There are many reasons why someone suffers from low self confidence; things such as unresolved childhood issues, physical or mental ill health, loss of a job or break down of a relationship can all impact on how we feel about ourselves. Or you may have grown up with a negative view of yourself because of the early messages given to you by adults around you. It may be that your lack of self confidence is holding you back and stopping you from being able to live the life that you want to lead. If this is the case try my tips on how to start building your confidence. For the best results practice them daily until they become second nature.
1. Take care of your physical health
Focus on eating healthy food, getting enough relaxation and sleep and getting regular physical exercise. I’ve put this at the top of the list as this is the basis for feeling good about yourself. If your body feels good you will start to feel good. Decide which type of exercise suits you; the gym isn’t for everyone and maybe a yoga or dance class is more suited to your personality and lifestyle. It has to be enjoyable otherwise let’s be honest you won’t do it.
Healthy eating is really important in order to feel good about yourself, eating regularly is important in keeping your blood sugar levels constant and will help with providing sustained energy. Cutting down on sugar, alcohol and caffeine will also help as these may provide you with a quick burst of energy but will leave you feeling deflated and tired as your blood sugar levels drop again.
2. Change your negative thoughts
Become aware of what you are saying to yourself on a daily basis; you’re probably not aware of the negative things that you are telling yourself and how this affects your feelings and behaviours. These kind of thoughts are called negative automatic thoughts because they are so automatic that you don’t even realise that they are there, you just end up feeling bad and are unsure of why. These thoughts are usually the result of unconscious beliefs you have about yourself . When you start being aware of your thoughts, it can be useful to write them down and notice how they affect your feelings and how you act on them. For example if one of your core beliefs about yourself is ”I’m not good enough” and you are going for a job interview, you may be having negative automatic thoughts such as ”there’s bound to be someone better than me” or ”I’m going to mess this up” which means that your confidence will be affected during the interview, the result of this means that you don’t get the job which confirms your original belief that you were not good enough for it anyway.
By identifying your negative thoughts you can start replacing them with new positive affirmations about yourself i.e. I would be an asset to any company due to the skills that I already have, then list the skills that you do have as a way of backing up this new way of thinking so that it is more believable. Now see how that affects your feelings; it’s not difficult but does take effort, commitment and practice just like starting anything new. If you stick with it you will get the results that you want.
3. Enjoy yourself!
Find something gives you pleasure (and isn’t destructive or unhealthy!). Rediscover a hobby or interest or take a class in something that you’ve always wanted to learn. Think about what you used to like doing as a child and rediscover it. Start listening to your body as this can give you clues as to what may give you fulfilment, for example do you feel alive when rollerblading around the park or do you prefer to play sport and being part of a team? Go with what feels right for you and find enjoyment in it by being in the moment and letting go of thinking of the past or future plans.
4. Learn from others
Observe people who you admire and think are confident, see how they act and behave and take on board some of their qualities for yourself. Make the decision to become more confident even if it doesn’t come naturally and take small steps to achieving this. For example dedicate 10 minutes each day towards your goal of becoming more confident. There are hundreds of motivational books out there that are full of great tips and exercises that will help you on your journey to becoming more self assured.
If you find that you are still battling with low self esteem consider attending a course of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) sessions. CBT is proven to be effective in helping to identify negative thoughts and beliefs and replacing with rational and positive ones. This has the effect of improving the way that you feel about yourself and ultimately the way that you relate to others and to life situations.
To book a CBT session contact Nicola at email@example.com or 07841 420067