Improving Self Confidence
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Nicola Croote, MBACP (accred.)
3rd August, 2010
There are many reasons why someone suffers from low self confidence; things such as unresolved childhood issues, physical or mental ill health, loss of a job or break down of a relationship can all impact on how we feel about ourselves. Or you may have grown up with a negative view of yourself because of the early messages given to you by adults around you. It may be that your lack of self confidence is holding you back and stopping you from being able to live the life that you want to lead. If this is the case try my tips on how to start building your confidence. For the best results practice them daily and carry around this list until they become second nature.
1. Take care of your physical health
Focus on eating healthy food, getting enough relaxation and sleep and getting regular physical exercise. I’ve put this at the top of the list as this is the basis for feeling good about yourself. If your body feels good you will start to feel good. Decide which type of exercise suits you; jogging isn’t for everyone and maybe a yoga class is more suited to your personality and lifestyle. It has to be enjoyable otherwise let’s be honest you won’t do it!
Become aware of what you are saying to yourself on a daily basis; you’re probably not aware of the negative things that you are telling yourself and how this affects your feelings and behaviours. When you start being aware of your thoughts, write them down and notice how they affect your feelings and how you act on them. For example if you tell yourself that you are not good enough for that job you want, you’ll more than likely feel bad about yourself and will act in an un-confident way during the interview, which may mean that you don’t get the job and confirm your original belief that you weren’t good enough for it anyway!
Try changing your belief and replacing it with a new positive affirmation about yourself i.e. I would be an asset to any company due to the skills that I already have. Now see how that affects your feelings; it’s not difficult but does take effort, commitment and practice just like starting anything new. If you stick with it, in time you will get the results that you want.
3. Enjoy yourself
Find something gives you pleasure (and isn’t destructive or unhealthy!). Rediscover a hobby or interest or take a class in something that you’ve always wanted to learn. Even a trip to the cinema or a night out with friends can work wonders in lifting your spirits and helping you to feel good about yourself.
4. Learn from others
Observe people who you admire and think are confident, see how they act and behave and take on board some of their qualities for yourself. Make the decision to become more confident even if it doesn’t come naturally. There are hundreds of motivational books out there that are full of great tips and exercises that will help you on your journey to becoming the new confident you!
If you find that you are still battling with low self esteem consider attending a course of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) sessions with me. CBT is proven to be effective in helping to identify negative thoughts and beliefs and replacing with rational and positive ones. This has the effect of improving the way that you feel about yourself and ultimately the way that you relate to others and to life situations.
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