Arguably the biggest key to success is confidence. You can have all the skills and privilege necessary to win in life, but if you don’t believe in yourself, it could all come to nothing.
Once your confidence has been damaged, whether overnight or over a period of years, it can be difficult to repair. It becomes easier to let doubt creep into every area of your life and allow opportunities pass you by, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Learn to stop negative thoughts and feelings from consuming you and to build up your confidence with these simple techniques. Over time, they will help you feel like yourself again.
Quiet your negative thoughts
Once upon a time, every one of us was a child who believed we could grow up to become anything we wanted, until someone – whether a family member, authority figure, or society at large – planted a voice in our head to remind us we had ‘limitations’.
This voice isn’t meant to protect you; it’s meant to clip your wings and make others more comfortable. So don’t listen to it. It may be difficult, but try to force yourself out of your comfort zone, into situations that make you anxious. Once you’ve conquered them, that voice will be silenced forever.
Don’t trust your bad memories
Our memories can serve us well, but none of us remember things exactly how they happened. All our recollections are coloured by our beliefs, values, and self-perception.
So, if you have low self-esteem, your memories likely confirm this belief, as when you recall certain events, you remember them in a way that casts you in a negative light.
If you are plagued by embarrassing or traumatic memories, try to obtain an outside perspective from someone you admire and respect. You’ll likely find that they remember it in a different way, if they even remember it at all.
Talk to yourself
We tend to associate talking to yourself with ‘crazy’ people, but there’s a lot to be said for having a word with yourself when it comes to silencing negative thoughts.
When you experience a sudden surge of anxiety, self-doubt, or self-loathing, talk to yourself about the things you like about yourself, and the things you’ve accomplished. Everyone has something, and focussing on them can be like finding a life raft in a storm.
Take a break from yourself
We shouldn’t ignore negative thoughts, as they’ll always come back to take another swipe at our self-esteem later, but taking a break and busying yourself with something productive is a great way to give yourself some perspective.
Find something that ignites your curiosity, which can hold your attention for a prolonged period. It could be an engrossing book, learning a new language, cooking, writing, exercise, or art; anything that will point you in a new direction and produce positive results.
Physically taking a break may also be beneficial. A walk in the park, a drive to the coast, or a more prolonged vacation will refresh you and make you feel more able to tackle the things that are chipping away at your confidence.
Do something about your insecurities
Sometimes, the things that are causing us misery aren’t internal, but external. Feeling insecure about your appearance doesn’t make you shallow; it simply means that what people see on the outside doesn’t match how you feel on the inside.
All of us have insecurities we must make peace with, but if yours are stopping you from fulfilling your potential, don’t be afraid to do something about them. A personal trainer, a doctor, or even a non-invasive aesthetic procedure like Botox or laser treatment is worth investing in if it means your confidence will be boosted.