Published on January 4th, 2016 | by Nancy F. Clark0
How You Can Build Your Confidence, And Keep It
By Jaime Kulaga—
Many of us have limiting beliefs about ourselves in at least one area of our lives. These limiting beliefs lead to a decrease in confidence. You may be an expert and thriving in one area of your life, but in other areas you may lack confidence for a variety of reasons. Often we know that in order to be successful we must be more confident, but the question is, how can we gain confidence, and keep it?
Use Caution With Your Self-Talk
You may have gotten stuck on thinking the same things about yourself for so long that you aren’t aware of tools that make your self-talk more positive.
“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” —Lisa M. Hayes
Person 1: I don’t think I can do this. I failed last time. I always mess up. I’m not sure I’ll make it. Maybe I wasn’t made for this.
Person 2: I got this. I will nail it. I will succeed. I’m so proud of myself. I knew I would get this far.
Between Person 1 and Person 2, who do you think will achieve their goal? This is not a trick question. The answer is, Person 2. The messages that you repeatedly send to yourself day in and day out reflect your ability to see opportunity—the willingness to act on this opportunity—and ultimately your success.
Action: Stop thoughts that are limiting and self-defeating. Cut your negative thoughts immediately and replace with words that are positive and confident. The more you repeatedly send positive messages to yourself, the more confident you will become.
At some time, we have all tried to act like someone else. The one thing that we found, we could not actually be them. Their past is different, their biology is different, and there is a lot you do not know about what they are portraying to the world.
Exhausting energy on trying to be something that you are not, or fighting day in and out for someone else’s approval will minimize self-confidence. When you compare yourself, you are now set in a direct line for failure and feelings of guilt. These feelings only push away confidence.
Action: Shift the attention—that you’re wasting in comparisons—back to you and your goals and you will instantly see an increase in self-confidence.
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
You have to work for your confidence. In order to do this, you have to analyze what you’d like to avoid. If you lack confidence in speaking up during business meetings, then you need to start speaking up during business meetings. Instead of just shouting something out during a meeting, go ahead and create a plan for what you want to say and have your notes in front of you. This way you will be more prepared for the uncomfortable situation ahead. The more you speak up during business meetings, the more opportunities you have to work on your confidence in this area of life.
Action: This week, step out of your comfort zone 3 times. The more frequently you step outside your comfort zone, the quicker this type of behavior will become a habit. Life outside your comfort zone offers more opportunities—and more successes. More personal successes means more self-confidence.
Do you want to boost your confidence? Then work out. Exercising will make you feel better about yourself, give you more energy and encourage better life choices and a better attitude. Exercising helps your body to produce endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. A portion of our confidence comes from how we feel in our own skin, how we think we look and how healthy our body feels inside. Confidence is a mind and body state.
Action: If you have not already done so, plan and start an exercise routine this week. If you don’t have time to exercise, identify three areas in your life where you can cut 10 minutes. Take that 30 minutes to exercise.
Ninety percent of serotonin is produced in our gut. Serotonin is the chemical that makes us happy. Poor diets may encourage depressive feelings. These negative feelings only drop self-confidence. Do your best to stay away from frequenting antibiotics, processed foods and high sugar and carb diets. If you are eating healthy, you will increase your mood toward all things, including yourself.
Action: Name one food that you can eliminate from your diet and one food you can add to your diet that would make you feel better about your overall health. Implement this for at least one week and see if the diet change impacted your mood and confidence levels.
Jaime Kulaga, Ph.D., is the author of Type “S”uperwoman: Finding the Life In Work Life Balance. She coaches individuals to reach a more productive life. You can find more information here: Mindful Rehabilitation, Facebook, and Google+. See her Top Coach Page.