6 Tips to Improve Your Self-Confidence
Low confidence prevents us from getting on with stuff, limits risk-taking, career progression or even career choice, and personal growth. (It’s even taken me a bit of time to get on with writing this, as I didn’t feel very confident!)
Find out six tips to improve your self-confidence in this blog by Fenella Potter.
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When I was first was asked to write a blog about self-confidence, my first thought was ‘Ha! Who am I to tell anyone about confidence?’ But I’ve learned a lot about confidence over the last few years.
So here is my confidence journey. It follows a typical ‘six steps to confidence’ pattern – I hope you can learn from it!
1. Be true to yourself
Confidence is about believing in yourself and your own ability to prosper. 15 years ago, I wasn’t a confident person. True, I was a woman in what was then very much the ‘man’s world’ of engineering, which took guts, but I was crippled by Imposter Syndrome.
I’d got all the qualifications, but inside, I never believed I would prosper. I found my specialism, but I wasn’t going any further. Something had to change. So, as the only thing we really have control of is ourselves, I started to change myself.
2. Healthy body, healthy mind
Yeah, that old thing! But that’s where my confidence journey started. I got healthier, I got fitter, and with that, I got stronger mentally. Consciously practising self-care will make you feel better about yourself. Mindfulness and gratitude also help with healing and growth.
Improved health is a quantifiable thing that no-one, even your inner voice, can argue with. You will be, indisputably, better, and therefore more confident, than you were before.
3. Get out of your own way – learn to manage your inner voice
Stop being your own worst enemy. My inner voice told me that I owed it to younger women to stick with engineering.
By learning to reframe unhelpful thoughts, that mindset began to change. My inner voice started saying, “Hey! 24 years in engineering – well done you! If you can achieve that, what else can you do?” I was on my way.
4. Build positive networks
Being around people who neither value you nor your work is draining and has proven detrimental effects on your self-esteem and confidence.
I never felt valued in engineering and consequently didn’t value myself. I wanted to do something worthwhile.
I’m not deaf but have used British Sign Language nearly all my life, so I decided to volunteer at the local Deaf Centre. I was warmly welcomed into my local Deaf community and the people I met there recognised something in me I didn’t know was there. They encouraged me every step of the way to becoming an interpreter, and they simply would not let me fail. Their unwavering confidence in me changed me, forever.
Do the people around you value and celebrate you and your contributions? Do they want you to succeed? If not, try to limit the interactions you have with them. It may not be easy to change your circumstances, but as your confidence grows, why not join a group or do some voluntary work where you will be appreciated, learn new skills and meet new people?
5. Don’t beat yourself up
Of course, confidence doesn’t just come from feeling good about yourself. Focus, commitment, and practice are all important contributors.
Are you worried about an upcoming event? Make sure you prepare well. If, after doing all you can beforehand, you are disappointed by the outcome, stifle that negative inner voice and be grateful for the learning experience. Try to pinpoint what exactly went awry, break it down and think of real actions you can take to ensure a better outcome next time. Write it down. Practice. Involve those positive people you are now mixing with!
6. Believe in yourself
Psychologists recognise the value of self-affirmations in improving confidence. Keep telling yourself you can do it. Set yourself realistic goals. Small steps will make a big difference.
I’m not an engineer or a Sign Language interpreter anymore but learning to believe in myself lead eventually to becoming my own boss and a dream job, things I could not have imagined 15 years ago. If I can do it – you can too.
- Why Your Emotions are Like a Glitter Jar —Paul talks about the importance of 'thought awareness' in this blog and how to manage negative emotions.
- How to Maintain Resilience in a Time of Crisis — Billy outlines some ways you can remain strong and resilient during tough times.
- 4 Tips to Help You Understand and Build Your Self-Confidence — In this blog Billy explains the meaning of self-confidence and how you can build and nurture it in yourself.
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Claire is Head of Marketing at Happy. She has worked at Happy since 2016, and is responsible for Happy's marketing strategy, website, social media and more. Claire first heard about Happy in 2012 when she attended a mix of IT and personal development courses. These courses were life-changing and she has been a fan of Happy ever since. She has a personal blog at lecari.co.uk.
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