I believed I had to be born confident, and I wasn’t, so why keep trying? How happy I am to have been wrong about that!
This post offers exercises from the book “The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance - What Women Should Know” and from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Start practicing these 8 key activities and see how you feel a few weeks from now.
Exercises to build self-confidence
- When in doubt, ACT. Decide. What kills confidence is overthinking. Keep deciding as if your life depends on it. If it helps, write down the consequences of your decision, and think through it with an analytical perspective. What do you have to lose? It’s probably less than you think.
- Fail fast. Learn. Keep trying. This process builds thicker skin. You’ll get more confident by trying, not from getting perfect on the first try. Perfection is the killer of great things.
- Take risks. Afraid of failing? So what, do it anyway! Risk keeps you on life’s edge. It keeps you growing, feeling inspired, and gaining confidence.
- Turn your fear into an ally. Fear is a powerful feeling. Instead of letting it stop you, imagine using that force to get you moving towards what you want.
- Break your big goals into small actionable goals. When facing big challenges, break them down into smaller parts. Something as simple as writing down a to-do list works.
- Practice self-compassion. When things don’t go as you expected, practice self-compassion. The central precept of self-compassion is that we should all be kinder to ourselves because doing so makes us healthier, more fulfilled, and more successful in the pursuits we choose. You always get to try again.
- Name your inner negative voices. I started naming my negative voices: Judge Judy, Pam the Planner. This helps me handle my cognitive distortions better. Once I identify who my voices are, I can say “thanks, Pam, but we’ll be fine!”. Once you become aware of your inner negative voices, you gain power over them. By the way, if your name is Judy or Pam, feel free to use my name for your voices :P.
- Start a Thought Record Journal. When you get yourself too overwhelmed by your cognitive distortions, add them to a Thought Record. Why does it work? It shows you that your thoughts are way less powerful than you believe. Making them ‘real’ gives you an analytical perspective of the situation, and you realize it’s not a big deal.
It’s not easy to change your thoughts and behaviors. But it gets easier every time you persist 🏋️♀️.
Good luck with your self-confidence journey. You won’t regret investing in it.
Self-confidence books and articles
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