The everyday habits and tricks I use to inject a little confidence into my day, every day
If I asked you to rate your confidence on a scale of 1 to 10, what number would you say?
The thing is, confidence is something we can build throughout our life. Our level of confidence does not have to remain the same.
If you ever catch yourself saying “I’m not a confident person”, please relax. You may not feel bursting with confidence right now, but you can build it over time.
Building confidence can happen through big shifts in our life – those big transformational moments that rock us from feeling like we are at a level 5 of confidence, to feeling like we are an unstoppable 10.
Yes, big things can happen.
But there are also things we can do each day to build our confidence, feelings of worth and improve our self-belief.
Here are my top five everyday confidence building habits that help me. These tips help me even on those down in the dumps days, or days when I am feeling hesitation and angst about how the day will unfold.
Our breath is with us at all times. However, it is funny for me to admit, but it is the one thing I forget to draw on in times of pressure.
The best way to keep this front of mind is to practice every day.
What does breath have to do with confidence? Well, our breath can take us from a feeling of fight or flight, into a neutral feeling of calm. But we need to breathe in the right kind of way. If we were to sharply inhale, exhale, repeat, then we might be more likely to hyperventilate.
One day I had to facilitate a workshop. I knew the content, but I was feeling so anxious about failing. I got really worked up. My pulse was rapidly beating away, I felt clammy and nervous to even speak. This was an awful feeling to have, right before having to run this workshop. My physical state heightened my nerves and I began to feel like I was losing control.
When I arrived at work my colleague noticed my emotional state immediately. She suggested I take a few minutes to find somewhere quiet and to breathe.
I found an empty meeting room, closed the door and just sat with my palms face up on my lap, feet planted on the floor. I slowly inhaled for a count of four… held the breath for a count of four… slowly exhaled for a count of four… held for a count of four… I repeated this cycle for as many times as I needed until I felt my nerves calm right down.
It worked wonderfully. After a couple of minutes, I felt grounded and I was no longer worried about losing control in front of the group at the workshop.
In this instance, my body had started going into the fight or flight mode in response to the stress I was feeling. Deep breathing is one of the ways to switch off the fight or flight mode and restore us to a feeling of balance.
The thing is, we don’t need to wait until ‘fight or flight’ to practice our breathing. We can practice this every day so our body enjoys the calm and balanced state of ‘rest and digest’. This is a healthy way to prepare ourselves for dealing with everyday stressors of life. A greater feeling of control over our response to daily events boosts our confidence to handle what comes our way.
Smiling is free, it is easy, it is something we can do any time of day or night. Yes, sure, maybe we don’t want to smile in a serious meeting or out of context in a conversation with someone.
But, smiling brings a sense of calm and contentedness. It is a good habit to get into – smiling each and every day.
I like to smile at myself in the mirror when I am getting ready for work. It is a way of sending a message to myself that I have got this. I am ready for the day ahead!
During the day when I am at the bathroom, I sometimes take a moment to smile at myself in the mirror when I am washing my hands.
It sounds kind of funny, but it is a nice way to show me some kindness. Kindness is an often-underrated activity, but I think it is incredibly powerful. When we show kindness to ourselves we subconsciously reinforce that we are worthy.
Smiling at ourselves is an easy way to be kind. It is also an easy way to acknowledge our abilities, our power and our presence. Reminding us that we are capable and confident to go through our day.
So, next time you catch your reflection, smile at yourself. Notice how it makes you feel. If it gives you a little confidence boost, then know that this is a handy trick you can apply throughout your day to give yourself a lift – whether you need one or not.
Connect with Your Intuition
We all have voices in our head – whether we call it our inner guide, our gut instinct, our ego or whatever. There is usually something in there, chatting with us, noticing what is going on and sharing observations on what is happening through the day. A running commentary of our daily life if you will.
I like to regularly tune into my intuition, I feel it is a great source of wisdom.
The easiest way for me to connect with my intuition is to write in my journal. I like to do this early in the morning, shortly after I wake, before the demands of the day set in and take over my focus.
First in the morning is when I feel most clarity. I have not yet had a whole lot of input from external sources filter into my thoughts. With less distraction I feel I can tune in.
I write out my thoughts, and sometimes I ask questions. I want to know what my inner guide thinks and where it can lead me.
This may sound a bit woo-woo but give it a go.
How do you know if your inner guide is truly your intuition or your inner critic? Well, that is easy. Our intuition comes from a place of love. Our inner critic comes from a place of fear.
This takes some practice. Again, this is why I have included it as an every day tool to build everyday confidence.
I find affirmations to be really uplifting.
And why not give ourselves and extra boost, even when we don’t particularly need it?
What is an affirmation? It is a mantra or a phrase that you can repeat to yourself, as many times as you like. In one go or at multiple times through the day.
Sometimes I tailor my affirmations to get me through a particular situation. For example, if I am facing a task at work and I think it will be really hard, I tell myself that I am smart and capable. I tell myself I get through these challenges with ease, by calling on my skills.
This encouraging self-talk reinforces our confidence and abilities. It runs these positive messages into well-worn thought lines in our mind. Picture it – if we regularly practice affirmations, our mind develops a pathway of positivity. The more we go along this path, the easier is to travel along.
In times of pressure, we can use these affirmations to set us back on track. Towards our goals, through the challenges, with everyday confidence.
Connecting with our intuition and practicing affirmations are great ways to build our confidence.
But, if you are like me, you have a really strong inner critic. They love to remind you at inopportune times that you suck. You know that you don’t actually suck, but this inner critic is mean, and sometimes downright nasty. Sometimes they tell you that you suck.
A way I like to address my inner critic is to redirect the messages. I use reframing to return to a pathway of positivity, building my confidence on the way.
The next time you catch yourself in a pattern of negative self-talk, reframe it. For example, “I’m not cut out for this job, I should just quit”. Instead, reframe these thoughts to “I’m learning, I’m capable, and I’m riding this learning curve, working hard towards doing a great job”.
Both examples – critic and cheer squad – involve facing a scenario of having to learn and not knowing all we need to know to deal with this very moment. But if we were to only do the things we know how to do, then we wouldn’t do very much. We need to learn. And this can be a trying time.
So instead of focusing on the negative, which is that you don’t currently know all you need to, reframe it. Instead, focus on the fact that you are actively engaged in learning. You have learnt things before, you’ll do it again and you are doing it now.
Sometimes with reframing, we need more of the positively-framed thoughts to overcome a single negative thought. This can take some effort, especially when we are feeling down. But it is worth it to build our confidence. Every day.
Everyday Confidence Needs Every Day Action
Each of these confidence-building habits are things I do every day. Maybe not all of them every day, but I am consciously working on my confidence, so I am regularly doing as much as I can to help me on my way.
These are the simple, no fuss tricks that I use and I know they work.
We don’t always need to go big or go home. The little things, practiced day by day, can create a lot of momentum over time.
Let’s create a movement!
Everyday confidence, every damn day