8 steps to increase your confidence
If you believe that confidence is an innate quality, think again - study after study has shown that confidence is learned and that confidence levels can be increased. I’ve seen many people overcome social anxiety, low self-esteem and low confidence at work to become assertive and successful.
Confidence is one of those qualities that permeates all the areas of our lives. This means that a confidence increase, however modest, will help you feel good, make decisions that are right for you, and reach your goals faster.
Practical tips to build confidence in 2019
Here are some practical tips to make this year your most confident year.
1. Take an inventory - take a piece of paper and write down a list of areas of your life, specific situations, and people that make feel less than confident. Next to each one of the areas/situations, write down your current confidence level on a scale from one to 10, one being the least confident and 10 being the most confident.
2. Ask yourself “why” - write down why you want to increase your confidence in each of the areas from the exercise above. Studies have shown that focusing on why makes it more likely to achieve your goals and can help you when you reach challenges along the way.
3. Set a goal - for each of the categories on step one write down an achievable confidence level and put a timeframe around it.
4. Practise self-awareness - set an intention to notice the times when your confidence is wavering. If a particular situation makes you feel uncertain, take note of how you feel in your body, what emotions you are experiencing, and what thoughts are going to your head. Practise this step every time you catch your confidence decreasing. Once you’ve had some practise you will be more aware of the type of situations and people that make you feel less than confident, and you will be able to take steps to stop it from affecting your mood
5. Handle criticism like a pro - notice how you handle criticism and feedback. When someone points out an error, an omission, or makes a suggestion for change how do you react? If you discover that your reactions are negative, take the time to analyse the situation, reframe your perspective and answer accordingly next time you find get feedback.
6. Be kind to yourself - listen to your self-talk and inner critic throughout the day. What is your self-talk like in situations when you feel less than confident? What is your inner critic telling you? When you start catching negative thoughts change the recording by imagining your inner critic as a funny character, this will decrease the effect on your mood. Whenever you make a mistake, give yourself a break and remember that everyone makes mistakes.
7. Create a confidence mantra that you can tell yourself whenever your inner-critic, someone else, or a situation makes you feel insecure. “I’m enough”, “Everybody makes mistakes”, “All is well” are some examples but I encourage you to choose one that works for you.
8. Evaluate your goal – once you reach the time frame that you set to achieve your goal, determine where you are at by using the one to 10 scales. Even if you are a bit far from your goal, remember that modest increases can still have a large effect on your happiness and success.