Confidence and self-esteem are not tangible, it’s not something we can touch or buy, but I’ve never met anyone that doesn’t want more confidence, more self-esteem. The confidence to stand up and speak in public, confidence to ask someone out on a date, or confidence to ask for a raise. After all we know we deserve it. We look at others that exhibit confidence and think – I wish I had more of that.
Here are 5 approaches that can be used improve your self-confidence:
1. Change what you say to yourself
We have approximately 70,000 plus thoughts per day. The voice that we hear 95% of the time is our own voice, in our own head. So, what are you saying to yourself? Have you ever truly paid attention to what you actually say to yourself? Are you being kind to yourself? Or are you being critical? What tone are you using? We’re so used to the sound of our own voice and how we talk to ourselves that we may no longer notice what we say and how we speak to ourself.
I have done this exercise many times with clients. Try it for yourself. Imagine a situation, notice what you said to yourself, notice the words you used, notice your tone of voice. Imagine a person you love sitting next to you. Say out loud (using the same tone and words) the things you said to yourself and direct them at your imagined loved one. The client’s response is always “I’d never speak like that to someone I love. Then why talk to yourself like that? Do you need to learn to love and respect yourself?
2. Quieting the critic, amplifying the cheerleader
Now you aware of how unpleasant you are to yourself; its time make a change. You are responsible, you are in charge. Confidence can grow by learning some simple language techniques. Change what you say to yourself and shift the focus from unpleasant and negative to kind and positive. Practice changing the word ‘why’ to ‘what’ and ‘how’.
- “Why did I do that?” Change to “How can I do that differently”
- “Why is this such a problem?” Change to “How is this a problem for me?”
- “Why do I always fail?” Change to “What do I need to make this a success?”
- “Why is this happening to me?” Change to “How can I change this?”
- “Why do I always fail?” Change to “How can I make this a success?”
3. When you’re being kind you can’t be a critic
This one is very straight forward. Your mind can only do one thing at a time. You can’t watch a movie while going out for dinner. You can’t sleep in while taking an early morning walk. You can’t go to work and have the day off. It’s impossible. Therefore, if you’re being kind to yourself, you can’t be unpleasant to yourself. It’s that easy.
4. Fake it till you make it
We’ve all heard the phrase “fake it till you make it”. Imagine your confident self. Get comfortable with what a confident you actually feels like, sounds like, looks like and embody the confident you of the future. We’ve all heard of actors embodying a character. Embody your confident self. Practice makes perfect.
5. Have a goal – What’s your purpose
Set yourself a goal – any goal. It can be as big as a promotion at work or a career change, or as small as walking a couple of kilometres every day. Or practising being more confident.
When we have a goal, a purpose we are less likely to be derailed. A goal keeps us on track.