Because sometimes you need a reminder of how awesome you are
Everyone’s confidence wanes now and again. During the last 10 years which I’ve spent in public relations, I developed a thick skin, a strong point of view and a nagging persistence to promote my clients. Despite being confident in my craft and my experiences, there are moments of insecurity and hesitation that creep up on me. These moments could be associated with specific projects, or when I can’t find the right groove with a client or team member. Sometimes the feeling lasts a short while-half a day, maybe more. Other times it lingers for weeks or even months.
Low confidence is like catching a cold. It weakens you and makes you vulnerable. You can’t predict when it will come around, but when it does, you need to take the proper care to get yourself well and back in the game.
I recognize that some people may have a chronic issue with their confidence. For anyone who feels this way, please seek the help of a professional counselor. But if you’re like me, someone who experiences highs and lows without it drastically impacting your sense of self, then you may need a simple way to sort out your feelings. Here are a few tactics which I’ve used to pull myself out of a confidence rut.
Building a foundation: Identify your trust circle
The first step in boosting your confidence is to identify the people who are in your trust circle. These are the folks who have your back in every situation. Include the person you will call for help no matter the hour, the one who will tell you the truth even if it hurts, and friends who will share your pain as well as your joy.
Confidence comes from trust. Knowing who you can trust in times of need is like having a safety net that will catch you mid-fall, and even provide a little lift to get you back up. When country singers are crooning about going home after a heartbreak or professional disillusionment, they’re saying its time to lean on their trust circle and start again.
You cannot build your confidence without knowing where your support lies. In some cases, your trust circle may only have one person in it, you. That’s okay. If you are alone and disconnected from others, be the center of your circle; assuming that you have faith in yourself to get the job done, to pick yourself up when faced with adversity, and to seek help when you need it.
Your trust circle serves as the foundation from where your confidence takes root.
Gaining perspective: List your accomplishments
Our personalities are forged to forget all the good we do and only harp on the mistakes. Listing the things you are most proud of won’t just put a smile on your face, it’s a reminder of the hard work and effort you put in to achieve your wins.
It reinforces a powerful truth: that you possess the capacity to succeed.
Did you graduate from college? Well, that’s four years of studying, regularly attending class, pulling all-nighters, and turning in assignments. That’s a lot of time and energy invested for a long-term end goal. So, while many people graduate, what we’re celebrating is the tenacity and commitment it took for folks to reach this point.
Did you start a business? Maybe it never picked up steam, but you articulated your vision on paper, sought ought partners and investors, and created enthusiasm for the product or service — not everyone can do that.
Are you responsible for another person’s care? Amazing! The most significant accomplishment of all is the sacrifice it takes to keep another person happy and healthy.
The point is, success is yours to define, and there isn’t a person on earth who can’t claim some victory. Whether it’s the most famous person on the block or the person who is just trying to make it to the next day, you need to list your accomplishments so that you can remind yourself to take pride and satisfaction in what you have achieved.
Formulate your mantra
What line are you going to repeat to yourself when you have to face down haters or the obstacles which rattle your confidence? Create a short and powerful mantra and recite it when necessary.
My mantra is: Have faith, not fear.
I made this my mantra because I earnestly believe we all have a purpose and that suppressing your God-given talent because of fear or lack of confidence is a crime against the self. So I repeat “have faith, not fear” whenever I feel insecurities settling in or when the shadow of imposter syndrome lurks behind me, too close for comfort. The reason the line works is that it reinforces my spiritual side. Since I believe in the power of gratitude and good deeds and have placed my fate in the hands of an All-Knowing being, the line serves as a reminder that you can’t claim to be spiritful and then buckle at the first sign of adversity.
Don’t ignore the energy around you
People who are occupying a specific space project energy into the environment. Sometimes when we feel frustration, discomfort, and even restlessness at work, school, or in our personal lives, it’s because we are working through obstacles that inevitably stand between us and our goals. These negative feelings should be temporary and dissipate after you’ve solved the challenge.
There is a difference, however, between overcoming challenges and feeling consistently out of place or less than optimal. Are you generally feeling positive in the space you are occupying with others? Do you feel safe and energized, or are you weary and doubtful?
If the negative is outweighing the positive, then it’s time to consider a change of scenery. Negative energy will take its toll on your mood, personality, and, eventually, your performance. Take control of the situation by either finding ways to improve the energy in the room or leave the space you are in for something better. Shifting the energy you are immersed in from negative to positive will do wonders for your confidence.