Confidence is a state of mind that can wane when a boss, spouse or friend says something that we interpret as derogatory. Or we can feel deflated if we haven’t gotten enough sleep because we simply feel lousy.
Or the agony of defeat—feeling that we’ve failed at something—can trigger a sense of not being good enough.
Many things can make us feel like we’re having a bad day and undermine our self-assurance. The good news is that we can learn to change those downtrodden feelings and recognize our inner—more capable–abilities at any given moment. Confidence building is much like exercising our muscles. We need to practice daily to maintain our strength.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
10 ways to begin the process of becoming a more confident person:
1. Believe in yourself. Sometimes when feeling down, we forget the inner gifts we possess. Take a few minutes right now to write down compliments you’ve received over the years from people in your life. If you can’t think of any positive traits you’ve been given, ask yourself: Am I a good person? Do I care about others? What am I most proud of in my life? Answering these questions can provide a good starting point.
2. Stick to an exercise routine even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. Physical exercise will help you feel buoyed and more energetic. Take a walk in nature which can be uplifting and empowering just to get outside and moving. Stand tall with shoulders back which scientific studies have shown help us physiologically feel stronger and more in charge. Consider joining a class or find a WatchFit plan that works for you. My Yoga: Body-Mind Builder would be a good one.
3. Offload non-essentials. Take a few minutes when it’s quiet to prioritize your task list. Relegate less important tasks to another time or day. Simplify. Allow yourself to be human and accept what you can and can’t do so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and stressed (which can be depleting).
4. Allocate quality time for yourself for self-nurturing, self-care and relaxation. Eat well. Dress well. Get enough sleep. Give yourself small breaks during the day from all responsibilities so you can recharge and feel good. Take a soothing bubble bath, pray, listen to relaxing music, enjoy a hot cup of tea or fun time with friends.
5. Learn more. Expanding your knowledge is a big confidence booster. Whether you’re cultivating a new hobby or acquiring a certification to improve your job status, just do it. You will feel more accomplished and expand your own resources.
6. Be around people you admire. Motivational Coach Jim Rohn says “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So choose to be around confident people. They’re great role models and you can observe just how they walk the walk so you can emulate them.
7. Get rid of the negative self-talk. Banish self-defeating thoughts. Practice mindfulness to become more aware of those moments when you’re feeling less than stellar. Stop the internal name-calling. If a bad decision elicits you to call yourself “stupid” or “no good,” you’ll dig yourself into a frenzy. Instead, just pause to consider the opposite.
Condition yourself to change the perception and tell yourself (even if you’re not convinced at first). “I’m smart.” “I’m valuable.” Just fake it until you make it. It will transform the way you view yourself.
8. Get organized. Putting your affairs in order is very cleansing. It detoxes the old stuff so that you can make room for the new. Rather than turning it into a major ordeal, take 15 minutes a day to focus on an area in your home or office and chip away slowly at the piles. Little steps lead to big changes and help you feel renewed.
9. Meditate. Taking daily mental time-outs help you think more clearly and allow you to tap into your inner talents and intuitive guidance. I teach my clients to meditate every morning for a minimum of five minutes to kick off their day in a positive, self-empowering way. (If you need support, try my free audio 3MinutestoDestress.com)
10. Develop a positive affirmation or mantra. On a day you feel on top of the world, take time to consider several attributes that you’d like to have more of in your life. For myself, I’ve created three words that I repeat daily. (My words are “powerful, passionate, purposeful.”) I encourage you to develop your own that resonate with you. The more you repeat them, the more they become a part of you.
Rather than defaulting to self-deprecating thoughts on a bad day, you can bring to mind your magnificence through your special words.
Let’s face it, as human beings, we’re naturally vulnerable. So being open to change, to accept criticism or failure is more a testament to your strengths and abilities to grow and evolve than it is to a lack of self-esteem. The more time you devote to developing these ten practices, the more quickly you will be secure in your personal power.
Peggy Sealfon is a personal development coach and author of the best-selling book Escape from Anxiety—Supercharge Your Life with Powerful Strategies from A to Z.
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