Self-confidence: let's be honest
Self-confidence is something that a lot of us struggle with and at varying degrees. Depending on where you are in your life, the challenges you face, the insecurities you have embodied, everyone will approach confidence building differently. There are so many resources out there today that women can grab and get a hold of in terms of the "self-help" type of resources and advice from our friends and family.... but let us tell you the truth...... there is no easy way or a checklist you can do to ultimately help you improve your self-confidence and your thoughts about your confidence. How do you really combat those thoughts and behaviours that we have all ingrained in our brains that have allowed us to self-sabotage our happiness and belief in ourselves?
How we perceive ourselves and what we do comes from different sources, whether it is our performance through work, our skills and education level through the amount of schooling/professional training one undertakes, or our physical appearance through the feedback we receive and absorb through social media and people who directly provide comments to us on a daily basis.
Reality is - our confidence is not driven by the result of an effort being made towards achieving a career goal, a PhD, or an expensive outfit that we saved our hard working pennies for. It is all in how we train our MINDSETS. YES! It comes from our thoughts! Thoughts about ourselves, who we are, how we feel, and the healthy habits we create along the way. If we want to feel better about ourselves we must focus on changing those thoughts that make us feel self-doubt, unworthy, and insecure.
Confidence and self-esteem impacts every area of our life - career, relationships, parenting, emotional health, and our overall well-being. In recent years, research has shown that self-worth can stem from neurological connections integrating information about the self with positive affect and reward - therefore, connections and integrations in the brain play a role in self-esteem. So you can image that it is quite important for us to actively take steps towards building confidence.
Have you ever noticed times when you have achieved certain goals but you don't really feel satisfied or happy or feel the effects of improved self-confidence longer term? It's because achieving those things does not lead to the self-confidence we had hoped for or expected. We've achieved what we wanted to achieve, but we're still thinking the same thoughts as before so the result is we still don't feel confident.
Sometimes those achievements can bring up new doubts or fears. For example, if your goal was to lose 20 lbs and you achieved that goal, your new self doubt or fear could evolve into "I need an even better body" mindset. You are pinning your self-confidence on some new results setting your sights into the future.
Most tools necessary for fostering a healthy and positive self-esteem aren't really taught in childhood or most school systems. Often, they are things individuals learn only when they wind up struggling with mood or relationship problems that cause them to seek help.
What we want to do is change those behaviours, patterns, and thoughts and work on improving our overall mindset so we can feel confident with ourselves no matter what challenges and insecurities we face now and in the future.
Here are a few things that will help:
Start listening to pod-casts that inspire and motivate you to become the best version of yourself.
Try mediating - find time for yourself (5-10 mins a day) to reflect and to hear your thoughts.
Exercise regularly and eat good food that will nourish your body through a healthy balanced diet.
Set a bed-time alarm - sleeps is vital to our overall mood and function.
Spend more time with people who are aligned with you and who can positively contribute and be a compliment to you.
Get to know yourself! Identify what you like, what you want out of life, and developing an awareness of how your past experiences have shaped the person you are today.
Take care of yourself - developing confidence involves recognizing your powerful inner voice and learning how to rewire your brain by developing more effective thinking patterns. Take time to nurture your spirit and soul by doing all things you love.
Respect yourself - assess and uphold your own morals and values without sacrificing your well-being to please others. It’s about developing trust in yourself and learning skills to become more assertive.
Accepting and acknowledging your limits, imperfections, mistakes, will help you learn more on how to effectively deal with criticisms. It involves knowing your threshold for stress, developing self-compassion, and forgiving yourself along the way for missteps or faults.
To truly establish and build confidence, you must believe in your worth and care about your future. Create better boundaries in your relationships. Celebrate your strengths and learn to accept positive compliments. LOVE YOURSELF.