3 Habits That May Be Damaging Your Confidence
We all have days where our confidence isn’t so great, even those of us who appear to have confidence all sewn up. And that’s good! We need to be a little over, and a little under, here and there to keep a healthy balance; too confident and we miss what’s really happening as we strut around trying to convince everyone that everything’s OK, too unconfident and we don’t dare leave our comfort zone for fear of what might happen.
So how might you be unintentionally damaging your confidence levels, and what can you do to improve them?
Check out my 3 suggestions.
- Not listening to your inner voice.
How many times have you ignored that nagging doubt? The little voice that suggested you take a step back and think again before you did something? Or not do something at all?
I’m guessing quite a few. We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it. However, your inner voice is the barometer of what’s good and not so good in your life, and we really need to listen to it. Intuition, gut instinct, call it what you will; it’s a vital part of decision making and will often take us down the right route when nothing else seems to make sense.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you will know this more than most. We live by gut instinct. We know best how our businesses tick, because we created them. The biggest business mistakes I’ve ever made have been because I trusted someone else’s judgement over mine. I could have kicked myself afterwards, not least because as they’d suggested the solution I didn’t have my own answer to the problem. And one of the biggest kicks in the teeth to your confidence is not being able to get out of a problem quickly, which leads neatly on to point 2…
- Letting other people make your decisions for you
To build confidence in all aspects of our life, we need to take responsibility for it. That might sound a little counterintuitive, especially as we are talking about making mistakes in relation to confidence but actually I’m a big believer in getting stuff wrong. Getting stuff wrong is a great way of building confidence – assuming you get back up and try again of course.
However, letting other people make your decisions for you is never going to build your confidence in yourself because you aren’t going to get the opportunity to assess the situation, decide what’s right/wrong, and then act on it. And then deal with the aftermath! (Of course, if you’ve trusted your instincts, your decision-making will be pretty much on point).
- Talking negatively to yourself
I talk to myself. A lot. And I’m happy to admit it. I even have long conversations with myself in the mirror when I have a particularly challenging problem to solve, and have also been known to scope out what I will say to someone before saying it, with me playing both sides.
It doesn’t make me mad, it makes me eminently sensible. Thinking things through out loud has not only helped me to avoid some tricky situations but it also makes my brain work more effectively: scientific fact!
However, I always make sure that I speak positively. I don’t trash talk myself, and I listen to my intuition to see what it thinks about my next steps. Even if I think I’ve done something really stupid, ill-thought-out and ridiculous, I will resist the temptation to tell myself off. You have to remember that your brain takes on board what you say and will act accordingly, so if you tell yourself you’re an idiot, it will be much harder for you to then get rid of that belief.
However bad things get, never be negative. Use this benchmark: if you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to yourself.