When life and love gets hard, unless you have built up your self-confidence muscles, chances are you won't have the emotional or mental fortitude to whether the storm with grace and conviction. More likely, you and your self-esteem will be swept away into the typhoon of self-doubt, self-criticism and a slew of other unhappy self-emotions.
Just like training for a marathon and building physical muscles, to be a happy and confident person you must work out your mental and emotional muscles regularly.
You wouldn’t go to the gym to start training your physical muscles the day before a marathon, would you? No way! You’d peril on the pavement. So why would the marathon of your life be any different? It’s not.
Put these 7 tips into practice daily and you will develop the confidence and conviction that you can do and survive anything… no matter what the outside world (or inside world) tells you:
1. Stop Worrying About What Others Think. Trust Yourself
You can’t be responsible for how everyone else thinks about how you live your life, so stop worrying about how your family, partner and friends will react to your choices and start getting real about how you feel about your life. Act from what you think is right for you. We always know what the best action is to take for ourselves, when we slow down enough to listen to our inner wisdom. It’s just not always easy to slow down or to trust our intuition. Be committed to trusting yourself, even when it’s scary, and even when others disagree.
2. Become Best Buds with Your Intuition
Inside of you is the best life and decision making compass ever – your intuition. It always communicates what is best for you, but you have to be listening, and you have to trust its advice. Just like a best friend, if you’re not calling, it will stop trying to contact you. If you keep asking for advice but don’t take it, it will stop trying to help. Start listening for the communication cues of your intuition – through words you hear, images you see, feelings you have, and things you just know. Act based on what your intuition tells you and you will start to trust yourself more, and build more self-confidence in the process.
3. Know What Makes You Unique
Every person, including you, was born with a set of unique gifts, talents and inclinations that they are naturally good at, more so than the average person. When you find these gifts and use them, your confidence, success and happiness increases. Think Tiger Woods. Born to golf. No matter how much you practiced, you’d never be as great as him; he has a gift. You have gifts too. Ask the people that know you the best, “What are my gifts?” Take notice of the compliments you receive, especially ones you find hard to accept. Make a list of your gifts and start putting time, energy and money there.
5. Know What Makes You Happy
Stop trying to fit into the expectations and ideals that outside forces – society, family, work, friends -- have said you ‘should’ be in order to be successful, happy and accepted, and start asking yourself, “What really makes ME happy?” Think about the times that you’ve been happiest. Who were you being? What did you have? What were you doing? Do the same for your most unhappy times. Compare the two to your life today and notice the gaps. Happiness breeds confidence.
6. Have an Opinion and Express It
Know what you believe and don’t be afraid to express it. Confident people have convictions that come from inside their souls, minds and hearts. They know their truth and are willing to stand in it, even when what they have to say makes others uncomfortable. Know your truth in all situations and share it with pride and conviction, knowing that your unique voice deserves to be heard just because you’re you.
7. Never Apologize For Being You
Unfortunately the world is full of people, including our inner mean girls and inner bullies, that want to keep us small, playing along and being ‘good’ girls and boys. When you listen to them by apologizing for who you are, or by discounting your contributions, thoughts and feelings, you squash your self-confidence. Be brilliant. Be you. And never apologize for it.
8. Spend Less Time in the Basement, More Time in the Penthouse
We all have emotional triggers, things that evoke an overly strong feeling and reaction—anxiety, anger, worry, shame, despair, fear—especially during times of stress. Your job is to notice when you have one of these ‘basement’ emotions that erode your confidence, and then to get yourself back up into the ‘penthouse’ where emotions like trust, peace, love, joy and happiness live. Have your hard emotions, just have them and move back on up to the penthouse, where the view of your life is much better!
About Christine Arylo
Christine Arylo, an m.b.a. turned writer, speaker and teacher, is an inspirational catalyst who teaches women how to give up their doing addiction and to stop being so hard on themselves. A recovering achievement junkie and doing addict herself, Arylo is the co-founder of Inner Mean Girl Reform School and the author of Choosing ME before WE, Every Woman’s Guide to Life and Love www.mebeforewe.com. Known as the “Queen of Self-Love,” Arylo created Madly in Love with ME, the international day of self-love (Feb 13), dedicated to making self-love a tangible reality for women and girls around the world. www.madlyinlovewithme.com