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The lack of self-confidence
“Sometimes I find it’s easy to be myself, but other times I would rather disappear into the wall.” I hear comments like that often. Lack of self-confidence can be a huge hindrance in attaining your goals and achieving your dreams. Conversely, self-confidence and belief in yourself can motivate you to be the best you can be. If you are looking for ways to increase your self-confidence, here are a few things that might help you have a good start.
I often find people asking how can I believe in myself? We know that believing in ourselves is key for our success – to have a happy life – but we rarely learn exactly how to cultivate that belief. It takes more effort if people have had bad experiences in life or they have low self-esteem.
All our past experiences in life, successes and failures, embarrassments and victories, relationships and interactions are stored in our memory banks. Our memory banks also contain the standards that society places upon us and the media’s perceptions of the world. These past experiences give a sense of who we are, how right or wrong we are, how good or bad we are, what position we take on the list and we use each new experience to strengthen what we know about who we think we are. By the age of 30 you’ve had hours of this external conditioning and studies suggest more than 70% of this conditioning is negative. All this has created what you currently believe you are capable of, and we can never exceed the level of our self image. Our future self image can be changed by altering our current conditioning. It’s not a quick simple job but with constant effort we can change what we believe about ourselves. Have a look at the questions below and see if you can find some areas that you can change.
Even when people believe in themselves, they may also believe negative things about themselves. For example, they may believe they cannot be happy, they are not good enough, they don’t deserve love and a lot of negative things. These are limiting beliefs. We may have heard these messages or learned this beliefs from our parents, family, school teachers, religious leaders – anybody around us. A belief is just a thought you keep on thinking. Limited beliefs go against our desires.
So, how can you replace your limited beliefs with empowering beliefs?
- The first step is to identify your beliefs and find the reason behind them. Is it helpful for you to believe that? It is a good idea to write a list of all the beliefs you have, and then wonder, are they limiting you to do or get what you want? If you wrote, “I believe people like me don’t deserve to be happy,” then ask yourself why you believe it. Do you feel mad, sad or worthless? Now, realize you can choose how you feel, you can choose what to think. In front of your limited belief, write a positive affirmation, like this: “I deserve to be happy and I’m the most important person in the world.” Repeat this affirmation every day. Repeat what you want to believe over and over until you begin to believe it. This is the method I use and have very good results. You can find more ways to purge your negative beliefs in books about Law of Attraction. I’m sure you can find the best one for you.
- Get An Instant Boost of Confidence. Have a makeover. A little pampering for yourself will leave you feeling good and that can be a simple, instant confidence booster. Get your hair done at a salon or try a new hairstyle. Simple things such as these can truly help you feel and look good about yourself. Buy yourself a new dress. Another thing that can boost your confidence instantly is to treat yourself with a new dress to help you feel good and of course make a new look out of yourself. Practicing good grooming is also an effective way to get an instant boost of self-confidence. This can make you feel good inside out and a good start on how to increase your self-confidence.
- Change Your Thought Patterns. Transform negative thoughts into positive ones. Negative thoughts that have been deep-rooted in the subconscious can be one of the factors that can cause you fear and anxiety and can shake your self-confidence as well. If you want a permanent fix on your confidence level, then find ways to change these self-limiting negative thoughts and learn to think positively. By being a positive thinker, you can believe in yourself more and of course, you can trust yourself that you can do whatever it takes to achieve your goals.
- Practice Positive Affirmations. Affirmations said outloud can help you turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. Although this may take time, it can also be effective in getting rid of those unwanted fears and negative thoughts that are blocking you from feeling self-confident.
- Act Positively. You also have to turn your positive thoughts into positive actions. Doing good things to others can indeed make you feel good and that can be a good boost to your confidence as well. Keep in mind that positive actions can attract other positive actions and being a positive influence to others and can gain you trust from others which of course a good start to building up more confidence. You can also work on learning more, and developing your strengths and abilities to help you become more competent and confident as well. Of course, you would be more confident in tackling tasks and overcoming fears and trials if you know you are ready and prepared to topple them.
- Mirror exercise. Stand in front of a mirror for 5 minutes. The mirror shows you exactly what you see. You can choose to see you as a wonderful creation or as a body full of cellulite. Your self-image exists only in YOUR mind, not in the mind of others around you. It is the sum of your thoughts about you. Look at yourself only with love and appreciation. Write down three things you like about yourself every day for about 30 days. Remember you are a creator and you create things from inside to outside, so you can create the image of yourself that you want to see in the mirror.
- Love yourself. Self-love is very important to start the process of believing in yourself. To love yourself means that you accept yourself completely. See yourself without any judgment or recrimination. Accept all the good qualities (of course you have them!) and work on the ones you want to improve. Nobody is perfect, but everybody has positive qualities, you just need to look inside you. Maybe it is easier to find the things you don’t like about you – write them down!… “I’m fat, I’m shy, I always do things in the wrong way”… When you complete your list, write a positive affirmation about each negative statement and three things to do to improve it. Here’s an example: Negative thought: “I’m fat” Positive thought: “I love my body and my weight is right for me.” Repeat your positive affirmations every day as many times you can, and DO what you need to do to improve everything you don’t like about yourself.
- Learn from your mistakes and be gentle with yourself. Don’t fail because you have never tried. Pamper yourself every time you fail and learn as much as you can from that. The faster you fail, the faster you will succeed. Every time you try one more time, you have more experience and there is less room to fail. Believe only the good things people say about you. Believe only what you want to believe. What is good for you! Find people who believe in you and ask for support. Don’t waste your time listening to negative people. Be polite and walk away as soon as you can. Remember, the most important thing is what you believe about you, if you let other people influence your thoughts, think about it, is that good for you? If not, forget about it! Who do you see regularly that doesn’t support you or runs you down? Who are the people who damage your self esteem the most? Can you limit your exposure to them? What TV programs send messages about life that are less than positive? What could you do with the time that you waste watching these programs? Do you have a support group you meet with regularly that builds you up and supports you despite your setbacks? What do you say to yourself when you don’t achieve your goals, meet your deadlines or produce a poor result? Are you critical or even abusive towards yourself? What could you say instead to build your self esteem?
- Write about your successes. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are. Try to write at least three things you have accomplished every day. It will help you figure out what you need to do next, and prove to yourself that you can do great things. Believing in yourself takes a little effort, especially when you have spent your whole life thinking only negative things about yourself. Nobody changes in one day, it takes practice and time.