Self-confidence is about trusting your abilities, qualities and judgment.
When you believe in yourself, you’ll be more willing to try new things. Whether you apply for a promotion or sign up to a gym class. Believing in yourself helps to give you the confidence to put yourself out there.
When you feel confident in yourself you may feel more productive as the feeling of fear and anxiety has decreased. You spend less time worrying about what could go wrong and instead you focus on everything that can go right.
For example, at work or in college if you feel confident about sharing a presentation you’ll focus on how you deliver your message.
However, if you lack confidence in your ability to communicate effectively, you may worry that no-one will listen or they worry that they won’t like you.
This can have a knock-on impact on how you focus on the presentation as your thoughts are elsewhere focusing on worry and fear. Therefore you may not deliver the presentation to your own standards or expectation
This can then reinforce your limiting belief that you are no good at delivering presentations.
If you feel you are low in confidence theses strategies and techniques may help to boost your self-confidence:
1. Stop Comparing:
Comparing yourself to other’s only steals your joy, time and focus. We often compare ourselves to people who we perceive to have something that we would like, but do not have.
The keyword here is ‘perceive’. Our perception of a person or a situation may not always be true. It can be based on an assumption, belief or a negative thought distortion we have.
Researchers have found that people who compared themselves to others, experience feelings of envy and resentment. This can then lead to feeling insecure and unhappy.
When you notice yourself starting to compare to others, remind yourself that everyone is on their own path, dealing with their own stuff. Only compare yourself to the past ‘you’ and maybe take a moment to focus on your strengths and everything you have overcome and achieved.
2. Practice Self-Compassion:
Self-compassion is treating yourself with kindness (like you do to other people) when you make a mistake, fail, or have a setback. Speaking to yourself harshly, won’t motivate you to do better, it just erodes your confidence further.
Instead of giving yourself a hard time and listening to the negative self-talk, try talking to yourself the same way you would talk to a friend. What would you say to encourage, support and help them to feel better?
3. Embrace Self- Doubt:
Sometimes we can put off doing something, like asking for a promotion or calling someone until we feel more confident.
By slowly stepping outside our comfort zone and facing our fears, we will begin to believe in ourselves and our abilities more and more.
If you feel your self-confidence issues are interfering negatively with your personal life or professional life please reach out. Help and support are available through counselling.
Take care, Sarah.