Confidence can seem like a magical thing for those who do not possess it.
Or so I thought.
My first few years were spent with my head down, eyes glued to the ground, shoulders slouched, shuffling my little feet. I felt awkward; suffering from eczema and being picked on for it as well as having a birthmark on my face did nothing to help matters. Plucking up the courage to speak to people, especially strangers proved a mammoth feat. I felt more comfortable feeling invisible.
That seems like a lifetime ago now.
It’s reassuring how the passage of time can transform people.
From awkward to assertive.
From feeling invisible to feeling (almost) invincible.
Here are some tips that I have picked up on my life’s journey to date to improve confidence:
1. Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire
Find friends and family that are positive and genuinely want to see you succeed. Surround yourself with those who make you feel good about yourself for good reasons. Find positive role models that inspire you and set good examples for you to follow.
Which logically leads to…
2. Rid yourself of toxic people
Get away from those who put you down, call you names and are just constantly negative. Some even have the audacity to subject you to emotional abuse, constantly etching their warped views of you in your mind until you start to believe it (a reverse affirmation I call it). They zap you of your energy and life-force and just reduce you to feeling doomy and gloomy. Leave these people behind. I mean, there are too many people in the world (billions!) to be fraternizing with those who love to make you feel inferior.
3. Practise affirmations
This ‘fake it til you make it’ strategy does work. Keep telling yourself in the mirror that you are confident and you can accomplish anything. Imagine how being almost invincible would feel. Even if you can’t at the time, keep going with this process everyday until you start to feel a positive change in the way you perceive yourself. Then keep going some more. You are on the right track!
4. Change your body language
My aunt used to say (and still does):
‘Head up, shoulders back, chest out!’
Do it even if you don’t feel confident at the time. Maintain good eye contact, and give firm handshakes. Your body language speaks volumes so make sure it is speaking positively.
5. Make a list of your accomplishments
Jot down a list of all the things you have done that you are proud of. I’m sure you have more to be proud of than you initially think! Use it as a reminder of your accomplishments and to boost your sense of self-worth when you are feeling low. Those amazing feats that you have achieved no one can take away from you!
6. Take a confidence/assertiveness course
As someone who has undertaken this type of course in her teenage years, I would definitely recommend it! It might also help you discover that you are not as bad as you imagined. I was amazed to discover that although I had little confidence (but more than I was younger) at that time, there were people who had much less! The course provides great strategies and tips for overcoming shyness and asserting yourself. Moreover, everyone who attends is there for the same reason and knows how you feel. There is moral support and encouragement to transform.
If I can do it, you can too!
Confidence is in your grasp.