6 Ways to Get Your Confidence Back & Keep It
We all experience it at some point if we’re challenging ourselves and if we’re taking some chances in life (and I hope you are!) – the uncomfortable truth is that our confidence will take a hit from time to time.
The good news is that you can not only get your confidence back – but there are tools which will help you become more resilient over time so that you’re not as impacted by future challenging or uncertain times.
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Having the life and the work you love for most of us means living more fully. And living fully means taking your share of risks—stepping into unknown territory, shaping new experiences. And THAT means it’s important to know how to build your confidence – especially after a challenging time.
So something happens that really shakes our confidence. Perhaps:
You’ve experienced an uncertain time in your business where revenues took an unexpected hit.
You had to fire someone you realized you couldn’t trust.
You lost a big client and the impact to your small business was significant.
You stumbled over an important presentation.
You experienced prolonged health challenges that left you feeling shaky, out of control and unable to bounce back as quickly as you’d have liked.
You’re getting over a break-up and not feeling up to putting yourself out there again.
You just aren’t feeling like yourself.
You’re trying to make a change in your business or your workday and you’re feeling stuck.
Are any of these familiar to you?
If the setback is serious enough or goes on for a long period of time, it can feel as if your very foundation has been cracked. You may doubt whether a positive change is possible. You may even begin to wonder what your strengths really are.
In my experience, confidence depends on three core components: mental attitude, emotional courage, and life experience. This combination is the blueprint for something which supports lasting confidence: resilience.
Why Confidence Is Key To Your Success
Confidence is central to success. It’s a key differentiator between two people who are well-qualified, dedicated and motivated. Confidence combined with resilience can make the difference in reaching your potential versus falling short of your own expectations. In fact, research shows that success correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence.
Myths About Confidence
Many of us are not well-informed when it comes to confidence. We may have been taught to believe one or more of these myths:
You either have confidence or you don’t.
When it comes to confidence, you’ve got to ‘fake it til you make it.’
You can’t be confident until you’ve achieved the success you’re seeking.
If you feel less than confident in a particular situation, you must have low self-esteem.
It’s arrogant to be overly confident… leaving you with mixed feelings about whether you’re the kind of person who wants to be more confident.
But self-confidence and its companion, resilience (the ability to rebound quickly from challenges so that you actually achieve your goals) doesn’t come out of the box for most of us, certainly not in all areas of our work and lives. It’s not a quality you’re either born with or not. It’s built on repeated experience and supported by positive relationships.
When it comes down to it, most of my clients are looking for more happiness or fulfillment, however they define it, whatever success means to them. This fulfillment comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our challenges and setbacks as a potential opportunity to practice, to learn and to become more conscious and more confident.
Building confidence and resilience are critical tools that take both inner and outer work.
So given the importance of confidence, if we lose it, then what can we do to get it back?
If we’re struggling with confidence in a particular area, how can we build it?
Here are five ways to put it in to practice whether you’re getting over a break-up, just lost a big opportunity, or just aren’t feeling like yourself – and why this is such an important tool to have in your toolkit.
How To Build Confidence & Resilience
Research shows that this is especially important for women. Compared with men, women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions, they predict they’ll do worse on tests, and they generally underestimate their abilities.
The good news is that there are proven ways to build your confidence even after the most challenging setbacks. The following approaches help whether you’re a man or a woman.
So how do we get our confidence back when we’ve lost it – or build it in an area that’s unfamiliar and new? Here are 6 strategies to help you do just that:
- Learn from Your Mistakes & Let Go.
None of us is perfect. We’re human and we all mess up from time to time. It’s easy to be your own worst critic when you feel you’ve made a big mistake, and to keep replaying what happened in your mind. Try to learn from the mistake or loss instead. Be curious: what can you take away from your experience? What might you do differently if faced with a similar situation in the future?
If you lost an opportunity, also consider reframing it: might it have been beneficial to you to lose in this instance? Perhaps there is a better opportunity right around the corner or this was not a fit for some reason. Our losses are not in vain and offer us the chance for self-reflection and some powerful insights.
- Take Small Steps for Small Wins.
When our confidence is shaken or we feel that we have failed in some way, it’s easy to want to take ourselves out of the game. And while sometimes a break is a good idea, too much inaction can keep us stuck. It’s important to take action toward your goals even when you’re not feeling confident. This is because experience breeds confidence. So this is especially important in an area that’s new or unfamiliar to you.
Try, try again. Or take small steps in your areas of strength and expertise. Success breeds confidence and a series of small wins can give you the success to begin to build your confidence back. Even and especially when you’re feeling the least sure-footed.
- Be in the Present.
Practice being in the present moment – especially when you’re feeling uncertain. Breathe, take a walk outside, acknowledge your surroundings, notice how you’re feeling in your body. We tend to relive past failures with sadness or to focus on the future with some fear, worry or anxiety. The more you can bring yourself into the present moment, the sooner you’ll be able to find your footing.
Bring your present focus to your current priorities: what you are creating, who you are trying to serve, what your message is and why.
- Notice and Shift Your Thoughts.
Make an intentional decision to change your thought process. When you notice that you’re doubting yourself, try countering those thoughts. This is another area where it helps to get support from a friend, coach or mentor because habitual patterns of thought that do not serve us are often in our blind spots.
For example, instead of being upset about losing an important client, acknowledge what you’re feeling and then take time to be grateful for what you do have: your other clients, the people you love, even the water you drink and the food you eat. Learn to appreciate everything around you. This will get you into a better mindset to move forward with confidence, remembering all that is already working for you.
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.
Above all else, avoid comparing yourself to others. One of the reasons failure can be so hard is that we are concerned about what others think. We often feel this way even if at a certain level we know that this doesn’t really matter.
Remember that there may be a very good reason that a particular opportunity didn’t go your way, even if you can’t see it now. If your failure results in someone else’s success, try to come from a more positive perspective and a place of abundance. Be forgiving toward yourself. We’re all learning as we go and there are more opportunities if this one did not go your way.
- Get Support.
Surround yourself with loved ones, friends or colleagues who are positive and supportive. The people we spend the most time around are so important. Consider which relationships are supportive and which are not. Spend more time with those who are supportive and set boundaries with those who aren’t.
If you’re navigating a particularly challenging time, seek professional guidance from a consultant or coach with experience in that area. From here you can focus on what’s most important. Bring your present focus to your current priorities: what you are creating, who you are trying to serve, what your message is and why.
- Learn from Your Mistakes & Let Go.
Remember that we’re all facing challenges and we all also have the choice of how to respond. We always have the final say in how we allow challenges and disappointments to affect us.
Stand up to and for yourself. Notice and question your own thoughts, patterns of behavior and even beliefs that may no longer be serving you (more on that later).
Get the support that you need and deserve to move forward in a new area, in a new way. And take practical action, only you can take steps in the direction you’re wanting to go.
It’s easy to lose your confidence and natural to feel uncertain when facing a new situation or challenge. It happens to us all at some point.
Even with the best laid plans, unexpected things happen. You can easily find yourself with disappointing outcomes and questioning your choices or performance. Even though it can seem like you’re the only one it’s happening to at the time, we all experience inequalities and failures.
The good news is that with some work, you can build your confidence and resilience. Which means that if you stick it out, you’ll eventually get the confidence it takes to succeed with what’s most important to you.
If you want personalized guidance to implement any of these tips, click here to apply for a one on one call with me. We’ll schedule a chat to explore how this can work for you and your goals while growing your business. You can also learn more about – and reserve your spot in – the next Success With Benefits Group Program.