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Self confidence at work will do wonders for your life and career whereas a lack of confidence could hamper your prospects. People who are confident are not afraid to ask for what they want or rally support when they need it. Timidity might be costing you in terms of your working life and your health.
If you are currently grappling with low self-confidence, know that you are not alone. Everyone has suffered from low self-confidence at some point in their lives. If you suffer from low self-confidence, don’t worry, it isn’t a life sentence. Confidence, like any other skill, can be learned and mastered.
Genuine confidence takes time as you learn to accept yourself for who you are and learn to love yourself, warts and all. If your self confidence is low, I urge you to get professional guidance but there are some things you can do to help yourself when you need an immediate confidence boost. Tips 3, 6, 10 and 11 are particularly useful if you go into overwhelm and you can’t think straight.
Be prepared, be confident
“One important key to success is self confidence. An important key to self confidence is preparation.” Arthur Ashe
If you’re prepared for the task at hand, you’ve already won half the battle.
Being prepared also means having a few tricks up your sleeve to help you deal with your nerves and boost your confidence. You don’t need to do all of them – see which resonates with you and fits into your life. Some of them might not be appropriate in certain circumstances (like saying affirmations out loud while you’re in a meeting) so choose something that is easy to do wherever you find yourself. And some can be combined for added benefit.
Okay, let’s get into it.
1. Smile your way to self confidence
This just means that if you force yourself to smile, you will end up being emotionally influenced by the physical action of smiling. Simply put, just by smiling, you will start to experience the positive emotions that are associated with the simple facial movement.
Brian Tracy, a famous self-help guru, and a well-known public speaker has continually preached about the benefits of standing in front of a mirror and repeating the phrase, “I like myself, I like myself, I like myself,” over and over again while looking into your own eyes.
While this affirmation may seem silly, the chances are that you won’t be able to utter the expression more than five times before you begin to smile and laugh. Yes, this is a quick and easy exercise, but it is guaranteed to do wonders for your self-esteem.
2. Check your body language
One of the easiest ways that you can build confidence is to embrace confident body language. By simply adopting confident body language you will increase your self-confidence instantly. Use your physiology to trick your mind into thinking you’re confident and you’ll feel more confident.
To adopt confident body language, do the following:
- Start by standing up straight. Imagine that you have a string that runs from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. Picture the line pulling you up through your head.
- Keep your chest level, letting your shoulders roll back and down.
- Slightly bend your knees, take a deep breath and smile.
- Standing up tall and taking up space while remaining comfortable and relaxed is key for appearing and feeling more confident about yourself. Here’s a fun trick – imagine you’re trying to hold a pin between your butt cheeks. It will make you stand tall and taut! And give you a little giggle!
- Stand with your feet spread apart, your head up, and a big smile on your face. Hold the pose for a minute. As you do, take a deep breath into your belly.
- Every time you inhale, imagine that your body is expanding, taking up the entire room. By the time the minute has passed, you will be feeling confident and powerful.
3. Zip ups for self confidence and mental clarity
You can use “Zip Ups” for a rapid confidence boost and to increase your mental clarity. The Central Meridian (one of the 14 acupuncture meridians of your body) can easily be short-circuited during the day. The Zip Up will help put the “fuse” back in after it has been short-circuited for one reason or another.
Zip yourself up by tracing the Central Meridian from the pubic bone to the bottom lip. Do it in the upwards direction only otherwise you will short-circuit the meridian yourself. Bring your hand down away from the Central Meridian and then you can zip up again through the Central Meridian.
It’s useful to develop surreptitious ways to zip up without it being particularly obvious – otherwise people are definitely going to look at you a bit strangely! For example, when drinking, take your water bottle, cup, or mug close up your body and then to take it directly from your lip to your hip – to avoid short circuiting the Central Meridian again.
4. Train your brain
Low self-confidence is often a direct result of negative thinking. As humans, we tend to focus on all the traits and characteristics that we don’t possess and continually remind ourselves of the things we lack.
A great way to help you build more confidence is to reverse this way of thinking. Every day, make a point to focus on your positive traits and characteristics. Regularly remind yourself of everything that you have going for you in your life.
Some of the harshest comments that we hear come from our inner critic. When your inner critic starts with the monkey chatter, ask yourself “Is that true?” Train your brain to question your inner critic. You will begin to look for reliable evidence that supports or denies the things that your inner voice is saying to you.
Always be on the lookout for opportunities to congratulate, compliment and reward yourself and put a stop to the negative self-talk that destroys your confidence.
5. Remember past achievements
When you are struggling with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, think about a past event or achievement that filled you with tremendous feelings of happiness and joy.
This can be as simple as a letter or email from a colleague praising you for a job well done, or a word of congratulations from someone you respect, praising you for your accomplishments.
The point is to focus on something that filled you with a broad sense of happiness and personal satisfaction.
Your past achievements are real testimonials of your inner self-worth, and by recognizing them often, you can increase your self-confidence.
6. Create a confidence trigger
While you’re remembering that joyful moment, really amp up the self-confidence and bask in the feeling of being joyful and confident. Breath it in. When you feel super confident, create a physical trigger. Choose something subtle that you can do in public without attracting attention but not something you already do all the time. For example, tug your ear gently or press a certain spot on your hand. If you need a confidence boost, just activate your trigger (in exactly the same way as you did it the first time) and you will instantly “remember” that feeling of being super confident. Tony Robbins, the world famous life coach who demonstrates tremendous personal power and confidence, pounds his left hand into his right palm twice to amp up his confidence and motivation even more.
7. Surround yourself with positive people
To keep your confidence and self-esteem from becoming railroaded by others, surround yourself with positive people. Look at the relationships that you have in your life and find ways to limit time with, or cut ties with those people in your life who are negative.
Hang out with people who support you, and who will provide you with the positive energy you need to keep your confidence in check. When you surround yourself with positive people who reinforce your inner confidence, nourish your positive emotions, and provide you with their unconditional support, you can begin to build an indestructible fortress against future attacks of low self-esteem. Having positive support relationships in your life is invaluable. They help to regenerate your confidence when you falter.
8. Practice gratitude
Take a few minutes to make a list of all the things in your life that you are thankful for and all the things that you have accomplished. Look at your gratitude lists anytime your self-confidence begins to dwindle.
9. Future pace
Imagine yourself in the scenario you are concerned about. For example, if you’re going to a meeting, before going to the meeting imagine yourself coming out of the meeting, and remember how you conducted yourself with confidence and achieved a positive outcome. Remember how you spoke and acted, how you were assertive and confident in that meeting. Now, when you go into the actual meeting, speak and act with strength and confidence, as if you have already achieved your goal.
10. Essential oils
Essential oils can help you calm down and feel more confident. Always do a test patch first to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction to the oils. Different oils have different effects on different people so try try them out but these may be particularly useful for confidence:
- Bergomot to instil brightness and positivity
- Jasmine for worthiness
- Pine combats feelings of unworthiness
- Sandalwood dispels dread and fear
- Sweet orange fights fear of ridicule
You can also try Eco Modern’s Free Spirit Blend to boost your confidence. (Note this is an affiliate link – if you make a purchase, we may earn a small commission but this does not cost you anything extra.)
11. What to do when fear takes over
What do you have to do to feel and believe in yourself? I hear a lot of people say you have to walk your talk until you become it, others write down affirmations until they believe it and others exercise and become trained until they are feeling very confident at what they are doing, but when fear takes over it can be difficult to overcome. Here are a few practices you can do when you’re feeling fearful.
- Stretch your calf muscles. While you are stretching your calf muscles, ensure you are breathing through the process. Breathing allows you to let go of the situation and to relax and allow the calf muscle to stretch, instead of hanging on tight.
- Put one hand on your forehead and one hand on the back of your head so that your hands are opposite each other on the front and back of your head. When we are fearful, we are in fight/flight mode where your brain is active at the base of your head. By putting your hand on your forehead, it allows the blood to flow forward to your forehead allowing you to be more logical and rational in your thinking.
- Simply hug yourself placing one hand on the back of the opposite arm just above the elbow and the other hand on your rib cage on the other side. Take a few deep breaths. This connects the energy meridians in your torso and takes you out of fight or flight, allowing you to calm down.
Life is full of challenges, and there are many times when you’ll find it difficult to keep your confidence up.
If you feel that you suffer from low self-esteem, these powerful techniques can help you feel better about who you are and where you are going. Don’t let a lack of confidence continue to keep you from accomplishing your goals and becoming the person you always dreamed of becoming.
With a little bit of time and effort, you can build your self-esteem and self confidence and start living a happier and healthier life.
The information in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical, health, nutritional or other advice. You should obtain professional advice from a medical, health or other practitioner in relation to your personal circumstances.
Jennifer Tak is a certified Integrative Health Practitioner & Energy Coach who helps busy professionals regain their energy and conquer stress, gently and naturally. Jennifer had over 20 years of corporate life and was stressed out and exhausted. Now she’s using her previous corporate experience, combined with her hippy inclinations with health and energy medicine to simplify health for busy people. Get a FREE copy of her Stress Relief Swipe File for 15 ways to reduce your stress quickly, gently and naturally.