4 ways to upgrade your confidence

There are many reasons why we sometimes feel low and insecure. When these feelings persist we can get into vicious circle where other people and circumstances determine whether you feel confident and empowered. If this is the case for you, read on to learn how you can take back control now.

1. Gratitude – say thank you

This might seem like an odd one but comparing yourself to others can make us feel really small and insecure. Instead, when we focus on what we have already accomplished we start to feel thankful for what is already there. Regularly practicing this positive focus on what we can be grateful for has a profound impact on our self-confidence and overall happiness. After all, if we can’t be happy with what we have already achieved today, we probably won’t feel satisfied achieving other goals either.

2. Adopt a power pose

We don’t always wake up with the right mindset. Sometimes we feel tired, unmotivated or insecure. The good news is, we can change our mindset any time. An effective way to change your mindset is through changing your body posture. Yes, that’s right. Studies have shown that changing our posture has a direct and significant impact on our confidence, how optimistic we feel about results and the willingness to take risks.

Just two minutes of holding a confident pose will trigger your body to release more testosterone – a hormone that influences confidence and dominance. Holding this power pose also creates a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol.

So next time you feel unsure, adopt a power pose for a few minutes and see what happens!

3. List your achievements

Another easy and powerful tool to quickly enhance your self-confidence is to remind yourself of the things you have already accomplished. By remembering the feeling (happiness, enjoyment, proud, confident) that come up when achieving something important to you as vividly as possible, you will trigger the same neurons in your brain and the right hormones in your body, impacting your confidence in a great way.

4. Use constructive language

We often use negative language to describe how we feel about our results. “It was so bad” or “my performance was terrible”, for instance. But the language we use, even when just in thoughts is crucial when it comes to our self-esteem.

Imagine someone telling you all day that you are not good enough or that you are ugly, how would this make you feel? Talking like this to yourself has the same impact. So make sure that whenever you are not happy about something to phrase your words in a constructive and helpful way and to add, “and that can change”!

Now start building these into your day:

  • Start your day with thinking of three things you feel grateful for and really let them sink in.
  • Job interview coming up? Unleash your inner Wonder woman and adopt the power pose – open chest, arms up or away from the body!
  • Every evening list three things that you feel proud of, happy about or anything else you have accomplished today and remember the feeling
  • Take on the seven-day challenge. Think positively and the moment negative thoughts come up write them down and let them go! In case anything doesn’t go your way, ask yourself “what can I learn from this?"

Creating these habits takes time, for more information check out How habits work also by Annette Paterakis.

About the Author

Annette Paterakis is an Applied Psychology graduate, certified EMDR therapist, mindfulness trainer and equicoach. She is the founder of The Third Life a training and coaching company aimed at personal development, primarily through a combination of science, stress management and mindfulness. Her customers include entrepreneurs and executives in London, Olympic athletes and the Dutch police. 

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ymca | 23 November 2016