If you read my post on people-pleasing here then you may know that I have a hard time saying no at times. Because of the new insights, this lead to some soul searching. Why didn’t I feel confident in some areas of my life? Did I really not trust myself? And what I realized is that in some areas of my life I do struggle with confidence and trusting myself.
After researching tips to improve self-confidence I came across this article that had some interesting insights. The writer said self-confidence is really about trusting yourself. The same way you would build trust with others is the same way you can build trust with yourself.
For example..Do you trust yourself to keep promises to yourself? Are you kind to yourself? Do you trust that when you speak up that what you are saying is clearly thought out? Do you trust in yourself enough to know that what you bring to the world and what you create is good enough in your eyes?
This lead to an interesting experiment where I began to see how I could apply trusting myself to build self-confidence.
This is what I did.. But before I get to it, the biggest thing to recognize is just because you may struggle with self-confidence doesn’t mean you have low self-confidence. You may feel capable and confident in some areas where other areas you realize you want to improve.
She mentioned a talk by Brene Brown where she says that trusting others is what she calls BRAVING.
The analogy she uses is that each time someone shows that we can trust them we add a mental marble to their jar. Once the jar is full we know we can trust them, and if they break that trust then we mentally remove a marble.
Well, I did this in real life with real marbles and real jar lol. I urge you to give it a try. Anytime I respected myself and boundaries, did the things for myself that I usually put off, spoke up when it was hard and trusted myself and my judgment I gave myself a marble.
It’s so motivating to see the jar fill up and I plan to reward myself once it’s full. Give it a try. You will realize you are showing up for yourself more than you think.
Sometimes when we struggle with trusting ourselves we begin to only see the bad in ourselves and only acknowledge when we mess up. But what are you doing that’s right? I want you to begin to acknowledge those things and make them a big deal. Be your own cheerleader.
Instead of beating yourself up when you do something wrong or don’t do the things you plan to do, be gentle with yourself. Yeah you maybe didn’t go to the gym like you had planned but that doesn’t mean you are terrible and have completely given up on your health.
Practice being kind to yourself and realize that you don’t have to be perfect. And when you do show up for yourself and do those things on your list celebrate them because they are a bigger deal than the times that you messed up.
Here are a few of my favorite rewards: taking myself on a date, guilt-free tv time, bubble bath, and sweets(any list would be incomplete without chocolate).
Trust Your Word
When you struggle with trusting yourself you may also have difficulty trusting yourselves and your judgment. You may have a hard time making decisions and may look to others to validate your decisions as being right.
Two simple questions that assist with this is” What do I need?” or “What am I looking for someone to say?”. And whatever that answer is, give it to yourself. Don’t know if you like that outfit or if what you created is any good? But if a friend came to you and said, “ That’s awesome, you did a great job!” and all your concerns would be eliminated.
Be that friend for yourself. Talk to yourself like a friend would. Say the things that you want others to say to you. Over time this will build your self confidence and your ability to trust yourself.
Nothing makes me more confident than knowing what I’m talking about and feeling like I have everything I need to complete something. If you physically have something to prepare for(a speech, a presentation) and you’re feeling the butterflies, being prepared and passionate about what you are talking about will assist you in feeling confident. Practice with a friend, make notes for yourself, research the topic.
Be and Accept Yourself
Being confident is an act of self-love. It’s a process of being kind to yourself, giving yourself grace and thinking of yourself positively. Many times to improve confidence we look outwards, we change our appearance, buy better clothes or attempt to be someone we are not.
To me, confidence is fully accepting and loving all parts of yourself, even your flaws. It’s showing the world who you are with pride. Practice loving yourself by realizing that you really are perfect the way you are.
Top 3 Things
Another exercise that has been helpful, like the one above is similar to a gratitude journal. Instead of writing the 3 things you are most grateful for instead make note of the top 3 things that you appreciate about yourself that day. Over time you will have a journal full of reasons why you are awesome. Which will give you that extra boost of confidence on those tough days.
Know that building self-confidence is a work in progress. Confidence changes and will fluctuate given the day and situation. Pick a tool you like and see how it works for you. I’d love to know what makes you feel confident?