Confidence is very important in creating a successful healthy life.
During these very difficult scary times of change, economic and health challenges, feeling confident can be even more of a struggle than it normally is. As a result of the pandemic we might find ourselves facing serious economic and career challenges, and feel more anxious and overwhelmed. These feelings are normal, you are not alone. Reaching out for help and someone to talk to is wise during such times. You can also take steps to manage and improve your emotional states. Just deciding to embark on this path can give oneself more hope!
We might think we are too old to make a change and venture out on our own in some way. But there are countless stories of famous successful people who found their success in their later years after reinventing themselves! We have to learn to be our best friends, our best allies in life. You are a good person, you deserve kindness.
Believing in ourselves and our innate abilities is a foundational mindset necessary for growth and it’s one that takes constant work and requires constant attention. It all starts with our thoughts. Our thoughts are like the food we feed our souls. Our thoughts repeated often enough become our beliefs, and lead us to take actions that forge our future. So it follows that we can harness our thoughts for self-confidence.
I have found that self-confidence comes with experience, and experience comes with building a habit of choosing to face fears and challenges day by day. When we do things we fear or we believe are too hard we dispel our misconceptions of the possible bad outcomes of “failure”, and we find ourselves on the other side of our fears. Maybe more than finding ourselves on the other side of our fears, we build ourselves there.
Building self-confidence is like building a muscle. It takes pushing against our resistance repetitively just like lifting weights builds muscles by pushing against resistance. Do the the things you don’t feel like doing no matter how small they are starting with making your bed in the morning and putting away your breakfast dishes. The little things become big things, they become habits, and they are like deposits we make in our mental self-confidence bank.
Self-confidence also comes from the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. Often this is based on narratives from our childhood and earliest years when we took on beliefs about ourselves that people like our parents, teachers, siblings or others projected onto us. These stories took root in the form of self-limiting beliefs that often manifest as nagging problems with money, our relationships and or our health including our emotional health.
If you want to improve your self-confidence it’s very helpful to start telling yourself a new story about the real you, the you that has survived all your past problems and made it successfully to today! Using positive affirmations is a great way to start creating this new self-compassionate story about yourself. Writing in a journal is another way.
Today’s crisis is an opportunity to turn the corner or turn the page, whatever metaphor you like, and create a wellspring of confidence and self-compassion that can see you to better times and help you bounce back when you are feeling down. I’ve put together a list in this article of ways to help build more self-confidence and I hope you find them to be useful.
1) Make a list of the things you fear and have been putting off doing, things you know you want to do and should do. Then take the first step on one item. Make a list of what you fear might happen if you try and fail. Then write about what you think you might miss out on if you fail to try! Then do something. Do the first step you can think of, and just start no matter how small the step is because it will build momentum and you will do more than you thought you could. You will build a habit of courage and discipline. And if you’re like me I know you’ll feel great about your progress.
2) Gather your resources and helpers. Write a list of all of the resources you have in your life, your family, your friends, your skills, your tools, your books, and your helpful character traits. This is another great reason fro keeping a journal every day. You have more resources than you may realize. Read this list often!
3) Remind yourself you are growing stronger! You are! We may feel broken down or torn apart when things “fail” to go as we want them to or expect they will. But just like building muscles, we must tear down the muscle first for it to rebuild even bigger than before. Find your list of things you’ve had on your “meaning to do” list and tackle them one by one telling yourself “I’ve got this! I’ve got this! I’m getting stronger every day!”.
4) Keep a journal of the things you learn or get done each day. No matter how small or insignificant it seems, write it down. Then read that before bed each night. We’ve built this into our new Happiness Mindful Gratitude Journal because it’s such a powerful and helpful habit to have. Give yourself credit!
5) You can also boost your self-confidence by positive self-talk encouraging yourself to keep going and try again or reminding yourself setbacks are part of the process. Be alert and make sure to interrupt the negative inner chatter the instant you recognize it with self-encouraging talk. We’ve created some powerful new positive affirmations for self-confidence you can get free here including some great tips on using them!
6) Writing a journal about your struggles, lessons, thoughts or feelings you notice, and daily wins also helps build more self-confidence. Get a journal, write in it every day. Journals help you access the inner wisdom your subconscious mind has to share with you!
7) Read about people who are successful doing what you want to do. Reading autobiographies or listening on Audible books is a great way to see the possibilities in ourselves. Make a list of the people you admire who do things you aspire to do.
8) Get moving! Even if it’s walking up and down your stairs at home or around your apartment. Turn on some upbeat music and move. It oxygenates your brain and gives you more energy.
9) Surround yourself with encouraging positive people. The best way to do so is to be that kind of person yourself! Look for at least one person a day online to encourage and offer a sincere compliment to. Saying something as simple as “Don’t worry I think you’ll get through this, you look like a bright and strong person to me” or “You got this! Hang in there!” can make a big difference.
The world has enough critics, be someone who encourages others! Whatever you say to others in person or online you’re actually taking into your own subconscious mind as well. If you compliment people that resonates and resides inside you too the moment you compliment them. Likewise, if you criticize or attack people it resonates that vibration and sits inside you. Your subconscious mind hears everything. Choose your words, what you watch or read, and choose your friends from a place of love and compassion for yourself and others.
9) Stop complaining in person or on social media. It saps your energy and confidence and creates hopelessness. Let go of others around you who constantly complain and criticize. They sap your energy too!
10) Don’t compare yourself to others. We are all on our own paths and journies, and we don’t see the multitude of struggles everyone else is going through in private.
11) Be present. Study mindfulness (it’s about being here now). Look people in the eyes when you talk with them and really listen deeply to whatever they say. Help people feel heard when they share with you. Your meaningful relationships will help you build more confidence. Focus your thoughts on your breathing to return from past regrets or future worries to the peace you have in the present moment. Strength comes from peace.
12) Engage with more people online in positive ways. Encourage them whenever possible, share helpful things with them. The more positive relationships we create the more confident we become.
13) Keep creating what you want to create regardless of outcomes. Repetition creates experience and knowledge and a sense of familiarity. It’s how we learn and get better and it builds self-confidence.
What have you found helps you build more confidence? I’d love to read your ideas and suggestions below.