Boosting your confidence is really about replacing the negative things you think and tell yourself – your inner chatter – with self-acceptance. Most of us are the least confident when we’re self-critical, so if we want to be more self-assured, we need to empower ourselves with positive self-talk. Here are 5 tips to help you stop self-criticizing and improve your confidence.
Manage your inner chatter
Rather than planting seeds of doubt in how you will perform in that job interview, or whether you will connect on that first date, practice self-affirmation. Feed your brain with positive messages.
You can rely on great feedback someone has given you in the past, or compliments from others that really resonated with you. Also try affirming to yourself the things you most need to hear (I am intelligent. I accept and love myself for who I am.) You know what affirmations you need to tell yourself.
Be aware of your body
Only 7 percent of communication is what we say. We are all highly aware of body language and tone of voice, and these forms of communication are the ones we remember. So smile, make eye contact, listen and engage by asking questions when you want to make a good impression. First impressions are a lot about what the other person is observing, rather than what they’re hearing.
Be in the moment
Lack of confidence happens when we filter ourselves and judge ourselves.
You might get shy or quiet when you focus on your inner chatter telling you you’re going to say the wrong thing, people will judge you, or you’re going to look stupid. Being inside your head blocks you from being present and in the moment with people. You can’t fully show up as yourself if you let your inner chatter filter your presence, how you communicate, and how you engage.
When you’re in the flow of what’s happening, you’re not in your head listening to nagging inner chatter. To be more in the moment, practice deep breathing. Be aware of your body and your feet on the ground. Body awareness calms the mind and helps you focus and be in the flow of a conversation
Remind yourself that we’re all a little insecure
Know that we all have our own insecurities. Often, when you’re afraid that another person is judging you, they’re just as afraid that you’re judging them.
Fear of rejection is a common fear, so know that you’re not the only one experiencing this, and that we’re all a little afraid of each other’s judgments. And if you consider that most of us are too busy being concerned about what the other person thinks anyway, you will realize that you’re typically not being judged to the extent you believe you are.
See a therapist to resolve past hurts
We sometimes need healing from messages given to us in childhood. If you were given negative messages in childhood that you believe to be true, those messages often manifest in your adult life.
Seeing a therapist can help you resolve negative messages you’ve received. It can also provide you with the tools to re-parent your inner child so that you become more self-nurturing and self-loving.