6 Steps to Boost Your Self-Confidence
Self-confidence is acknowledging and appreciating both the good parts of yourself and the parts you want to improve. It’s knowing that you are intrinsically valuable, worthy and capable and it is always a result of what you are thinking. It is not being boastful. You did not create yourself, therefore it is merely giving more credit to God (or the Universe) and appreciating the gifts you have been given.
“Self-confidence is knowing and embracing all parts of yourself” – Brooke Castillo
Self-concept is the background for everything else in life. It makes you more effective in every area of your life. You can benefit others, even more, when you get your own back first. Having a healthy self-concept will also cure you of “comparisonitis” and ease your need for the approval of others. It will make you more resilient when life hands you something really difficult. It even teaches your kids how they should be. What better role model than a Mom who is highly imperfect, yet still kind and compassionate to herself.
Having low self-confidence is merely a result of neural pathways that have been created in your brain from thinking and believing negative (often times false) thoughts that your brain has offered you over a period of time. It becomes a habit. Your brain likes to be efficient. It likes to think the same thoughts it’s used to thinking to conserve energy. This is perfectly normal, human brain behavior.
The key to more confidence is to change what you believe about yourself. The thoughts you choose and allow will determine how you feel and the results you create in your life. You have to retrain your brain, that inner voice in your mind, to be kinder and more compassionate with yourself. Just as we develop habits by practicing behavior, we have to actually practice being loving to ourselves. Your brain will believe whatever you tell it!
Here are 6 steps to gain killer self-confidence. If you’ve never been taught how to manage your brain, some of these may come across as a little “woo-woo” to you, but stick with me here. I promise the payoff is worth it!
The first step to increasing your confidence is to become aware of what you are thinking. To gain more awareness of what’s going on in your brain, write down your thoughts every day for the next 30 days then get really curious…like an outside observer of your brain. It’s like taking a glimpse of yourself in the mirror to really see yourself. It’s not meant to be a daily account of what you did each day but rather a brain dump of the thoughts and self-talk going on in your mind. If you have trouble getting started, ask yourself…
Is this something I would say to someone else? Why is it so much easier for us to be mean and critical of ourselves?
Why do I think this?
What do I make it mean about me?
What am I avoiding in my life and what is the benefit I get in avoiding it?
How does it make me feel? (one-word emotion)
Make a List
Make a written list of 20 things you secretly like or appreciate about yourself. This step is tough for a lot of people, but I want you to really try. If you have trouble coming up with 20 on your own, ask friends or family to help you.
Pick a Thought
When you start doing a daily brain dump of your thoughts on paper, you will notice that you have a LOT of thoughts. So start by picking just one thought that you regularly think that causes you to feel shame or pain. It might be thoughts like:
“I always do that!”
“I can’t do anything right”
“I’m not good enough”
“My body looks awful”
“I’m so stupid”
“I’m not good at this”
Tell the Truth
Is it true? No, really? Would it be agreed upon by every single person you know? Is it true all of the time? Can you think of instances in your life where this thought is not true? For example, let’s take “I can’t do anything right”…Can you think of at least one time in your life that you did something correctly? If so, that thought is just a lie you have been telling yourself. The truth is that you have probably done a lot of things right. For starters, you are reading this blog post which means you are interested in growing your confidence.
Try On a New One
Now you want to try on a new, more useful and kind thought. It’s like trying on a new pair of jeans or a dress. You want to make sure that it “fits” well. It needs to be a thought that is believable to you. You can try on thoughts like “I love you anyway” or “I’m exactly who I’m supposed to be right now.” When I have trouble getting to a thought that is believable for me, I like to offer my brain what I call a ladder thought…something like, “It’s possible that I do a lot of things right. I wonder what that could be?” or “I’m not good at that yet, but I’m going to get better at it.”
Make It Visible
Once you’ve found a thought that is believable for you…one that seems to “fit” well, write it down! No, really. Make it cute if you want to, but it’s not necessary. I write mine on hot pink sticky notes but you can write it on a napkin as long as you write it down and put it somewhere you will see it often. This step is super important. You have to retrain your brain and the way to do that is to redirect your brain to it every time the old thought tries to creep in (and it will). Remember, your brain likes to be efficient so it will try to go back to the old thought because that’s the one it has become really good at thinking over the years…and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just recognize it and redirect.
Do this for the next 30 days and I promise you will begin to feel better about yourself! Need more ideas for new thoughts you can try on? CLICK HERE to get your copy of some of my favorites!
Drop a comment below to share some of the power thoughts that work for you.