Do you ever feel that you have zero confidence or low about yourself? In reality, it happens to many of us.
Confidence helps one to achieve goals and attracts success. So how do you build self-confidence?
Take stock of your past successes
We live in an “on to the next one” world. It’s rare to get time to reflect solely on things we’ve achieved in any given week. And on days where it feels like you can barely cope with a heavy workload or study schedule, the thought of spending extra time to “celebrate” seems absurd. Yet, reflecting on past achievements is a great way to boost confidence and gives us the motivation to do better.
For examples, every Friday write down one accomplishment. It could be big or small, professional or personal, the accomplishment doesn’t matter. What matters is the act of keeping track of achievements. Take time to pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
Practice speaking out loud
Speaking out loud used to be—and who are we kidding, still is—something we struggle with. While we are confident in our ability to research, write, and deliver a speech to a crowd, we tend to second guess ourselves afterwards – “Am I speaking too much?”, “Oh my god did I just cut him off?” and the list goes on. This can lead to staying quiet during meetings and networking events which is not ideal in terms career advancement.
The only solution is to speak up! Even if you’re alone.
Use a commute, a shower, or a couch session to practice speaking out loud. This might look like replaying a past interaction, practising an upcoming elevator pitch, or even car singing, the choice is yours. Use these solo pow-wows to rehearse bullet points, reflect on your pacing, tone, and cadence, as well as finding opportunities to pause. But more importantly, these solo sessions remind you to actually use your voice. No one will realise your brilliance if you don’t show it!
Learn a new skill
Whether it’s as big as learning a language or as small as trying a new board game, trying new things acts as a great reminder that you can adapt to whatever life throws at you. Sometimes even trying something you think you’ll be bad at can help you flex your confidence muscle.
Conquering something new feels amazing and partly because trying new things means failing at some point. Handling failure is a huge factor in building confidence. But learning new skills has acted as a way for us to practice failure so we have the mental tools to dust ourselves off and try again.
People have written entire books on how to live your life with gratitude, so we’re not going to share anything too groundbreaking here. Instead, we want to share a game we play to help keep us thankful when times get tough. If you’ve had a particularly rough day, you can often trace it back to a specific moment (or a few moments) that truly tested you and your confidence. Count the actual moments you’ve felt overwhelmed. Let’s say there were four of them. We’re now going to list four things we’re grateful for.
One item that we’ve been using a lot as of late is “We’re grateful for getting to wash our hands in hot water.” So clearly, it doesn’t have to be something big. Chances are, you’ll finish your list of four and still have items to be grateful for. That feeling of having more to be grateful for has really helped us shift our mindset from “I can’t” to “let’s try”.
Talk to your inner critic
THE WORST critic is your inner critic! A dash of self-reflective criticism is key to growth, but when your confidence is low, chances are it’s because this inner critic has gone off the rails. Give this inner critic a name and start questioning them.
When faced with a problem, try asking your inner critic these questions to get started:
- Is the cost of inaction worth it?
- Am I seeing the most accurate picture of me?
- Is there an aspect of my life that I move through with a question mark over my head? What is something I can do to resolve this?
We know that confidence is something that will always ebb and flow. But practising habits that develop confidence can help the bad days feel less bad!