The word for confidence in Gaelic is muinín (pronounced muneen), and it is also the word for trust. The English dictionary definition of confidence is "firm trust," "a feeling of reliance or certainty." So, self-confidence is really about trusting yourself. The question then is how you can learn to trust yourself. The other important thing to note about self-confidence is that it can often be at a low ebb when we are in the midst of making important changes. At this point, our old certainties are beginning to fade away and our new life has not yet fully kicked in. What is given in this article are 10 ways to get it back when it looks like it has gone away.
- Feedback from friends and family: Ask five people that you know and trust to give you a list of three things they really like about you. Either ask them to write them down or write them down yourself in a special notebook. And then read and enjoy them!
- Top 50 achievements: Write out a list of 50 things you are proud of achieving. It doesn't matter how big or how small. If you can't think of anything, begin with learning to walk, learning to talk and learning to write! Scientists are still baffled as to how small humans can learn these complex skills in relatively short periods of time! And no, NOT everybody can walk, talk and write!
- Act "as if": Ask yourself what you would do, what would you say, how you would ask if you were confident — then, choose a situation and act confidently in that. Yes, I know you are not confident yet, but if you act "as if," you will find that after a while you begin to feel confident.
- Keep your promises: How do you know if someone is trustworthy? You know because trustworthy people do what they say and say what they do. And that includes promises to yourself. For example, are you the type of person who says "I'll be there in 20 minutes," knowing full well that it will take you an hour. What message is that sending to you and to others? Begin by keeping promises that you make. This is an ESSENTIAL part of building confidence in yourself. After all, if you can't trust yourself…
- Take a chance…be yourself: One thing I regularly hear from clients who have confidence issues is how they won't do or say something because of the fear of being "stupid"…only invariably to hear someone else come out with the same "stupid" idea and being respected for it. This week, give your honest opinion. Be respectful of others but state your opinion calmly and clearly.
- Do something you enjoy: Few things can give the rush of confidence that mastery can. By mastery, I mean doing something comfortably and competently. Think of the confidence you got when you learned to drive, when you got to grips with a computer programme. Do something that you are good at: you must have something that you are good at, no matter how small it seems.
- Get confidence buddies: Ask 2-3 people to be there when you need reassurance, when your confidence is shaky. Ask them to remind you that you have got out of this before. Ask them to remind you of all the good qualities that you have.
- Help someone else: No matter how badly off you think you are…there is always someone who has worse problems than you. And seeing this and getting things into perspective is a great way of building confidence. Look around you and find someone or an organization to volunteer with. If you can't find one, give a gift to your favourite charity.
- Gratitude: Look at what you do have. Know that even if some aspects of your life are not working out the way you wanted them...there are bound to be aspects that are working well--be thankful for those.
- Be kind to yourself: After all, that is what you would do for a friend who is going through a confidence crisis.
Even if your confidence level is good, choose one of the steps outlined above and implement it this week. You could get a couple of confidence buddies, help someone else or really go mad and be yourself!
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