Are you tired of feeling unsure of yourself and wanting to find ways to improve your self-confidence?
If so, you know that it takes more than a couple of affirmations to feel more confident in yourself.
So what can you do? If you don’t feel confident in yourself, it may be hard to believe that you could possibly change that feeling.
There are some things you can do on your own to help build self-confidence, but it also is really helpful to look outside of yourself for support as well. This post will outline some things you can do to help build self-confidence so you can feel better about yourself and your ability to reach your personal and professional goals.
The main strategies for building self-confidence are to shift your mindset and to generate feelings and experiences of confidence. Here are some tips to help you along:
Observe how you view yourself. Self-confidence is a belief in yourself and your abilities, so it’s important to start with looking at the beliefs you currently have about yourself that may be standing in the way of feeling more confident. We often don’t pay close attention to these beliefs and how they impact how we feel so it takes some practice and concerted effort to slow down and start observing. If you can slow down and observe what you are telling yourself, you open up the opportunity to question any negative or critical views of yourself and offer yourself another perspective that is more affirming and supportive.
Offer yourself support and compassion. We are often our own harshest critics and if you are consistently viewing yourself in a negative and critical light, it’s hard to feel confident in yourself. When you notice that you are being hard on yourself, see if you can offer yourself understanding, support, praise, and perspective. Give yourself a break. Remind yourself that nobody’s perfect, that building confidence takes time, or that you’re still learning. If this is hard to do, imagine what you would say to a friend or a child who is in need of a confidence boost. It is often a lot easier to be supportive to others than it is to ourselves.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others is rarely helpful, especially since it is often another way to criticize yourself. See if you can catch yourself when you are comparing and shift your mindset so that you can view yourself as a unique individual on your own unique path, rather than "less than", less capable, or less deserving.
Set yourself up for success. Set small achievable goals so you can feel a sense of accomplishment. The more you allow yourself to experience the positive feelings that come with even the smallest achievement, the more you can start to embody the feelings of confidence. Little successes add up!
Review your strengths and accomplishments. Rather than focusing on mistakes or deficits, remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments, no matter how small and insignificant they seem. You can even list them out and keep a log so you can see it and refer to it when you need a reminder.
Visualize & embody self-confidence. Imagine what it would be like to feel self-confident or proud. If you can think of a time when you felt confident or proud, you can use that to help guide you but if you can’t think of a time, use your imagination. What would be different? Take time to visualize what you might look like, feel like, how you would hold yourself, how you would interact with people, and how others would interact with you. Allow yourself to really feel it in your body and your posture. Smile. Hold your head up high. Pull your shoulders back. Soak it in.
Using visualization techniques is a good practice because if you can generate feelings of confidence within yourself, you’re creating a foundation that you can build upon.
Act "as if". This is basically taking the visualization one step further and putting it into action using a "fake it 'til you make it" strategy. See if you can act "as if" you are self-confident. Try doing something - you can start with something simple like ordering coffee in the morning - and do it with confidence. Keep trying it out. Changing your behavior can lead to changes in how you are feeling and thinking, so behaving in a self-confident manner can ultimately lead to feeling more confident.
Find support. It can be difficult to shift your mindset, recognize your strengths, and offer yourself affirmation all on your own and it can be really helpful to have some additional support, guidance, and feedback from others. Receiving recognition, praise, and validation from others can go a long way for changing how you feel about yourself. You may have a supportive friend, family member, colleague, or mentor who can offer some support, catch you when you are being hard on yourself, and help you see your strengths. You can also turn to professional support for additional guidance and accountability that can help you stay on track toward improving your confidence and reaching your goals.
If you are interested in more help with building self-confidence, feel free to contact me and we can set up an appointment. I specialize in self-esteem improvement and self-confidence building and I’m happy to help.
Call Melanie Lopes, MFT at 415-295-2940 or send me an email.