There are many reasons why you may feel less than confident at times, but as you take one or more of these four actions, you’ll find your self-esteem building as you reach a new level of confidence.
1. Rethink the retreat. Ever had the urge to quit when something got hard?
Truth: That’s not your fault! Humans are hard wired to avoid pain and be attracted to pleasure.
Of course, anything you’ve accomplished up to this point has had a degree of difficulty to it, yes?
Part of the pleasure you have in accomplishing that feat you’re thinking of lies in the fact that it took effort on your part to persevere even when it got tough.
Your persistence is part of your pleasure.
Remind yourself of that next time something gets tough. It’s NOT a sign to retreat; it’s simply part of the process.
Each time you stick with it, you will strengthen your self-esteem and become more confident.
For bonus boosts to confidence, as you are staying with that action that’s challenging, tell yourself: “That’s me. I stick with it.” In doing so, you’re literally beginning to change your self-image.
2. Finish. This goes well with our first tip.
It’s different in that you’re looking at doing a very small task, from start to finish, which moves you in the direction of your goals.
Fascinating research proves that there is power in tiny habits.
Chances are, if you’re the kind of person who cares about personal growth, you’ve made ambitious goals for yourself in the past. Yes? Perhaps even a bit too ambitious?
Possibly your goals were so magnificent they were quite hard to complete. Rather than break the goal down in to smaller manageable chunks, you may have even chosen to abandon the goal all together.
Here’s an example of breaking down a large goal into smaller tasks that you can manage and actually complete.
Let’s say that you’d like to get healthier. Most people have this as a goal, so perhaps it rings true for you, too.
Break that big idea into smaller, baby steps that you can start doing right away.
If you’d like to eat more healthfully, and to work out, what could you do right away?
You could write a grocery list of healthful foods you enjoy, and schedule on your calendar a time when you’ll take a short walk. Boom, done.
Yes, it’s small, but what you’re going for is small actions that move you toward your goals. These actions are small, but manageable and meaningful.
Best of all, each time you start and finish a tiny action, you move one step closer to your big goal, and you gain confidence.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~Lao Tzu
3. Discover, then challenge self-imposed limits.
One of my Inner Circle coaching clients was frustrated because she’d not done well on a project.
“Was that your best?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I’m not sure what my best is.” She answered.
Interesting response, and not the first time a client has said something similar.
Here’s your question for the day: What is your best? Right now, think of an area of your life you’d like to improve on, whether that’s professional development or personal growth. I help clients with both.
What’s your best in that area? How could you make it even better?
Discover where your limits are by being self-aware of your performance, honest about the quality, and compassionate with yourself in how you might take it to the next level.
If you truly want to raise your confidence, do NOT focus on all the ways you’re falling short. Doing so will just have you giving up, or feeling bad about yourself.
Simply focus on one single area of your life at a time and take that one small part to the next level.
Trying to discover your limits and attempting to push back on everything at once is a recipe for disaster.
Here’s an example of where you might discover and push past a boundary.
If you’re looking to improve your fitness level, test yourself on something. It could be how many sit ups you can do, or how much weight you can lift. Now, when you feel like you’ve reached failure, that’s your baseline of personal best.
Next time you do that workout, aim for something just beyond that limit.
Your confidence will rise as you note that with diligence your personal best standard will rise.
4. Assure you’ll win.
Comparing yourself to others is a sure formula for self-esteem meltdown.
No mater how much progress you make in something, there’s someone out there who has ONE JOB, and that job is to be the best at doing that thing you thought you were great at.
So, leave aside the comparisons.
If that’s easier said than done, because you just do have a competitive streak, I confess, I can relate.
I’m also competitive. And, I like to win.
Here’s how you can be competitive, and assure you and your confidence will win.
Compete against your past self.
How does your performance today compare to how you did last time? If you consciously intend to improve each time, even by the tiniest bit, you will see improvements.
Any one of these four ideas will help you boost your self-esteem and become more confident.
What do you do to feel gain confidence?