Not feeling confident has such a big effect on how we put ourselves out into the world and how we view our ability to get things done. It’s heavily linked with self-esteem which is how you feel about ourselves, the way you look and the way you think, while confidence is more about how you feel about your ability to do things.
If you have low self-esteem it follows that we’re more than likely to not feel that confident about what you’re doing.
Self-esteem and confidence are things that you can improve over time. And both ebb and flow. Sometimes you can feel on top of the world, able to take on any task and other times you can barely leave the house, look at what other people are doing on social media, or just finish your day to day tasks.
So how we you improve your self-confidence? Think of it like a muscle, that with the right conditions and the right training, you can start to feel more confident and able to get out there and do what you need to do.
1. Be kind to yourself
Know that you won’t feel confident all the time! And that’s ok. There will be certain times when you just don’t want to get out there and do it all. If you’re feeling a day of ‘blurgh’, switch off social media – comparison is such a biggie for feeling no good enough, create a list of easy to do tasks and get them ticked off one by one. Tomorrow you’ll hopefully feel better and more able to tackle the world!
2. Don’t compare yourself to others
No-one is quite where you are. No-one has had the experiences you have had. And if we turn this around, you probably don’t really know what is going on for other people. You might be comparing your 10th step with their 1000th. They might be all shiny on the surface and crying between their bed sheets. Instead look back over what you’ve achieved and where you’ve come from.
3. Plan and Prepare
One of the best way you can feel more confident is to know your stuff. Not feeling that confident about that talk you’ve been asked to give – plan. Feeling awkward about going to a network event, prepare, check out who else is going, maybe have a chat with some people on social media first, think about how you want to introduce yourself to people.
We can feel most stressed, un-confident and vulnerable in social situations. It’s in these moments that we can most feel that people are judging us. So make sure that you’re in a good place to put your best foot forward.
And know that people are judging you all the time anyway, so you may as well just go ahead and do whatever it is that you feel scared of. Try to care a little less about what other people think about you.
4. Do what you love and makes you happy
We all feel happiest when we are doing things that we love, because it figures that’s it probably the things that you are best at. So what makes you happy? What do you love doing?
You can hopefully make this into your business, but if not then at least you get to spend your spare time doing things you already feel confident doing, and that will help you feel more confident day to day.
5. Stick to your values
I love working with core fundamental values. What are the values that are important to you and how can you make sure you live your life alongside these values? If you’re trying to do something that doesn’t make you feel good, you’re not going to be 100% on board with it.
I like to think about 3 core values that underpin my business. They are fun, expertise and value and they help me go out into the world and be debbiedooodah. I also like to think of how I want to feel each year. This years word for me is joy, so I’m working on how I can add more joy to my life and bring more joy to others.
6. Think about how you appear
This one is two-fold. Both your appearance, as in how you stand, how you shake hands, how you make eye contact. But also how you dress and present yourself.
Think about how you feel when you have your best outfit on, your hair and nails are done, you have gorgeous shoes on. Then think about how you feel when you have your dirty slouchy I can’t be bothered clothes on. Your appearance makes such a difference to how you feel internally.
Then think about how you are physically when you meet people. I love Amy Cuddy’s Ted lecture ‘Your body language shapes who you are’. There is science behind this and it’s well worth a watch!
7. See failure as an opportunity to learn
We will all fails at points in our life, I definitely have! But if you redefine how you see failure from a bad thing to an opportunity to learn something you can put a whole different spin on things.
Failure is as much a part of life as breathing. If you’re so frightened of failing that you don’t move forward, you’ll get stuck and if you let yourself spin into a spiral of depression after failure you’ll also get stuck.
Stuck is never where you want to be. Allow yourself to make mistakes, try new things, learn from your trials and tribulations.
8. Focus. What you think becomes reality
I feel like this one may have been done to death. So many over used quotes from Napolean Hill ‘What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve’ and Paris Hilton ‘I think it’s important for girls to be confident. Believe in yourself and…everybody’s hot’ (sorry that one made me laugh, so I had to put it in there!).
But despite all the newageyness of it all, I do truly believe that our minds create reality.
Walk into a room thinking everyone is laughing at you and everything will go wrong and guess what? Everything you see and hear will back up your belief.
I remember speaking at the First Tuesday network, and I used to be so nervous every month. A woman was staring at me intently and I thought she was thinking what an idiot I was. It made me even more nervous and un-confident. At the end of my talk she came up to me and told me how much she enjoyed it and how nervous she was.
We see what we want to see. So why not choose to see a different reality.
9. Act like you want to feel
Oooo, we’re getting into the fake it until you make it territory here! Of which I’ve spoken about before, so I won’t go massively into it, but…How do you feel? How do you want to be perceived? Can you step into those shoes, and see how that feels for a while?
You could also visualise yourself doing tasks confidently. Imagine giving an amazing speech or winning a new client. Spend time imagining it already happened and you might just start tricking your brain to be that little bit more confident.
10. Care for yourself
Make sure you get the rest, good food and exercise you need. Don’t neglect yourself. Make plenty of time for fun and enjoyment. Do what makes you happy. Smile.
We all feel a little more confident when we smile x