There comes a time in everyone’s life when confidence can get a bit shaky. Or collapse altogether.
And unfortunately, that wavering in confidence can have a knock-on effect for your career and personal life. As Maxwell Maltz puts it: “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.”
So, it’s time to stop letting the hand break get the best of you and drive as you mean it! If you are a little lacking in the confidence department have no fear! It’s natural. It’s normal. And, most importantly, it’s conquerable.
Because the reality is, no one’s born with limitless self-confidence (save perhaps sociopaths). The best part about this fact of life is that confidence is a skill that you can develop.
So, learn how to say “No” to fear and self-doubt and unleash your potential with these confidence-boosting tips!
Confidence Boosting Tip #1 Be mindful of fearful thoughts
“Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.”
– Napoleon Hill
Fear is the enemy of self-confidence. And fear is often the reason we hold ourselves back from accomplishing things (that we truly are capable of). By removing fearful thoughts, we can build confidence in its place.
Be it fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, catching yourself is critical in preventing negative thoughts from spiralling into tangible problems.
Mindfulness for confidence is the process that stops fearful thoughts in their tracks. It’s a heightened awareness that allows us to turn towards and acknowledge fearful thoughts. Mindfulness goes a little something like this:
1.Noticing any limiting beliefs that say you can’t do something
2. At that moment, realising you have the ability to see and do things differently
3. And finally, focusing your attention away from failure (and even achievement) and focusing instead on your aspiration to grow
The act of simply being aware will boost confidence by taking power away from negative thoughts. It detaches all of that frantic emotion and brings logic back into your thought equation. And logic is the enemy of fear!
Confidence Boosting Tip #2 Practice positive mantras
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
– Brené Brown
How you speak to yourself can make all the difference in the world. If you tell yourself you can’t do it, as luck would have it, you won’t do it!
Cultivating a “can do” attitude becomes a whole lot easier when you incorporate some “can do” self-talk. So, build your confidence with positive self-talk! Be your own personal cheerleader.
Practising positive affirmations is the ultimate way to override those negative thoughts of self-doubt with positive words of self-belief. Basically, affirmations are positive and uplifting statements that we say to ourselves.
“I am capable”, “I am talented”, “I am worthy”, “I am confident”, “I am a unicorn”, choose whatever positive mantra you need to get you where you want to be.
Saying simple sentences out loud to yourself about how wonderfully fantastic you are is a great way to inject some self-confidence into your subconscious. It’s that intersection where self-talk becomes self-confidence.
So, try practising your positive pep talk straight away in the morning to set the tone for your day. Or maybe even before that dreaded presentation. Notice moments where you feel you need to inject some confidence into your being. And then do it!
Confidence Boosting Tip #3 Power Poses
"Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have.”
– Brian Tracy
Body language is a powerful thing. Science has proven the mind-body connection a hundred times over. In other words, the way we present ourselves affects the way we interact. And with some simple body language adjustments, you can move your way to better confidence.
So, a word to the wise. Next time you need a quick confidence booster, try standing up taller. Because the body-mind-confidence connection all comes down to power poses. Well, high power poses, in any case.
In basics, high power poses convey confidence. They are open, relaxed, and make you look bigger as you take up more physical space. The opposite is true of low power poses. These tend to be closed and guarded, making the person look smaller and take up less space.
Now body language is easy to adjust throughout your day. You just need to be aware of it! Try to check in with your body language more often, especially in those moments where you’re feeling anxious or self-conscious. What is your body saying? If it’s not oozing with confidence, change it!
Another tip for a more relaxing and confidence-boosting start to the day: when you wake up, stand in a power pose for a few minutes. Maybe even combine it with deep breathing for added effect. You may find your body naturally falls into confident alignment as the day goes on.
Confidence Boosting Tip #4 Do one thing that scares you every day
“What you are afraid to do is a clear indication of the next thing you need to do.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s human nature to find ways to avoid things we fear. But at the end of the day, the best way to overcome fear is to face it head-on. The only way out of fear is through it. This is the most effective, albeit harshest, way to build confidence.
So, do one thing every day (yes that’s right every day) that scares you. By getting out of your comfort zone, your comfort zone and confidence will grow. The more you do something, the more it comes naturally. And the more natural something is, the less scary it becomes.
By making fear an everyday encounter you take the power (of the unknown) out of that fear. Because the problem with fear is that it’s easier to be scared from a distance. You’d be hard pressed to think of an everyday habit or occurrence that scares you.
If it’s not life-threatening, it can be overcome! Experience is the enemy of (illegitimate) fear. So, ease yourself into tackling your fears. Start with little fears and move your way upwards as your confidence builds.
Confidence Boosting Tip #5 Visualise yourself as you want to be
“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”
– Oscar Wilde
The human imagination is capable of all sorts of wonderful and terrible things. So instead of being fear- and failure-focused, turn your imaginative attention towards the grander things in life. And more constructive ones for that matter.
When we struggle with low self-confidence, we have a poor perception of ourselves that is more often than not inaccurate! Visualisation works to counteract this negative self-image. And replace it with a positive one.
Visualisation is the technique of seeing an image of yourself (that you are proud of) in your mind’s eye. And you can use visualisation to boost your confidence and performance.
Now if you’re not feeling particularly confident about yourself…this visualisation of success may seem like a stretch of the imagination. But no matter! Stretch it! And you’ll stretch your confidence in along with it.
Practice visualising a fantastic, the best of the best version of yourself, achieving your goals. Or maybe even just a version of yourself that’s confident. Or if you’re feeling ambitious: a version of yourself that is ruling a new world. The sky’s the limit. Imagine the confidence and real confidence will follow.
Sure, confidence can be innate. But it also comes with a lot of practice, and a lot more self-love and care. Even great leaders need confidence boosting tips from time to time.
So, kickstart your personal growth journey towards a more confident, happy and successful you. Be mindful of those fearful thoughts, practice positive mantras and power poses, face fear head-on, and visualise yourself with super-confident strength.
Then say goodbye to fear and self-doubt and drive your life as you mean it. Maybe you’ll crash, maybe you won’t. But you’ll never know until you take the handbrake off.