Science-backed strategies for creating your own confidence boost
Jan 13, 2020 · 4 min read
If life were a sports movie, you’d have on-demand access to energetic coaches with booming voices, ready at a moment’s notice to inspire you through the next challenge. Whenever you were gearing up to initiate an awkward relationship talk or deliver a presentation in front of your terrifyingly stone-faced boss — boom, there would be Coach, fresh from the locker room to remind you that you’ve got heart and that winning is all about your attitude. Now go get ’em, champ.
Unfortunately, we’r e usually left to do our own dirty work — to stare in the mirror, rack our brains for the right aphorisms, and hope one of them will actually resonate. It’s hard to infuse any line with real confidence if you’re whispering it to yourself as you frantically reapply deodorant.
But there’s a better way. In fact, if you do it right, you really can be the most effective vehicle for your own pep talk.
“What we colloquially refer to as pep talks are most often called self-talk in the scientific literature,” says Benjamin D. Rosenberg, a professor of psychology at Dominican University. And self-talk has one very important advantage over a pep talk from someone else: We tend to trust ourselves more than we trust other people.
Research has shown that self-talk has a huge positive effect on self-confidence and self-efficacy, or the belief that we what it takes to accomplish a task. Here’s how to convince yourself you’ve got things under control.
Silently talking to yourself can decrease the physical effects of anxiety that often ramp up just before we have to perform, Rosenberg says, by “decreas[ing] cognitive anxiety, negative, or repetitive thoughts.” One study, for example, found that people were able to keep their heart rates more in control while telling themselves kind things.
You can also quell the fear completely by divorcing it from your own performance — for example, telling yourself the sweaty palms are just a little bit of stage fright creeping in, not a sign that you’re likely to fumble your words. Try thinking things like, “My brain is reacting to feelings of fear, but I don’t have to listen to it. I’ll take some deep breaths, and I’ll feel better.”
One study found that the best pep talks include talking about yourself in the third person. It may feel a bit weird at first, but the idea is that we’re often able to control our emotions better when thinking about other people than ourselves.
“Using one’s own name … would virtually automatically lead people to think about the self similarly to how they think about someone else,” the researchers wrote. “Third-person self-talk should be linked with reductions in emotional reactivity.”
In other words, telling yourself, “Sophie has done her research and can deliver this presentation without a hiccup,” will help you regulate your anxiety a lot more effectively than a basic “I can do this.”
Other research suggests that talking in the second person — “Sophie, you’re going to get through those slides like you were born knowing them”– is also more effective than “I” at boosting performance. The effect is the same: You’re taking your own anxious self out of the equation, allowing you to think more objectively about the person who’s got a big, scary task ahead of them.
Scientists who study motivation typically look at two general types of self-talk: motivational (the more general you’ve-got-this kind of encouragement) and instructional (telling yourself exactly what you need to do). If your jitters are stemming from a lack of confidence about your abilities or if you’re about to do something complicated, try getting specific with some instructional self-talk.
“Both [types of] self-talk positively influence performance,” Rosenberg says, “but instructional self-talk is meant to help people focus or direct their attention.” The more you’re thinking about the mechanics of the task at hand, he adds, the more easily you can block out everything else.
In the sports world, this would include thinking stuff like “Keep your eye on the ball” or “Wait for a fastball.” At work or with friends, it might translate into tiny internal instructions like, “Make eye contact” or “Don’t rush through your point.”
This is not a time to take a clear-eyed look at your faults. Saying “You talk too fast, but maybe you won’t this time” is not doing you any favors.
You’ll perform better if your pep-talk is complimentary. Silently list the things that will help you succeed — “I am well-qualified for this role,” “I have the data to back up my plan,” “Everyone on my team agrees that this is the right approach.” Bonus points if, as previously mentioned, you can do it in the third person: “Bryan is a smart, capable salesman who has worked hard to get here and deserves this job. Plus, his tie looks phenomenal.”
In fact, it couldn’t hurt to develop a stable of compliments you can use every time you need to psych yourself up. “When people are trained on how to effectively give themselves a pep talk, they perform more effectively,” says Rosenberg. So the more you work on it, the better it will work.
It’s that time of year where the itch to jet-set out of the unpredictable spring weather (hello, snow in April) and sip Mai Tai’s on the beach starts to creep up. Couple that with the fact that many of us have kids off for spring break, and it can be a struggle to find the motivation to head into the office and put your all into your work. Especially if you’re feeling lost or unfulfilled in your current role.
Everyone needs a pep talk every now and then. Why a pep talk, you ask? “Because thriving as a creative person isn’t about luck or talent. It’s about blood, sweat and tears,” says Andy J. Miller, author of Creative Pep Talk: Inspiration from 50 Artists. After all, a career is never a straight line to success and it’s easy to doubt ourselves and question if we’re on the right track. Everyone’s mojo needs a tune-up now and then.
Miller, a verbal and visual illustrator who hosts podcasts about the creative process, brought 50 artists together to create visual reminders that’ll give you permission to take risks, blast through a creative block or just inspire you to do what you do. Consider this your visual (and virtual) pep rally to get you through the most trying weeks at work.
Kate Bingaman-Burt: Everyone Has a Story to Tell
“It’s easy to forget that we do. It’s easy to get caught up with trends. It’s easy to lose our own voice. But it’s worth remembering and repeating: Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?” – Kate Bingaman-Burt
Lisa Congdon: It’s Always Worth It
“I spent much of my life until my late thirties lamenting mistakes and harboring regrets. Somewhere in there, I learned that what made me feel better each day was embracing everything about my life, including the things that didn’t go well. This simple perspective shift changed everything for me and made it much more possible for me to feel happy every day. It also helped me take more risks, because even if I failed, it would be worth it since I would learn something new that made me a better, smarter, more compassionate person. I came up with this phrase to remind myself and others of this way of thinking. This is the fourth piece of artwork I’ve designed with the phrase since 2008.” – Lisa Congdon
Helen Dardik: Be Brave, Be Strong
“We all need some bravery in our lives. Fear of failure cripples creativity, leaving you staring at a blank page unable to start. . . So one has to be brave in order to create. Being brave is being afraid but doing it anyway. So . . . be brave! Be strong and be creative!” – Helen Dardik
Andy J. Miller: You Are Infinite
“In Dr. Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, she states that there are two types of people in the world: those with a fixed mindset and those with a growth mindset. The fixed mindset sees oneself as unchangeable: you are born with all the personality, intelligence and potential you will ever have. The growth mindset is the opposite: you can grow in every area of your life. I realized this battle of mindsets in myself before I had ever heard of this book; at some point I realized: If you want to be a great artist, you can’t just go with the flow, you have to make waves!
My dad always says “You are infinitely more capable than you think.” I’ve found that when I believe that my potential is infinite and go after what I really want, amazing things can happen. Don’t hold onto limiting beliefs about your own potential. Use that energy to gain clarity on what you really want, and go after it.” – Andy J. Miller
Nathaniel Russell: Touch the Tip of Your Finger Right Here for a Second and Get Ready to Feel the Juice!
“I made this inspirational poster as part of my time as an artist-in-residence at the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, California. When I think of ‘the juice,’ I think of all the invisible forces and energies we feel as humans here on Earth: inspiration, excitement, love, power, confidence and so on. That magic is real, and it can be conjured and awoken within each of us with practice and patience.
I made this print as a version of an inspirational poster one would find in the workplace. I find the idea of being able to touch the poster for a quick upload of ‘the juice’ very funny but also sort of sad, especially when we realize that the act of touching the poster is to trick us into realizing that ‘the juice’ is already within. It’s funny in the way that it makes fun of the pop culture cliché (‘the call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!!’); it’s sad in the way that after all this time we, as humans, must constantly remind ourselves that we are magic, we can overcome, we can be our true and fulfilled selves.
But it’s not too late! As you read this, you can look at the page with the poster printed on it, and you, the reader, can touch the button on the page and feel that ‘juice’ again, any time you need it!” – Nathaniel Russell
Sarah Walsh: Wake Up & Dream
“This is sort of like saying ‘dreaming isn’t just for sleeping.’ I feel like having dreams (goals) is imperative for creatives, or for any human for that matter. Having a dream or goal is something to work toward. Dreams give us a reason to put our best self forward, and from there we get energy. Dreams also give us hope when things aren’t going so great. I think the coolest thing about dreams is that we can nurture them and keep them close to our heart ’til they grow big enough to become a reality. That’s magic to me.” – Sarah Walsh
Teagan White: Everything Is a Cycle
“All of life is organized in a cyclical way. Just as bodies are broken down in death by decomposers, every bit of them transformed into the matter that nourishes new life, so is the creative process a constant cycle. All creative people go through periods of doubt and discouragement, but those moments aren’t an end. That stage of dissatisfaction is essential for fueling the passion to grow, innovate and keep challenging ourselves.” – Teagan White
Feel better? Pin these graphics to your Pinterest boards to get a pep talk whenever you need a creative kick in the pants.
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Whether you’ve got a big interview next week, or you’re headed to a social event where you don’t know anyone, your mindset determines how successful you’ll be in an anxiety-provoking situation.
Anxiety is uncomfortable. And when we feel anxious, our natural tendency is to run the other direction.
Our minds and our bodies will tell us we can’t handle the discomfort. If you listen to the anxiety alarm bells that are trying to convince you that you’re headed for disaster, you’ll sabotage yourself.
At best, you’ll allow your anxiety to interfere with your performance. At worst, you’ll cancel your plans and dodge the situation that’s the source of your angst.
Knowing how to face an anxiety-provoking situation like a champion can help you perform at your peak–even when there’s a lot at stake. Here are some strategies that can help you deal with your anxiety:
Embrace the Anxiety
Don’t waste your energy fighting your anxiety. If you keep thinking, “This is awful I feel anxious,” or “My anxiety must be a sign I’m not good enough,” you’ll have little energy leftover to face the task at-hand.
So rather than try to reduce your anxiety, focus on building your courage.
Accept that you’re feeling anxious. Label your feelings by saying to yourself, “I feel anxious and that’s OK.” You might even go so far as to remind yourself that your anxiety is proof that you’re doing something important.
Do Some If. Then Planning
Anxiety is fueled by our imaginations–and often, we imagine the worst case scenario. What if I forget what I was going to say? What if I don’t know anyone at the party? What if I stumble over my words?
The best way to deal with those sorts of worries is to carry them through. Rather than think, “It will be a disaster if that happens,” create a realistic plan for how you’ll handle those things if they do happen.
For example, “If I forget my lines during my speech, then I’ll walk back to the podium, take a deep breath, and look at my notes.” Or, “If I encounter an awkward silence on this date, then I’ll ask, ‘What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?'”
When you have a plan for dealing with the worst case scenario, you’ll feel much more confident about your ability to handle the things that you fear most.
Give Yourself a Pep Talk
The conversations you have with yourself in the moments leading up to the big event determine your mindset. Do you walk into the room feeling confident about your ability to perform at your best? Or, do you wish you could hide in the corner because you’re convinced you’re going to fail?
Before you enter into an anxiety-provoking situation, give yourself a pep talk. Ask, “What would I say to a friend who was feeling nervous about this?” Then, offer yourself the same kind, compassionate words of wisdom.
Whether you say, “All you can do is your best,” or, “Go knock ’em dead!” your pep talk can set the stage for you by getting you in the right frame of mind.
Take a Few Deep Breaths
Battling your mind is only half the battle when it comes to combatting anxiety. You also have to address your body.
Anxiety causes physiological symptoms–like a rapid heartbeat and sweaty palms. And those symptoms can fuel your anxious thoughts and feelings.
So it’s important to have a few coping skills that can help calm your body when you experience the fight-or-flight symptoms.
Deep breathing is a simple but effective strategy for putting an end to the freak-out. Here are a few simple steps to follow:
- Breathe in through your nose slowly and deeply. Try to inflate your abdomen, not just your chest.
- Hold for a count of 3.
- Then, slowly exhale through pursed lips. Relax your face and shoulders as you relax.
- Repeat several times.
This exercise can help you become more present in the moment (and stop you from predicting doom and gloom) while also reducing your physiological symptoms.
Use deep breathing to calm yourself anytime you’re starting to feel a bit of panic–whether it’s in the weeks leading up to a big event or it’s in the middle of a potentially life-altering opportunity.
Reframe Your Negative Self-Talk
Keep your focus on the things you can control. For example, you can control your performance but you can’t control how the audience responds. And you can control how many people you introduce yourself to but you can’t control how many people contact you after the networking event.
When your brain starts focusing on all the things you can’t control, reframe your negative thoughts. Remind yourself, “All I can do is my best,” or “I am only responsible for me.”
You might also create a mantra beforehand that you can repeat liberally. Saying, “Do your best,” each time you catch yourself thinking you’re going to fail, can help counteract the negativity.
Regardless of whether you got the job, scored a second date, or nailed the speech, congratulate yourself for facing your fears.
Every time you step into an anxiety-provoking situation, you have an opportunity to practice your skills. And with practice, facing fears gets easier.
So celebrate the fact that you were brave and trust that you can face another anxiety-provoking situation again with even more knowledge about how to handle your discomfort. And remember that each time you face your fears, you build mental muscle and each step you take toward becoming mentally stronger, is one step toward reaching your greatest potential.
You end each day feeling pretty productive — as long as you let your eyes skip over that one giant, looming project that’s been obnoxiously hanging out on your to-do list for weeks.
We’ve all been there. There’s no denying that the daunting project you continue pushing to the back burner is going to need to be accomplished eventually. But, it’s working up the courage to actually get started on that to-do item that often gets in our way.
Every time you try to make a start, you end up staring at a blank page and then convincing yourself that now isn’t the right time. So, you leave yourself with an impending deadline and a project that remains untouched.
But, there’s a better (and less stressful) way to cope. Use these six steps, and you’re sure to make progress on those challenging projects that keep hanging over your head.
1. Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Everybody could use a rousing pep talk to inspire them every now and then — so why not give one to yourself?
Beyond working yourself up to actually grab the reins and get started, this is also a good opportunity to determine what exactly is holding you back from beginning that project.
Does it seem too large and overwhelming? Is it a task you simply don’t enjoy? Is the deadline too tight? Zoning in on the reasoning behind why you keep pushing it off will be helpful when you work your way through the next steps.
2. Force Yourself to Commit
Sometimes you just need to get started. And, while there’s no denying that can take a lot of willpower, physically locking yourself away will be helpful in ensuring that you actually start making some progress.
Shut yourself in a quiet room with only the things you need for that project. Do your best to stay away from the lure of your phone notifications or your inbox, and at least do something related to that big task — even if it’s just getting all of your thoughts scribbled on paper.
Even if you’re slow to start, knowing that you’re at least getting the ball rolling is usually enough to inspire you to keep pushing forward.
3. Break it Down
One big reason that we often continue to delay projects is because they simply seem too daunting. They’re so large and overwhelming, we can hardly figure out the best place to start.
When you do finally sit down to make some progress on that project, the best place to start is by breaking it down into smaller milestones. What bite-sized chunks can you separate it into?
If you’re putting together a big presentation, for example, maybe you’ll break it down into stages — such as completing an outline, fleshing out the different sections, and then finally translating that information into slides.
Doing this instantly makes that daunting project feel at least a little more manageable — making you that much more likely to actually make some progress, even if it’s in baby steps.
4. Find the Right Timing
You’ll read a lot of advice that recommends you tackle those cringe-worthy tasks or projects first thing in the morning. And, I can understand the benefit in getting those things out of your way.
But, everybody’s different in this regard. If you’re not at your most focused or energized in the morning hours, it’ll be that much more challenging to talk yourself into actually getting started.
So, instead, I recommend finding the times of day when you feel most ready to take on those overwhelming things. Whether it’s as soon as you wake up or late into the evening hours, working at your peak times will help the whole process seem a little less dreadful.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you hear the phrase “ask for help” and immediately assume it equates to passing the buck, it’s time to think again. Requesting help doesn’t mean you need to shirk responsibility.
As a matter of fact, calling in some reinforcements can be helpful in inspiring you to actually take some forward steps on that project you’ve continued to push off.
Whether you just want to bounce some ideas around with someone or get some early feedback on a piece of your project, involving other people motivates you, provides a sense of accountability, and ultimately improves the quality of your end product.
6. Stay Focused on the Finish Line
Yes, I know that slowly making your way through that seemingly endless project can feel a lot like trudging your way through knee-deep wet concrete. However, in those moments when you feel completely discouraged, focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.
You know how rewarding it is to finally cross that monster off your to-do list. So, always keep that in your mind. Your hard work will be more than worth it when you finally get to bid this groan-worthy project adieu.
We all have those projects or tasks that we dread tackling — which means they continue to get bumped further and further down your to-do list.
But, no more! Use these six steps, and you’ll have those overwhelming assignments out of your way sooner rather than later.
Andy Grove was the CEO of Intel during its meteoric rise to the top of the semiconductor industry. Whatever device you’re reading this on, there’s a good chance there’s an Intel chip inside, and Andy Grove’s leadership is a big reason why.
Grove was an extremely competent, hard-working, and impressive person. In 1956, at age 20, he fled communist rule in his native Hungary, arriving penniless in the States. A few years later, he’d earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley. He was the third employee at Intel and eventually became the CEO, where his methodical, detail-oriented approach to management brought the company success upon success and earned him the admiration of his employees and his peers. Grove passed away in 2016, an icon of 20th century business. If there’s such a thing as a born leader, surely Andy Grove was one.
That’s why I was so surprised to come across the following leadership advice from Grove in Bob Sutton’s excellent book Good Boss, Bad Boss:
So you have to keep your own spirits up even though you well understand that you don’t know what you’re doing. . . . Part of it is self-deception and part of it is deception. And the deception becomes reality. It is deception in the sense that you pump yourself up and put a better face on things than you start off feeling. But after a while, if you act confident you become more confident. So the deception becomes less of a deception.
For all of us who lead, this is both sound and reassuring advice. Leadership involves tough choices and a heavy dose of uncertainty. Yet great leaders (like Andy Grove) frequently seem so sure—like they know exactly what they’re doing nearly all the time.
As Grove admits, they often don’t know what they’re doing. And we don’t need to either. But we do need to take active steps to keep our spirits up, to give ourselves a pep talk from time to time. Managing morale is a big part of leadership, and as leaders, we might as well start with our own.
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“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily,” said Zig Ziglar.
Now more than ever, it is hard to stay motivated with the COVID-19 lockdowns and the changed work setups. As there are no longer any buses to catch or traffic to get stuck in, it can be hard to wake up on time and get ready for work. The new normal is comforting, but too much comfort can be disguised as destruction, too. And thus, as simple as it sounds, motivation is the tool we need the most right now.
Here are five wonderful yet simple tricks to help you stay motivated and energetic.
Trick of Treats
Well, as a kid, I am sure your parents would have rewarded you with treats for following their words or for completing certain tasks. And you did those tasks happily for a treat, even if you hated it!
We are no longer kids, but human psychology can still work the same. To motivate yourself, you should set certain rewards. Like, if you are a student, after completing a chapter, you can have 30 minutes to play your favorite game. If you are a foodie, you can treat yourself to your favorite dish after finishing the important presentation on time. You can choose whatever that suits you, it can be hearing your favorite songs, talking to a friend over call, or even enjoying a nap. Work hard and enjoy what you deserve.
Say Bye to Procrastination (Most difficult thing, first thing in the morning)
Procrastination is the enemy of motivation and works as a sweet poison. It can give joy for a few moments but after that, the guilt of avoiding work follows. Thus, bid goodbye to procrastination.
The best way to do it is to act immediately. Procrastination starts as soon as we wake up; we press the snooze button on the alarm. We procrastinate things as we give our minds the time to rationalize that we can do this task later, and that leads to a streak of pending work. Thus, act as soon as you feel your mind will play the game with you. If you dread going on a walk, just get up and get your joggers on, you would be halfway through your task. The key is to get up from wherever you are within seconds and don’t give your mind the time to tell you that you have the time to do it later.
Well, you are the ultimate expert that you need for yourself. As a kid, I am sure, we all have used mirrors as our stage for winning an Oscar or a Nobel prize! But, now more than ever, we need that self-praising back. It is not about standing in front of the mirror and saying nice things, it’s more about boosting yourself up emotionally.
“Real optimism is not the pep talk you give yourself. It is earned through the labor involved in emotional housekeeping,” said Augusten Burroughs.
Thus, it’s important that you wear your crown of self-praise and give yourself your own TedX speech. You can do it, trust me.
Break it Down
You cannot climb a mountain with one step, right? Just like that, you cannot expect yourself to fulfil imaginary expectations of completing huge tasks in one go! Worst case scenario, you would totally lose the motivation to do that task as it can impact your confidence level.
Small steps lead to big success. The best you can do for yourself is to break down your task into small pieces. If you are supposed to edit a 500-page book, break down the task to edit 50 pages every day! If you are supposed to give a speech, divide days for researching, writing, and improving it. This will offload your burden, and you would feel motivated each day for marking right beside the task.
Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
You can try your best to keep yourself up on the toes of motivation, but there are going to be days when you feel like doing absolutely nothing! And on those days, just do nothing!
We all deserve a break, and mental health is just as important. That’s why, it is alright if you sleep the entire day, eat junk food, binge watch your favorite show, or hang out with friends or family. We deserve all these simplicities of life! Taking time for yourself is essential; it can rejuvenate your inner self to do better after the break! So, don’t feel guilty when you get the thought of doing nothing, instead, enjoy doing nothing.
Last but not the least, make motivating yourself a routine, a lifestyle. Do one new thing every day, play your favorite music in the background, and feel good about yourself for doing the best you can. After all, little things make all the difference.
Sometimes, it’s easy to be down on yourself. Especially if you don’t think that you are seeing results fast enough. I’ve been struggling lately with staying motivated to exercise and eat right. It’s been made especially hard by the fact that it takes so much longer to get back in shape than to gain weight — something I’ve been disappointed with after a three week hiatus from doing what I should.
Of course, there are plenty of other things that can be frustrating. From learning a new language, to becoming adept at a musical instrument, to getting your home business off the ground, life is full of challenges. Staying motivated can be tough when results are slow in coming. If you are looking for a little motivation, here are some ideas for keeping yourself going with a positive pep talk.
Think About the Progress You Have Made
You don’t have to talk to yourself out loud, of course. But you do need to consider re-focusing your thoughts. Rather than dwelling on where you wish you were right now, consider how far you’ve come. Think about the progress you have made up to this point. In my case, just staying under a certain weight should be considered a victory, since I ended up not exercising for three weeks. I remind myself of that, and then look at the incremental progress I’ve made as I work back toward my goal.
Sometimes, you need to look at how far you’ve come, whether it’s mastering a new verbal conjugation, or nailing a particularly difficult passage on the piano. Even making progress in your home business, by finishing your web page or by settling on an ecommerce web host, can be a reason to celebrate. Focus on these things and remind yourself that you are getting somewhere.
Tell Yourself What You Need to Do Next
After acknowledging that you are making some progress, you need to think about what comes next. This week, I am increasing my workout from 30 minutes to 40 minutes a day. You can figure out what your next goal will be, and what you need to do to tackle it. Whether you want to read another chapter in a book about business, or master a difficult chord change on the guitar, set your next goal. Make it achievable, and get excited about what comes next. Focusing on a smaller goal can help you feel as though you can do it.
Often, looking at the end result, and wishing you were already there, can be overwhelming and discouraging. Instead, find milestones along the way, and look forward to that next one. It will be easier to convince yourself to keep going when you have a smaller goal. Often, if we look at the end result, we get discouraged, thinking that it’s impossible to get there. A good pep talk to help you get to the next milestone will keep you focused on the small victories along the way.
Use Action Words
As you think about starting the next mini-project to help you reach your larger goal, use powerful, action words. State your next accomplishment as fact. I will exercise each day this week. I will master the next eight measures of this challenging piano piece. Then, get to work.
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No one is perfect. The sooner that you remember that fact, the easier it is to move past life’s stumbling blocks that may be keeping you stuck in a perpetual rut. Self-acceptance can be a slow process. However, you can build confidence by giving yourself a pep talk when self-doubts and stress close in.
Regardless of how you label yourself, each of us is just as unique in appearance and abilities as a snowflake where no two are the same. Some of us are naturally born with beauty and perfect features and a figure that can crush another’s confidence when comparing themselves to a certain ideal. Others will possess extreme intelligence that can’t be measured. Of course, there are always others that will be born with exceptional talents for music, art, dance, writing, gymnastics, sports, etc. that still others won’t ever be able to call upon despite how hard they try. Instead of comparing yourself to an unrealistic picture of others, accept the body, mind and talents that you were given.
Noticing the Good About Yourself Can Help Build Confidence
Perhaps, you feel that you lack physical beauty . If this is the case, then you have a few options. Take what you have and work with that to improve your appearance is a first step to build confidence. What you may want to try is going to a full-service beauty salon to seek out their expertise for a new hairstyle and makeup lessons can help you emerge as a new person with a fresh attitude.
Even if you don’t feel suddenly transformed into a raving beauty, the secret that can help is pretending that you are. When you pretend that you are pretty enough times, you will start to notice others around you reacting differently toward you. A more confident woman is a more beautiful one because she knows her worth in the world. Practice your pep talk silently in the mirror and tell yourself that you look great every day can eventually become your reality.
Yet, you have other attributes that you probably don’t give yourself credit for. Maybe you are a great negotiator or manager and have success and even been singled out at your workplace or group for how well you handle certain situations and tasks. This is also a good quality that you should take pride in when giving yourself a pep talk.
Stop Putting Limitations on Yourself If You Intend to Build Confidence
Everyone has their share of successes and failures. How many times have you attempted to do something and managed to boggle the attempt? After a few times, you or someone else may assume that you don’t have the brains, talent or skill to attempt that job or task again. Let me share a simple example.
Animals also have bad days that you can pick up on in their eyes and body language.
When I was young, my mother was sick and I wanted to help cook. I asked her how long to cook potatoes before mashing them. She gave me a time. I mashed the potatoes exactly at that time. Well, she forgot to tell me to test them if they finished cooking. What I made were mashed raw potatoes so terrible that even a neighbor dog that would eat anything refused them. This did not stop me from cooking later in life, despite quite a few horrible dishes that I still get teased about from time to time.
What I’m getting at is if you label yourself a bad cook, you are too hard on yourself. It is not you that are a failure with cooking, but the recipes that you are using! When you don’t follow the recipe completely or the recipe lacks proper instructions, chances are your dishes will not turn out the way you hope.
Try not to automatically expect failure because of prior bad experiences if you intend to build confidence. Perhaps, you need to learn or practice more to sharpen those skills that can make all the difference when you attempt whatever it is again.
Realize Personalities Are Different and Don’t Always Mesh Together
Stop blaming yourself for not having everyone like you. It is only human to want to be accepted and liked by all, but it is not reality. You try your best and need to learn how to handle rejection because it happens to everyone at some time or another. Chalk this unfortunate experience as a setback, but not as an indicator that you’re a social misfit or inferior to hire.
Each day you will find it easier to change your attitude and build confidence. You just have to practice.
Grace is something that is hard to come by from others and can especially be hard to give to ourselves.
If you are on a path that includes wellness as your end goal, it’s time to start giving. A lot.
To achieve a dream or a goal, no matter how big or small, the first thing you need to realize is that you are unique and your path will be equally as unique. Your life and your picture of wellness is not supposed to look like that of anyone else.
It is easy to feel shame because you don’t look like everyone else at the gym, in the pool or on the trail. You may be overweight, older, slower, or your form may be less than perfect. That’s okay. Give yourself a little grace.
This is your body and your life. It was given to you and you alone. What you do with it is up to you. Achieve your version of well the best way you know how. The way to do this is to love yourself for who you are, where you’ve been and to know you don’t need to look like everyone else or have everything figured out.
When you set your sights on a goal, keep in mind your path to that goal is unique and that is what makes it so great. If others are willing to share their story with you, glean wisdom from them, be inspired and encouraged by them but realize your path is going to look very different.
You have the opportunity to write your own story. Stop looking around at what others are doing and thinking that’s what you must do to be successful. Pepper in more grace here.
To that end, also realize you can create goals and draw up plans to achieve them but not every day will go as planned.
Stick to the plan as best you can but know there will always be things that get in the way. Instead of beating yourself up, add in some more grace, live one day at a time and know that no two days will be the same.
Every day does not have to be this perfect thing in order to achieve your goal.
Look at your life and figure out when you can fit in wellness, whether it is prepping meals for the week ahead or getting in a trip to the gym. For a lot of people, that trip to the gym is right after work. For you, it might be at 5 in the morning or 10 o’clock at night and that’s okay. If your goals are worth accomplishing, they are worth heading to the gym at 5am.
If you have small children, you may struggle to squeeze in exercise or eat healthy foods at this stage in your life. Be okay with the struggle. Enjoy the time and the moments you have and know this too shall pass. The certain thing about life is that it always changes. The kids will grow and more time to eat right, go on a meditation retreat, workout daily or sleep more will come. Add another pinch of grace.
When you are feeling down about your efforts or your results, remember, there are no mistakes – only lessons. Your life, the people in it, the challenges your face – these are not mistakes. Everything you experience shape you into who you are and how you tackle the world. Learn from the lows as well as the highs.
Life is a gift and this one was given to you.
Make it awesome – whatever your version of awesome looks like.
To that point, we are all just trying to live our best life. As you’re giving more grace to yourself, don’t forget to offer it to others. They may need it more than you do.
Approach every day with kindness both for yourself and for others and do the best you can. You will mess up. Workouts will be missed, foods will be eaten that your doctor has asked you to avoid. It’s okay. When it happens, sprinkle a little extra forgiveness into your life and carry on.