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Would you like to know how to be more confident?
One of the things that stopped me from pursuing anything that would lead me to putting myself out there was a lack of confidence in myself.
It’s something we all experience to some degree or another, even Paul McCartney, famed Beatle. See here.
There are times I still could be more confident in myself, but now I have some tools and tips to help me see things differently.
I’ve broken through that wall of fear and lack of confidence enough times that simply remembering those successes, creates a vibration of more success and confidence for me to dwell in.
And the same can be true for you.
If you’ve ever wanted to be more confident one of the most important first steps to take is dealing with your worst enemy.
The one who has your ear every day. The one who is more critical of you than with anyone else The one whose relentless criticism never seems to stop. The one who’s always telling you how much you messed up and always has worst case scenarios for you to pay attention to.
Yep. I’m talking about you.
No-one has more to say about how you are in life. This self-talking, self-sabotaging you.
So the key question is how do you overcome your lack of self-confidence, your rotten concept of yourself and most importantly your lack of self-compassion? And find ways to ignore the self-saboteur within.
Let’s find out by starting with this quiz from Oprah.
Check out your motivation style. https://www.oprah.com/omagazine/how-to-determine-what-motivates-you-motivation-style_1
This is a great foundation for understanding more about yourself which in turn can help you turn self-criticism into self-compassion and greater confidence in yourself.
Because let’s be honest the way you see and feel about yourself influences how you live your life and every interaction you have with others.
Being able to interact positively and confidently with and around others allows you to live a fuller and happier life.
Reversing the golden rule
I don’t know about you, but I was taught to treat others as I wanted them to treat me. A philosophy I’m sure many kids were brought up with. But there’s a challenge with this.
Do you treat yourself as kindly as you treat others? Probably not. We’re harder on ourselves because we have that voice in our ear yammering on about some negative something or other about who we are or what we did.
Maybe it’s time to turn to other voices and maybe we should get those voices to speak out loud!
If this sounds silly, read on.
There are studies that say the right voices in your head can help you become not only more confident, but more resilient too.
Using your self-talk is a way to be more confident
Consciously or unconsciously you are the driver behind the stories you tell yourself. And the loudest voice in your head is, as we know, the most critical. But you have choices about your stories and the voice you listen to.
You’ve no doubt read or heard that any phrase that starts with “I am” is incredibly powerful and I believe this to be true.
And here’s what I also believe. Talking to yourself using the word “you” is also a powerful way to alter the way you see yourself.
This is a voice in your head that’s good to keep chattering away on your behalf. And since the voice is yours as much as that voice that continually undermines your success and happiness, you can have it tell you anything you like. Anything that is that will lead you forward in the confidence stakes.
Try phrases like, “You have great, untapped abilities, just waiting for you to use them.” Or how about “You are awesome, I know you’ve got this.” Or one of my favorites “You are enough.” And then there’s “Everything is well in your world.”
Okay you get the picture. They’re all really great feel-good phrases that will help reignite your motivation or find a little more calm in the middle of a stressful day.
All well and good. But what if you don’t feel you are smart enough to fulfill your desires and goals and this feeling is sabotaging your confidence in yourself. You know this is self-sabotage, right?
And we all do it.
Here’s how to put that one to bed.
Want to be more confident? Talk out loud
Nope I’m not kidding here.
Talking out loud is another way to be more confident
I read recently that when older adults talk to themselves out loud their intelligence scores skyrocket. See here.
If your confidence is being sapped because you think you’re limited in intelligence – think again. And try speaking out loud to yourself.
And if you’re not in the older adult category, makes no difference. Talking out loud boosts your ability to remember things.
So if you want to learn something new try reading the information out loud and boos your confidence at the same time.
All of this is truly going to help but for many the challenge is they just don’t feel good about themselves. If this is you, it will stop you in your tracks on the road to being more confident.
You probably think I’m going to talk about self-esteem, but you’d be wrong.
Self-compassion = more confidence
Trying to artificially boost your self-esteem doesn’t tend to work. Or at least if it does, it doesn’t tend to stick.
It won’t improve you intellectually, or stop you from procrastinating, or attaining the things you’d like to have. All of which end up being close to a knock-out blow to your confidence.
So when you get things wrong, and you will, when you don’t measure up or when you feel rejected it isn’t self-esteem you need, it’s a little more self-compassion.
Did you have a kind parent or grandma or teacher or friend whose voice you can tap into telling you, ‘it’s okay, you might have messed up, but so do we all. Things will be all right.’
At some point we all mess up, my grandma didn’t use those exact words, but that’s what she meant when she would tell me I wasn’t perfect, but there were no perfect people in the world.
And she had to tell me that more than once or twice. I was a mistake-making ninja as a kid, what can I say!
That’s the value of self-compassion versus self-esteem. You can accept you’re less than perfect and be okay with it. As Albert Ellis, Psychologist said “Self-esteem is the greatest sickness known to humanity because it is conditional.”
Whereas you, with your self-compassion don’t have to prove yourself, or like yourself conditional upon you doing a certain thing or being a certain way. All that’s required is that you accept yourself, and if you can’t do that, and I get it, then be kind to yourself.
Whenever I notice something about myself I don’t like, or whenever something goes wrong in my life, I silently repeat the following phrases: “This a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.”
Your self concept paves the way towards more confidence
However you see yourself is the foundation for your thoughts and actions. And your self concept is made up of the beliefs and thoughts and feelings you have about you.
What stories do you tell yourself about who you are?
Maybe it’s time to feed yourself new ideas of who you are.
It seems to me that many of us could use a healthier relationship with ourselves. It’s true that for some people they have a hard time speaking positive, inspiring and uplifting things to themselves.
But believe me, if you set yourself a regular daily habit of doing just this you’ll be rewarded with a new and definitely more confident ideas about who you are.
And it doesn’t even matter if you can’t yet believe they are true. Thoughts and feelings when repeated get picked up by our subconscious mind as a request. And your subconscious mind sets about making that request a reality for you.
It might not happen instantly. But if persisted in, it will happen And there are scientific studies that tell you how this works, if you need science to convince you.
Me, I’ll take my experiences in life as proof that certain things work for me.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Give it a try for a few weeks. The worst it can do is give you more confidence in yourself and the best it can do is give you an unwavering belief in the power within you to change your world.
Encourage one another.