Confidence is a state of mind that can wane when a boss, spouse or friend says something that you interpret as derogatory. Or you can feel deflated if you haven’t gotten enough sleep because you simply feel lousy. Or the agony of defeat—feeling that you’ve failed at something—can trigger a sense of not being good enough Many things can make you feel like you’re having a bad day and undermine your self-assurance. It's all in your perceptions! The good news is that you can learn to change those downtrodden feelings and recognize your inner—more capable--abilities at any given moment. Confidence building is much like exercising your muscles. You need to practice daily to maintain your strength. Here are 8 ways to begin the process of becoming a spectacularly confident person:
1. Believe in yourself. When feeling down, you may disconnect from recognizing the inner gifts you have. So take a few minutes right now to write down compliments you’ve received over the years from people in your life. If you can’t remember any positive traits in this moment, ask yourself: Am I a good person? Do I care about others? What am I most proud of in my life? Answering these questions can provide a healthy starting point.
2. Stick to an exercise routine even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. Physical exercise will help you feel buoyed and more energetic. Take a walk in nature which is uplifting and empowering just to get outside and be moving the energies through your body and brain. Stand tall with shoulders back which scientific studies have shown help you physiologically feel stronger and more in charge. Consider joining a class or find a workout buddy so you're accountable and won't blow off your fitness regime.
3. Offload non-essentials. Take a few minutes when it’s quiet to prioritize your task list. Relegate less important tasks to another time or day. Simplify. Allow yourself to be human and accept what you can and can’t do so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and stressed (which can be depleting).
4. Allocate quality time for yourself for self-nurturing, self-care and relaxation. Eat well. Dress well. Get enough sleep. Give yourself small breaks during the day from all responsibilities so you can recharge and feel good. Take a soothing bubble bath, pray, listen to relaxing music, enjoy a hot cup of tea or fun time with friends
5. Be around people you admire. Motivational Coach Jim Rohn says “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So choose to be around confident people. They’re great role models and will raise your vibrational levels. You'll unconsciously be influenced by how they walk the walk and you'll pattern yourself similarly.
6. Get rid of the negative self-talk. Banish self-defeating thoughts. Practice mindfulness to become more aware of those moments when you’re feeling less than stellar. Stop the internal name-calling. If a bad decision elicits you to call yourself “stupid” or “no good,” you’ll dig yourself into a frenzy. Instead, just pause to consider the opposite. Condition yourself to change the perception and tell yourself (even if you’re not convinced at first). “I’m smart.” “I’m valuable.” Just fake it until you make it. It will transform the way you view yourself.
7. Meditate. Taking daily mental time-outs helps you think more clearly and allows you to tap into your intuitive guidance. I teach clients to meditate every morning for a minimum of 5 minutes to kick off their day in a positive, self-empowering way. (If you need support, try downloading my free audio 3MinutestoDestress.com)
8. Develop a positive affirmation or mantra. On a day you feel on top of the world, take time to consider several attributes that you’d like to have more of in your life. For myself, I’ve created three words that I repeat daily. (My words are “powerful, passionate, purposeful.”) I encourage you to develop your own that resonate with you. The more you repeat them, the more they become a part of you. Rather than defaulting to self-deprecating thoughts on a bad day, you can bring to mind your magnificence through your special words.
Let’s face it, as human beings, we’re naturally vulnerable. So being open to change, to accept criticism or failure is more a testament to your strengths and abilities to grow and evolve than it is to a lack of self-esteem. The more time you devote to developing these eight practices, the more quickly you will be secure in your personal power.
Peggy Sealfon is a personal development coach, motivational speaker and author of the best-selling book Escape from Anxiety—Supercharge Your Life with Powerful Strategies from A to Z.