“The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.” ~ Author Unknown
We are all born with confidence – just ask any new mother if their baby lacks confidence and they will tell you that their newborn has no problems in letting them know what they want and when they want it in the most confident manner. Yet, somehow along the way to adulthood, through our life experiences, we will all experience a confidence crisis from time to time. This may relate to ill health/surgery/injury, our work, redundancy, a relationship ending, etc. It is at these times that we lack confidence; that is to say we lose the feeling of being self-assured and fail to appreciate our abilities and qualities.
It is at times like this, that it’s important to remind ourselves that we all have the ability to become more confident to do the things we really want to do. Self-confidence works just like a muscle – it grows in response to the level of performance required of it.
Here are a few tips to help you to develop confidence:
Good Posture – By practicing good posture, you’ll automatically feel more confident. Stand up straight, keep your head up, and make eye contact. You’ll make a positive impression on others and instantly feel more empowered.
Focus on Gratitude – When you don’t feel confident, it becomes easy to dwell on your weaknesses. The best way to avoid this is to consciously focus on gratitude. Each day mentally list everything you have to be grateful for including all of your past successes, your unique qualities, your talents and skills and the loving relationships you enjoy.
Identify Triggers and Remove Them – If there are things or people around you that are triggering these feelings of low self-esteem, you should remove them from your life. Be around people who make you feel like YOU, so spend more time with the people who support and encourage you and less with those who undermine you.
Pat Your Own Back – Remind yourself every day of all the things you already do with natural self-confidence, no matter how trivial they may seem and give yourself a pat the back. We often we fail to appreciate and recognise our own personal successes, so when someone compliments you, make a point of acknowledging and recognising this.
Create a Confidence Diary – To help you to raise awareness of the times when you are lacking in confidence and also when you do feel confident, write a journal as soon as possible after the event. What was happening at the time? What event triggered the feelings? How did you feel? (be specific) Why do you think you felt like this? What could you do differently the next time you are in a similar situation?
Enlist Expert Help – Search for more information and gain knowledge via books, articles, courses, video clips, seminars, the internet and enlist the help of a therapist.
The next time you face a confidence challenge, listen to what you are telling yourself and look for a way to improve your inner dialogue. Ask “What would make this easier?” Being confident is an ongoing process. Look at the people you respect who are confident, and identify what it is they do differently that conveys confidence and what you can learn from them.