Have you ever entered a room full of people – nowadays a zoom call most probably – where someone is talking and immediately felt drawn to this person? Something about the way they express themselves, the assertive tone, the positive vibe they yield.
Maybe you are that person. Someone who knows exactly what to say, when to communicate your thoughts and ideas, how to connect with others with assertiveness and empathy to achieve the outcome you wished for.
Try to remember the last time you felt confidence in yourself. Perhaps it was during a recent interview landing the job you wanted, or talking openly with your partner bringing you closer, or maybe it was negotiating with the cable company to get a premium discount.
There are just those moments when you feel connected, engaged and ready to conquer the world.
There are also times though when you start second-guessing yourself. Suddenly your inner critic gets louder until is the only voice you hear. Whenever that negative self-talks kicks in, it becomes harder to switch it off. The more you listen to your chatterbox, the more your self-doubt increases. It is a vicious cycle whose only person able to stop it is you.
What can you do to feel more confident, especially at times when you start doubting yourself? Here are 4 strategies you may find useful to boost your self-confidence.
1. Practice self-compassion: Be kind and compassionate to yourself whenever you face failure, inadequacy or shortcomings. We covered this topic extensively last week, but here a reminder of how can you increase compassion toward yourself. 1) Become more self-aware of your feelings, thoughts, behavior patterns, embracing yourself for who you are while letting go of self-judgement and guilt. 2) Shift your perspective by connecting to your power within, but also reaching out to others whenever you are struggling to recognize you are not alone and regain perspective. 3) Treat yourself as your best friend, forgiving yourself for your mistakes and cutting yourself some slack.
2. Stop comparing: Notice how often you compare your skills, achievements, wealth, attributes. Comparing yourself to others is not a healthy habit. Every time you do so, you are undermining your confidence, building up on negative feelings such as insecurity or envy. Try to do the following instead. 1) Be good to others being your best self and avoiding comparisons. 2) Be grateful by recognizing your blessings and reminding yourself of your strengths and successes. 3) Avoid frenemies, those people around you who are prone to judgement and do not bring out your best side. 4) Seek positive influence by surrounding yourself with people who motivate you to be your best self.
3. Care for yourself: Look out for bad on unhealthy habits that prevent you from feeling good about yourself. Practice self-care by doing something that contributes positively for your mind, body and spirit. You can easily achieve a good balance through 1) Sleep giving your body and mind the rest they need to be more alert and productive throughout the day. 2) Healthy eating habits fueling your body with strength and energy, leading you to feel more energized. 3) Exercise reinvigorating your muscles and whole body reflecting positively in your self-image. 4) Meditation allowing you to reconnect with yourself and with your breath, decreasing your stress levels. All the above-mentioned self-care habits lead to higher levels of self-confidence.
4. Practice positive self-talk: Notice what you tell yourself and how often do you let your inner critic take charge. Reframe your inner dialogue by resorting to positive self-talk. It is not always easy to turn down the volume on your chatterbox. After identifying which situations trigger your negative self-talk the most, you may find useful to 1) Check in with yourself by acknowledging your feelings and assessing the situation at hand. 2) Reframe your thoughts into more positive ways such as I can handle it or I can do better next time instead of focusing on your mistakes and failures (I am not good enough, I can’t do it, I hate this). 3) Use positive affirmations that can be motivational words or perhaps inspiring pictures you can turn to whenever you need. 4) Find the humor by making fun of yourself or cracking a joke; laughter is a healthy way to relieve stress.
Go ahead and explore, check out which strategies work for you. Ultimately, it is about believing in yourself, being at your best to take action toward your goals and dreams. There will be times when self-doubts seems to take over. It is up to you to remind yourself of your inner power, switch on your positive self-talk and let your uniqueness shine.