Some people seem to attract everything they want. It can be so frustrating to not be one of them…
Whether it is in a meeting, in a conversation with your boss, public speaking or on a date becoming nervous and not being able to think of the right thing to say can impact your entire life.
It can be so painful that you may depressed or angry about it. You may even have given up on changing and you accept that this is just the way you are. This is not true. Here are some tools to get you started on your new life.
Here is an important concept. It is not only how we act in the moment that matters. It is more how we treat ourselves in our day-to-day life that determines our level of confidence.
It is not so much what we do, as who we are. These valuable tools will allow you to gain confidence in all areas of life form relationships to career to dating and if you stick with them they can transform your interactions forever.
- Grounding yourself
Grounding is the most fundamental way to build confidence. It increases the effectiveness of other techniques to build confidence. Grounding is your body’s connection to the earth. It is the force of gravity that pulls you to the earth and stops you floating away. Research has shown that reconnecting your body with the gravitational force of the earth can positively affect your physical and emotional health in many ways, including helping you to be more confident.
Being grounded is your normal state: it is only your ability to bury your emotions and disconnect from your bodies that weakens its effectiveness. A daily grounding exercise can help restore some of the body’s natural grounding. Not only will that increase your confidence, but it will improve your health as well.
- Be present with yourself
When you are present, when you are truly in the moment and not thinking about the past or the future you are automatically confident. Lack of confidence comes from fear of what might happen. If you stay in the present, focus on what is happening now, and don’t worry about the future, you will be more confident. Confidence exists only in the present. The more in the present you are, the more confident you can be. When you are thinking about the future and the past this can bring up anxiety. Your personal power exists in the present, when you can be here now you will be stronger and more confident.
A good tool to help you be present is to pay attention to all of your senses. Feeling the ground beneath you and the air in your lungs, paying attention to any sounds you can hear, looking at the environment around you and reminding yourself where you are.
- Be aware of your body
When you are aware of your body you are in the present. Many of us lack confidence because, instead of simply living in the moment and doing what we want to do, we worry in our head about what the consequences of each tiny action might be. This keeps you in your head instead of your body, and being in your head creates a lack of confidence. The more you learn to be in your body and not in your head, the more confident you will become.
It can help to pat your arms or torso with your hands as a reminder to be more in your body.
- Be aware of your emotions
The most common reason for lack of confidence is nervousness. Nervousness comes from emotions that we have not been able to face. If you do not feel your emotions at the time when they occur, your body stores them until you can release them. Over years you fill up with more and more emotions and it becomes more difficult to manage what is buried. This is where many emotional and psychological issues come from. When you become aware of your emotions and allow yourself to feel them, they are not added to your bank of stored emotions. This is an important step on the road to building lasting confidence. You must also learn how to release emotions you have stored and have been ignoring. This can be done with an emotional release technique.
You can begin by trying to be aware of your emotions throughout the day. It does not need to be difficult, simply set the intention to notice emotions and observe what comes up.
- Meditate daily
Meditation is one of the most important tools you can use to build confidence. The great thing about meditation is that it helps with all the other confidence-building strategies. It helps you to ground, be present, and be aware of your body and emotions. Over time, even a short daily meditation can help you to be more authentic around women and in general in life.
- Be patient with yourself
This is an aspect of confidence-building that is sometimes overlooked. Not being hard on yourself is a way to increase your self-love and respect. When you are hard on yourself you create a situation in which you become a victim of yourself. You then suffer the effects of victimhood, which can cause stress and anxiety. This can have a powerful impact on your self-esteem and confidence level.
- Laugh and sing
Studies have shown that laughing and singing help to stimulate the vagus nerve. This is the longest nerve in the body and it runs from the brain to the heart, lungs and digestive system. The vagus nerve controls your parasympathetic nervous system, the ‘rest and digest’ part of the nervous system. When this nerve is under-stimulated this increases your chances of going into ‘fight or flight’ mode.
When the vagus nerve is under-stimulated on a regular basis you become more prone to anxiety and nervousness. Most of us have an under-stimulated vagus nerve because of a combination of factors including high-carbohydrate or high-fat diets, stress, poor posture, and environmental toxins such as mercury.
The way to correct this is to bring in more activities that stimulate the vagus nerve. The benefit of activities that stimulate the vagus nerve is that they tend to be calming to the whole system, and make you feel good. The following three practices also stimulate the vagus nerve.
- Acupuncture treatment
Acupuncture can help build your confidence in several ways. It has been shown to lower stress levels and to help people get more and better-quality sleep. It has also been shown to stimulate the vagus nerve which lowers the ‘flight or fight’ response and decreases anxiety.
- Take probiotics daily
Studies have found that probiotics can help you manage stress and lower your anxiety and depression levels through interaction with the vagus nerve and the gut. This can help you to increase your confidence level significantly.
Gargling has also been show to stimulate the vagus nerve and thus lower anxiety and fear levels.
- Slow down
Slowing down is another way of treating yourself with respect and love. When you rush through your day several different things are occurring. First, you are raising your stress level and suffering all the resulting ill-effects, including raised anxiety levels. Next, you are not being present with yourself. You are going fast because your mind is in the future and since your place of strength is in the present this weakens you in several ways. Also, when you rush you do not trust that you can accomplish what you need to in a gentle manner. This reinforces your sense of low self-worth and not being good enough. This can dramatically lower your confidence.
- Monitor your negative self-talk
We all know that voice we have in our head that chatters all day long about the ways we are not good enough? The one that says, “You should have done better!” “Be more careful!” “This is impossible!” This is the voice that blames you when you make a mistake or when you are late. Each time this voice pops up in your head it is reducing your self-love and your self-confidence.
Monitoring this voice is an important step toward building real confidence. You can try this: Each time this voice speaks in a negative way, immediately correct it and think of how the opposite is true. Then say two positive things about yourself. For example: “You idiot! You dropped your phone!” Okay, “Dropping something has nothing to do with intelligence. I am an incredible dancer and an amazing parent.”
Just paying attention to your self-talk will help you start to change it. With consistent attention, over time, you will begin to hear this voice less and less and one day it will just be gone.
- Don’t beat yourself up
Beating yourself up is a more extreme version of negative self-talk. This is when you really lay into yourself. “How could you have possibly said that to your boss? He is going to fire you! Then you’ll have no income! You’ll be broke!”
Any time the voice starts you can usually stop it by thinking something positive about yourself. It can help to know that this voice is coming out because of a fear you have about something. Try to realize that the voice is attempting to protect you from something. It is important not to judge the voice or try to silence it or push it down. Accept it, let it have its say, but point out the positive. It can sometimes help to say to the voice, “I am grateful that you are trying to help me but it is not helpful to do this anymore so you can stop now. Why don’t you try to protect me in a different way? Can you do that?”
- Don’t judge others
When you judge others, you are actually judging yourself. Here’s how it works. Compassion starts with yourself. As you go through life, you learn to have compassion for yourself and others. Each of these builds on the other, more compassion for others means more for yourself and vice versa. When you get to a certain point you begin to have so much compassion for yourself that you have extra love and compassion to give to others. When you eventually love yourself fully you become incapable of having anything but compassion for others.
Since this is a two-way street, if you stop judging and blaming others it will free up energy for you to have more compassion for yourself. When you have true love for yourself you are always confident because you have nothing to fear. Most, if not all, of your irrational fears are caused by some perceived lack in yourself such as lack of safety or lack of control.
You can begin noticing when you judge others throughout the day.
- Be gentle with yourself
Part of having compassion for yourself is being gentle. When you really care about and love yourself you are gentle, the way you would be with anyone you love.
This can be a useful tool. Always treat yourself the way you would treat a baby. Whenever you beat up on yourself, mentally or emotionally, or by treating your body in an unloving way – stop and think, “Is this how I would treat a baby that I was holding in my arms?”
Keep this in mind throughout your day and see what happens.
You must put these tools into practice for them to be effective.
I suggest trying these practices one at a time and observing the results. If you don’t see the improvement you want the first time it doesn’t necessarily mean the tool won’t work for you. Try one of the others and go back to that one later. Keep in mind that this list is not the totality of all the practices you can do or may need to do but it is definitely a great place to start and these practices can make an enormous difference.
If you do these practices consistently they will help you build confidence, not just in one – but in every area of your life. Everything you need to start is here. You can start to become the man you want to be and change your life today with only a bit of effort and a little patience.