If your confidence levels are low, building them up can seem like an insurmountable task. It’s not as impossible as you may believe though. Often our confidence is low because we exhaust ourselves trying to conform to what we perceive others expect of us rather than accepting our true nature. I’ll tell you a personal story to give as an example.
When I was in primary school my reports would often come home saying that I was too shy, I needed to come out of my shell and that I lacked confidence. This made me feel that I was somehow falling short as a member of society. It was a confusing message because part of me knew that I wasn’t in fact shy, however I was told I was so often over the years that I eventually believed it and set about forcing myself to be consistently outgoing. I would then push myself into situations that I didn't particularly enjoy until I became utterly exhausted and withdraw. Withdrawing would then make me feel like a failure and a misfit and so I would push myself to begin the cycle again.
Years later I began to understand what it means to be an introvert. It’s not the same as being shy, I’m not shy as I said, I simply prefer listening to talking. I find the company of others very enjoyable but also very draining if I don’t get some alone time when I need it. An extrovert on the other hand finds the company of others energising, and often extroverts can’t bear to be alone because they find the experience of solitude draining. Introverts have a strong continuous inner dialogue and are usually thinking very deeply about something or other, this can make them appear distant and result in them being labelled snobbish or even rude because they are so deep in thought that they don’t register that someone they know is walking by, or realise that they’re being spoken to because their inner dialogue is in full voice. Other labels like ‘dizzy’ are often applied because they tend to get so caught up in thought that they miss a turn when driving, or in social situations zone out if conversations don’t progress beyond small talk.
Contributing in a class situation can be difficult for introverts they as they are often beaten to it by extroverts who respond while they are considering. Introverts come into their own however in group discussions or team situations where they are usually the people that flesh things out by asking considered questions and listening actively and then presenting well thought out holistic solutions.
Trying to conform according to the labels other people put on me really knocked my confidence. Peeling off those labels and discovering what’s underneath enabled me to pro-actively manage my life in a completely different way. I now understand myself and know that while I truly do enjoy engaging in many rich relationships and interactions that I will only thrive when I allow myself some time alone to reflect and recharge.
So that being said my number one tip below won’t surprise you!
This is in no way a complete list, it’s intended as some suggestions for your consideration. A few tweaks that you may find will make a difference to your life.
Confidence is something that once lost can be tricky to find our way back to. We may not remember a time in our life when we have ever felt confident and so it’s hard to even know what we’re aiming for.
Here’s a quick exercise to lock in a feeling of confidence.
Try to imagine being able to wear yourself like a warm jacket on a winter’s day. It may not be fancy or a designer label, but it fits you perfectly, it keeps you so warm against the elements, you feel snug and comfortable wearing it, you know you can trust it to protect you no matter what.
In a moment close your eyes and imagine that you are wearing that jacket, you can feel the cold air on your face but thanks to that warm comfortable jacket you’re ok, in spite of the elements. Get that warm comfortable, safe, secure, protected feeling, enjoy it for a moment, now let it travel all through your body sending it all the way inwards, that safe secure feeling and when you've got it put your hand around your opposite wrist and say to yourself this is what it feels like to be me. Safe, secure, protected. Let that feeling sink all the way in for a few moments and anchor it by squeezing your wrist with your hand. Any time you need to draw on that feeling, put your hand around your wrist again and as you squeeze let the feeling return.
If you’d like help in building your confidence I can help you to remove the beliefs that are blocking you from living to your full potential. Give me a call on 0435 923 817 to have a chat and book your session.
Clinical Hypnotherapy and Counselling can help you achieve results faster by helping you change your thinking and behavioural patterns away from self-defeating and self-limiting loops and towards enabling you to fulfil your full potential.
© Copyright Hypfocus Therapies and Training July 2015
Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina spent many years working in senior management in the Corporate world, before leaving to pursue her passion to become a Therapist.
Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person