One of the most common goals I work on with clients is how to improve their self-confidence and self-esteem. I start by asking them what it would feel like if they did have great self-confidence. This question can often be a difficult one for people to answer.
We are often very good at focusing on what we believe the problem is but sometimes we forget to work out what success would look like. What does good self-confidence look like to you? The answer is different for everyone.
What does confidence mean to you?
One way to come up with your answer is to think about confident people that you admire. They may be famous people or people you work with or from your friendship group. Think about what makes you believe they are confident; What do they do? How do they look? What do you think they are feeling?
You might have a list like this – but please make your own:
1 – Decisive
2 – Successful
3 – Direct
4 – Poised
5 – Happy
6 – Well dressed or well groomed
Once you have a list that describes what confidence means for you, the next step is to try to objectively score yourself against it. Use a scale of 1-10 where 10 is as good as the person you admire.
When you have your scores it is important that you are able to articulate what exactly you will have to do to increase the score. For example, if you score yourself a 5 for Decisive, what would make it an 8? Be specific.
The reason for doing this is that we often fall into a trap of believing we aren’t confident and it can become a fixed belief that we think we can’t change. We can. We need to understand the facts and create a plan. Once we start achieving the plan then we will have more confidence in our ability to change.
It is that hard and that simple.
General Strategies to help you
Here are some ideas to help you improve your self-confidence and boost your self-esteem generally
1 – Notice your internal negative voices. I could write a book on the impact that my negative voices have had on me during my life. Once I realised that they were not me; they were just a collection of opinions and words I had picked up during my life, some real, some imagined; then I was able to start ignoring them. You can too.
2 – Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes. I have made a lot during my life and I carried a lot of shame which made it very difficult for me to put myself in challenging situations as I didn’t believe I could succeed. Once I forgave myself, I was able to learn from what had happened and I had the belief that I could do better next time.
3 – Stop trying to be perfect. No-one can be perfect so you are just condemning yourself to fail and to beat yourself up. It will also often stop you even trying. You will blame a lack of confidence but actually it is perfectionism that is stopping you.
4 – Invest in yourself. Whether it is to feel physically better about your appearance or whether it is in personal development, such as coaching, to help you love and accept who you are – do it. You are worth it.
5 – Focus on your strengths. List down all the things you are good at; fill a page of paper if you can. Keep thinking over a few days and ask people close to you for their thoughts. Once you have done that, put a star next to all the ones that make you feel energised and happy. Then create a plan of how you can spend more time doing those things. They are your super-powers.
6 – Focus on facts. Facts are friends. If you are beating yourself up for something that happened then write down the facts. Reflect on the facts and think about what you COULD not SHOULD do differently next time. Often, we realise that we did the best we could.
7 – Ask a person that you consider to be confident how they feel? Often they will tell you that they don’t feel confident – they just do it anyway. You can do the same.
If you would like some help to improve your self-confidence so that you can achieve your dreams, then please contact me by clicking here. I would be delighted to work with you to help you be the best version of yourself.