Lately my confidence has been really bad. Mentally I have been struggling and it’s starting to really weigh on me. Over the past couple of years my confidence has dwindled more and more. For some reason I have just found it hard to have that confidence I once had and the love for myself I once had. I have put on some weight, and some other things have changed that are adding to this as well. It makes me question myself and my own self worth… Having a mental illness just adds to the stress of my lowering confidence. It makes me dwell and makes me constantly rethink things. It makes me look at myself harshly and hold myself to almost an unachievable high standard. I have constantly been comparing myself to others and it is honestly making me miserable and unhappy with my life. When I look back my confidence has always been an issue but is been getting worse as time goes on. Some days i wake up and I am ready to take over the world other days I really struggle and can’t even look in the mirror.
Self-confidence can be one of the most important feelings that we pursue in our lives. We all want to feel confident in ourselves and our identities, but at times it can be hard. We’ve tried the power poses and the tips and tricks around building confidence, and while these confidence tricks might give us a temporary boost in our self esteem, we are often left back at square one, feeling like we haven’t made much progress
So what’s missing here? Why is it such a struggle to cultivate such a simple feeling? Why is it so hard for us to feel good or happy with and about ourselves?
Often, it’s because the guidance and advice that we receive around building self-confidence attempts to change us from the outside-in. It tells us how to speak, how to work, and how to act. We strive for an ideal that is outside of ourselves, and when we inevitably fail to meet this ideal, we find ourselves once again struggling. The key to building confidence is to build it from the inside-out. For a moment, forget about who you think you’re supposed to be, how you think you’re supposed to act, dress, or speak. Instead, turn inwards and connect with your truest authentic self, and build your confidence from the inside out.
10 Powerful Ways to Be More Confident
1. Be Specific – What Are You Not Confident in?
First things first, let’s get specific.
In order to tame the demon, you’ve got to name the demon. Where do you lack confidence? When do you feel self-doubt and your negative emotions creeping in? Where do you feel your skills or abilities are limiting you? Where would you like to have more confidence?
Once you get specific, it won’t feel so overwhelming as you’ll have something tangible to tackle.
Maybe you want the confidence to go out on your own and start a new business? Or maybe you’d like to go back to school to get the degree you’ve always wanted? Perhaps you’d like the confidence to go on an adventure or take a trip you’ve been thinking about for some time
2. Uncover What Gives You Confidence
This is personal, so it will vary from person to person. There’s no one size fits all approach to confidence and what works for one, won’t always work for another.
How can you figure out what gives you confidence? Think about a couple times in your life when you felt most confident.
3. Be True to You
One of the surest ways to lose confidence is try to be someone else. One of the best ways to build your confidence? Be true to yourself.
When you’re trying to be someone you’re not, every part of you resists it. You are not everyone else. You are you. And the more you can understand who you are and what you value the stronger you will be.
When you stray away from who you are, you lose confidence because it’s ‘just not you’.
4. Remember You Are 100% Smart
When one of my daughters was in the 4th grade, her teacher gave an assignment called 100% smart. In this activity, the kids had to make a pie chart and identify what percentage smart they were in each of the following areas; people, self, body, math, word, music, art.
For example, my daughter was 25% body smart, but only 5% art smart. This was such an insightful exercise for her and something I have shared with many clients over the years. She realized that even though she lacked confidence in art, there were so many other areas where she excelled.
This is true for everyone. So, maybe you’re not the best public speaker, but are you a great parent, smart with your money, or creative?
Too many people spend way too much time trying to improve, change, be more of this or less of that. Instead, what if you spent more time acknowledging your talents, skills and successes?
5. Stop Comparing Yourself
Nothing zaps your confidence more than comparing yourself to others. Especially now, with social media and the wonderful opportunity to judge yourself against so many others! Lack of confidence comes from a gap in where you see yourself and where you think you should be.
Imagine you are preparing to give a big presentation or speech. So you do your research, which includes watching some of the best speakers in the world doing their Ted Talks. Of course you are going to feel inferior.
6. Realize You Are Enough
This may sound a little bit corny, but try it. This positive affirmation will resonate at a deep level and have a powerful effect on your subconscious.
I am brave. I am strong. I am smart. I am beautiful. I am confident. I got this.
7. Acquire New Skills
Since confidence is often directly linked to abilities, one of the best ways to build your confidence is to get new skills or experience and step out of your comfort zone.
Growing your skills will in turn grow your confidence. And please, as you work on building your skills and expertise, don’t mistake a lack of perfection for a lack of ability. No one is perfect. But if you’ve got a perfectionist bone in your body (like I do), it can make you think that just because you’re not the best, that you’re not good at all.
Make sure to check yourself – am I really not good at this, or am I not good as I want to be just yet?
8. Change Your State
Changing your physical and mental ‘state’ is one of the quickest ways to access a feeling of confidence. To do this, you need to know what the state of ‘confidence’ looks, feels and sounds like for you.
- Remember – Think of a specific time, associated with feeling confident. Sink into that feeling deeply and moment by moment relive every detail.
- Imagine – Imagine how you would feel if you were confident. How would you act? Feel? Be?
- Modelling – Think about someone you know who exudes confidence. Imagine what that person would do.
9. Find Yourself a Cheerleader
Yes, while I understand confidence is a state from within, you can also boost your confidence by the people you choose to spend your time with.
10. Just Do It
When Nike came up with this slogan in the late 80’s, they knew just how to get the general population off their butts and moving. Turns out, this is a great strategy for being more confident too.
“Before your head hits the pillow tonight, remind yourself of the things you did right. Let o of the things you could have done better. Be patient with yourself and remember that big things are achieved not all at once, but rather one day at a time.”