NO MORE SHORT-TERM TRICKS. These 10 Confidence Boosters are MINDSET SHIFTING made for LONG-TERM WINS.
We’ve somehow gotten the message that we’re supposed to know how to master our confidence innately. Further to that, if we try to build our confidence & fail, we often conclude that we are one of ‘those’ people who aren’t “confident people.”
But none of this is true! It doesn’t happen naturally. We all need to be taught the game plan that builds our confidence.
However, a lot of us are looking in the wrong places.
There are many quick tips & tricks that make you feel good for a day only to start again tomorrow from the same place.
That’s not a confidence booster; that’s a mood booster.
Forget about mood-boosting, short-term gain, tricks & tips. I want you to have long-term wins.
Confidence is built by changing your perception of yourself. Not just how you feel about yourself in the moment but how you see yourself in the past, present and future.
With practice, these 10 strategies not only boost your confidence in the short-term but, when used regularly, can change your perception of yourself in the long term:
1. STOP COMPARING.
Think about the last time you felt great about something you’d just finished. It went over well, it sounded good, you gave it your best & walked away satisfied.
Then your colleague or classmate presented their project, OR you went online & started scrolling through everyone else’s work in this area. Suddenly, the thing you were once so proud of dims in comparison when just a moment ago, you were feeling good about your thing.
What happened between these two events? Nothing but comparison.
The quality of your work didn’t decrease. The amount of positive feedback that you got didn’t decrease. There wasn’t any qualitative change in your performance except for your thoughts about it.
Comparison usually only serves to bring us down.
When comparison comes up, re-focus your mind. PUT YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT YOUR WORK IN ITS OWN BUBBLE.
Nothing can alter or affect its quality when it’s left to float untouched. It exists entirely independent from anyone else’s product. It is incomparable BECAUSE IT’S YOURS.
2. ASSUME THE BEST.
I used to ruminate on what other people thought about me…& it was rarely positive. After every event, there was at least one conversation I’d ruminate on. What had I said wrong? Did I offend that person? Did I sound stupid?
Then my husband gave me great advice – if you don’t know otherwise, assume the best.
Unless the person tells me themselves, I can’t know anyone’s thoughts, so why create suffering by assuming they are negative?
Shifting your attention away from what others may be thinking & onto your opinions can be two big confidence boosters in themselves. Truth be told, their thoughts are none of my business unless they share them with me…& not even then always.
3. CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS IN MUSIC & MOVEMENT.
We focus on thought to shift our mindset, but moving is important too. Sometimes just getting up and moving is enough to shift your state of mind. You can move, literally, into a higher degree of energy simply by expending some energy. Your mind will see you acting out where you want to be and usually will follow suit.
Use Dancing or singing as some confidence boosters. Music that we love has a profound positive effect on our mental state. That combined with movement is a powerful combination that can create a mini-endorphin effect & are great confidence boosters.
Singing has positive effects on our brains, similar to those of movement. If you can’t move to boost your confidence, SING, hum, or if those are uncomfortable, tap something rhythmically to boost your confidence instead.
4. THINK ABOUT YOUR PAST SUCCESS.
One of the more obvious confidence boosters is to think of a time when you felt confident! Even if it’s ONE moment when you felt proud of an accomplishment.
Different achievements create varying lengths of confidence boosts. Finishing a book you always wanted to read can boost your belief in your ability to follow through for a few days or hours while finishing a degree can have long-term, even lifelong, effects on your confidence.
Look back at any accomplishment and beam with pride that you did ‘that.’ Allow it to be proof of your ability, whatever that is. Thinking about something you are proud of creates a natural endorphin effect that boosts your mood.
It shows you that no matter where you are at right now, you HAVE had some wins. This gives you hope (& PROOF in my book) that you can do it again!
5. SET YOURSELF UP FOR THE WIN BY DOING THE NEXT EASIEST THING.
Create some integrity with yourself by showing your mind it can trust that you will follow through with what you tell it you are going to do. The fastest way to do that? Break your goals down into several small, doable and sustainable steps.
If your goal is to create healthier eating habits, find ways to make that promise doable instead of making promises that aren’t and then beating yourself up for not doing them.
The trick with promising ourselves to “do” this or that is that we make reasonable, actionable, and sustainable promises in the first place. The way to do that is not to make a promise that is too far removed from your current reality.
Say you decide you want to eat in a more health-conscious way, so you commit to consuming only foods made from scratch. But if your current reality is that you order pizza 3 times a week and eat frozen prepared food the rest of the week, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s just not fair on you!
Set yourself up for a win instead. Start with an EASY from-scratch meal once or twice a week (or month). Wait till that’s consistent for a few months. You know you found a doable habit you can sustain when you consistently perform it WITHOUT a lot of stress. Then you can consider more change.
It doesn’t matter how fast you get there if you can’t sustain the habit. Focus instead on getting WINS in the small steps along the way to construct your confidence boosters—small Dedicated Steps Always Equal Big Changes.
6. CREATE A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PAST.
We can’t always just “let go” of the past, but we can watch HOW we think about it. We damage our confidence when we ruminate on what was because we usually ruminate on regrets or events that harmed our self-image somehow.
In reality, the past is NOT a good indicator of who we are or can be. For one, our memories are often not reliable. We typically see our past selves from a worse point of view than the actual reality of the situation was.
Secondly, there is nothing we can do to alter the past. Ruminating of any kind is damaging, but particularly so on something we can do NOTHING about. This makes you feel helpless and incapable. And when we feel helpless, our confidence and sense of empowerment drops. We go into protection mode instead of action mode, and sensible action is almost always better than inaction for our state of mind.
Make a deal with yourself to notice the next time ruminating comes up. Then, with compassion, gently refocus on something you CAN take action on instead of the things you can’t.
7. CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS WITH MINDFULNESS.
When we feel safe, we can relax, give ourselves compassion, take action (& reap those benefits as in #6), etc… Safety is the prerequisite to all the positive strategies we cover in this article.
Mindfulness is one way of creating safety.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be 10-30 minutes lying on the floor. Here’s why mindfulness is important for your confidence & how to put it into your life practically:
Creating a sense of safety with mindfulness.
When you don’t like your emotions or thoughts, choose to accept how you are in your physical state. A physical response will always accompany an emotional one, so if you feel uncomfortable emotionally, you’ll likely feel uncomfortable physically too; nausea, tightness in your throat or chest, or tense neck or shoulders.
While nausea & muscle tension aren’t comfortable, they are also not life-threatening (within the realm of Psychology, NOT if you are having a heart attack!). Acknowledging that in this MOMENT, you aren’t under threat even if it feels like you are can be a powerful Mindset Game Changer.
Whatever your thoughts or feelings are telling you, you can look around you, see you are in a warm house, car, office… & that at least physically you are safe right now.
Practical Applications of Mindfulness.
1. Creating safety with mindfulness starts with taking a cleansing breath, getting aware of the feeling of your feet on the ground, your back against the chair, floor, or bed. It’s as simple as noticing the physical senses.
2. Let any thought that comes in just float by. It doesn’t have to stay. It can just go by. Then bring your attention back to the physical sensation of where your feet, back, arms exist in space.
3. This awareness works on any task; dishwashing, walking, typing. Regularly stop whatever you are doing and notice the sensations, smells, textures, or colours of what you feel, smell, hear or see. You can do this in a matter of seconds (like before you hit send on that fiery email).
Let the tools that work for you work FOR you.
NO rule says meditation is a marathon.
Sometimes, a sprint will suffice.
4. It takes practice; like any skill, mindfulness isn’t innate. You’ll reap the benefits the more you practise it. You’ll get better & faster at “being present” over time with some exposure to it.
When you practise mindfulness, you gain some space to decide to think thoughts that create good feelings rather than focus on the thoughts that make you feel bad.
8. MAKE CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS BY ACCEPTING YOUR EMOTIONS.
Ok. This is tough if it’s new to you but consider it. What if you could accept all your emotions without judgement, including the “negative” ones?
We are taught to avoid negative emotions like they are bad & will harm us. But really, it’s not the emotion that’s harmful; it’s the thought we have about it that harms us. Pretending like they aren’t there or resisting those emotions tends to increase their intensity, not lessen it.
As their intensity increases, our anxiety about the emotion increases. This signals our brain to note this emotion as a terrifying thing we should be concerned about.
This interaction creates a feedback loop: the next time that thought or emotion comes up, the brain is more wired to respond with an anxiety-producing thought associated with it.
Instead of rejecting emotions or shaming yourself for feeling them, try to have a plan ready for them:
the new plan
It looks like this: Say you feel left out: “I feel rejected and …
- …rejection is just an emotion. It feels real or like it’s something true about me, but it’s just a physical sensation in my body. It doesn’t have to shape my thoughts about myself or my reality.”
- …rejection is no different than the other emotions I’ve had. They passed & this one will too.”
- …feeling rejection does not define who I am.”
- …everyone feels rejected at some point. This is part of the human experience. I don’t have to be afraid of discomfort.”
- …this is a moment of rejection. I can handle a moment of almost anything.”
One of the most pivotal confidence boosters in your arsenal is going to be accepting what you feel without beating yourself up for it or making it mean anything more than a physical sensation in your body. Check out more here: Accepting Negative Emotions: 6 Ways to Face Not Deny Them.
9. DRINK A GLASS OF WATER.
OK, not a profound idea, but it works. Not only do we function better when hydrated, but to drink water, we have to be still & focus on the task to avoid choking. There’s a natural slow-down-and-focus on this one thing that occurs. When we cannot slow our minds, drinking water, mindfully, is a natural path to slowing down & self-care. Simple but effective.
10. CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS IN YOUR THOUGHTS – DECIDE WHAT TO THINK ABOUT.
Just because you think something doesn’t make it true. Look at all the things you assumed about someone which didn’t turn out to be true or worried might happen that never did. Instead of following every thought that comes into your mind, start to decide what you want to think.
The next time you feel relaxed, at ease & good about yourself or others, stop and listen to the thoughts happening right then. What are they saying? “Life is good. That tree is beautiful. I love my cat. My family loves me. I like how I handled that situation. I feel good about following through with that…”
Instead of following all the random thoughts that pop into your mind & may not be true, intentionally choose the ones that create those feelings you want to be feeling. We can’t control our thoughts, but it’s a confidence booster to know that you can decide WHICH ONES you want to listen to.
I don’t want short-term confidence boosters for you. I want you to think of your long game. Find strategies that not only feel good at the moment but change the way you think about yourself. Practising these consistently will get you beyond Confidence Boosting and into Mindset Shifting!
If you want to stay connected & learn more ways to produce thoughts that heal not hurt you; click the link here to: Unravel Your Negative thoughts: An 11 Step Guide to Direct Your Limited Thinking.
What landed with you from this post? I’d love to hear your comments below: