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How to be more confident



 
While many people are very aware that they lack confidence, many people feel their lives are stuck and don’t realise what’s holding them back. In this article I’ll explain how low confidence can happen and how you can grow more confidence.

Do you look around and see people doing or achieving things that you want but feel unable to do?

Perhaps you’d like a promotion at work or to change jobs but don’t feel able to put yourself forward because you’d have to speak in public?

Maybe you feel bored or alone but feel unable to join a group by yourself or ask someone to join you.

Perhaps there are things you’d like to do but they feel too scary because they risk rejection.

We’ll often make excuses to ourselves to justify not doing something that we’d really like to do but If this has gone on for some time we might feel also feel angry, sad, guilty and/or frustrated and take it out on the people closest to us.

These are all common issues that I see people struggling with every day and they don’t realise how or why it’s happened or what to do about it.

A lack of confidence can get worse over time because our world gets smaller as we gradually stop doing things that challenge us in order to feel safe. Over time and without the evidence that we can do things well, the belief that we’re not good enough becomes stronger and stronger.

Our unconscious mind prefers safety over all else and uses our feelings to drive our behaviour away from danger and towards pleasure.

Which means that if your unconscious mind perceives that speaking in public, doing interviews or inviting someone to meet up will lead to failure and humiliation it will release hormones that make you feel anxious and scared and drive you away from doing it.

If you’re a natural performer and your unconscious mind thinks there’s an opportunity for you to shine your unconscious will release hormones that make you feel good about it and motivate you towards the opportunity.

Our mind makes the decisions outside of our conscious awareness whether to motivate you towards or away from opportunities based upon the strong feelings and strong emotions that were learned from previous experiences.

If we’ve experienced something that was scary, embarrassing or humiliating we’ll be motivated to avoid similar situations. So if we’ve been made to stand up and answer a question in front of a class and felt embarrassed or humiliated we might feel anxious in response to being asked to talk in front of our peers in a meeting.

Its a process to prevent us from making the same risky mistakes again and to keep us safe.

Consciously it may not be obvious that there’s a connection between our past experiences and the lack of confidence that’s stopping us moving forward because it’s estimated that our unconscious mind is responsible for about 95% of our thoughts, behaviour and emotions. We’re on autopilot most of the time and only consciously aware about 5% of the time.

This creates the internal conflict that we can find ourselves in, where consciously we want to do/achieve something but it feels too scary.

Here are some suggestions to help you build your confidence:

Set yourself some very small goals and write a list down. Every evening cross off what you’ve achieved - the sense of achievement builds confidence over time.

If you have big goals break them down into very small chunks and work on achieving some of the small chunks regularly.

Follow through regularly to build a sense of achievement.

Having hobbies builds confidence - learn a new skill or take up something that you once enjoyed.

Do more of what you’re good at, it make you feel good and builds self-esteem.

If you’re passionate about a cause do some small things to help. If we do things to support something we think is important, it builds self-worth.

Surround yourself with positive people who make you feel good about yourself.

Don’t compare yourself to others and if social media makes you feel like you’re missing out and not as good as others, take a break and notice how much better you feel.

Eat healthy food and take exercise. Looking after ourselves makes us feel good. Your body isn’t like a shopping bag to carry your head around in - respect it and all the things it does for you.

If you’ve got a voice in your head narrating all the things that are wrong with you, stand up for yourself. Write a list of the things you’ve achieved, your best qualities and personality traits and remind the negative voice of these.

If you’re triggered by past experiences and want help to move through your blocks I may be able to help you.

You can contact me at laurie@laurieharvey.co.uk.










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