Have you ever asked yourself why some people are confident while some others are not? You see someone that is stunning but is constantly pointing out her flaws or someone who is average at what they do but they are determined to be great. How does this happen – how come it seems that confidence comes so naturally to some while it’s a struggle for others?
I believe that confidence is a skill and that it requires constant focus to build and maintain and is not a case of whether you “have it” or “have not.” I think much of our early confidence stems from the way we were raised, the way we see ourselves at a young age, and the way we are taught to interact with our environments; and that all of these factors give us the foundation that we build our confidence on. With each new experience and interaction we have, we can keep adding to that foundation and build up our confidence or we can slowly chip away at it and break it down. That is why it is so important to treat confidence like a skill you have to practice to maintain. It's like how the old saying goes...
Imagine you are trying to learn French for the first time. When you start out, it’s a new experience and you feel unsure and don’t really know what you’re saying or if you’re saying words correctly. You don’t feel very confident in giving answers when the teacher calls on you and asks you basic questions in French. But think ahead a couple classes – you’ve had a chance to practice, you got the basics down, and you are starting to understand more things. Now when the teacher asks you the same questions as she did in the first class, you can answer with ease and confidence. Imagine that you keep going through this cycle, of being introduced to new words (a new experience), being exposed to them repeatedly (practicing it), and then being able to use those new words to up your vocabulary to speak fluently (mastering it). There wasn’t a “magic pill” that you took to help you become fluent in French, it was your determination, consistent practice, and learning from your mistakes that lead you to be able to pick up a new language. As long as you keep adding new words and practicing, you probably won’t lose this skill. But as soon as you stop practicing it, you will lose some of your vocabulary and not be able to speak as well as you could.
Building confidence works the same way, it’s a skill you have to actively practice or you run the risk of losing it. Just like learning a language, there isn’t anything that makes you wake up feeling confident from the inside out overnight. But it is the desire to learn or change something and making the conscious decision to do the work necessary that helps build up your confidence so you can achieve your goals.
Last Monday on the True North Beauty Facebook Page, I shared my #MondayMantra of “your now is not your forever.” I talked about how we have the power to change where we are at in life, but can only do so when we feel confident enough to believe in ourselves to start making changes. I said I would share some confidence building tips with you to help you build up your confidence so you can start believing in yourself completely and work on making the changes you desire.
- Take action! Confidence come from putting yourself out there enough times that it becomes comfortable!
- Create mantras and use them daily.
- Do something that scares you. It can be one little thing every day that works up to you doing one big thing.
- Stop the negative self-talk! Practice self-love and don’t compare yourself to others! Try talking positively to yourself. I often tell myself “this is going to make me feel uncomfortable, but I got this, I can do this!” when I am faced with doing something that scares me!
- Breathe! Stop and count to ten and breathe when you start feeling overwhelmed and not confident and feel negative self-talk creeping in. Try to breathe through it and replace that thought with a mantra.
- Celebrate your badass self! Recognize when you accomplish something that has been a challenge for you, no matter how big or small it is.
Try these tips and keep practicing them daily! Every time you do them, they will become second nature to you and you can start to see a change in your confidence level after you see these tips working! I also have included links to past blog posts that I have written on confidence – just click on the highlighted parts to go to that blog post and you can read in more detail about confidence building exercises and how to practice them!