Negativity and self-doubt sap our esteem and confidence. Ever heard the terminology “Don’t beat yourself up”, well it’s true. I can sometimes be hard on myself, especially when I have made a silly error when writing, feel uncomfortable in my favourite pair of jeans or become disorganized at home. It is your subconscious that whispers – you are not good enough. Why does this mean “inner” voice get the better of us time after time?
According to Melbourne-based clinical hypnotherapist, Dr Vesna Grubacevic, some people, women more so, never feel good enough, despite their many achievements, or they strive for an unrealistic or unattainable perfection. Her point is backed up by statistics and studies. The Diversity Council Australian compiled “confidence-gap” information in 2016 reporting that women suffered a 60% decrease in ambition and a 50% decrease in confidence to reach their top job. This diminishing confidence was attributed in part to women not imagining themselves fitting the “typical stereotype of success”.
So how can you reboot your self-confidence and stop being so hard on yourself? Well it can be hard to unlearn negative habits, particularly if they have been instilled into your subconscious since childhood or your teenage years. The basic formula is to recognise the negative words and thoughts immediately and physically stop what you are doing. Then turn that thought into a positive. Rather than “I can’t”, think “I can” or “I’ve got this”. Flip your thoughts into a positive statement and start to retrain your brain. Use other tools such as mediation, yoga, self-education and research about start empowering yourself, be proactive and stop the scepticism! Here are some other simple steps to boost your self-confidence:
- Improve your self-talk – acknowledge your best attributes, embrace your strengths, celebrate personal achievements no matter how small and silence your inner-critic.
- Visualise success – think about a successful outcome before an event or activity, or set a realistic goal and visualise how you will get a great result.
- Remain calm – manage your emotions if you start to feel stressed or upset, take some deep breathes because there is no point being argumentative or irate as it only feeds the negative inner-critic.
- Seek a mentor or professional help – this could be a great circuit breaker, look for a work mentor, a coach or psychologist to help you through some important issues.
- Use positive affirmations – use these each day to tell yourself how great you are and make sure you believe what you say, as beliefs affect behaviours
- Love yourself – be your own best friend, smile to yourself, pat yourself on the back, talk positively and love yourself no matter what
Knowledge and being proactive will also help rebuild confidence. A great book to read is “Confident Chicks” by Pam Brossman, or “Gorgeous Daring Dames” by Ann Villiers. Both are excellent guides. In addition check in with yourself each day and ask yourself some questions like, “What did I do well today”, and “How much positive self-talk did I use”. Accessing confidence makes us more competent, productive and enables us to pursue new challenges or see new opportunities. There really is no downside to feeling better about yourself – try it and see what happens!