Recently, I received a message: “How do you build up your confidence?” Once upon a time, I took a Xanax just to get out of bed and greet the day, but since then I've found some methods helpful in bolstering my confidence. Here are seven I'd like to share with you.
1. Externalize your inner roommate(s).
The voice in our heads provides the streaming commentary that is our life. Our reality. *If* we allow it.
I’ve become more skilled at adjusting the volume on this voice, and I've come to understand that it will never be content. Think about your current problem. Before this problem grappled for your attention, there was a different one; and after you bring some closure to this one, there will likely be another. We will always be working on something. We’ll never be perfect.
Rather than attempting to try to make these inner roommates stop talking, give them names and bodies and imagine them as people in the outer world who say exactly what the voice within says inside. It’s highly unlikely I’d ever let another human being speak to me the way my inner roommate does.
2. Widen your perspective.
When I can’t seem to shake my own insecurity, I gather my closest family and friends. Solution-focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), the style of therapy in which I am trained, refers to these types of questions as relationship questions:
What would my mentor who believes the best about me beg me to believe?
What would my dog, in whose eyes I can do no wrong, want me to know?
Like a panoramic lens, their responses provide a wider view. Our loved ones see us in ways that we simply cannot see ourselves.
3. Diagnose your beliefs about yourself.
What do you believe about your body, health, finances, abilities, your past and future, the world, etc.? Our beliefs create our experiences; our experiences create our reality. When we change our beliefs, our experiences change.
Try this: sit and hold the belief, “There’s something wrong with me.” Breathe this into your consciousness as if it were 100 percent true. If you’re like most people, you’ll feel some unpleasant sensations percolate in your cell tissue. If you toss that belief aside and take on a different belief (i.e. “I am a good person”) you'll notice a significant shift in the way you feel.
4. Recognize that the path to confidence is a process.
When we were born, we had no beliefs. Over time, our relationships and experiences indoctrinated us to act in various ways. I have a process for change that I’ve utilized for everything from quitting drinking to biting my cuticles to changing my posture.
The process has four steps: