We are all striving to fit into society and its expectations of us.
So lets look at a few tips and exercises you can use to boost confidence and self esteem. Start with giving maybe one or two to work on to start to get an idea of what works best for you. Like learning anything new, this does take some and will need a bit of practice before you get to see results.
Most importantly remember we all have a choice in nearly every situation, even if it appears we don’t. It might be a choice that takes a big leap of faith and gets you out of your comfort zone, however, once you have done it it’s likely to be easier and less scary the next time.
So lets look at 5 Tips to Boost Confidence and self-steem:
1) The use your imagination
Go back and find a time from your past when you have felt the way you want to feel now and use your imagination and sit in that feeling as if you were back there again. Accessing the feeling is the most important part so it can be something very different in context and still be really helpful to your current situation. Close your eyes give yourself a quiet space and allow your mind to go back to the earlier time. Be as specific as possible and try and remember all of the details and use all your senses; what you were doing, how it felt, what else you can see was going on that confirms the positive experience, what you can hear and what other people might have said to you during and after that experience. Most of all focus on how great it felt to you and then, if you can, focus on whereabouts in your body you have the good feeling.
If you practice this enough you will soon have a great resource to call upon almost instantly! Alternatively if you don’t have a good example from your past just imagine that you have already done what you want to be doing, in a way that was really successful for you and use that as an example for the exercise. IF you need help discovering the feeling check on my individual counselling service.
2) Notice your inner critic
Quite often we will blow our feelings, thoughts and actions out of all proportion by letting our negative chatter take over. Instead start to be aware of your inner critic, just noticing it first of all. Once you get better at noticing that happening you can start to monitor your inner critic and check to make sure what it’s saying really is accurate! This is different than trying to control it which is rarely helpful.
So look at your inner critic from an external, unemotional perspective like a lawyer in court asking lots of detailed questions to make sure it has it’s facts right. Be alert to any vagueness or generality such as ‘this always happens to me’ or ‘ I’m terrible at this’. Instead look for exceptions so for instance when does this not happen to me and what is different about those times or check to see when there are times when you weren’t terrible at it even if you still could have been better. The key is to look for and find evidence that proves your inner critic wrong even if it’s just slightly wrong. This is a really powerful way of releasing and lessening those unwanted negative thoughts and to boost confidence.
IF you have trouble keeping your inner critic under control, book in for a counselling session with Redlands Counselling Service.
3) Redefine the word failure
The way you view failure often determines how you will think, feel and act afterwards. It’s easy to have a negative view of failure, typically because we are taught to deal with it this way as children. Failure is an event not a person.
The ability to accept and welcome failure means we need to recognise that we all need to make mistakes, before we get it right. Failure is an experience that we can turn into a positive learning to actively learning to grow for the future. Life continues to carry on weather you deem to have got it right or not. Look at your expectations, if we think we can learn something and get it right, or say something to someone without realising I hurt them. Learning is all we do.
4) Seriously, what is the worst that can happen?
This might seem a negative way to build confidence and self esteem, however by doing this you are dispelling any creative unrealistic ideas of failure your mind. So its important to think about a plan of action should it happen, then you then feel more in control. For a specific situation, ask yourself all the possibilities of what realistically might go wrong, work through each one in your head and then develop a plan for how you would manage each scenario, in a rational unemotional way. There will always be a number of options available if you plan before hand. By doing this you will then boost confidence and feel more in control going into a situation, knowing that you have anticipated and planned for any eventuality. The reality is you cant control all the outcomes in your life and need to allow for that.
If you need to have a chat with a Counsellor, call me at Redlands Counselling Service on 1300 241 667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
5) Focus on the bigger picture
Quite often when we feel a lack of self worth or low confidence in our own ability to be good at something our minds will focus just on those negative areas. How we are wired is all negative feelings, events, experiences comes through our mind and get stuck on the velco, all the good experiences slid on the Teflon. So we are quick to focus on the negatives.
Instead ask yourself what is the bigger picture here in my life and find areas that you can improve on that are easier. This will then have a knock on effect on improving your lack of self esteem in other areas.
Check in with yourself on how your essential emotional needs. They are all key for us to live a fulfilling life. Some will be more important than others to you and it can be helpful to see which ones are not being met as much as you would like.
We have needs to give and receive attention, a need to look after your body. A need for a meaningful, purposeful life with achievable and realistic goals. A need for a connection to something greater than ourselves, A need for creativity and stimulation. A need for intimacy and connection to others. A need for a sense of control in our life. A need for a sense of status and recognition from others. An important need for a sense of safety and security.
There can be a more historic reason for low self esteem that is tied to events or experiences from the past. My work as a Counsellor allows me to safely and effectively work through these memories, in an calm, safe and self-reflective environment that can be surprisingly quick.