Being confident is sometimes a tricky one. When people are too self confident, they get criticised, and when they’re not confident at all they can get walked all over. So finding the right balance of confidence is important. For some, finding any confidence in themselves at all is difficult and can mean the difference between taking action and being happy or shutting themselves away and living a life of regrets. Most of us have experience of low confidence when someone has put us down or treated us badly, it’s human nature to feel that way. It could be a colleague, family member, friend or even a stranger who has said something which has upset you and made you question your whole being, making you feel rubbish. Your confidence is low and you start thinking more negatively. When you are next in this situation, try to recognise this feeling and ask yourself if the issue is with you or the person who has made you feel this way. If the issue lies with you, what can you do to make things better? Are you willing to take responsibility and take action? If you recognise that the issue lies with someone else, acknowledge the fact that they are likely to be acting this way because it is actually them who has lack of self confidence and they think by putting you down, it makes them feel the bigger and better person (not true obviously, more often than not, people like that have something deeper going on that they should explore and take action on).
Is your inner demon holding you back?
Question your inner critic – is this what’s holding you back when it comes to confidence? If so, ask yourself why and have a conversation with your inner critic to find out where the issue lies. Challenge your inner critic, tell it to go away, that you do have the confidence to take action – then go right ahead and do it! Allow yourself a positive mantra – tell yourself you are in charge and are as good as the next person.
Allow yourself time
We can lose confidence when something emotionally draining happens and we are feeling low. When this has happened to me in the past, I’ve tried to carry on regardless but ended up feeling worse. So I gave myself time and took baby steps towards getting back to normal. I found that people’s kindness saw me through it, for example, I went to get my hair done, talked about it with my hairdresser and she gave me a hug. To this day, she doesn’t know how much that helped me, it was a really healing gesture. A friend put a nice message on Facebook, and again, it helped give me the energy and confidence to get myself going again. So give yourself time, and appreciate the kindness in the world.
Think about your strengths and values
Picking yourself up after an illness or a diagnosis takes confidence and speaking from experience, help with this isn’t always something that is given – we’re often given medication, appointments with clinics and told to go away, follow the advice in the booklet and don’t forget to take your pills. What we really need is someone who understands, who has been through something similar and has made it out to the other side. Building yourself up again and gaining confidence in yourself can be tough, especially after being diagnosed with a condition, we start questioning ourselves, who we are and what we can achieve. One way to get your self confidence back is to realise what you still have. Write down what your strengths and values are and when you remember using these most effectively. You may have lost something in being ill, however what you still have is precious and may be able to help you get back on your feet. Think of your close family and friends, when was the last time you had a real belly laugh with them? Think about it now………..I can see you smiling…….keep that feeling with you and when you need a bit of confidence, bring it out again and realise that you are loved and supported by the people you think of.
Make yourself smile
One of my confidence boosters is a really quick fix that makes me smile and gives me instant confidence. When I put on my cowboy boots I immediately feel taller, more confident and as though I can take on anything! I wear them to a regular meeting during which I know that I will be put on the spot and I need to deliver in a succinct and confident manner. It’s as though my boots have magical qualities, I go from questioning myself and being nervous, to knowing that I have a good ability and understanding of what I need to do. I don’t overuse my boots, but I look forward to wearing them. What is your equivalent of my cowboy boots? It could be something to wear like me or it could be a picture or object that has a special meaning. Whatever it is, it has to feel special to you and help you feel that you are in control and can achieve what you want to.
Do you suffer from lack of confidence and would like to explore this more? If so, call me on 07969 489705 or e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss the way forward.
Next month – D is for Disenchanted. When was the last time you felt disappointed and disillusioned? Was it in a job or with people, or even with your life as a whole? The next instalment of my blog will explore disenchantment and the strategies we can use to help us to shrug this off. Out on 1st November!