4 August 2022
Self confidence is that elusive quality we all want. It’s feeling good about ourselves and our abilities, whatever we’re doing. It doesn’t matter if we’re giving a presentation, having an interview, meeting new people, or facing difficult experiences, self confidence helps us to successfully face up to life’s challenges.
It means we believe in ourselves, no matter what is going on in our lives.
Confident people tend to feel happier because they recognise they have more successes. Feeling better about our abilities helps to energise and motivate us to take action to achieve the things we want.
Research conducted by Mann et al in 2004 found self confidence improved health, social lives, successful coping and mental well-being.
Meanwhile, confidence can ebb and flow throughout our lifetime. We all experience times which knock our confidence. Living through the after effects of a pandemic is one such time. As is a global economic crisis. While, at other times it could be being bullied, losing a job, difficulties at work, the end of a relationship, separation or divorce, money problems or worries about our bodies.
The answer, at such times, is to work to rebuild and develop confidence. As a result we can learn how to approach life with self assurance again.
Covid has had an impact on many people’s self-confidence, as all their familiar certainties suddenly changed. As a result, they may start finding it difficult to be motivated for work, exercise, study or other parts of their life. As we learn to live with Covid, and now a global economic crisis as well, we are all having to adapt to a world that’s constantly changing.
Living with uncertainty means finding ways to cope with situations you haven’t experienced before. As more and more of us continue to work from home, we can end up isolated and unsure about work and other situations. As a result, it’s easy to see how self confidence can suffer.
The good news is that if we are lacking in confidence, there are ways to improve it. Confidence can be learnt and built upon. Becoming more confident is something that is achievable for everyone. Feeling confident helps us to be more satisfied with the choices we make in life.
When I work with clients who want to increase their confidence, we look at their life as a whole to find the approach that works for them. We look at their thoughts and feeling in detail to find out how they contribute to stress and anxiety. Once we understand patterns of behaviour, we have the key to making lasting changes. Together we develop strategies to help you to be decisive, try new experiences and stay in control when things get difficult. Using hypnotherapy, CBT and mindfulness, we work together to make the changes you want, in a way that lasts.
Take Amy, for instance, a 63 year old widow. Amy’s husband had recently died and she had been diagnosed with breast cancer which was now in remission. On top of this, she was coping with living alone for the first time and feeling isolated.
Amy’s confidence in her ability to deal with life had been affected by all this. She was reluctant to go out or to travel to places alone. She was constantly anxious and caught up in her own thoughts.
We worked together to improve Amy’s ability to cope and her confidence in herself. With support from me, Amy started to face more situations outside of our sessions and gradually began to feel more in control of her life again.
In her own words,
I was feeling very anxious when I first went to see Celia. My self esteem was at an all time low and I was finding life a struggle.
Celia showed me how to stay calm under pressure. My confidence in myself has improved and I now know how to work with my thoughts rather than against them.
I’m now feeling really positive about going forward in my life and I feel confident that I can manage on my own now.
Here are five ways to improve your self-confidence.
It has been shown that confident posture has positive effects on our hormones. Positive posture sends images to the brain, which in turn informs the body how it feels. If you want to feel confident, you need your posture to send that message to your brain.
Simply imagine having sensations of confidence and practice feeling them in your body. Concentrate on feeling your feet on the ground, your spine erect and your body relaxed and open. Remember to smile.
When we lack confidence, we tend to focus on the negative and think poorly about ourselves. Noticing and evaluating our positive qualities helps us to use them more.
To begin recognising your positives, it is important to write them down. It can help to ask, Are there qualities I like about myself? What have I achieved? How many challenges have I overcome? What do others like about me?
Exercise has a powerful effect on confidence. Regular exercise releases endorphins into the body. These interact with the brain to produce a pleasurable state of mind which helps you to see yourself in a more positive way. Doing this frequently will give you more energy and help you to feel motivated to act in ways that build your confidence.
Your mind is a powerful tool you can use to imagine acting as if you are confident.
Close your eyes and relax your body completely. Stay connected with the sensation of relaxation and imagine going through the day feeling confident. Allow yourself to feel comfortably pleasant whatever you encounter and envision all the good feelings you will have.
Make it a point to treat yourself well every day. Make time to do something nice for yourself everyday. Before you go to bed each night write down how you treated yourself well during the day.
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