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Confidence is an invisible yet notable force. It enables people to achieve great accomplishments, allows speakers to capture a crowd and enhances relationships with others.
It can be elusive and hard to call on demand. But you can grow your confidence, so it's there when you need it most.
Various studies pave the pathway to confidence as one that involves both body and mind. The most important thing? To set the intention to improve your confidence. To help you do this, we’ll dive deeper into some information and tips below.
Confidence is trusting in your abilities, judgements and capabilities. It’s the belief that you can accomplish tasks and handle what comes your way.
And while it might seem that this sense of security in yourself is just something you either have—or you don’t. It’s actually a skill that you can learn.
Life experiences and interactions with others can boost or derail confidence levels. But the good thing is that, like any other skill, confidence can be practised and cultivated over time.
You might be confident in some areas of your life but not others. Or maybe you would just like to have more faith in yourself. Wherever you are in your confidence journey, remember that progress is possible.
Read on to discover our top six confidence-boosting tips.
Studies show that body language governs how we think and feel about ourselves. The findings indicate that certain ‘high power’ poses (e.g. standing up straight with your shoulders back) can increase confidence levels. It’s almost like a trick of the mind. In this high-power state, stress and anxiety are significantly reduced.
By simply carrying yourself in a certain way, you increase your ability to take on challenges—and communicate this ability to others too. Remind yourself to stand up straight with your shoulders back whenever you can.
Our thoughts, emotions and behaviours are all linked. So the words we speak to ourselves shape how we feel about ourselves and how we behave. In turn, this impacts our world and our interactions with it.
The inner critic can be one of the greatest barriers to confidence; its put-downs and comparisons pose a big threat to self-trust. So if you're looking to improve your confidence, it can be helpful to challenge this inner critic.
You can do this by finding evidence of your past achievements. Think about things you are proud of and times you did well that you can refer to if you find your mind in negative thought cycles that damage your confidence.
Following on from the point above, some people find it helpful to adopt a mantra they can keep in their back pocket for when they’re feeling low on confidence. If your confidence levels are low, your thoughts may trail off into a negative cycle. In this place, the negative thoughts feed the emotions—and the negative emotions feed the thoughts.
But this also means that if you can change one, you can change the other and that’s why mantras can be so effective. With a little repetition, you can begin to change your thoughts and emotions; it could be something as simple as ‘You got this’.
Setting positive achievable goals can improve your sense of self and your wellbeing. It reinforces your ability to work towards a goal and your competency in life.
The best goals are always small and achievable; they play to your strengths. This way you’re more likely to stick to them and reap the rewards of achievement.
When we’re taking care of our mental and physical health, we also feel more equipped to take on the ups and downs of life. So choosing a healthy habit you can work on like mindfulness, eating well or exercising, could provide double the benefits.
Part and parcel of confidence is feeling calm and trusting yourself. This requires a level of self-acceptance and warmth. Self-acceptance involves embracing your weaknesses, learning from your mistakes, and remembering that no one is perfect. Instead of berating yourself for mistakes and dwelling on the past, try to see ‘failures’ as a learning curve and a new opportunity.
The concept of self-acceptance can feel difficult or strange at first, and it might not always be possible. But try to be kind to yourself where you can and appreciate your unique strengths and who you are as a person. Over time, this will help to give your confidence levels a big boost.
Learning a new skill can increase your feelings of self-efficiency, which naturally boosts confidence. It could be anything you are interested in. Research shows that learning something new also releases the mood-boosting chemical dopamine, which will increase your satisfaction levels too. You’ll gain faith in your ability to handle new and novel situations and face fears along the way.
We know that low confidence can have a huge effect on how you feel about yourself and your ability to cope with the ups and downs of life. Our counselling team are here to support you and provide a listening ear to any problems you might be facing.
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