I’m not gonna lie……I used to loathe the topic of “self-confidence”. Probably because I had none…..and what people DID think I had, I faked.
Seriously….I was the Queen of “fake it til you make it”.
Over the last several years, I’ve done the work.
Every self-help + growth + get your shit together book.
Seminars. Webinars. Classes.
And sooooo many conversations with God.
Here’s the thing……there’s a difference between trying to be perfect and self-confidence. And because for just about my entire life nothing about me was good enough or right enough (and I was told that almost daily), I worked my ass off trying to achieve perfection so nobody could tell me that!
I had a long conversation this morning with someone that I’ve been so close to for most of my life on such level that I can only describe as spiritual…..and that I JUST NOW – as I type this – realized that she has really been a mentor to me as well for all those years.
Not to get off topic but give me a second here……we were talking about confidence. And I mentioned that I truly believed that lack of confidence can usually be found as the root of so many other personal struggles…..like anxiety. And she not only got what I was saying but agreed…..and gave an analogy of a person that might not have a strong core but tries to do intense yoga.
You can’t. You simply can’t maintain unless your core is strong.
And it’s the same with confidence. Confidence is your CORE. Not having it affects so many areas of your life! And it was the moment that I realized that most of my own struggles came from having absolutely no self-confidence.
Here’s the thing…..I don’t know any human on this earth that can call themselves “perfect”. And most of us need to build self-confidence but so many of us either ignore our root issues or focus on the negatives: stress, worry, jobs, money, relationship issues, and unfortunately, our appearances.
You know…..”if I have this job, my life will be perfect.” “If I make THIS much money, my life will be perfect.” “If I look THIS way, they’ll accept me.”
I was THAT girl. And here’s a #truthbomb: focusing on the negatives drains whatever self-confidence we may have had rather than improving it.
If you vowed some self-care (and girl, it’s not selfish…it’s necessary!) to work on your self-confidence, I promise you the affects will spiral into all areas of your life! Leveling up your confidence can help you make more money, look and feel better physically AND mentally, and just be way more relaxed with other people…because confidence is your core.
So….follow along with me as I give you 10 tips + techniques that have been shown to help build confidence in my own life……
1. Talk to yourself! I know that sounds a little cra-cra but hear me out. Every single one of us has a running monologue constantly in our minds, whether we realize it or not. Everything we see, hear, or touch sparks off an immediate dialog. For those that lack confidence, this monologue is filled with negative messages, many of which might be negative side effects from advertisements on tv or social media. These negative thoughts literally suck energy from our minds and bodies and block the flow of positive messages. Take control. Use your inner thoughts to talk to yourself from a positive place as often as you can. As an example, one of my regular mantra’s is saying “I like myself” over and over. I chose that mantra because my mom would always tell me that no only did she not like me, but I was pretty much unlikable by the whole damn world. It’s almost impossible to say this mantra in a negative tone! Do it in the mirror and you might even find yourself smiling.
2. Dress like you mean it. I’m not talking about going all out in heels every day (or any day) but dressing like you care about how you look is proven to up your confidence. Maybe you’re thinking “this sounds shallow” but the truth is presenting your best self will make you feel like your best self. And c’mon…you gotta admit that when you pull yourself together, you feel good.
3. Give some thanks. No matter what. Have a shitty day? Give thanks anyway. For your surroundings. For everything you see. For everyone you meet. For every smile someone gives you.
4. Girl….stand up straight or the crown slips! Seriously….one of my favorite sayings! But it’s true….how you stand or sit sends out a message to the whole world. When our lack of confidence is rearing it’s ugly head, we tend to slouch and withdraw our bodies for some sort of mind/body protection connection. It’s a real thing….Google it! There is scientific proof that shows how our posture affects our mood and slouching can actually produce a down mood. And you know what else? When you slouch, you’re telling the world – and yourself – that you don’t matter. Even when you’re feeling less than confident, if you “fake it til you make it” and stand up straight, you’ll not only project that confidence (fake or not) to the world but you’ll eventually begin to believe “hey…I got this!” You walk proud girl, ya hear?
5. Let them see those pearly whites! SMILE!!! Seriously, just smiling makes all the things seem somehow better. And listen, smiling actually releases endorphins to your brain that literally make you feel better! And feeling better will help you build your confidence.
6. Surround yourself with positives! If there are things in your life that set off negative feelings, it makes sense to avoid them, right? I realize sometimes that’s impossible to do when we’re talking about your job but if that happens to be one of your negative things, maybe you could do yourself a favor and start considering a new path. If there are people in your life who are constantly negative – either about you or life in general – it might be time to reconsider your friendship with them. Surrounding yourself with people that are optimistic and caring, who respect you and value you for who you are makes it easier to practice self-confidence.
7. Stop being critical. “Comparison is the thief of joy” is the most true statement ever. And let me tell you, scrolling social media can be fun….or it can be defeating if you begin to fall down the dark hole that is comparison. We become so critical of ourselves when the truth is that we just aren’t like anyone else and we shouldn’t want to be. Remember…”You are beautiful, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Comparing yourself to others is a sure fire way to deplete your self-confidence and can even lead you to become catty. To make yourself feel better you might point out the flaws of others. Instead, choosing to focus on your positive traits (and you DO have plenty!) and also on other’s positive traits will help you gain self-confidence.
8. Think positive. Anyone that knows me or has followed along for any length of time already knows that I’m a huge mindset junkie! If you don’t believe it’s a real thing, I invite you to give it a try for a week and see what happens in your world. (If you want that to be a challenge, then it is!) If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or critical thoughts or comparing, think DELETE! Your mind is like a computer and you can stop those negative thoughts in their tracks, delete them and replace with positive thoughts. Not gonna lie – it takes practice. I used to be THE WORST. My negative thoughts used to be my focus, all day and every day. And once they began, literally the minute my feet hit the floor in the morning, I was pretty much on the negative thought train all day long. Try writing down your best traits, your abilities, all the positives you can muster up….and be honest because nobody needs to see that list but you. Don’t be shy! And once you’re done, tuck that paper into a safe place that you can pull out and read every single time you start traveling down that negative black hole.
9. Re-program yourself. Think about your negative self-talk. That inner dialogue. I’m betting that you have some beliefs that are holding you back from being your best self. Beliefs that are limiting you. I once did an exercise where I wrote down 5 statements I believed to be true about myself. Things that I let control the way I lived every single day. And then I dug into them. DUG. Where did that thought come from? An experience? Something someone said? Is it even mine??? Let me tell ya, there was some discovery going on! I know it kind of goes against trying NOT to focus on the negative, but when you’re really diving into where your negative talk comes from and not just allowing the negative mind talk to happen, you might find out that it’s not really even yours! Once you start to identify where the negatives come from, it puts you in a better place to change the negative to a positive and start leading yourself down a happier, more self-confident path.
10. Always remember…..you are enough. There is not a human on this planet that has the right to make you feel small. Or undeserving. Or less than. Wherever your lack of confidence is coming from, you can turn it around and begin living the you – and the life – you deserve.