Confidence is a key to high performance. Unfortunately, confidence is often misunderstood and people overlook the most important part – self-worth.

Most people struggle with self-confidence because the self-talk in their head is their own worst enemy. Here are 4 other reasons why people struggle with self-confidence:

Yo-Yo Confidence: Tying their self-image to external results or praise

Imposter Syndrome: Believing they are not worthy and/or don’t belong

Victim Mentality: Blaming others and not taking responsibility

Negativity Bias: Constantly beating yourself up and overly focusing on the negatives

However, you can go from being your own worst enemy to being your own best ally by following these 3 steps to strengthen your self-confidence:

Step 1: Start with the Roots of the Tree – Self-Worth
Self-worth is the foundation for confidence. How do you see yourself? Do you think you’re worthy of succeeding? If your self-worth isn’t sturdy and firmly grounded, you’ll have a hard time developing the rest of your tree. Remember, roots are underground. Your roots – your self-worth – should not be influenced by other people, results, or any other external factors. You are responsible for choosing your own self-worth.

Step 2: Grow a Well-Rounded Tree
The rest of the tree is made up of 3 parts: The trunk, the branches, and the leaves. The trunk represents your self-esteem (how you feel about yourself overall). The branches represent your self-confidence (how you feel about yourself and your abilities in different areas of life). The leaves represent self-efficacy (your belief in your ability to complete a specific task). It’s normal to have some branches be weaker than others, but it’s still important to make sure you’re building self-confidence and self-efficacy in different areas of your life to make your tree as well-rounded as possible.

Step 3: Put in the Work and Own Your Capabilities
Don’t make it a confidence problem if it’s a capabilities problem. Because of the world we live in these days, confidence tends to be heavily tied to praise and results, which creates a lot of variability in confidence and performance. When we focus on our capabilities, we’re putting in the work, owning our capabilities, and preparing well, which allows for more stability in both confidence and performance.

The most important takeaway is that you are in control of your self-confidence. It’s a skill that you can develop if you work at it. Start by strengthening your self-worth, then grow a well-rounded tree by developing your self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-efficacy.

Self-confidence is a skill that can be developed if you’re willing to put in the work and own your capabilities.

Be your own best ally, not your own worst enemy.