It’s understandable if your confidence has been shaken lately, given all the uncertainties and shifting responsibilities many people continue to face. Fortunately, by working with your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, you can rebuild your self-assurance and feel confident in your ability to handle challenges. Try these tips:
Change the way you talk to yourself. Instead of saying, “I’ve got so much to do, I will never get this project done,” tell yourself, “I’m capable of focusing my energy on the task at hand.” Try to focus on the positive, and be upbeat and forgiving of yourself.
Remain calm under pressure. Feeling nervous energy–like butterflies in your stomach or a racing heart–is often a natural physical response when you are facing a new situation. Tryt not to focus on the anxious feelings or thoughts. Instead, take slow deep breaths, focusing on the moment and the actions you are taking to meet the challenge.
Focus on your “wins,” no matter how small. Writing down your achievements as well as the challenges you overcame— whether it’s whipping up a new-to-you recipe or completing a task at work–can boost your confidence when you need it most.
Always “act confident.” Practice walking with your head up, spine straight, shoulders back, and your body open and relaxed. Remember to smile. Just feeling the sensations of confidence sends a powerful message to your brain that “I’ve got this!” when facing challenges.
Post your goals—daily and long-term—where you can see them. You’ll have a better chance of meeting them, which in turn creates a pattern of success you can build on.
Get information to propel you forward. You may be hesitant to tackle a problem arising from a change in your job responsibilities, for instance, or in supporting your kids’ education. Getting even a tidbit of information (and upgrading your skills where necessary) can build your confidence to take the first step, then the next, and so on.
Learn to speak up. Respect your own opinions and learn to communicate them effectively. For example, when facing disagreements, consider these starting phrases: “The way I see it…” Or, “In my view, I think this might work better…”
Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Associating with supportive people helps you support yourself.
Is a lack of confidence keeping you stuck and upset? Talk to your doctor for a referral to a mental health professional, or reach out to a licensed counselor.