The other day a friend of mine asked where I got my confidence and how I’ve maintained it for so long. I kind of chuckled at first—thinking about previous versions of Kaili and how not confident she was—before actually stopping to think about her questions.
Here’s the truth: I haven’t always been super confident. In fact, I used to dislike nearly everything about myself—especially my looks.
But today is a different story. I can say with 100% honesty that I love the woman I am. I love her heart. I love her brain. I love her body. And I love the way she looks at life.
Today, I am confident. And I know we can get you there too. Let’s dive in.
State Your Truths
First on the agenda is stating your truths. Figuring out exactly who you are and deciding to forget about all the negative stories you’ve told yourself in the past, like:
- I’m ugly.
- I’m not good enough.
- No one wants me.
- I’ll never amount to anything.
- Everyone is better than me.
- I’m average.
- I’m a failure.
All these lies, these false narratives you play in your head, are things you’ve chosento believe. Sure, someone might have said them to you before, but ultimately it’s your choice to listen, agree, and wear them as your truth.
Cut that shit out.
People are cruel, ok? The world isn’t a soft cozy place made to make you feel warm and special. It’s full of flawed humans all trying to find their place in the world while doing their best not to get hurt. In the process of that, they put others down because they think it’ll help them get a leg up.
Ignore it. Don’t believe it. Make the conscious decision to recognize that just because it’s been voiced, doesn’t mean it’s true. There are tons of lies floating around that people choose to believe. Jump on social media for 5 minutes and you’ll realize that people latch on to anything that reinstates their belief systems.
Your confidence is a lot like that. If someone called you fat in the 4thgrade, you’ll continue to surround yourself with people and situations that reinstate your internalized belief that you’re fat.
THIS IS NOT YOUR TRUTH.
It might feel like it—and that’s fair. You have every right to feel how you feel. But if you want to build your confidence up, the first step is defining and boldly stating your truths.
Sound like hooey wooey spiritual yogi shit to you? Oh well, get over it. It works. Here are your steps:
- Get a sheet of paper and a pen. No, we’re not doing this on your phone. Take a digital break and actually write this out.
- Make a list of the false truths you currently believe about yourself.
- Tear that shit up. That’s your story from the past. We don’t need to erase it, but it’s time to rewrite it.
- Make a list of people and situations that make you feel crumby. Make the decision to cut them out of your life for good. Stick to it. It’s time to move on.
- Make a list of people and situations that you feel your absolute best with/in. Tape this to your bathroom mirror or on your wall. Promise yourself to only spend time with these people and doing these things from here on out.
- Take some time to think about your actual truths. These too are a decision. Everything that exists first existed as a thought. So, let’s get those thoughts on paper. Some examples: I am bold. I am confident. I am a go-getter. I am beautiful. My body is strong and powerful.
- Read this list every single day. Out loud. Think, speak, and act like a person who holds these truths would. Go where they would go. Read what they would read. Talk about what they would talk about.
Be Intentional With Your Circle
Remember that list of people and places that make you feel icky? They should be gone from your life now, and the next step is intentionally choosing your circle.
Think about the type of person you’re becoming. Who would they hang out with? What types of activities would they frequent? What kinds of conversations would they have with friends? For instance, my answers look like this:
- I hang out with people who are respectful, kind, generous, hardworking, and honest.
- I choose to be friends with a diverse group of thinkers who broaden my horizons and force me to level up every single day.
- My friend group actively chooses to avoid gossip and judgement. We talk openly and honestly about life, our struggles, and our successes. Everyone celebrates everyone’s wins. No one wants anything but the best for each other.
- We are active—going on regular adventures. We try new things. We support each other’s hobbies and are willing to try them. We seek out opportunities to learn and grow—like speakers, events, and courses.
Figure out what your answers are and find a group of humans who fit that mold. Don’t stop searching until you find them. Trust me—settling in your friendships will set you much further back than you think.
Not sure where to find these people? You have a few options:
- Ask your friends for introductions. Friends-of-friends are a great place to start.
- Look for them where you spend lots of your time. If you love to workout—find friends at the gym or on the trail. If you’re a big reader—join a book club.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Making friends is scary, even for adults. Put your big kid pants on and make the first move. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation or invite someone to do something.
- Keep trying. And trying. And trying. It’s worth it when you find the right crew.
And on more thing: Find people who hype you up—and mean it. Your circle should make you feel like you deserve all the love and respect in the world. They should voice to you how proud they are of your accomplishments. And you should do the same for them.
PS: They should also keep you in check. True friends won’t hype you up just for the hell of it. If you’re off your path and acting foolish, they’ll let you know—and they absolutely should.
Confidence builds upon itself. Every time you crush one of your goals—celebrate! No win is too small. Eventually, small wins add up to big wins. And once you’ve got enough under your belt, you’ll have no choice but to feel rad about yourself.
Here’s what my confidence pyramid looked like in relation to my career:
- Sophomore year of college I reached my lowest point. I genuinely didn’t care to see another day. But then I switched majors and everything shifted.
- At 21, I founded a magazine. Small win.
- At 22, I earned an apprenticeship at a large publishing house. Small win.
- At 23, I started work building my writing and branding business. Small win.
- At 24, I opened my business full-time and moved across the country. Small win.
On their own, each of these victories were pretty small. But together, they added up to give me the confidence needed to be my own boss, create content for Fortune 500 companies, and feel like a total badass while doing it.
Your wins might look different. They can be anything that bring you joy and make you feel a little bit more on top of the world. They don’t have to be career-related. They can be relationship, friendship, family, fitness, mental, spiritual, creative, or honestly—anything at all.
Each one you reach, take time to do something special for yourself. Remind yourself that you’ve come a long way—you’re slowly creating the best version of yourself.
GOOD FOR YOU. Celebrate the heck out of your wins. And don’t let anyone make you feel self-centered for doing so. What’s the point of growth if you’re not allowed to celebrate?
Follow Your Highest Self
Alright guys, this is where we really put things into motion. You’ve got your story, your circle is popping with the best kind of people, and you’re celebrating wins left and right. Now it’s time to live it out.
Every time you’re faced with a decision, a fork in the road, do what your highest self would do. Say what the best version of you would say. Act with love. Act with urgency. Act with authenticity. And do so confidently. Boldly. Loudly.
If you truly live out your new story and embody that which you’ve decided to be, you have no choice but to be proud and full of confidence.
- Full of love
Believe it. Embody it. Act like it.
Confidence isn’t something you’re born with. It’s something you actively choose to nourish and grow. Own that decision, and realize it takes time. And it takes learning to love not only the person you are, but the person you’re becoming.
These steps are a simple framework to follow as you fill up your confidence cup. If you find yourself backtracking, which we all do, just start the process over. Figure out which step you’re slipping on and actively choose to change it.
As long as you’re moving forward—you’re doing alright.
A few last minute tips to add fuel to your fire:
- Wear what makes you feel good.I’m not into fashion, but I know damn well what looks great on my body. Therefore, I wear it. And when I step out, I feel good. Do the same.
- Bump a confidence playlist. Nothing hypes me up like music. If I’m ever feeling down on myself, I pop on a playlist that automatically makes me dance and sing (not well)—because it’s nearly impossible not to be happy when you’re grooving.
- Repeat a mantra.If you’re into yoga you’re probably familiar with mantras. Here’s how I use them: Whenever I find myself thinking negatively about myself, I shift my thinking to my mantra and repeat it in my head. It can be something as simple as: I radiate joy and positivity. Repeat until the nasty thoughts are gone.
- Surround yourself with confident people.If your friends constantly bash themselves, you’ll fall into the same cycle. Choose people who exude confidence. Change the conversation the second someone starts spewing self-hate.
- Forgive.A lot of us feel negatively about ourselves based on things people have said or done in the past. The longer you hold onto that, the longer you’ll feel the burn. Forgive them and move on. You’re onto a new chapter.
And if you need someone to chat with about all of this—I’m your girl, and I’m always here.