Confidence…How you see yourself matters!

Your self-concept is how you view yourself and absolutely has a huge impact on your confidence. We all lose faith in ourselves, from time to time. Life can knock us down and kick us while we’re there. Stumbling blocks, mistakes, fears, doubts and of course ‘failures’ can bring your confidence to a crashing halt. It happens. The key lies in learning necessary strategies to regain your own strength and ‘put your best foot forward’. Here are several ways you can recover and start to believe in yourself again.

Focus on your strengths. When we’re at an all-time low, we need to see ourselves through a fresh set of eyes. So call upon your biggest cheerleaders. The people, in your life, that love and support you are your biggest fans. Turn to and lean on them when you need a boost. Being reminded of your best attributes and past successes, will give you a surge of confidence again. Surround yourself with people that lift you up.

Recognize and accept your limits. Be realistic. Runners that hit the road for a few miles, once or twice a week, don’t just run a full marathon the next day. I’m not suggesting to allow your ‘limits’ to stifle your dreams, just find a new way of getting there. There are many amazing marathon runners that have completed the race with a prosthetic leg, so….where there’s a will there IS a way! Just be realistic in your endeavors, know how to work around your limitations or you’ll set yourself up for failure. If it’s something you truly want to accomplish one day, then put a plan in place, work hard and once you’re prepared you’ll be able to conquer your goal!

Watch your language, mister! Self-talk can be very empowering, or it can be damaging enough to paralyze progress. Too often we are our own worst critic. The common thoughts such as “That was stupid!” or “I’m such an idiot!” or worse yet, “I’ll never be able to do this.”, can and will thwart all efforts and ensure failure. Practice positive self-talk like, “Okay, (insert your name), you can do this! Stay focused.”, or “I got this!”, or “I’ve done this before. I can do it again.” Sometimes it’s helpful to stop and take a few deep cleansing breaths. Mantras like this may help: “Breathe in confidence. Exhale doubt.” Remember to be kind to yourself. Believe in yourself!

Celebrate your successes. We often give a friend a ‘pat on the back’ or an ‘atta boy’ for their achievements, so why don’t we do it for ourselves?! Even the smallest reward can give us a boost to keep moving forward. So, the next time that big presentation goes really well, go ahead and treat yourself to a new outfit! When the boss compliments you for a great job on that big project, toast to your success over drinks with your special someone. You deserve it! Praise goes a long way in motivating us to continue working hard, refocusing and continuing to make progress. Don’t make light of a compliment…reward yourself…you earned it!

Don’t dwell on your mistakes. No one is perfect. We all ‘screw up’ from time to time. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes. Stop to reflect…..What went wrong? What could you have done differently? Create a new plan to do it better next time. Sometimes our train gets derailed or may even stop at the ‘Feeling Sorry for Myself Station’. Remember, this is temporary. Don’t get off your ride and unpack. You don’t live there. Move on.

Confidence is crucial to our happiness and in reaching our goals. Always remember your strengths. Set realistic goals. Stay focused. Be kind to yourself. Through it all, always BELIEVE in yourself!

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller

“Beauty has so many forms, and I think the most beautiful thing is confidence and loving yourself.” Kiesza

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ ” Eleanor Roosevelt

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