Confidence is something I think we all struggle with at times.
I know I do! This can be especially true if your confidence has been shaken from one of the 5Ds. We all have our areas of our lives where our confidence is low. I know there are areas of my life where I show up and am extremely confident and there are other areas where my confidence leaves much to be desired, and it takes effort on my part to increase it. Here are three strategies that you can use right now, to increase your confidence!
1. Body Language
Our bodies send our messages to others and to ourselves. In fact, 55% of communication is communicated through body language. That means no matter the words we are using, if our bodies are communicating something different that is the message that is being received. Some simple tricks to show that you are confident are making eye contact, standing tall and smiling. When we stand tall, look people in the eyes and smile it sends the message to the other person you are confident. This is also true of the message you are sending to yourself. Think back to the last time you were feeling less than confident. I am willing to bet you were doing one or more of these – your shoulders were slumped, your gaze was looking down, and your face was probably neutral or sad looking. When we carry this energy, we send the message to ourselves and others we are not confident.
Give it a try right now, sitting where you are slouch your shoulders, stare at the ground and frown. Notice how you feel! Now lift your shoulders, lift your head and smile. Notice the shift in energy and thoughts now! See the difference, so even when we are feeling less than confident try changing your body, something this simple can lift your confidence!
2. Own your feelings!
In my opinion, one of the most victimizing things is when we don’t own our feelings. I can relate when I catch myself saying things like “this person makes me angry” or “that situation makes me sad”. Look at the language! I am blaming my feelings on the situation or the person! Now I understand that the other person’s actions were upsetting but when we say someone makes us feel a certain way, this puts us in a no-win situation.
First, if someone literally made you feel something that means that you are powerless to change it, you had no choice is that the case? No. We have a choice, no one can make you feel anything. Think about it, we are choosing to react to something the other person has done or said; they didn’t make us feel that way, that’s impossible. It is as if I were to tell you to be angry right now, are you going to be angry? If someone could make us feel a certain way, then that is saying they control us and we are simply a puppet of their will. Is that the case?!
Second, when we blame our emotions on another or on a situation, that leaves us helpless to change them. If I say it is someone’s fault, then that means I can’t change it! If they made me angry, that implies they are the ones who must fix it. This totally leaves you out of situation. On the other hand, if we own our feelings “I feel angry because (so and so) did (something)”, I am owning the feelings and now have the power to choose whether to stay in the emotion or not. I am taking responsibility for myself, and that is empowering. This may just seem like semantics, but it is a change in thinking. It is a shift from being a victim to owning our emotions and recognizing we have a choice, and when we can do that we are more confident!
3. Listen to your self-talk!
What messages are you sending to yourself? Are you critical or are you compassionate? When you make a mistake (and we all do), do you tell yourself “Good try, I’ll get it next time” or do you beat yourself up with critical judgmental statements like “I should have known better” “I always screw things up”? When you look in the mirror do you say “Hi beautiful” or do you scrutinize yourself “Oh I have bags under my eyes” or “Oh look at those wrinkles”? If you are like most of us we are extremely hard on ourselves and we like to beat ourselves up. Most times the messages we send ourselves are self-defeating and honestly quite nasty. How can we be confident when we are beating ourselves up? I know for me, I am my own worst critic!
When you notice you are being critical towards yourself, give yourself some love, show yourself compassion and change those messages. It can be that simple! When you catch yourself saying something negative, change it! Send yourself a positive self-affirming, self-promoting statement.
When practicing this, be patient with yourself. Our brains are hardwired to notice the negative and we have been participating in this type of self-talk for many years. Give it time, it will come!
If you start practicing these three simple steps right now to build your confidence, you should start to notice a difference. I know the more I practice, the more my confidence increases and that is an amazing feeling. Of course, at first it may feel like you are just going through the motions, but practice makes perfect. You are most likely trying to change patterns that have been in place for years!