Self-Help Tips for Dealing with a Lack of Confidence
Many of my clients tell me that they have lost their confidence. Sometimes this is due to the loss of a job, or a boss or co-worker's criticism. Other times it could be because of a relationship breakdown or the loss of a family member.
Many people suffer from a lack of confidence. This is nothing to be ashamed of, it is a common problem. Here is a list of ways that people have been able to deal with their lack of confidence.
1. Live in the moment. When you live in the moment you can focus on the now rather than focus on the past where you experienced your hurt and encountered your fears. This is called “mindfulness”. As you stay in the present you realize that you are okay, the past can't hurt you and the future isn't here yet. Mindfulness is something that takes time to master but it is worthwhile. You can find out more about mindfulness here:
2. Develop awareness. When you’re aware, you can notice how you are acting during certain situations. You can stop and take a deep breath and see whether you are reacting or responding. When our emotions are high we usually react. When we create space between our emotions and actions, we are more able to simply respond to someone or something in a healthier way.
3. Write in a journal. Many of our thoughts and feelings are stuck inside the subconscious part of our brain. By writing, we are able to release those thoughts. Many people find it helpful to have a special book or journal to write in. They set aside some time in the morning to just write for a period of 10 minutes or more, just free writing. Once you’re done writing, you can take some time to look over what you wrote and try figuring out why you felt a specific way. This can often help you to separate the negative thoughts you may have from the truth behind who you actually are; a unique person who can do whatever you set your mind to.
4. Don’t be judgmental. How many times have you told yourself that you were bad or wrong? How many times have you judged others as wrong when they don't do what you expect or want them to do? Take some time to analyze and think about some of these things. When we can approach our lives without judgment, we are able to accept ourselves, our experiences, failures, and successes. We are also more open to accepting others just as they are, whether what they do appears good or bad.
5. Stay connected to who you are. First you have to know who you are. You do this by spending some time by yourself, looking at what you like to do, what you want for yourself, rather than always doing things for others. By doing this you are able to establish a connection with yourself and reduce possible people-pleasing habits. Don’t always think of other needs over your own. You are just as important as everyone else is; don’t forget that! Set some time in your appointment book for you. It might be an hour to read a book, have a massage, get your hair done. It doesn't matter, as long as it is something YOU want to do and not something you are doing for someone else.
6. Practice mindful meditation. Many people are confused by the word “meditation”. They think of people sitting and chanting all day. The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. There are many different ways to meditate. Check out some of them here. Meditation allows you to let go off the negative thoughts that invade your mind on a daily basis. You don’t have to accept those damaging thoughts, feelings, emotions, and beliefs as part of who you are. Take time out of each day to take a few deep breaths and slowly feel the negativity leave your body and mind.
7. Let it all go. All those negative thoughts that are constantly swirling around in your brain making you feel “less than”. We often have a hard time recognizing our strengths and talents. Many times we are not aware that things we do with ease are talents. When people compliment us on them, we dismiss them with a casual “It's nothing”. Take time to recognize what people are saying about you. Sit down and take a look at the things you have done well. You can find at least one thing to focus on to help get rid of that voice that whispers, “You can't do anything right”.
8. Show yourself some love. Take a look in the mirror and find something about yourself that you like – your eyes, your hair, your nose, your lips, your ankles! It doesn't matter what you choose, just pick something and tell yourself that you like it. We are our own worst critics. Most of the time other people don't notice the “so-called” flaws that seem to overwhelm us. It's time to give yourself a break. Everyone deserves compassion, whether it be from yourself or someone else. When you tell yourself how much you love you, you’ll gain a sense of strength, safety, and acceptance.
Everyone has things they aren’t confident about, whether it be about themselves or a situation they aren’t comfortable in. Each one of us is unique in our own way, but sometimes we forget that. So before getting too down on yourself, remember who you are and remember that you are loved and supported by the people you carry close to your heart.
P.S. This past month I have written a series of articles on confidence which you can find at my other blog – SimpleStepsToSpeakingSuccess