Confidence is something many of us have struggled with at some point. You may have in the past, you may in the future, or maybe you are right now. For me, confidence comes in phases. I can go a whole month feeling really good about myself, and then all of a sudden I’ll crash and feel like shit for a few weeks. In some cases, there’s a factor that triggers the switch, but sometimes it can happen for no apparent reason.
Here are three strategies that I have used to improve my self-confidence.
This is in no way me saying that these are the best/only ways to improve your confidence. There are heaps of articles online from different people with more information/knowledge than myself. I’m not a professional. I’m just sharing my experience and things I have learnt that have worked for me.
FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT
Unfortunately, for many people, in today’s society confidence is a concept that is learnt and then developed over time.
One way to develop your confidence is to literally pretend to confident. It may sound silly but imitating confident behaviours will automatically make you feel more confident. Also, feigning confidence will teach you what does and doesn’t comprise a confident individual. You’ll then discover what suits you and your personality.
But how do I pretend, you ask?
Think of people you know who you perceive to have a high level of self-confidence. People you know personally and even celebrities. What characteristics do you think make them confident? Once you have a select few, try mimicking those behaviours and traits in your everyday life. Maybe even try putting your own personal twist on them. Simple things like standing up taller, smiling for no reason and speaking with optimism. You don’t have to put on an Oscar worthy performance, remember.
With time, those behaviours will become second nature to you and you may even find yourself possessing features of self confidence without even trying.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
If you say/hear something enough times, you start to believe it. I’m sure you’ve heard that or something similar at some point in the past. It’s something more often than not said in regards to negativity. But if you turn it around, it is a great way to gradually shift your mindset and how you see yourself.
Make an effort to consciously engage in positive self-talk throughout the day. You can say it out loud or in your head (or both!). Say it in front of the mirror, on the bus, or before you go to sleep. Whatever works for you and whatever you find comfortable.
Even if you don’t believe it – say it. Over and over. Eventually, those things won’t be said through effort, they will be said because you want to say them.
GET TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
Think about why you think you’re confidence isn’t at its best. This will be different for everyone. While these reasons may share similarities and common traits, there is no one explanation.
Once you become self-aware of the reasons behind your low confidence, you can then begin to work towards addressing the problem. Addressing the problem may be by making slight tweaks to your life such as changing you mindset, altering your diet or going to the gym a few times a week. Or it may be something more clinical like talking to your doctor or attending counselling sessions, for example. Again, it will differ from person to person.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Much like your confidence and self-esteem, it will take time and it won’t build up overnight. But making small changes to your lifestyle will trigger a bigger transformation in the long run. Progress is progress – no matter how big or small.
I hope this helped someone out there, and if you have any other tips be sure to leave a comment and share.
– Karen xx