12 Nov Growing Your Self-Belief
Tips for Increasing Self-Belief and Self-Confidence
Self-belief and self-confidence are interesting concepts for me. For years, I considered that I was lacking in self-confidence because I was quiet compared to many of the big personalities in the PR industry. I had confused loudness and confidence. Of course, increasing self-belief is something that often does happen as a result of age and experience. You experience crises, pass hurdles and encounter moments of growth and realise, “Hey, I know I can do this because I’ve done XYZ before.” However, it doesn’t hurt to consciously work on increasing self-belief at the same time, especially as you never know when it’s going to be hit by an oncoming missile!
Increasing my own Self-belief
In short, I’ve learned to trust myself and that has huge implications for increasing self–belief. It has also inspired me to get curious about how others have grown their own self-belief, which is why I sent out an email to trusted friends and colleagues to see what advice they might have for someone interested in working on their own self-belief. This is what they said.
Melanie Charles, Coach
- Evidence to the contrary: This is a book that contains: the fun things I love. The people I can go to when needed (we sometimes need reminding) and evidence to the contrary. Evidence to the contrary is things I have done well and what I am proud of. This is a combination of personal and work achievements and how these made me feel. There are days, no matter what anyone tells me, I don’t feel like I have done a great job, or said stupid things and external reminders do nothing to dent that beating up of myself, but over the years I have collected positive stories. This helps me break out of that place and reinforce the positive not the negative story.
- Gratitude: I do this most days. This helps me change the way I am seeing the world. By being grateful, I change the negative bias of my brain to a positive bias. This also allows me to see solutions where I might not have seen them before. This is sometimes more powerful than meditation, or a deep breath.
- inner child: my inner child is beautiful. She reminds of how to live with child-like joy, but she is also filled with past hurts from a moment in time and can be very fearful. By understanding that she isn’t in charge, but that bullying her isn’t the way to get her to step out of fear. I use visualisations.
- What is my body saying: The realisation that my body was giving me messages and signals was eye opening. Once I learnt this and realised I had separated from my body, so I could cope emotionally and that I didn’t need to. I could use my body to tell me what I needed to know, to help me tune into how I was feeling, where there might be blocks from my past.
- Breathing. In the moment, when I need to breath. It might be a moment that I feel triggered. I tune into my body and feel where the emotion is. And just honour it. Then I feel ready to choose not to react.
- Tear, Music and sound: these are the three that can help lift my mood and move through any blocks.
- Allow and permission: Giving myself permission to feel crappy, but then reframe that. I use I allow myself to feel sad or crap means I am not pushing that emotion away. I am honouring how I feel. This then does something magical. By stepping into that place and fully immersing in it. I move through it.
Gail Morgan, Founder of Personal Stylist Training School
Liz Copeland, Coach
The times when you most need self-belief and confidence are the times when you least feel like it. So you have to stockpile confidence and here are some ideas on how to do that:
1. Keep a boast book – your successes, achievements, testimonials and compliments you have received. Look at it regularly to reinforce your confidence.
2. Find people who boost your confidence but are still honest and supportive
3. Confidence can be faked. A lot of people who appear super confident ae just as nervous as you but they’re just better at projecting confidence.
Self-belief is something you can grow and however much you have, everyone can always benefit from increasing self-belief.
Rachel Morgan-Trimmer, Founder of The Career Break Site
Last year I had a coach, and one of the tasks she assigned me was to make a personal CV. With a professional CV, we’re forced to talk about our accomplishments and present ourselves in the best possible light, so this CV was to do the same for my personal life. It was a fun task and made me look over my experience in all areas of life and the skills I have developed. I also included “notable achievements”. I think a lot of us are a bit “whatevs” about our achievements (I talk about travelling the world solo like it was no big deal, as it wasn’t to me!). But when we look at them objectively, or tell others about what we’ve done, it shows us that we’ve done things that not everyone has done, and not everyone could do!
Susan Heaton-Wright, Voice Coach
It is really easy to focus on the negatives “What did I do wrong?” “I didn’t get that piece of work” etc. And of course focusing on these negatives hurts your self confidence and self beliefs. For a long time I have always ‘celebrated’ at least three things that have gone well and then consider one area where I could improve on. The emphasis being on the positives. Also, for the last two years I have had a celebration jam jar – go with this – and every time I have a lovely experience, whether that is my son making me a cup of tea or a wonderful success or occasion, I make a note on a piece of paper and put it into the jam jar. At the end of the year I open the jam jar and remember all of those wonderful moments and memories.
Heather Waring, Coach
Get into the habit of capturing feedback from clients and colleagues and keeping it somewhere easily accessible in whatever format suits you and then when you are doubting yourself read it and believe. You can also do this more generally capturing feedback from a wider more general audience which can include friends, contacts in extra curricular activities etc.
Another thing is to – Challenge yourself to something that stretches you and gets you stepping outside your comfort zone. Getting involved in this type of thing and seeing it through is a great experience as well as a great boost to both self–belief and self confidence. e.g it could be agreeing to give a speech, run a marathon, decorate a room etc.
Jacqui Lofthouse, Writing Coach
Hanieh Vidmar, speaking coach
My self belief comes from doing what I love. Ever since I was a child I learned that you’re good at what you enjoy doing and this helps you excel in that field. For me, it’s about making videos, presenting, creating content and sharing those based on stuff I love to talk about. Start with finding out what you love and create whatever you want (a career, write a book, deliver a talk etc) – however you want – around that! You can be as creative as you want and you can find inspiration from everywhere to help you create! Self confidence comes from finding your passion and honing in on it.
Jo Dodds, Productivity coach
In recent years I’ve come to understand that growing self belief is about listening to and actually believing the good stuff that people say about you!
How many times have we listened to and believed criticism and yet discounted praise? A few weeks ago I randomly met someone at a conference who not only had heard of me, he actually thanked me for inspiring him to start his own business seven years ago! He finished by calling me ‘an icon’. Of course I laughed and discounted that as worthy feedback. But, on reflection, I decided to take it!
For someone to say those lovely things after so long, I figured I must have had somewhat of an impact, and then I chose (an important action to consider) to imagine that maybe he wasn’t the only person who would say that. That was a small lesson learned and I have since decided to choose to listen out for and believe more of that good feedback.
Hulya Erdal, Private Chef
Believe in your truth and move forward from that truth. We cannot control what happens around us but we can believe in ourselves and our actions. I’ve found that through exercise, meditation, prayer and giving myself credit for who I am and my skills and abilities, I have grown to embrace and develop my self–belief. I live my expanded self. I give gratitude everyday for what I have and embrace the world and it’s infinite possibilities.
Kitty Cavalier, coach