Quick Tips for Better Self Confidence
1) How to Feel Good When You Need to
Because self confidence and feeling good has a major 'hormonal' element, you can change the way you feel by re-living good times. If you can remember a time you felt really self confident, then excellent - use that! If not, then use a time you felt contented or happy. Taking deliberate control of your thoughts and emotions will have an huge impact on your self confidence and other areas of your life.
2) Beating Self Consciousness, Confidence Enemy No.1
Although useful for learning about the impact you have on others, too much self consciousness is the No.1 enemy of self confidence. The trick is keeping your attention off yourself when you need to. Here's how...
a) When you feel self-conscious, (you can usually tell because you start to feel anxious), choose something outside of yourself to focus on and study it in detail. For example: examine a door, look at the different textures and shades of colour, wonder about who made it and how and so on. The important thing is that you're learning how to keep your attention off yourself.
It is a good idea to practise this technique in private first. Just sit quietly, practising focusing firstly on your own thoughts and then deliberately focusing outwards onto a picture or piece of furniture.
b) Social self confidence can be difficult to find sometimes because it is unclear what you are 'supposed to do'. In this event, concentrate on what your purpose in the situation is. Whether you're there to:
- find out if you like the other people present
- make others feel comfortable
- find out some information
- make business contacts
- and so on...
It's much more difficult to feel self-conscious if your mind is occupied with a task.
People are often most comfortable with others when working towards a common goal. The common goal of socialising could be making friends, the exchange of mutually beneficial information, expanding your knowledge of different types of people... it could be whatever you want it to be! The key is to have an aim. (Related: Social Skills Article)
3) Watch Out for Undue Criticism - Especially Your Own!
Have you noticed that people will speak to themselves in a way they would never speak to others? You know the sort of thing - you break a glass and it's "You stupid idiot. You can't do anything right can you?"
Criticism that leaves the receiver feeling upset or depressed is rarely useful.
Challenging your own assumptions about yourself and other people can really help build self confidence. Here's a few to get you started:
Don't let yourself make sweeping statements about yourself - in the long run it is this sort of thing that can really damage your self image. If this happens, say to yourself calmly and gently, "Hold on a minute, that's not true". If you can come up with some evidence that disproves the sweeping statement, then even better. It may take a bit of effort at first, but the impact on your self confidence levels is huge.
Building self esteem is not just about thinking good of yourself, it's about not thinking bad for no reason!
The important thing is to get away from thinking "Why did that happen?", or "Why do I feel this way?" and towards "How would I like to feel?", "In what situations do I feel confident?" or, "What do I need to learn in order to have better self confidence in this situation?"
This change in thinking is so important that we devote quite a bit of time to it on the Self Confidence Trainer.