automatically seeing the positive.

Pay attention to your appearance

You don’t have to buy a lot of expensive suits, but devoting some time to your wardrobe, hair, and overall grooming can pay off by making you feel better about how you present yourself. A neat, professional look inspires confidence from others, and helps you feel better about your prospects.

Know what you want

Vague goals won’t inspire your best efforts. You’ll feel more confident and capable with a clear idea of what you want to achieve in your life and career, and if those goals are what you want—not someone else’s idea of what’s important.

Image courtesy of Victor1558.