4 Helpful Ways to Start Boosting Your Inner Confidence
I've doing personal growth for myself for over a decade and I've also coached many people, and the biggest thing I've found both in my personal life and also in the case of my clients (who are usually but not limited to expats, travelers, and digital nomads) is that inner confidence is the key to making it all work. Why? Because when you trust yourself, you claim your space in the world, and you feel empowered to go out and create the life that you want.
So what's the flip side of that? You probably already know the answer to that :). Self-doubt, negative self-talk, self-sabotage, etc. Sound familiar?
There are all kinds of strategies, ways of thinking, patterns of behavior and practical tips for improving your life and feeling better about yourself, but they're all redundant if the foundation isn't there. That foundation is the real you, the you that you know deep down you are. The trick is that it takes confidence to find that and to bring out who you are – here are the three keys to real inner confidence.
1. Understand How You Align with Your Values
Personal values and understanding how you show up in the world are absolutely critical to understand. Your values are one of the most important things you can know about yourself and are vital in getting genuine inner confidence because they're right at the very core of who you are; and they’re the building blocks, the foundations and cornerstones for you. A value is something in yourself, in others or in the world that’s most important to you, and could include things like beliefs, progress, family, fun, nature, achievement or freedom and it affects how you perceive things in life as well as the actions you take. The more sure you are about your values, the more sure you can be about your decisions. Being sure is that confidence.
Think about it: why is it that some people and situations leave you feeling angry, frustrated, demotivated or deflated? It’s because one or more of your values is being denied, suppressed or repressed – and we experience that as a negative experience because it’s denying a fundamental piece of who you are. You know those times when you’ve felt really alive, amazing or buzzing? Those are the times when one or more of your values are being honored, and you can get more of that by living according to them.
Your values and experiences are all yours, and no matter what happens, no one can ever take them away. You can have absolute confidence in them because they’re there all the time just waiting for you to notice and use them. When you get to know your values, you can start to make choices and align your life around them. It’s so simple and it feels amazing because all that really means is that you’re allowing who you are to live in the real world.
Interested to see if you're living in alignment with your values? Book a discovery call and we'll schedule a session to find out!
2. Remind Yourself of Your Strengths & Achievements
Sometimes when we're listening to our negative self-talk, it can be easy to talk ourselves out of things because that little voice will remind us of all the terrible things that could happen when and if we put ourselves out there. What if we fail? What if they judge us? What if no one likes my presentation? In this kind of situation, it's really hard to reach inside of yourself and find the strength to feel confident. One helpful exercise is to write down your list of achievements, your skills, and everything you can be proud of. It's a good way to prove to yourself that you are always learning and growing and able to succeed. When you start feeling a lack of confidence, you can remind yourself of what you've done already to put yourself in a good spot. Remember that for any times that you've failed, you've also had a lot of wins as well.
One article in Entrepreneur recommends also writing down your short and long term goals so that you can reflect upon your successes whenever you're feeling shaky.
The article notes:
"Short-term disappointments are less likely to derail your well-being when you pay mind to all you wish to accomplish in the future."
3. Start slowly and 'exercise' your confidence
Confidence is a muscle, and like any muscle you need to exercise it so that it doesn’t shrink and waste away. The problem is that unlike your biceps or glutes, which tend to stay in the same place, your confidence muscle can be harder to find. How do you develop your biceps or firm up your glutes? By doing exercises that are designed to work that muscle over a period of time until you see the results you were looking for. No one walks into the gym one day and comes out fit and muscular; the whole activity is long-term and a process that is not built up overnight.
It’s just the same with confidence. Let’s say that you’re the kind of person that doesn’t take many risks, the kind of person who goes through each day doing what needs to be done and doing it well, but not really stretching yourself. You might talk yourself out of doing something because it’s too scary or because you think to yourself ‘I’m not good enough,’ ‘that’s not who I am’ or ‘I don’t really want it anyway.’ That kind of person lives within what they know and what keeps them safe and comfortable. The fewer risks they take, the less confident they need to be and so the less confident they become.
Confidence is not "They will like me." Confidence is "I'll be fine if they don't."-Christina Grimme
To build up your confidence, you need to be prepared to take risks – big or small. Start small, so you feel more comfortable doing it and take note of how you feel afterwards. You need to be willing to stretch yourself in an unfamiliar direction, to try something new or try something in a slightly different way. You need to open yourself up to the possibilities around you and push yourself to increase what you know, what you do and who you are. The more open you are to risk, opportunity and possibility the more confident you need to be, and so the more confidence you’ll develop. That’s your confidence muscle – the question is, what are you going to do to exercise it?
4. EFT Tapping for Confidence
Of all the things I've tried to build up my confidence, EFT Tapping has been the most valuable tool for me long term. Whenever I've had an important meeting, felt not good enough before an interview, or felt weak and stressed because I wasn't sure I could do a good job at something, EFT Tapping is what was able to create that mindset shift I needed.
Simply put, EFT is used to better manage emotions, belief, and imbalance. The Journal of Evidence-based integrated therapy states that: "Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a novel therapy that combines both cognitive and somatic elements and is an evidence-based self-help therapeutic method and over 100 studies demonstrate its efficacy."
I admit - it looks funny. I didn't get it either when I first saw it around 10 years ago in some videos I was watching about limiting beliefs. In modern practice, it is a mixture of tapping on Chinese acupressure energy points using your two fingers, which stimulates energy in the body along with acknowledging negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones using positive affirmations.
The belief or deeper work is a bit like an "onion": you need to peel back the different layers. Some beliefs that affect your confidence are tied to people, situations, times in your life, and these events, people etc need to be tapped on separately to get to the core root of the belief, perhaps heal, and change it.
How's your confidence? If you'd like to try an EFT tapping session to see if it can help you: an intro EFT tapping session is only 59 EUR +VAT. Book a discovery call with me to schedule! :)
I am a supportive motivator as a coach, and I've always loved being around people from all over the world. I'm a transformational life coach and happy to help you reach your goals for a richer, more fulfilling life. Likewise, I help people understand gain self awareness so they can figure out what's keeping them stuck, which limiting beliefs hold them back, or what emotional meets are not getting met so they can understand how to create better boundaries and standards in their relationships. In particular, I can help you when you're at that point of saying 'Enough!' - I want something better!
I'm an accredited transformational life coach from Animas Centre for Coaching UK and a member of the International Coaching Federation. I'm also a Level 2 practitioner in EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) and a member of AEFTP (Association of Emotional Freedom Technique Professionals). If you're interested in booking a free 15 minute discovery call for transformational life coaching, EFT Tapping, or SRT coaching, book here.
Header image: Luemen Rutkowski
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