We all need confidence, at different times and for different reasons. Confidence helps us out when we are facing tricky situations. Confidence also helps us to grow and learn. But, we all lack confidence, at different times and for different reasons. I know that my confidence dips just when I need it most. And I need it most when facing the most challenging situations! There are lots of tips that I use to try to manage those dips which I will share with you now.
Read on to find out about some new skills and techniques to help you build your confidence, so it doesn’t let you down when you need it most.
Confidence Top Tip 1
Let your self-belief flourish
Self-belief is the number one essential ingredient for confidence. Develop a strong sense of self-belief by challenging yourself to try new things and by learning new skills. But that negative self-talk can take over at times. It is important to acknowledge and celebrate your successes, this can help to take the strength out of the negative self-talk. Find a way to change the self-talk to self-belief, by questioning the negative and replacing with a positive, self-affirming response. With practice, the positive inner dialogue will become habit.
Confidence Top Tip 2
Develop your emotional intelligence
Confidence requires two core emotional intelligence skills, the ability to:
- identify our own emotions and the emotions of others; and
- manage our own emotions, and the emotions of others, whilst under pressure
We can all develop our level of emotional intelligence, and the best way to start is by taking small steps. Becoming aware of your own emotional responses to situations is a good starting point. Question the emotion that arises in a situation, and ask yourself is this useful? Gradually build your skills and keep working to increase the level of challenge and practice managing the emotions of others. Think of your EI skills as being like a muscle: every time you use those skills that muscle is getting bigger!
Confidence Top Tip 3
Watch people who seem to carry that confidence. Notice what it is that they are doing to give you that impression. Do they appear cool and unruffled under pressure? Do they casually take their time? Can they manage aggressive challenges effortlessly? Once you have discovered exactly what they are doing, saying or just the way they are being that projects that aura of confidence, model that behaviour for yourself. It does get easier with practice!
Confidence Top Tip 4
Challenge your comfort zone
We can get too comfortable with doing the same thing, not trying new things. This can be due to anxiety or negative self-talk. We need to keep pushing at our comfort zone to keep us in a growth mindset. If we allow the negative self-talk to take over, our comfort zone can shrink which means we have a reduced set of life experiences. Just outside our comfort zone is our learning zone – if we keep trying new things, we keep showing ourselves that we can do this. So take on challenges and prove to yourself that your comfort zone is not restricting you. This will mean that your comfort zone remains flexible and fluid – always there as a safety net but not restrictive.
Confidence Top Tip 5
When we feel anxious and under pressure our bodies enter into fight, flight or freeze mode. Adrenalin is released, which prepares the body to run away or fight. It can also turn the brain to a wobbly mess! – not a helpful situation when you want to be portraying a confident impression. Finding a technique that enables you to remain calm whilst under pressure is vital, and what works for you will be as individual as your personality. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach but some popular techniques include:
Breathing exercises are a popular way to effectively handle anxiety. Breathing is connected to, and influences, all aspects of the mind and body. Research has shown that if you make the out breath longer than the in breath, chemical changes are triggered in your body which enhance feelings of calm and confidence. So, breathing in for the count of 7 and out for the count of 11 over a period of a few minutes will help to reduce anxiety and increase confidence. This technique enables you to manage difficult situations and respond confidently
Another way is to ‘anchor’ a feeling of calm, so that you can start to manage the anxious feelings. Practice by thinking about a time when you felt calm and totally relaxed, and while you do that, hold your thumb and forefinger together. Then, ‘anchor’ the calm feeling to the thumb and forefinger action, really notice the link between the pressure of your thumb and finger and the feeling of calm. Practice until you are able to prompt the feeling of calm just by placing your thumb and forefinger together. This enables you to use the thumb and forefinger technique, on its own, during times of anxiety, to find that place of calm whenever you need it.
If you have found this article helpful and would like to know more about how to manage anxiety and feel more confident, please contact me on 023 8073 2973 or 07890 141889 or e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how hypnotherapy could help you.