Our level of self-confidence has an impact on almost every aspect of our lives and a lack of it can seriously affect our overall happiness and wellbeing.
Self confidence is really just the vision we hold of ourselves and often these mental pictures can propel us towards, or hold us back from achieving our goals. Having it, can be the difference between really pushing on in life - or being stuck in a cycle of procrastination, always waiting for the right circumstances to present themselves.
Self confident people usually look inwards, whereas less confident people are always looking for others to guide them - allowing others to take control. Lack of confidence can manifest itself in many negative ways, and self-confident people are usually seen as more charismatic, composed and are viewed as better leaders.
Building self-confidence is often a slow process and confidence can easily be lost if it isn't built on solid foundations.
The good news is that there are things we can do to build our confidence levels and make sure we aren't knocked off track by criticism and public opinion.
Here are 6 things you can do to build and maintain your own self-confidence.
Self talk can often be our own worst enemy. Insecurities can chip away at our confidence and leave us doubting ourselves. We can change this by improving our internal dialogue and affirming positive and uplifting messages. We tend to believe anything that we tell ourselves consistently and by repeating affirmations (out loud if possible), we can re-write limiting scripts and behaviours.
Positive affirmations such as "I know I can accomplish anything I put my mind to!" - can instantly boost confidence and repeated over time, can alter the view we hold of ourselves.
Facing fear and overcoming challenges is a great way of building confidence. The very act of getting out of your comfort zone can have an empowering effect on us and by overcoming these fears and challenges, we can build resilience, self-esteem and the confidence to do and be more. Do something that scares you daily and watch your confidence grow!
Take Care of Yourself
Sometimes we don't feel great because we don't take enough care of ourselves. Poor diet and lack of exercise can negatively impact on our confidence levels and can leave us generally feeling low. Healthy eating and exercise will give a much-needed boost and leave us looking better on the outside and feeling better on the inside.
Keep well-groomed and dress to impress, after all "clothes make the man". Build self-confidence by taking better care of yourself and your outward appearance.
Set Small Goals and Achieve Them
We usually beat ourselves up and when we set goals that we do not achieve and this negative self talk can quite easily knock our confidence. By setting smaller, more achievable goals we can begin to change this and stack success upon success.
Break larger goals into smaller steps and start feeling better immediately by ticking these off one at a time.
Small wins build confidence and so use this achievement to build momentum and fuel further success. Taking stock at the end of each day or week to measure your achievements is a great way of reinforcing how well you are actually doing. Confidence will naturally follow as you start to make progress towards bigger goals.
The way we hold ourselves physically can play a massive role in how we feel. By raising our heads, pulling our shoulders back and making eye contact when we talk to people, we can make ourselves and others feel that we exude confidence. As the old saying goes "Fake it until you make it"!
Think about your posture. Does it say self-confidence? Or are you transmitting a message of self-doubt and fear?
Focus on your breathing, smile and talk more slowly. Research shows that by doing this we both feel and appear more confident.
Focus on the Positive
By showing gratitude for what we already have and focusing on the positives in life we can build on and maintain the confidence that we've already built. Too often we can let the negative voice of ourselves and others leave us feeling less than we are. Reminding ourselves of past victories and successes will give us a more balanced view and leave us less susceptible to the criticism we face. It is hard, after all, to lack confidence when we constantly remind ourselves of how well we are doing and show gratitude for what we have already achieved.
Finish each day by reviewing the wins - big and small and start each day with gratitude to boost and maintain confidence levels.