We are not born with a self-confidence button that we can press when we need to feel confident. Instead we gain it by doing things and acquiring confidence that way.
We learned to communicate with Mum and Dad through different cries. We found out we could get attention that way. We learned to drink milk, we learned to eat soft food, we learn cycling skills by practising. As we got older, we made friends and learned conversational skills. Some had better, happier and more progressive childhoods than others, but all of us learned by doing. Our skills were acquired.
You may already be a confident person. You have come this far. Pat yourself on the back. But you may be thinking ‘I want to get better. I can still improve.’ You can ride the bicycle. You fell off a lot. There were bruises and knocks, but you did learn to ride. You have confidence to do that. But you want other skills. You are not satisfied with being a one-trick pony. Good for you. You have the awareness, and you have the desire. Now let’s add determination and perseverance.
Wouldn’t it be nice to feel confident about everything and ourselves? Self-confidence is your belief in yourself; what you believe you can and cannot do. Here are four things you can do to improve your confidence levels:
- Take up a joint interest with a friend or partner.
Our friends exert a surprising amount of influence over our self-confidence. We hang out with them and some of them are quite negative thinking people. We pick up on that and walk around with it. I’m not saying to ditch all your friends. However, I am saying it is necessary to choose those close to you wisely. You need friends that can challenge your interests and creativity instead of spending all day complaining or whining about this and that.
Let’s say, for example, you are a climber and have a friend or partner that climbs too. You are more than likely to go climbing and spend most of your time talking about climbing routes, holds and such like ( I’m speaking from personal experience.).Climbing with others helps build trust quickly (it is essential.), and it’s a very supportive relationship you create with your climbing buddy.
To have a healthy self-confidence, you need to try to surround yourself with people that are looking for the same things that you are.
- Be your best friend first
Do you ever hear that voice inside you that tells you that you are not going do something right? You may have a new project at work, college or you are starting a new business. You feel scared and nervous about the unknown outcome. It is okay to feel anxious and fearful but go forward bravely even though you are scared and see where it will take you. We have this inner voice that criticises, and we tend to listen, and sometimes we struggle to start on any project because we have heard that voice. What you need to do if your negative inner voice is louder than your positive one is read or watch materials by other people who have achieved what you want to achieve. You will eventually start to imagine and believe you will be okay with a new project because your positive inner voice will begin to get louder and more assertive than the negative one. The point here is your best friend is yourself. That positive inner voice. Learning to listen and change your thinking patterns is an essential and tremendous skill to have.
- Show self-gratitude
I am sure you know the meaning or the definition of the word ‘gratitude’ so there is no need to spend time expanding on it here.
Have you ever had that warm, happy feeling when you present a gift to someone, and they respond excitedly with those magic words ‘thank you.’ It brings happiness to your soul. You feel the same way when the affairs of life are going in the direction you want them to. When you get that job, you have wanted for so long or that longed-for Christmas gift. When someone does something for us, we feel closer to them. The bond between us grows more substantial.
But showing gratitude is not just about showing your appreciation to others. You can show gratitude to yourself. And it does so much for your mental well-being. When you say ‘thank you’ to yourself, it heals your inner self; you feel good and happy with yourself. You may think that you have nothing to thank yourself for., but I bet you have achieved so much in your life already and if you were to share it with other people they would be amazed as to what you had to face in life to achieve your successes. You can start with a gratitude notebook and even if you have to start small do it. Even if it is as seemingly small as the following, do it: ‘I am thanking myself, for getting up this morning or I thank myself for going to work on this cold and rainy day.’ You can find something to thank yourself for every day.
- Forgive yourself
You may have experienced traumatic life-changing events that have left you feeling angry and caused you difficulty in dealing with life. You may also have done some things in your past life that you are not proud of and so your mind takes the opportunity to play tricks on you. You can make those things work for you by using them to create a better tomorrow.
Forgiveness is hard to achieve. We constantly replay the hurts and unfairness. Letting go can be difficult. A therapist or life coach can help. Exploring the origins of problems in order to eradicate them and formulate the way forward is very powerful.
The Hawaiians have this beautiful forgiveness prayer you can say to yourself. ‘I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, and I love you.’
Forgiveness does not mean forgetting what’s happened, but it’s about you making a conscious decision to grant mercy to the person who hurt you. I am not saying to go back to your abuser to tell them you have forgiven them nor are you making excuses for them. It means you are releasing what is inside of you.
Finally, if you want help, I am happy to coach you via zoom. Click on the client coaching intake form and I will email you form if you can complete it and email it back to me. We can arrange the time and date and begin to work on your confidence.