Unlike what fitness and fashion magazines tell us, real confidence isn’t earned by removing all your body hair, colouring in your brows or finally getting ‘toned’. Here’s my guide on how to be more confident.

Real confidence can’t come off with your waterproof mascara, toupé or spanx.

Real confidence doesn’t wilt under a fluorescent light bulb, a bright camera flash or wither with each birthday cake you’re given.

“Conditional confidence” (that’s what I’m calling it) is for suckers (i.e not you, my friend, because you’re fabulous).

The kind of confidence I dream of for you is much more grand and permanent.

That juicy, succulent kind of confidence – the kind that can be felt and seen in someone no matter what they’re wearing – is impossible to fake.

Real confidence sticks with you. It’s unconditional.

So if you want to build confidence that last longer than a set of false eyelashes or a one-night stand, then lean in and let’s chat.

How to gain confidence? Follow this guide. Image: Lyndi Cohen
How to gain confidence? Follow this guide. Image: Lyndi Cohen

So, you want to know how to be more confident?

First, let’s get back to basics.

Rule #1: Confidence is based on how well you think you can do something.

In other words, you build confidence through practice.

So if you’re confident at public speaking, chances are you’ve done quite a bit of public speaking before.

You’re confident at things you’re good at.

…And you’re good at things you practice.

Therefore, if you want to build unconditional confidence, you just need a little practice.

Rule #2: You can’t build confidence without first feeling uncomfortable.

Many people try to avoid discomfort by trying to build confidence (to cover up their insecurities). This is a mistake because…

Discomfort is the path to unconditional confidence.

For example, just like you can’t become confident at public speaking without ever getting up in front of any audience…

You won’t feel more confident with how you look by covering up (with make-up or clothes) all the things you don’t like about yourself.

And you can’t build body confidence by losing weight or getting plastic surgery.

Do all these things and you will temporarily fake confidence… but you won’t build unconditional, long-lasting, life-changing confidence.

To get unconditionally confident, you need to:

  • be cool with being crap
  • allow yourself to be average and awkward and odd
  • realise you’re always going to be imperfect no matter how much you work at it
  • start before you ‘feel ready’
  • get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Rule #3: You aren’t born with confidence and you can’t buy confidence.

While some people are born with natural talent or good looks, which makes it easier to build unconditional confidence…

….confidence is always something you build and cultivate with time and practice.

You can become a confident person. You can learn how to be secure in yourself. It’s one of those things you can develop.

Unconditional confidence is intrinsic. It goes everywhere with you, no matter what you wear or what you weigh.

Rule #4: Confidence is what happens when you take OFF your armour.

If you only feel confident while wearing make-up, you’ll always feel you need to wear make-up to be seen and feel confident.

If you only feel confident when you’re wearing your ‘thin’ clothes, you’ll feel scared to leave the house when you naturally fluctuate.

If you want to learn how to feel more confident about how you look, you actually need to peel OFF the layers that you put on.

And then challenge your new limits…

Finding this challenging? You are not alone. In this episode of my podcast No Wellness Wankery, I got a question from Nat all the way from London. Nat wanted to chat make-up, how to build up the courage to wear less and how to deal with the constant pressure to lipstick up.

Podcast No Wellness Wankery

Rule #5: Do self-care AND get self-aware.

No human is confident when tired or hangry or heaps hormonal. We all doubt ourselves when we are weakened by the world – or our menstrual cycle.

Self-care is essential to confidence because it keeps your energy stores high and gives you the best foundation to go out into the world with.

Self-care means:

  • having good hygiene – a clean face, body and clothes
  • moving your body for energy and to keep your mood balanced
  • fuelling your body with foods that make you feel good
  • saying no when people ask too much of you
  • taking time out to restore your energy when it’s low.

But self-care without self-awareness is useless.

So get good at listening to that smart, wonderful body of yours. What is it asking from you?

Are you listening to what it has to say or too busy being tuned into the chatter of other people’s opinions? And how do your actions affect other people?

When we are kind and respectful to other people, I believe it’s much easier to be kind and respectful to ourselves.

By the way, if you need a little help with feeling confident in your body, you’ll like my FREE 30-day challenge. I teach you how to be comfortable with your body and how to say goodbye to crappy old-school diet advice. Click below to sign up for free.

Join my free 30-day challenge for more body confidence. It'll be delivered straight into your inbox. Image: Lyndi Cohen
Join my free 30-day challenge for more body confidence. It’ll be delivered straight into your inbox. Image: Lyndi Cohen

Lyndi’s Unconditional Confidence Challenges:


Don’t wear make-up for a week

Letting people see your pimples, wrinkles, lines or spots… and knowing that you’re still OK? This can build real confidence.

Wearing make-up makes your skin worse, which means you want to wear more make-up to cover it all up… and things escalate from there.

What would happen if you didn’t wear make-up? Would people’s opinions of you change? Would your opinion of yourself change?

What you might find is nothing much happens except you gain more time in your day for other things you care about.

If the idea of this challenge seems ‘too much’ or ‘too hard’, ask yourself why that is. Perhaps, then this challenge is worth trying.


Via @nude_nutritionist on


Tell bullies to back off

A lot of advice on building confidence tells you to just ‘be yourself’… which is stupid because of course you’ve tried that (and what the hell does ‘just be yourself’ even mean?)

Fact is: it’s bloody hard to ‘just be yourself’ and put yourself out there when you’re surrounded by critics (ahem: dickheads).

For unconditional confidence to grow, you need to create an environment for it.

This means telling haters to back off. If you have a friend or family member (perhaps your mum or partner?) who ‘tries to help’ by making comments about your weight but who only leaves you deflated, it’s time to have a chat with them and set your boundaries.

If these comments aren’t helpful, it’s time to tell them it’s not OK (and even if you once asked them to do it, you can change your mind and ask them to do the opposite).

It’s going to be hard and uncomfortable but that’s why Rule #2 is there.

You can do it, kiddo.

I give concrete tips and ideas on how to do this in this blog post.


Smile at strangers

The fundamental fear we all have, the reason for our lack of confidence is:

“People will judge me”.

This is why we keep our lives and dreams small and are too afraid to speak up or be seen. It’s time to challenge that idea.

Start by smiling at strangers you pass on the street.

What you’ll find is that almost everyone will smile back.

This little practice will help teach you that people often respond very well when you put yourself out there.

Just by smiling at a stranger, you can go from fearing someone’s judgement to connecting.

I believe this practice also boosts your mood and can help you be less judgemental of yourself and others, helping you build confidence.

Though it’s very true that not everyone is always going to like you, you need to have the courage to be disliked. In fact, knowing you are disliked and being OK with it can bring bucketloads of confidence.

Take home messagehow to be more confident

Confidence is important.

And building unconditional confidence requires you to be brave. To take care of yourself. There is no shortcut or quick fix. The process can be uncomfortable.

But once you’ve earned real confidence by doing the work, through practice, it’s deeply comforting to know that it can never be rinsed off in the shower or taken away from you by someone else.

My App Back to Basics can help with building confidence. It’s not only packed with bs-free recipes & fun exercises but also with mindset videos and challenges to improve your confidence and help you build a positive body image. Try it free for 7-days. It might just be the confidence boost you’re looking for. 🙂