How confident are you? Confidence is an interesting concept, because it means different things to different people. One thing is sure, a lot of us believe we could do with more of it!
Is confidence about what you have accomplished, how happy you are, or how proud you are of choices you have made? Confidence has a lot to do with your upbringing and childhood experiences, but in a nutshell, it is about having faith in yourself and your abilities.
A lack of confidence can be very limiting. It can prevent you from experiencing life at its most fulfilling, and can cause regret and recrimination later in life. Low confidence can be deeply rooted, with origins in events that happened a long time ago and now forgotten. It can also be affected by your adult life, perhaps a period of ill health or unemployment, a divorce or relationship breakdown. Low confidence can also be taught; A difficult childhood can damage levels of confidence later in life because of internalised feelings and memories.
Confidence and self esteem are not to be confused. Being confident is about feeling strong in our ability to do things and achieve things. Self esteem is more about we view ourselves.
If you are looking to build your confidence, there are lots of things you can try which will make a difference. Have a think about the following ideas, and if you have different ones, especially if they are proven to work, please do let me know.❤️
Identify, if you can, the why/when/where of your lack of confidence. If there is a compelling reason that stops you being a confident person, talk it over with someone. Verbalising it, may shrink it’s power in your mind.
List your many talents, what you like about yourself and your strengths. Write these down and pin them somewhere so you can see them every day.
Act confident, even if you are feeling anything but, inside. Walk into a room with your head held high and you will feel more confident instantly. I have a ‘confidence role model’ – Joanna Lumley. I love her attitude and often at difficult times, when I have wanted to hide, (such as when addressing a big group of people), I have considered how she would handle it, and that has given me an extra boost.
A lot of confident people will tell you that it is all in the preparation! If you are having to make a speech, address a group of people, do a presentation etc, you cannot prepare enough. A thorough preparation will give you confidence every time.
Have long term goals and follow them through. Confidence can drop when the things we aspire to are never reached because we give up. Don’t give in, hang on to your goals and as you steadily work towards them, your confidence will grow in parallel.
Try not to care what others think, (I know easier said than done), and stand up for ideas you believe in. What others think of you is precisely that, their thoughts. This has nothing to do with you, or who you are. Only you know who you are … and only you are in charge of your confidence.
Make sure to follow your dreams. Don’t be swayed by what others think you should be doing. All your goals and decisions should be your own. Take responsibility when things go wrong, admit your mistakes and learn from them but don’t be put off. All the people you admire have had failures and setbacks, and so will you. But each one will make you stronger!
Dress for success. Make sure to look the best you possibly can, every single day. Even if you are staying in. Get rid of clothes that make you feel less than wonderful and try some new styles. Reinvent yourself!
Practice being a diva in front of the mirror. Trust me on this one – it does work! A toss of the head, a flick of the hair and a confident walk is more powerful than you can imagine!
Listen to confidence building podcasts in the car or on your earphones when out walking or shopping. We are very suggestible as humans, and when ideas are planted, it is incredible how powerful that can become.
Test yourself! Set yourself a quick challenge such as standing up and asking a question at a group meeting, drawing attention to a problem in a restaurant or introducing yourself to someone you don’t know. It may seem innocuous but if you can prove to yourself your confidence is building, even by tiny degrees, it will have a ongoing inspirational effect.
Stop procrastinating. Do something you have been avoiding and then bask in the good feeling when you have completed it.
Learn to accept compliments and do not put yourself down. When someone praises your work, instead of saying ‘Oh, it was nothing, say ‘Thank you, I worked really hard on it.’
Think about what you have achieved in your life and the difficulties you have overcome. Be proud of yourself! You are who you are because of your unique experiences. The world needs you! Be wonderful!
Use powerful quotes and mantras to make you feel more confident every morning. A recent post on this blog listed 50 inspirational quotes – have a read!
Stay calm whatever the situation and speak slowly. Even if you are panicking inside, keep your voice low and slow. Don’t be cowed by people who seem to have limitless self confidence. They have probably either worked hard on it for years, or are panicking inside as much as you!
Stand tall and take deep regular breaths if you feel panicky. Don’t feel pressured to act in any situation until you feel ready. For example, when I used to get a difficult email, I would panic and immediately reply, desperately trying to put things right. I have learnt that’s it’s far better to wait 24 hours, consider my options, and then reply.
Surround ourself with positive people and if there are negative people or things in your life, do what you can to avoid them. Putting yourself first is much more important than worrying about offending anyone.
Confidence is a state of mind and anyone can learn to become more confident. It’s part well-being and part acceptance and self love. It is not always easy …but neither is a life spent feeling under confident. Consider both, and make your choice. ❤️