Confidence Building: A practical guide to finding & building confidence.

I’ve never been the kind of girl to have a lot of confidence.  As I have mentioned in other posts, there were things in my life that always made me feel small and unsure.  It’s really just part of who I am.  But as I get older, I have found that there are a few different things that help me build and maintain confidence.  Some are notes of things that I have come to accept while some are actually strategies that help you build confidence.  

Accept that you aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

Not everyone is going to like you.  Not everyone is going to be your best friend, want to date you, like your posts or read your blog.  Some of them might actually not like it or you at all.  And you know what? That’s okay.  They might not but if you are a good person, if you do your best and you grow, chances are you mean everything to someone.  Even if you don’t know it.  Even if you don’t know who that person is yet, you are you and that is more important than anything.  Don’t try to be everything to everyone.  Just be the best you can be and know that that’s enough.

Know that where you are in life isn’t your final destination.  

It’s so easy for us to fall into the habit of judging ourselves by a bad day or a bad week. Looking at something up close always makes it seem worse.  It is important to know that where you are, what’s going on, and what is happening in your life is never final.  The days will chug along and things will get better.  How you let them affect you is entirely in your control. Part of that is learning how to let go of yesterday, even when things go bad and know that whatever happened it most likely has nothing to do with your personality.   Know that there are always new journey’s and adventures ahead if you are willing to move forward. That is the only thing that you can control

Find out who you are before you worry about other people

I wish that I could say that this was easy but honestly it comes with time and can’t be rushed.  In our 20s we think we are grown because of how we can now see how stupid we were in our teens.  In our 30’s, we look back and see how stupid we were in our 20’s….and I’m sure I’ll think when I’m in my 60’s everything I did in my 30’s is just silly.  But I am figuring out who I I am and its important for me to know that before I let other people take a major place in my life.  It is important that you take personal time to find your own likes, your own hobbies, and parts of yourself that are 100% you.  That’s not to say that you should be involved but don’t let your identity get wrapped up before you even know what it is.  Truthfully these things are what people should like about you, not stifle in you.

Keep a Confidence Journal

This is something that I actually learned about from Kara Grouchers book “Stronger”.  She talks about how every work out she has to write something good that she felt about the work out that she did.  I love Kara because she is so real and even as an Olympian she expresses doubts about if she belongs on the starting line with her teammates and counterparts. even the best of us can have a confidence crisis.  Yes, it is great for training.  But it is also just wonderful for life.  Confidence Journaling is something that we could all benefit from to remind ourselves of the good days and the things that we like about ourselves.  

Wear clothing that fits

Is it vain to feel good when you out in those pants that make your butt look just right?  I don’t think so.  You’re meant to feel good in your own skin and in clothing that makes you feel and look your best. Yes, clothing that is too tight makes you look bigger then you are.  But clothing that is too big does the same thing.  Make sure that your clothing fits, works for your body type, and most importantly, makes you feel good.   

Find a physical activity that you like

Its a million times easier to stick with a healthy routine if you are going something you like. Mine happens to be running but I know some people just hate that. Yoga is great; rowing is wonderful; riding your bike is just as good. Find something that works for you and remember that it’s not about getting fit. It’s about taking care of your body and feeling comfortable in your own skin. Feeling accomplished is going to help you feel more confident than a flat belly ever could.

Be aware of your own inner critic and what makes her/him perk up

Sometimes being self-aware is a pain in the butt but one of the best things that you can learn about yourself is exactly what makes you start to think negative stuff about yourself (or just be negative in general). We can’t do this all the time but we can be aware enough to identify what triggers these thoughts and work through them. For me, I know there are a few things that make me feel bad about myself. Trying on new clothes, doing certain activities…heck ever knowing where I am in my cycle helps me understand maybe why I am in the mood or saying the things that I am to myself. This may not help you get rid of doubts but it does help you become more aware of your own thought patterns and that is the first step to having some sort of control over them.

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