At some point in our lives, most of us will experience something either personally or professionally that will rock our world and undermine our self-confidence in ourselves. A young leader that I am mentoring is going through this experience right now. A personal crisis has led her to question everything that she thought to be true in her life. Her confidence in herself has plummeted and she wonders if she will ever get her “mojo” back. She understands that confident people inspire confidence in others and it is the confidence of others that can be a key to success. Challenging situations can lead one to “negative self-talk” which further destroys self-confidence. Three ways to regain your self-confidence include:
1. Manage your mind by staying in the present
When our self-confidence is challenged, our mind can shift to the worst case scenarios by either ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. By bringing ourselves into the present moment and away from thinking about the past or future, we can shift our relationship to stress. We can think of the present moment as a vacuum chamber and that stress, anxiety, and depression-generating thoughts require an oxygen rich atmosphere to thrive. By being in the present moment, we help ourselves to reduce our stress and anxiety concerning the what ifs. Take it one day at a time, one hour at a time or even one minute at a time. Remember that the way we feel about a situation comes from our perception of it which may or may not be accurate. Don’t let one wrong turn or roadblock get in the way of turning your life around or achieving your dreams.
2. Look what you have already achieved
Think about your life so far. We can and should draw on our past successes, no matter how big or small, to help us restore self-confidence. Instead of thinking about the battles you lost, celebrate yourself and think about every battle that you have won. You can actually use your past success to supercharge your confidence. When our confidence is down – it is so easy to lose sight of how much we have accomplished in our lives.
3. Set some small goals and share your progress with others
Thomas Carlyle once wrote that “nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.” Believe that things will get better with each small step you take and goal that you achieve. It can be very challenging to build your self-confidence back up without someone to be your cheerleader. During challenging times, we can sometimes find it difficult to reach out to others particularly if we are known for our self-confidence. Connecting with others can keep us from wallowing in our situation. Set some small goals for yourself to get your back on track and then share them with a trusted friend. To help you get started – ask yourself to list three things that you could do in the next 3 months that would make a big difference in what happens in the rest of the year.