9 Strategies to Boost Your Confidence
We all experience it at some point if we live long enough – something happens that really shakes our confidence. Maybe you lose a big client at work, stumble over an important presentation, get tough feedback that triggers a place you’re already feeling shaky, or experience some other setback. If it’s serious enough, then it can feel as if your very foundation has been cracked. You may even begin to wonder what your strengths really are.
And confidence is a central component of success. It’s a key differentiator between two people who are well-qualified, dedicated and motivated. Confidence 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.
So given the importance of confidence, if we lose it, then what can we do to get it back?
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 boost 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? Here are 9 strategies to help you do just that:
- Be in the Present
As much as possible, try being in the present moment. Breathe, take a walk outside, acknowledge that you are alive and ok right now. 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 right back to the present moment, the sooner you’ll find your footing. Surround yourself with loved ones, friends or colleagues who are positive and supportive. 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
None of us is perfect. 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: why 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 never 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 in a space of loss. It’s important to take action toward your goals even when you’re not feeling confident. Try taking 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.
- 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 with ways you can shift and overcome self-doubt. This is another area where it helps to get support from a friend, coach or mentor. 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 and beliefs that may no longer be serving you. When you do this, you’ll also be learning to stand up to and for others.
- Appreciate What You Have
Use a bit of appreciation to help you get perspective. By simply focusing on 2 or 3 things you are truly grateful for right now, you can shift your perspective. The more that you get into the habit of doing this, the more powerful it becomes. 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.
- Face Your Fears
Fear is a part of life and we all deal with it at times. In fact, a certain amount of fear is healthy. It’s good to be aware and alert – whether you’re starting a new project or growing a successful business. But too much fear over an extended period of time means your body, mind and spirit are essentially working on overdrive most of the time. This drains resources you need, makes decision making harder and means you may miss red flags alerting you to actual risks that do require your attention.Be willing to acknowledge fear when it shows up, ask what you can learn from it. Try breathing into it or going for a walk. Then, when you feel calmer, ask: is this intuitive guidance that’s in fact steering you in a better direction? Or is it perhaps an old limit or belief getting in the way of you moving in a new direction?
- Decide to Define Yourself
Our lives are, in large part, a sum total of our choices: the decisions we make, the actions we take as well as how we choose to respond to circumstances. And although our past decisions and future goals impact how we perceive our present choices, we always have choice in the present. How do you want to define yourself as of today, as of this moment? What are your core values and beliefs? Set your rules and boundaries and commit to follow them. These are your morals and ethics, and they’re the foundation of who you are. Remember this and you can always come back to it during challenging times.
- Try, Try Again
If at first you don’t succeed…. If your lack of confidence is caused by a failure, pick yourself up and try again. You don’t have to do this immediately. You can allow yourself the time to practice, learn and adjust before you try again. The next time you’ll go in savvier and more experienced. You’ve experienced a setback, learned a lesson and got back on your feet. Now you’re stronger, faster and smarter than before for having had this experience.
- 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 of us. 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 are all learning as we go and there are more opportunities if this one did not go your way.
It’s easy to lose your confidence. 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 get your confidence back. 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 enjoyed this post and would like help taking things to the next level or in getting your confidence back, contact me directly to see if you qualify for a complimentary strategy session.
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