Everybody’s confidence at one time or another will take a knock. Be it because of a mistake they’ve made or something somebody has said – it’s very easy to chink your confidence armour.
Now, how about we throw in a return to semi-normality post lockdown? Or after a significant illness? Or an upheaval in personal circumstances? This is where the chink can become a much bigger dent.
Granted, some people are bursting to get back out there and that’s fantastic, but for others, even the thought of a return to the life they were previously living becomes a daunting contemplation. And it’s rarely because they were unhappy leading it, it’s just anxiety and self-doubt have taken over.
Does this mean we should give up and go hide under the duvet? Absolutely not! Here’s the good news… you can rebuild confidence in yourself and I’m going to share with you how.
10 Ways to Rebuild Confidence in yourself:
Start in your comfort zone
Yes, all progress occurs outside of your comfort zone, but sometimes – for anything to occur at all – within the zone is where you need to start. Think of one thing you could do which you feel reasonably comfortable with and do that first. Why not involve the person you feel most comfortable with? It’s OK to take baby steps, it all counts towards building confidence.
Some people will be so excited to see you again that it won’t cross their mind you don’t feel the same way. They can’t help it, they’re not mindreaders. Therefore you must openly communicate with others. People do like to offer help & support, so talk about what you need. Feeling supported, heard and understood are key components in rebuilding confidence in yourself.
Set a goal
A goal is something to work towards, it gives you purpose and motivation. Think of something you’d most like to do, maybe a night out with friends? Or getting yourself onto a dating app? Or shopping on your own? Set your goal, then figure out the steps to take to get you there (again remember, baby steps are still steps, you just need to keep taking them).
Top Tip: Ask yourself – what would I need in place to feel confident enough for this to happen? This is a good question to contemplate when you’re working out your path to your goal.
Give yourself space to decompress
Basically, I’m encouraging you to practice self-care. You need to allow yourself space to process everything that occurred, good or bad. I do this by sitting quietly and resting for a while. The need to decompress doesn’t mean you didn’t enjoy the interaction, you’re just taking some time to re-energise. Knowing you’ll have some breathing space afterwards will give you more confidence to go in the first place.
Own your boundaries
I have a friend – a lovely friend – but a friend nevertheless who doesn’t respect my boundaries. If I say, ‘let’s have lunch together‘, she’ll turn it into dinner. And when I agree to said ‘dinner’, she’s then invited 4 other people I don’t know and signed us up for karaoke. It’s too much for me.
Nothing will make us quite so uncomfortable as allowing someone to not respect our boundaries. Try feeling confident when someone’s overstepped the limit – it doesn’t work. Setting healthy personal boundaries is essential to your well-being. Take a moment to get clear on what your boundaries are and take ownership of them.
Good to Know: Learning how to say ‘no’ effectively will help with boundary maintenance, as well as freeing up space to say YES to the things you really want to do. I’ve shared plenty of tips on how to do this in: How to Say No, (So You Can Say Yes)
Stop overthinking things
Overthinking can really drain your confidence. Go with an optimistic mind and see what happens. Here’s a helpful technique I learnt during EMDR therapy to calm your anxiety
Use visualisation techniques
Visualisation techniques can be used to help rebuild your confidence and may even help improve the outcome of the situations you’re placing yourself in – ultimately building your confidence even further.
Essentially you’re finding a quiet moment pre-event to create a mental picture of things going well. You’re visualising yourself feeling comfortable and confident, which in turn is increasing your belief in your ability and motivating you to go for it!
Why not try repeating these confidence building affirmations daily:
I’ve talked about mindfulness and savouring as helpful techniques previously, however, allowing yourself to be fully in the moment (guiding your thoughts away from worrying about what’s next and not sitting there ruminating on what was) is great for making you feel happier, which in turn makes you feel more confident. Enjoy immersing yourself in the now and experiencing all it has to offer.
Top tip: If you had a particularly good time it’s worth making notes on what went well. This cements in your mind the pleasant experience you’ve had and encourages you to do it again. And even if things didn’t go to plan, what positive lessons can you take? Learning through doing also helps your confidence grow.
Do something for someone else
Doing something for the greater good is brilliant for building your confidence and self-esteem. Helping others gives you meaning and purpose, a powerful personal motivator and fueler of self-worth. So if you don’t feel you can quite do it for yourself just yet, do it for others and see your confidence soar.
A continuing journey of self-confidence…
Rebuilding confidence in yourself is certainly a journey, but it’s one I advocate you don’t put off. The more you try things, the more you’ll reaffirm your abilities to yourself – not to mention you’ll rediscover how fun life can actually be.
Are you in a position where you feel you need to rebuild confidence in yourself? Have you tried any of these tips before? Do you have any tips of your own on rebuilding confidence to share? Whatever you’d like to say – or ask – just leave me a comment in the box below, I’m happy to help and I always love to hear from you!