5 ideas to help you find your Christmas confidence
How are you? If you are finding it hard, it’s because it is.
It has been said often enough that we need to talk about our feelings, ask twice (because ‘I’m fine’ isn’t an emotion) and ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. However, in the midst of a global pandemic, redundancy, career change, unemployment, family crisis, diagnosis of infection or disease, this advice can seem at best, trite, at worst a complete lack of judgment on the part of the advice giver. When talking about our feelings doesn’t feel like the answer, what should we do?
Here are five ideas for you to try:
Describe your feelings
Talk about your feelings, but seriously don’t just talk about them - find someone who can really listen and describe how you feel. Use nature or your environment to really describe how you feel. Get creative. Do you feel as moody as the dark night sky, without a star in sight, or calm and sleepy like your overweight house cat?
If you start using metaphors to talk about how you feel, you’ll move yourself away from a stress response and towards your rational brain and if you do that, you can begin to problem solve the problems that are really bothering you.
Define your purpose
Why? Why do you do what you do, what does your trade or business stand for, what do you stand for, what really makes you tick? Whether you are seeking out a new career or one has been thrust upon you, spend time really contemplating your purpose, because when you do it will give you a new perspective on an old problem. Being confident in your purpose can help you to see opportunity where you may have previously only seen a dead end.
Seek out social support
Yes, we are living in a socially distanced world right now, but it doesn’t mean we need to keep our social circle distant. Friends who build us up, who listen, make us laugh and share interests and hobbies are a vital part of being human and thriving as a human. Who can you ask for advice? Who can you watch a film with virtually? Share a virtual meal with? Quiz with? Walk your dog with? If you just find one friend to have some fun with, you will find that you are able to withstand the knocks and falls as they come along with more ease.
Grow your confidence
If you have been made redundant recently or been out of work for some time you may be finding that your confidence has taken a knock. Even if you are working but have been cooped up in your bedroom on a laptop you may find that you are spending an awful lot of time wondering what everyone else is thinking about you.
It isn’t unusual to find your confidence a little low in difficult times. If this is you, now is a good time to reach out and ask a friend for a kind word or if you are feeling like you have forgotten what you are good at, ask someone who cares about you. If that all sounds a bit lame, why not spend 30 mins doing a strengths quiz online authentichappiness.org has lots to choose from. When we boost our confidence, by remembering what we are good at, we find we are more resilient, when something even more difficult comes along.
Adapt to thrive
Change is hard, whether it is moving house, finding a new job or just adjusting the school or work routine it is still change and we all struggle with even small changes, especially if we didn’t choose the change. How often do you find yourself saying to yourself ‘why does this always happen to me?’ This kind of negative thinking suggests you may have got stuck. We all get stuck from time to time, try some positive self-talk instead.
Remembering that change is difficult and you got through the last difficult problem you had is a great attitude to help you remember you can get through this too. Practicing gratitude, journaling and sharing a joke with a friend will all help you to adapt.
It’s important to keep perspective. Whether you decide to phone a friend, take a strengths quiz online or adopt a new mindset, even just one of these five ideas to try will help you build your confidence and keep you resilient over the winter.
With thanks to David Ford (The Shape of Living) for his ideas about how to live life well and Robertson and Cooper (iresilence) for their resilience research and free quiz to help you live well through these uncertain times.