Spring is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts.
Winter can be a hard season of life for many people, and breathing in that first breath of fresh spring air can bring a newfound sense of peace and hope. If you’ve fallen into negative thought patterns or behaviors this winter, let this time be a fresh start for you. These five techniques for building confidence and training your brain to have more positive thoughts about yourself and the world around you are a great place to start.
When I first start working with clients, one of the first things I help them understand is that confidence is an inside job.
For some people, confidence issues plague them year round and have for many years. Lack of confidence often starts when we are young because of experiences, trauma, or direct and indirect messages we receive, which diminish our confidence levels. The resulting lack of confidence can become normalized and we often don’t even recognize the root cause of our confidence issues. While there is no magic bullet for having confidence, there are solutions to fast-track your confidence by overcoming the issues or experiences that have undermined your confidence. RTT Hypnotherapy + Coaching can be a rapid and sustainable solution to help you understand and become aware of the root cause of your confidence issues so you can begin to overcome them. Wherever you are in your confidence journey, think progress not perfection.
While perfection might seem like a lofty goal, it often leads to negative outcomes, diminishes confidence, and creates a sense of failure. For many of us, “perfection” requires external circumstances and/or other people to be present or do things in a specific way, and that is typically not possible. Even if we achieve our version of perfection, the definition of life is change, so it is usually not sustainable. When we focus on progress not perfection, we can get into a rhythm of trending in the “right” direction, but if we get sidetracked or begin to slip back into old ways, it is much easier to get back on track and maintain our sense of self and feel more positive and empowered.
Most people feel more confident in certain areas of their lives than others and often our confidence levels can change day to day or even throughout the day. It is unrealistic to expect to feel confident in all areas of your life at all times. However, RTT Hypnotherapy + Coaching can help you create a foundation for long-term, sustainable confidence that steadily increases. Confidence begets more confidence, so practice these easy tips for being more confident and over time you will become more confident… it’s a skill so practice!
Here are five easy techniques to help you move into a more confident you:
1. Use the Arms Akimbo stance
When feeling low on confidence or when you need a quick confidence booster, get into this stance: Put your hands on your hips, fingers forward and thumbs resting on your back with your feet shoulder width apart. Arms Akimbo stance says, “I’m in charge.” This body position helps raise our energy and opens the body to take up more space and be more expansive. Word of caution, it can be perceived as a very dominant position so you may want to use it in preparation for an encounter rather than during an encounter, unless appearing dominant is your goal. In addition to using this stance, be sure to maintain good posture throughout the day. Stand up and sit up straight with your shoulders back and head held up. When you have an open posture, you take up more space around you, which automatically helps you feel stronger and more confident. Even when you don’t feel like it or especially when you don’t feel like it, stand up or sit up straight.
2. Take risks and don’t be afraid of failure
When we take risks and fail, there is usually valuable information to take away. Having the courage to take risks can build your confidence and help you realize that no matter how afraid you are, you can handle anything that comes your way. If you have a deep-seated fear of failure that is negatively affecting your life, RTT + Coaching can help you get to the root cause of the fear and establish new beliefs that allow you to embrace failure rather than avoiding it. With each failure, you will gain the knowledge you need and grow more confident in your abilities going forward. In addition, the more risks you take, the more success you will inevitably have… And when you successfully complete your tasks and goals, especially the daunting ones, your confidence multiplies and creates momentum for the next goals you want to achieve.
3. Take 3-5 deep breaths
Using deep breathing techniques helps to ground you in your body, mind, and energy; thereby lowering your stress and anxiety levels. As you are taking in the breath, stay with your breath and when and if your mind wonders, because the mind will wonder, key it back to your breath. When you are in the present moment rather than reliving the past or worrying about the future, you will feel better, which makes it easier to be more confident.
4. Think about a time in the past when you felt confident.
Take a minute or two and relive a memory of when you felt confident… How did it feel in your body? What thoughts were going through your mind? Did you feel freer and happier? Visualize yourself feeling that way and exuding confidence. Because the mind makes very little distinction between what is actually happening and what is being vividly envisioned in your mind’s eye, by envisioning your past success, you will feel more confident in this moment.
5. Pay attention to your appearance.
Dress in a way that makes you feel confident. When you are busy or rushing around, it can be easy to let your appearance slide… throwing on sweatpants can be a habit and a ponytail is easy. But how we dress sends a message to ourselves and others… When you make a good appearance people treat you differently and this can also add to your confidence. This is not to say that your confidence should rely on how other people treat you, because it definitely should not and the opinion that matters most is your own. However, when you feel good about yourself and get confirmation from others, it can really solidify your confidence. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but choose clothes that you feel good in, not just comfortable. It may take an extra few minutes to put some effort into, but the payoff is worth it.
Everyone has areas in their lives where they feel more confident naturally and our confidence levels can vary based on a lot of factors including our own moods and experiences. When you are having periods of low confidence, remember, change is the definition of life so work to feel more confident and you will become more confident.