At the heart of what pushes you out of your comfort zone, lets you take risks, makes you feel great, and helps you reach your true potential and life dreams….
At the heart of what can stop you getting the most out of your life…
Such a little word really, but how much importance and power it holds!
In Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” she cites an interesting statistic:
“An internal report at Hewlett-Packard revealed that women only apply for open jobs if they think they meet 100% of the criteria listed. Men apply if they think they meet 60% of the requirements.”
Does this ring any bells??
For many of us it’s not that we totally lack confidence. And it’s not a character trait so it’s not missing. Confidence is like a muscle (and we all have muscles), and like any muscle it needs to be worked on to build it up, and to maintain it.
So, by working on our confidence, we can build it up. We can then flex it when we need it.
Here are 10 ways you can build your confidence:
C – Clarity. Sit down and get clarity on what the triggers in your life are that increase, or suck out, your confidence. Make a list. Do a mindmap. Journal. (Whatever works for you). Is it being with a certain group of people that brings out your confidence? Does a particular work situation make you feel like you have no voice? Are there certain clothes in your wardrobe that make you feel fat? Or strong? Or sexy?? Work out what makes you feel confident and do more of it, work out what makes you feel unconfident and do less of it. (Simple but effective).
O – Own your self-worth. Identify, challenge and externalise your critical inner voice. We all have that voice that nit-picks, loves to remind us of our flaws, puts us down, saps our confidence. Whenever you notice that voice kick into gear – make it pause for a moment and ask yourself: is there any basis in fact? Is it being kind or not? Is it telling you something you need to know? If none of these are true, then firmly tell it it’s not helpful or needed and send it on its way!
N – No! If you find setting boundaries a challenge, start by saying no to small things. This helps to build your confidence so you can start to say no and set boundaries around the bigger things.
F – “Fake it ‘til you make it”. Amy Cuddy’s 15 minute TED talk on this is really interesting (1.5 million views). The theory is that if you act/imitate being confident, it will eventually feel real. There’s also scientific evidence to support doing ‘power poses’ to increase confidence (a change in posture can lead to a change in attitude). You could try the yoga warrior poses 1, 2 and 3 for example.
I – “Inside explorer”. Increase your self-awareness – are you distorting reality? Do you have any inaccurate thinking that needs undoing? What stories are you telling yourself that get in the way of your confidence? (e.g. I’ve never been able to stand up in a room full of people and talk). The next time you feel unconfident, ask yourself why? Keep a note and then reflect back. Are there any patterns?
D – Don’t tolerate toxic people – stay away from people that suck your confidence. People that put you down either directly or subtly. If it’s not possible to stay away, then practise building a ‘force field’ around yourself when you’re with them.
E – Expand your circle. Spend time with people that have the kind of confidence you admire. What can you learn from them?
N – Nurture your growing skills. Dictionary definition of “nurture”: care for and protect (someone or something) while they are growing. So be kind to yourself and gentle as you practise and build your confidence. Consistency is better than intensity.
C – Celebrate success – your own, this shows that you’re proud of yourself, back to owning your worth. And also celebrate others’ success, this shows that you’re not playing the comparison game (which sucks out confidence).
E – Energise yourself. Allow yourself time to recharge. Running around trying to do it all is overwhelming and sucks out all your energy. It’s hard to feel confident when you’re tired, stressed, and worn down. So much confidence comes from feeling physically and emotionally healthy. Give yourself permission to spend some time on self-love and self-care. “I’m going for a spa day to build my confidence” 🙂
Pick 1 thing from above you’d like to try to help you increase your confidence.
Do this thing every day for a week.
At the end of the week reflect – is your confidence muscle feeling bigger? More toned? What’s changed? What can I do now to keep building/toning it?
Be consistent and you’ll start to see and feel the positive effects ripple out into all areas of your life.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you’ve imagined!
This article was written by Helena Ewers, one of Careering into Motherhood’s Partner Coaches. Helena helps to find clarity and direction through the fog, reconnected with your “this is me!”, and reignited with your sparkle and confidence to live your life your way. She offers a free discovery call. To find out more, get in touch visit her website https://starttheripples.com
March 10, 2023