How To Be More Confident So When You’re Ready To Date, You Have A Better Shot At Finding Love
It can feel daunting to start dating again especially if you’ve taken a break. You don’t know how the rules have changed or what they were to begin with. You might feel gun-shy from past experiences, or you may worry about how to keep yourself safe and not repeat past mistakes. It’s important to know how to be more confident through the dating process when you’re ready to date so you can show up authentically and not be afraid of rejection.
The fear of rejection is the biggest reason you don’t want to risk your heart. Love is always a risk, even in the healthiest of relationships. Being open and vulnerable to another person is a gamble, but if you want to be loved for who you really are you have to take that risk and show up as who you really are.
Having healthy confidence and self-esteem will give you the assurance you need to take those risks. But what if you don’t feel very confident? It’s not like you can flip a switch and suddenly feel confident, assured, and ready to tackle dating again.
Confidence grows from taking small actions regularly to ultimately create a larger change. Build your confidence BEFORE you’re ready to date so you’ll have a better shot at finding lasting love, and not giving up before accomplishing your goal.
How To Be More Confident So You’re Ready To Date Again
Confidence not only helps you to risk your heart; it’s attractive to potential partners. A person who is comfortable in their own skin and clear on what they want is attractive. Going from feeling insecure and full of self-doubt to being confident on a date can be as easy as taking a few simple actions.
Remember, no one is born confident. How to be more confident through the dating process comes from taking action and practicing new skills.
Know Yourself And What You Want
When you know yourself you’ll naturally feel more confident. Get clear on what you like and don’t like. What makes you feel good and what causes you upset? How can you ever expect to get what you desire if you don’t know what you want?
Don’t worry about what you don’t want, and instead create a clear and focused vision of your desired outcome. When you have clarity about who you are and what you want, you won’t take it so personally when you meet someone who isn’t a good fit. If you show up authentically and your date decides you two are not a match, they’re doing you a favor. You don’t want to waste your time with someone who doesn’t get you and doesn’t want to win your heart.
How to be more confident so you’re ready to jump back into dating? Create the vision of your ideal relationship BEFORE you start dating or browsing dating apps for a match.
Asking For What You Want
The top two reasons people don’t speak up and make requests are the fear of rejection and feeling undeserving. You don’t have to justify your desires. You can ask for things you want simply because you’d like them. No justification is necessary.
You’ll never get what you want if you don’t ask. It may feel uncomfortable to speak your truth, but it’s worth the effort. Even if you don’t get what you want, you’ll feel better about yourself for speaking up and your self-confidence will grow.
If you’d like your date to travel across town to pick you up rather than meeting in the middle, you could simply ask for that. Do you want him to open your car door or call you instead of texting? Ask. When you risk and ask for what you want, you’re taking actions that tell yourself that you’re worthy of receiving and that you count and you matter.
You’ll feel more confident when you start speaking up and asking for what you want. You may discover that it’s easy to get what you want.
Stepping Through Warm And Hot Doors
Taking an action that feels scary or risky is like stepping through a warm door. A cold door action is a comfortable action, something that you do every day and doesn’t have any risk. A hot door action is a big leap into the unknown.
Taking a new action can feel fearful, but that fear is ultimately a paper tiger because there is zero risk of physical danger. An emotional fear can’t kill you. You won’t even break a nail asking for what want (LOL). Facing an emotional fear and stepping through a hot door will bring you a reward every single time.
This doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed success. You may not get what you want, but you will be rewarded in some way, as well as develop the confidence that you can speak up and ask for things that you desire.
The more warm and hot door actions you take, the more confident you’ll feel and the more comfortable in your own skin. Don’t take our word for it, instead run the experiment.
You don’t have to risk it all and jump into taking a hot door action right away (unless you want to move things along quickly). Take it slow by choosing a few warm door actions and build your confidence one step at a time.
Don’t wait and wonder how to be more confident, take actions now that scare you a little bit and watch your confidence grow.
Changing Your Inner Dialogue
How you speak to yourself has a direct effect on how you feel about yourself. If you repeatedly say to yourself, “I’m so stupid!” every time you make a mistake you’ll feel worse about your mistake and your self-esteem will plummet.
If you say, “I’ll get it next time,” then you’ll feel your confidence grow and you won’t keep repeating the same mistakes.
First, identify your inner dialogue by paying attention to what you say to yourself about yourself. Notice if you are kind and compassionate with yourself or if you are critical and judgmental. Pay attention to how you feel when something doesn’t go your way or when you’re afraid to speak up.
Once you’ve identified your inner dialog, begin the process of saying more useful and empowering things to yourself. Use in-process language like, “I’m learning to feel more confident each day.” Affirming that you’re learning and growing gives you a feeling of hopefulness and willingness to change.
To be more confident, speak to yourself in a way that empowers you to keep moving forward. You don’t have to do things perfectly, instead, give yourself permission to acknowledge your efforts to create positive change.
Looking For Evidence
Humans are wired to focus on the negative. It’s a survival strategy that was much better suited to living in caves and hunting wild animals than it is to our modern-day world. Your mind highlights negative experiences to keep you on alert for danger.
But trying something new isn’t dangerous and it isn’t useful for your mind to highlight experiences that confirm your fears and insecurities. Instead, relax your nervous system by focusing on the belief that you are safe and free from immediate harm.
Look for evidence in areas of your life where you do feel confident to remind yourself you’re a competent person. Everyone is an expert at something, even if it’s as simple as folding laundry or staying within a budget. How did you become good at that? How do you feel when you do that activity? What do you say to yourself about yourself when you’ve completed that activity?
By regularly finding evidence that you’re confident in certain areas of your life, you’ll help bolster your overall sense of self-esteem. You probably weren’t born feeling confident in that area of your life. You had to practice to get good at it before you felt like an expert.
If you want to feel more confident in your dating life, identify where you do feel confident and use that as fuel to build up belief in yourself.
Keeping A Success Journal
Highlighting areas of your life where you have accomplished something helps build your confidence. You can do this by keeping a daily success journal.
At the end of each day, write down five accomplishments or successes for each day. These successes don’t have to be life-changing. They’re relative to your day. For example, if you have a fever and are suffering from the flu, making yourself toast and tea is a success for that day that you can write down.
You can build your confidence even quicker by also keeping a journal of lifetime successes. In this additional journal, you will write down the biggest accomplishments in your life. You can use this list to remind yourself of how amazing you are and all that you’ve overcome to arrive at this moment.
Start your lifetime success journal by writing down “learning to walk” and “learning to talk” because not everybody gets to do that. If one of your daily successes is a big accomplishment you can add it to your lifetime success journal when appropriate.
When you want to be more confident, writing down your daily successes and focusing on your accomplishments will help build self-assurance.
Learning Something New
Nothing builds confidence like learning something new. If you don’t feel confident with online dating, research how to write an effective profile or how to take a great photograph. Feeling insecure about what to say on a first date? Investigate good questions to ask to get to know someone better.
Anytime you learn something new your confidence grows, and you feel better about yourself. Ask anyone who has mastered swing dance or learned public speaking and they’ll tell you how it has changed their life and how much better they feel about themselves.
You’ll be more confident just by going through the process of learning a new skill. Just remember to be patient with yourself as you go through the learning process.
You can decide to make mastering dating a new goal. That way you’ll grow more confident as you embrace the learning progression.
Stop Twisting Into A Pretzel
Nothing chips away at your confidence like needing someone else’s acceptance or approval. Wanting someone to like you can cause you to twist yourself into a pretzel trying to win their love and approval. Eventually, it becomes exhausting because you can never relax and be your authentic self.
You’ll never feel good about yourself if you believe you have to change to be loved. Notice how you feel when you’re with someone you care about it. Do you feel relaxed and comfortable? Or are you always on the edge afraid you’ll do or say something wrong?
The people who truly love you, love you because of who you are, not who you pretend to be. Stop worrying about what is pleasing to someone else and focus on showing up authentically and speaking your truth.
You don’t have to prove yourself worthy of love or get caught up in what you think your date finds attractive. The more you relax and show up authentically the more confident you’ll feel just being yourself.
Putting Blinders On So You See Your Goal Clearly
Comparing yourself to others is detrimental to your self-confidence. It’s too easy to focus on someone else being better than you. Stop comparing yourself to others and put blinders on. The only one you need to worry about being better than is your younger self.
A horse that wears blinders can only focus on what is in front of them. If you want to be more confident, keep your focus on your progress and improving yourself. Telling yourself that it’s easier for someone else doesn’t help you.
Like a marathon runner, you are only trying to beat your previous time. You are only trying to be better today than you were yesterday. Track your progress, let your efforts count, and continue to foster an inner dialog that is supportive.
Successful dating doesn’t require you to be the most confident person in the room. It doesn’t even require that you feel confident every day of the week. Successful dating requires that you show up authentically and take a risk with your heart. When you are willing to take small risks then you’ll build confidence over time.
Are you struggling to feel more confident about yourself? Do you believe that you aren’t worthy of the love you really want? Personalized support can be exactly what you need. If you’re ready to change your dating strategies and get the love you want, join us for a complimentary Soulmate Strategy Session and we’ll help you create a custom plan for the lasting love you desire and deserve.
About the authors
Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches and prolific writers about love. Finding love, keeping love, healing from heartbreak, bringing in your beloved and more. They have been published on MSN, Yahoo!, YourTango, Redbook, and have been featured guest experts on BRAVO’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER with Patti Stanger, and as guests with Esther Perel speaking about love and intimacy.