Confidence. Some people have it in spades, and others have to search far and wide for it. For some, staying confident comes naturally, while others have to work at it. Our confidence, of course, is high in some areas and non-existent in others. It has a roller-coaster mentality of ups and downs, and I think we can all relate to riding on the confidence merry-go-round.
Confidence is defined as having trust in one’s self regarding our judgment, ability, and qualities. But did you know that our level of confidence depends upon the degree of our emotional, physical and social health? The higher degree of emotional stability, good physical health, and feeling socially accepted, the more confidence we have.
This is somewhat ironic to me — confidence is a personal thing only the individual can be involved in, yet it depends on numerous outside forces. According to a Psychology Today article, Dr. Neel Burton said, “self-esteem can be undermined by ill health, negative life events such as losing a job or getting divorced, deficient or frustrating relationships, and a general sense of lack of control.” Dr. Burton states that when one experiences low self-esteem and confidence, they begin to withdraw into themselves, are afraid to express their thoughts or feelings, have a sense of powerlessness, and are scared to take chances on different opportunities resulting in missing out on life experiences.
You may not be able to change your external circumstances, but you can change your internal perceptions. Try these tips to build up confidence you may have lost, and then stay confident.
Learning something new actually changes the chemistry within your brain. The element in your brain that helps you learn is called myelin. The more you learn, the denser it becomes, and the better you learn new things. Learning something new also makes you feel better about yourself. It excites you, and you begin to gain a sense of accomplishment. This, in turn, makes you proud of yourself, which gives you more confidence. One of the most important reasons for me to continue learning something new is that it also helps stave off dementia. People who are constantly learning something new lessen their chance of having dementia.
>READ: STRATEGIES TO DELAY OR PREVENT DEMENTIA
Now this one can be a bit tricky. When picking something to try that is out of your comfort zone, we do not want to go so far out that it may cause additional psychological, physical or emotional harm. Here is what I say … pick an activity that you know will not harm you in any way by trying it but will help you feel better about yourself simply for trying. The key here is simply to try something. You do not need to be great at it or to succeed at it. You do not need to walk away conquering whatever it is. The act of trying something that makes you a bit nervous and knowing you had the courage to do it is enough to help boost your confidence.
>READ: OVERCOMING FEAR CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Most of us have something in our lives that we tried and just didn’t do well at it. For me, that would be scuba diving! One way to boost our confidence and self-esteem is to try something again and see what happens. Many times, we may not realize that other things in our life may have caused us to not do well at something. Maybe you were too stressed at the time, worried about your family or your job, or perhaps, you were suffering some health issue that you were unaware of until later. Trying something again at a later time and under different life circumstances may actually result in you doing whatever it is well. A different mindset, more mature, a different set of priorities, values, etc. may actually allow you to accomplish something you previously could not. (BTW … I tried scuba diving again and still didn’t do well. I discovered in this endeavor that I am claustrophobic! So, no going underwater with a mask for me.)
>READ: FACING OUR FEARS AND SLAYING DRAGONS
Pick something that you know you can do but have never tried before. Maybe take up yoga or spin-cycling? It might be an art class or ceramics. Join a book club. Find something that interests you, and just go for it. Again, make it something realistic that you know you can do. Choose something that fits into your lifestyle, interests, and especially your schedule.
We have all heard the saying, “the more, the merrier.” Well, this can be true. It is actually a healthy habit to do things with other people, and the simple act of belonging to a group improves our mental and emotional state. Being around others you enjoy spending time with increases our chances of happiness because of the laughter, support, and encouragement that comes from them.
However, it is also essential to do some things on your own. Take a day trip somewhere or a long weekend trip by yourself. Take a new class on something by yourself. Whatever interests you, do it by yourself. The act of doing something by yourself means that you must rely only on yourself. You must make decisions without anyone else’s input or opinion. You must face any challenge by yourself and figure it out. Spending time by yourself makes you believe more in yourself and, thus, you got it …. increases your confidence and self-esteem. So have a healthy balance between doing things with others and doing things alone.
>READ: ALONE TIME WITHOUT THE GUILT
One’s emotional and psychological well-being hinges on many factors in our life. Thus, our level of self-esteem and confidence is a direct reflection of those things. Having a high level of confidence in yourself is essential to living a full and happy, productive life. Here are a few benefits of staying confident:
Ladies, our minds are powerful! As I have written before, what we put into our minds or allow into our minds has a direct connection to what manifests in our lives. What we feed our minds results in how we think of ourselves. Nothing is more important than what YOU think about YOU! I am not saying that it is easy to not compare ourselves to others or to listen to those who have negative things to say about us. However, you must love yourself and know who you truly are regardless of what others say. Self-love is critical to a happy, healthy life. The more you love yourself, the happier you are, and the less you listen to the chatter of others. Feed your mind positive things every day about yourself!! Go out and know you are beautiful, you are strong, you are courageous, and you’ve got this world by the tail. See what amazing things happen when you know who you are and have confidence in yourself!
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