How to Be More Confident (One Super Easy Strategy)

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 01/18/18 •  8 min read

Every entrepreneur no matter what level they’re at, how experienced they are, or how much money they’ve made will run into this problem at some point.

Most of you, will run into this problem every single week, if not every day.

What problem is that?


How to Be More Confident

I can’t tell you how many times with Location Rebel I’ve questioned myself, wondered if anyone is actually paying attention, or if I should just pack it all in and go get a real job.

Building a business is hard. Especially with so many people out there who’d like to see you fail, or simply be able to say “I told you so”. It’s an uphill battle.

And that’s why I’d like to introduce you to something today.

This one thing has been a game changer for me.

Sure you’ve heard myself and others preach about the importance of having a supportive community, mentors, and a path to follow – but all of those only get you so far.

You have to have the intrinsic motivation and drive to get shit done, and say “I’m going to build this, and it’s going to be amazing.”

So how do you find that intrinsic motivation and confidence during times when you’re feeling anything but motivated or confident?

Enter: the confidence totem.

First, What is a “Totem?”

I first got the idea of a “totem’ from a talk my good friend Vanessa Van Edwards did last summer.

She talked about a gratitude totem.

Essentially this is a physical object or location that forces you to be grateful whenever you see it.

For her, it was a stoplight that was always red at the bottom of her street. She’d often have to wait for minutes at it, and would get really frustrated every time.

But finally she switched it and turned that stoplight into a gratitude totem. Now whenever she’s at that light, she pauses and thinks about all of the things she is grateful for.

She took something very negative and full of negative emotions and made it a positive.

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So, What is a Confidence Totem?

A confidence totem is a physical object that is special to you, that invokes confidences whenever you see it, wear it, or think about it.

This, is my Omega Speedmaster Professional:

Stoked to share my first #speedytuesday. Wanted one for years. I set a business goal and said I’d finally get one when I reached it. This summer, I hit it and this Moon Watch is the result 🙂

A post shared by Sean Ogle (@seanogle) on

I’d wanted to buy this watch for years. It has some family history for me, it looks cool, and I also said I wasn’t going to do it until I hit certain business goals.

Last summer, I hit those goals and I bought the watch – which most people would just laugh at and say “you spent how much on a watch?”

But it’s not for most people. It’s for me.

It’s not about status or showing off, it’s about confidence.

Personally, my confidence totems have always been watches. It started 8 years ago as a fake version of this same watch when I lived in Bangkok – and over the years I’ve stairstepped my way into the one I’d always wanted.

When I wear it, it’s a reminder of what I had to do to get where I am today. It’s a reminder of all that I’ve accomplished. It’s a reminder of why I work hard every day, and it allows me to focus on the things I want in life.

Simply wearing it evokes confidence in myself, my abilities, and my business.

And when you’re striking out on your own, you’re going to need confidence.

What Are Other Examples of a Confidence Totem?

Regardless of whether you’re incredibly self-assured or full of self doubt, at some point in your life you’ve felt confident.

You know what it feels like, and you have an idea of what makes you confident.

I’ve always liked watches, so that was a natural fit.

When I was in college I wore Seven jeans. That’s what was in style, and while all the girls wore them, not as many guys did. So spending a little bit more on a pair of jeans (that I pretty much wore every day), gave me that much more confidence when I was going around on campus (and all those same girls, always complimented them ha).

For many people, it’s a new pair of shoes. Derek just talked about some of the reasons he wears expensive, noticeable shoes. You better believe those are a confidence totem.

So obvious examples are clothes and jewelry – but it doesn’t have to be something you wear, and it doesn’t have to be an expensive luxury item.

Another great example is printing a photo of a time you were confident and putting it in your purse or wallet. Or considering its 2018, saving it as the home screen on your phone.

Maybe it’s a tool that you have that helps with your business. A laptop, camera, or something else you use on a regular day that invokes a sense of confidence in your abilities.

Perhaps it’s a song that you listen to, and every time you turn it on you get pumped up and ready to conquer the world.

The point here, is that a confidence totem is something that is unique to you. 

Chances are, you actually already have something that serves as this as well. But actually thinking about it, and designating it as your “confidence totem” will evoke that much more energy and benefit out of it.

The Benefits of Having a Confidence Totem

You’ve probably got a good sense of why this is important, but if not here are just a few of the benefits you’ll get from having a confidence totem of your own:

  1. The Ability to Change Your Perspective Quickly – If I find myself in a confidence lull, honestly, all it takes is putting on my watch. It causes me to think through all of the business wins I had to justify getting it, and within seconds I get a boost of confidence that can can totally change my mood.
  2. Increased Productivity – My totem can remind me that this lifestyle and business is a privilege, not an entitlement. Whenever I remember that, I immediately get back down to work.
  3. Greater Sense of Authority – As a new entrepreneur, it can be easy to suffer from imposter syndrome. Sometimes we just need a quick boost of confidence to own up to our role as an expert or authority in our chosen field.
  4. Confidence – Clearly.

How to Find Your Confidence Totem

Step 1: Think Back to The Times You Were Most Confident

Right now you might be thinking “yeah, but I’m just starting out, I haven’t had any big wins yet.”

You may not in your new business, but you have had things in your life that have given you confidence.

Think back to those.

Examples could include:

Make a list of these. Doing this, already should start to help you build some confidence.

2) Make a List of Physical Objects or Symbols that Relate to Each of Those Things

Some examples of this could include:

Any of these could make for good confidence totems, and you should probably have a pretty good list going at the end of this.

3) Choose Something that Has the Greatest Personal Impact from You

Everyone is motivated by different things, and as such, everyone draws confidence from different things as well.

So think about your list, and choose something that has the most significance for you. 

And frankly, it could be a combination of things for different situations. There are no rules with this. This whole exercise is all about finding something you can turn to on a regular basis to give you a boost of confidence, fearlessness, and determination during the times you need it most.

A Simple Way to Gain Confidence

So there you have it, that’s my incredibly simple way to be more confident quickly.

I linked to it above as well, but I’d also definitely recommend you read How to Accomplish Your Goals (Using the Stairstep Method) next.

It correlates well because while my personal totem is a fancy watch – but it hasn’t always been that way. I stairstepped my way into it over the many years.

So go through the 3 step process above, start small, and always remember that a lifestyle business like any of the ones we talk about on this site is totally attainable – you just have to be willing to put in the work!

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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Comments on "How to Be More Confident (One Super Easy Strategy)"

  1. I think you’re on to something with this totem idea. As you say, it may not be a physical object. When you shifted from the watch to other ideas, it reminded me of the book The Five Love Languages.

    Now that has nothing to do directly with this, but I wonder if, in some way, the desired feelings from understanding how you receive love might align with what totem would be meaningful to your readers / watchers.

    Thanks for continuing to stir the pot of entrepreneurship.

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