The feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.
Now add that to an already complicated equation of self-doubt and the fear of failure.
Or so you think you are…
If you’re anything like me and have spent years of beating yourself up over the smallest of things then I am now screaming at you to STOP.
Easier said than done right?
I’m still prone to having a boxing match with myself both during the moment of application and in the aftermath. It’s a battle; sometimes I win and sometimes I lose but I take all that I can from the situation and learn to utilise it when I’m faced with other challenges in my life.
Alfred A. Montapert once said “Expect problems and eat them for breakfast” and I believe this is exactly the right attitude you need to take on board when you’re feeling at your lowest. Growth and comfort definitely do not coexist, in order to grow you have to push yourself in situations which make you feel uncomfortable and urge you to try new things and break the boundaries within yourself both mind and body.
So for those times where you need a little bit of help, here are my top 10 steps help to improve your confidence in an areas that you’re struggling with.
1. Accept yourself: First and foremost this should be your priority. You are unique in this world. Analyse your skill set; figure out your strengths and weaknesses and come up with an action plan for improving both sides of the table. Recognise that with every day on this earth you have the power to change anything that you so desire. Some may take longer than others and some you might not even notice the changes BUT one day you will and other people will do too. Don’t dwell on your weaknesses; try to see them as an area for growth instead of an area of failure.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others: Like I said above, you are UNIQUE so why bother comparing yourself to another person in this world. Your focus should be on you not on anybody else as that is their life path. Use others as a learning platform they are there to help. Recognise what that person is doing to achieve ‘success’ and implement it into your own practice but don’t compare yourself to that person.
3. Don’t beat yourself up: Especially if you make a mistake. Heck, everyone does at some point in their lives. Thomas J. Watson once said that the formula to success is quite simple “Double your rate of failure.” The more times you fall the stronger you will be. Use your mistakes as a pathway to learn. I believe, as a human it is our gift to continue learning in all realms of life. Learning doesn’t just stop after high school or university, it carries on and if you view each day as a breath of new knowledge then you’ll pinpoint exactly what is happening to you right then and there in that moment of failure. When you do make a mistake just ask yourself: is this something I need to beat myself up about or should I move on from this and find a way of making it work for me?
4. Don’t strive for perfection: Seriously this is the worst thing you can possibly do and as a fellow mini perfectionistic virgo that I am, I full well know the consequences of this approach to life. It just isn’t realistic and it gets in the way of your progress. Instead strive for the best you are capable of doing at that moment. Some days its better than others but that is okay. If you strive for perfection you’re giving yourself a standard that if unable to meet you quite allowingly open up the floor for a boxing match with yourself right there and then. So my advice is this: put down the gloves, instead go have a cup of tea, soothe your soul and carry on with your day. In the words of Carrie Bradshaw “Life gives you lots of chances to screw up which means you have just as many chances to get it right.”
5. Give yourself a positivity reminder: Practicing self-love and positivity is crucial to your success. You need to practice this on a daily basis. I carry round with me my newly gifted books – “Believe and Achieve” by Chris Naylor and “I’m Doing My Best” journal by Knock Knock. The first is a collection of the worlds most motivational quotes for those days where you need a pick me up and a kick up the bum to point you in the right direction. The second is a journal in which you aim to write about how you’re working on improving yourself on that particular day. It has a half empty/half full key that tracks your feeling on the topic at hand. I particularly like this one because it enables me to write about how I’m working on myself each day positively. Another daily reminder I have is the quote I have set as my wallpaper “What if I fall?” Oh, but my darling what if you fly? ” This reminds me to constantly push myself and be open to new beginnings. You need to constantly remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing and why you’re great at it. There are enough people in this world who will bring you down so don’t add one more person into the mix by bringing yourself down too. Instead bring yourself up and change your own mindset. Think I CAN rather than I CAN’T.
6. Surround yourself with people who want the best for you: People’s energy can bring you down just as much as they can bring you up. If you’re constantly around people who don’t necessarily support your goals or dreams then this will be a contributing factor as to why you’re not achieving those goals and dreams in the first place. I guess it’s all about priorities and as selfish as it sounds, you have to put yourself first because no one else will and I think as you grow older you sadly begin to realise this more and more.
7. Exercise: This is a great alternative to beating yourself up. Sweat it out! Take that gym or dance class and use it in a way that positively benefits you. For me if I’ve had a stressful day I need to clear my head by getting some fresh air or exercising. The gym is a great one for me because whilst it can be used as a distraction from my regular life it is also something that I can benefit from greatly in terms of my future career. I basically need to get stronger and bulk up if I want to have more chances of securing a role in the future and so whilst I may be frustrated with one element of my training at times, I get to use that frustration and channel it into something that’s positively affecting my future prospects.
8. Do the things you enjoy and cherish the little things: Inevitably you need little pick me ups throughout the week and a quick way of boosting your mood is by doing things that you enjoy. Don’t be so hard on yourself; treat yourself. If this means finding the time to add in these extra activities into your daily routine then make it work for you. Simply take the time to relax because in an industry like the one I’m entering into, its vital that you make time for yourself otherwise you will crumble into a million pieces. There’s nothing I love more than lying down in bed, all cosy and warm, with a good book in my hands. We all too often get caught up focusing on the bigger picture when sometimes we just need to take a step back and focus on the smaller side to life.
9. Remember to breathe: As simple as it sounds, just take a moment to breathe. Getting in control of your breath in intense moments helps your body and mind settle with this idea of fear whilst you weigh up your options in regards to what you can do in this situation. So take a deep breath and relax; 9 times out of 10 the situation isn’t as scary as you first thought.
10. Don’t give up: If you give up now you’re taking the easier route or the more comfortable route and as I mentioned earlier comfort and growth do not coexist. Keep pushing yourself and keep reaching for those goals. Only you know what you are capable of so don’t let anybody’s opinion berate you. Take on board their advice but don’t let it limit you. You never know what you just might achieve if you let yourself go and believe in yourself. You will surprise yourself and surprise others and that’s what is exciting about all of this. Life is a journey and we’ve all got a long way to go so be daring and be bold but most importantly make it exciting. Learn from your past and be great. You’ve only got one future so start living it now.