Do you wish you had more confidence?
Almost all people experience moments in their lives that negatively affect their self-confidence.
Odds are you’re no different.
These might include:
- Not getting the job you want
- Receiving negative feedback
- Overhearing snide remarks from colleagues
These can all influence how you feel about yourself. Without addressing these internal feelings, these negative beliefs can start to linger, sapping you of all the energy you need to take action.
Your mind operates according to feedback loops that can either boost your self-esteem or cause negative emotions.
Your beliefs about yourself shape your life. In this way, perception really is reality. This results in a specific way of acting, thinking and feeling. Your self-concept is a driving force in your life. The more stable this concept is, the less likely you are to experience negative setbacks.
A positive self-concept also results in more confidence with the urge to engage in behaviour that leads to resilience, growth and self-esteem.
What difference would it make in your life to have more confidence?
What do you want to achieve this year? Or next year? Or in the next decade?
There’s one person that might be holding you back…and it’s you.
Your emotion ‘in the moment’ can have a profound influence on who you become later in life.
A cheery outlook on life might be inherited, but a positive approach to life can be built using voluntary activities.
If you feel a need to fight the voice in your head questioning all your abilities and beating you for apparent failure, then here are the 7 secrets to self-confidence that you need to practice.
#1 – Learn To Turn Off Your Thoughts
While it is important for you to listen to your thoughts, it is equally valuable to know how to turn the thoughts off.
Your mind can punish you where you replay negative thoughts over and over. This has the effect of pulling you further into a state of anguish and uncertainty.
Due to the social world we live in, and human nature in general, many of the thoughts we have end up judging ourselves based on other people.
According to the holistic specialists at Embrace, allowing the appearances and achievements of others to define your self-confidence is one of the most self-sabotaging behaviours. They explain “if you find you are measuring yourself against other people, it’s important to halt these thoughts. Life isn’t a race, but a journey. And when you stop comparing yourself to others, you’ll enjoy that journey more.”
Action Step: Try using distraction techniques like listening to music, yoga or jogging.
#2 – Practice Gratitude
In a world with endless options – often at the click of a button, app or website – and an unrealistic desire for perfection, it’s easy to see why many people feel unhappy.
Staying aware of the negativity around you is the best way to overcome unhappiness.
Practicing self-gratitude by listing all things in your life that have a sense of worth can help you stay clear of negativity. After all, when you’re appreciating all the gifts you have, it feels great!
Action Step: Use the ‘Three Good Things’ exercise. This requires you to notice and appreciate 3 x good things about yourself each day.
#3 – Adopt A Compassionate Voice
Failures and setbacks are a part of normal life, they happen to everyone.
However, if the voice in your head is reserved to berate you and offer negative commentary when experiencing a failure, it’s time to adopt compassion.
Being your own supporter with a kind and gentle voice offers you the space to analyse your life and behaviours without judgment. Doing so can help you to hold yourself in higher esteem and acceptance.
This will help you to develop the courage you need to head out and live life with confidence.
Action Step: If you find it difficult to be there for yourself, imagine what you would say to a friend or colleague who has experienced failure. Now, offer yourself the same appreciation and insight.
#4 – Identify Your Meaningful Purpose
What is your purpose?
The human search for meaning evolved as a response to the uncertainty of life
Eiran Trethowan, a life coach, states that having meaningful purpose aligned to your values and strengths can increase feelings of self-confidence. She notes “failures, setbacks, difficult situations and dealing with snide comments take a backseat when you identify a goal in life that truly resonates with you. When you align your values, positivity becomes the norm, not perceived negativity.”
Positive emotions may help improve your confidence by encouraging you to take purposeful action over inaction.
Enjoying moments of growth allows you to enter long-term memory and form an image of yourself through a positive lens. This is one of the best ways to build long-lasting self-confidence.
Action Step: Write down your 50 most important goals. Now identify your top 10. These are the things you value the most. Focus on these to move towards your purpose. Rewrite this list every 6 months to see how your attitudes change.
#5 – Identify A Bad Habit And Change It
According to research, approximately 10% of happiness depends on your everyday conditions.
This is a small percentage, but if you feel terrible about your situation or confidence, you may overestimate how great a figure it is. If there is something that brings you discomfort and feelings of shame, you can overcome it through change.
Have you noticed you’re not eating, sleeping or living well? Make small changes to see improvements in the long run.
It is fascinating how small changes can have great impacts. Remember, confidence is not a born skill, but a learned skill.
The more you identify thoughts or habits that make you feel bad – the 10% that contribute to your happiness – the sooner you can eliminate them.
This is a skill that can easily be transferred to financial literacy, says the loan experts from Max Funding. They note “carrying debt, carrying poor credit ratings, these are the results of a lack of confidence in financial management. When people identify bad habits – and this is particularly applicable for money management – the small changes made can help you achieve goals you thought impossible. You would be surprised at what effect a small change today can make, when it is followed by an equally small change week after week.“
Action Step: Make a change in your routine, such as a haircut or wearing a new outfit. See what effect this has on your self-esteem and self-confidence.
#6 – Use The Power Of ‘Yet’
Setbacks and obstacles feel horrible when they happen.
Often resulting in feelings of depression and hopelessness, you may end up believing there is nothing you can do to change your lack of confidence.
In these instances, you should adhere to a ‘growth mindset’ to overcome a lack of confidence.
In the simplest terms, add the word ‘yet’ to every negative thought you have.
- I can’t give a speech in front of people…yet.
- I can’t approach that person…yet.
- I can’t do this…yet
This ‘yet’ mindset reminds your subconscious of its ability to learn or grow when forming new connections.
Action Step: If you feel dejected by a setback, remind yourself about the power of ‘yet’. You may not have confidence…yet.
#7 – Lean On Support
Having the support of friends and family to motivate you, pick you up, and celebrate your wins, is a great way to maintain confidence as you move forward.
While self-confidence is the key to overall confidence, the architecture of internal beliefs places us in a constant narrative with other people.
According to the pain management team at Extreme Brown, “when you are surrounded by supportive family, friends and colleagues who genuinely want you to succeed, you will experience a sense of positivity. This can be for physical activities, or emotional support. But being together is always preferable to being alone.”
The result? Real, lasting confidence.
Action Step: Have you identified your circle of support? Write down a list of the people closest to you and the way they make you feel. Identify who are your pillars of support and use their energy to help keep you on track.