[caption id=“attachment_1930” align=“aligncenter” width=“1024”] These buffalo seem pretty confident. They must have read this article. Photograph 027 by Lauren Mancke found on minimography.com[/caption]I’ll cut to the chase: There are many, many articles out there about becoming more confident, and most of them contain good advice you’ve heard a thousand times before.

Below, please find three unconventional tips for building confidence. If you’ve only got a few seconds, skip to #3.

1. Notice patterns in your mood

We can avoid or modify many of the situations that cause us to question our self-worth, but the first step is paying attention. And I’m convinced that success in anything is largely a matter of paying closer attention than most people do.

Become a serious student of your own behavior. What recurring experiences bring you down? When do you routinely feel deflated?

  • Does happy hour with a certain group of coworkers always leave you full of self-doubt?
  • Do you feel bad about yourself when you skip your workout?
  • Is there a family member who subtly belittles you?

Simply paying closer attention is a good start, but if you really want to put your mood patterns under the microscope, consider these two methods for recording your experiences.

A. Use a journal

I took up journaling about a month ago, and I’m amazed at how it’s enriched my awareness of the recent past. As I reread three-week-old entries, memories spring to life in vibrant color instead of hazy sepia. I’ll write about the value of journaling soon, but suffice it to say it’s well worth the few minutes it takes each day.

B. Use an app

I’m also using an app called Track Your Happiness, and I’m hopeful that it too will help me suss out patterns in my mood. It interrupts you several times each day over a 30-day period to ask you how you feel and a series of short questions about your environment. You can see your aggregated results at any time.

Track Your Happiness Screenshot

I’m looking forward to my results at the end of 30 days, but so far I’m finding Track Your Happiness worthwhile.

2. Accept your weaknesses while working on them

Personal development is a bit of a paradox.

On one hand, we can make sweeping changes to our lives any time we wish. We can build new habits, learn to see the world differently, and shore up our weaknesses.

But we’ll never get rid of them.

As a perfectionist, I struggle to make decisions when there’s no clear best option. I’ve worked hard for years to harness my perfectionism, and I’ve made huge strides. But it’ll always be there, and I try to accept it as a facet of my personality.

Do you have any traits like that?

3. Start a blog

Everyone should blog, even if it’s not under their own name, every single day. If you are in public, making predictions and noticing things, your life gets better, because you will find a discipline that can’t help but benefit you.

— Seth Godin (from his interview with Tim Ferriss)

Blogging has done wonders for my self-confidence. I say stuff twice a week, and if I don’t have something to say, I have to find something to say. As Seth Godin notes above, blogging forces you to notice things you’d never have noticed otherwise. Having written 140 articles on this blog, I’ve noticed a definite increase in my overall level of self-confidence since I began.

I’d love it if you started a blog, too. It’s 100% fine to make it anonymous–just set up a blog and post once a day for a week. That’s how I got started in earnest. You don’t have to tell a soul—just start.

And I’d be honored to help in any way I can. If you decide to give blogging a go, contact me for help with any part of the process. I won’t even ask you the name of your blog unless you tell me.

So there you have it—three unconventional tips for becoming more confident.

Pick one and try it out!