Improving your self confidence may seem like a daunting task—but I have some great news for you today! It can be done. Actually, if you want to truly be successful in your personal and work life, it must be done. And I’m here to tell you how to do just that.

Improving self confidence is a skill that anyone can learn. We identify skills as something we can develop over time; when we flex them and work them like a muscle, they only get stronger. Let’s help you flex that confidence muscle to improve your self esteem and all other aspects of your life, as a result!

Tip 1: Find Your Baseline.

You need to know where you’re starting from; you need to know your own confidence baseline. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? While my own experience has taught me that we can be extremely blind to our own weaknesses, finding a baseline is key in developing confidence. You need to know where you’re starting in order to understand where you’re going.

As a child, I often felt I was less than others, and to make up for my insecurity, I became very outgoing and competitive. I led teams, won contests and drew a lot of attention to myself and in turn, acquired what I—and those who watched me grow up—believed was a healthy confidence.

It wasn’t until I was an adult, in the midst of my divorce, that I realized what I possessed wasn’t true confidence. It was a direct result of external validation, and it was hollow. Sometimes, you have to go through something very negative to be shaken to your core. During this trying time, I realized that I needed to see myself more clearly. Here I was, feeling like a failure, a loser, a quitter…and a terrible mother. I was hard on myself; I’d hear the way I talked to myself and realized these were not the words of a confident woman. I didn’t feel empowered. I felt paranoid, scared and uncertain about the future.

As difficult as this time was for me, finding my baseline (in my case, zero self confidence) started me down a new road which has vastly improved my life and my self worth. Sometimes, we really need to fail to see what is holding us back. Identifying that you are lacking confidence is a great place to start.