This year I’m all about self-confidence. I work with so many amazing women, talented, beautiful inside and out, caring, loving, super-mums, super-entrepeneurs, their strength and list of achievements is endless.
And yet most struggle with the same thing – valuing themselves. I keep hearing things like: “Well, I could be better, I could do much more”, “ If I compare myself to others I’m not that good”. Or the worst one “If I feel confident, am I not being arrogant?” The answer is NO. Being confident is not being arrogant. There’s nothing wrong in appreciating ourselves and trusting our resources.
So I decided that my main focus for 2020 would be on self-confidence, helping women feeling empowered, capable of anything, fulfilled and full of energy.
If you’ve been feeling a bit insecure recently, or haven’t started the year loving yourself as you deserve, this article is for you.
Here is a step-by-step guide to get a boost of self-confidence every time you need it:
STEP 1 – Make a list of skills, positive attributes, achievements and situations you’ve overcome.
Get a notebook or a big piece of paper and set a timer for 15-30 minutes, Don’t stop until the timer goes off! Just keep writing. Go back to your early career, to high school, or even to your childhood if you have time! Every accomplishment counts. Every beautiful action you did for someone you love counts.
If you have any thoughts that sound like “oh that was just a little thing, not worth putting in the list”, “this is silly, what are you doing”, “that wasn’t that difficult to achieve”, etc. just ignore those thoughts. Acknowledge they are there, but tell them you don’t need them for this exercise. And just continue with your list.
You will be surprised by how long the list can get! When I do this exercise with my clients they always feel amazed at the amount of incredible things about their selves they hadn’t been appreciating. It is a simple but powerful exercise that would definitely give you an immediate boost of self-confidence!
STEP 2- Ask your friends .
Select 5 or 10 people who are close to you and you can trust. Tell them you are doing an exercise you saw in a blog and you would be interested to hear their thoughts. Ask them the following questions:
What are my strengths?
How would you describe me in 3 words?
Again, you will be surprised at how people perceive you. I’m sure by doing this exercise you will get a few more attributes to add to your list from step 1!
STEP 3 – Get a self-confidence buddy.
Self-confidence is becoming a huge thing and everyone is talking about it. Partner up with that friend/family member who is also interested in improving themselves. It can even be you partner! Tell them to do the exercise in step 1 and share the results together. Appreciate each other. Set goals together so you can motivate each other. If you want to go to the gym 3 times a weeks, that can be the person you message when you’re feeling lazy so they remind you how good you’re going to feel afterwards.
Being supported by someone else just feels so good!
Knowing that you have a confidence buddy will help you hold yourself accountable and have a backup motivation when you have a bad day. It’s like having a cheerleader to celebrate your achievements with and to motivate you when you’re feeling low!
STEP 4 – Ignore your inner critic for one day.
This is a huge one! It is not easy at the beginning, but trust me, it is so worth it.
The inner critic is that part of ourselves that is judgemental, that criticises us all the time and stops us from being the best we can be. It’s that inner voice which says things like “you’re not good/tall/pretty/smart/loving/experienced/important enough”, “you don’t deserve that”, “don’t bother, you’re going to fail”. I can’t think of anything more annoying than my inner critic!
Now, one thing you need to know about the inner critic is that it is there for a reason. It is normally a defense mechanism we develop to prevent ourselves from failing or being hurt.
So those messages are not there because you’re going crazy, and the most important thing, they can be changed!!
So this step is about ignoring your inner critic for one day. Consider it as an experiment. During 24 hours pay attention to those messages from your inner critic. Acknowledge they are there but tell them you don’t need them today. Visualise yourself kicking them out of the room. Or even visualise you are leaving your inner critic in the freezer (as silly as it sounds, it is such a powerful visualisation!).
After doing this exercise, spend some time reflecting on what happened.
How does it feel to spend 24 hours without being self-criticised and judged?
Were there any differences between this day and any other days?
This is a powerful exercise that you can use on a special day, for example if you have a presentation, a date or an interview. However, if you want to see long lasting changes, you will need to understand where the messages from your inner critic come from, how they developed and what their function was. I would strongly recommend doing some work around your beliefs system (check out this article on how to get rid of limiting beliefs) and definitely working with a Coach who can help you identify and understand your blocks and be as successful as you deserve.
STEP 5. Add gratitude to your morning routine.
I always say that if you had to choose only one habit to improve your life, that would be practising gratitude.
By practising gratitude, you focus on the things you have , which will reinforce your self-confidence.
Set a timer for as little as 2 minutes (or longer if you want of course!) and close your eyes. During those 2 minutes, say thank you for all the things you feel grateful for. It can be anything, big things or small details. Deep or superficial, it doesn’t matter. You can feel grateful for receiving a message from a friend, for having had a lovely evening in the cinema, or for being alive and healthy. Just focus on the feeling of gratitude. Do it first thing in the morning and /or before going to bed and enjoy the results.
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