Is there something in your life that you would like to do, yet you find yourself holding back? It seems even the most accomplished people who excel in one or more areas of their life, often find themselves gripped by self-doubt in another. This hesitation, uncertainty or lack of confidence to move forward can weigh on you like a ton of bricks. It drains your energy and robs you of joy and optimism.
What are some signs that you doubt yourself?
1. You put off making a change or decision that you know is in your best interest.
2. You ask yourself (or other the people) the same question over and over again…”Do you think I should?”
3. You feel restless at the end of the day-like you weren’t successful even though you can name a whole list of things you got done.
4. You notice “physical clues” of resistance, like tight shoulders, a sinking feeling in your stomach or inability to sit down and relax.
5. You catch your mind drifting off during the day, replaying your situation and second guessing the choice you want to make.
How can you break free of this cycle of self doubt?
My clients rely on me to help them create a game plan for getting back on track by releasing this pattern of low confidence. You might expect that I suggest they begin with positive thinking or affirmations, but, I know these tools can’t work if your brain and body aren’t physically able to produce confidence. Your food creates your thoughts, so we begin with nutrition. Here’s my top 5 recommendations to boost confidence by nourishing your brain:
1) Take out the sugar. Sugar causes depression and brings you down.
2) Substitute herbal teas or flavored water (add your own orange, lemon, lime, cucumber, ginger) for caffeinated beverages. Caffeine (like sugar) makes you angry and agitated, turning your thoughts to doubt, guilt and pessimism.
3) Increase oxygen intake through exercise or deep breathing exercises. As few as 4 deep breaths (count to 10 on inhale and exhale) can activate your Vegas nerve which helps your relax and look at situations objectively. Add sunlight if you can. Sunlight encourages production of serotonin-one of your most important confidence building brain chemicals.
4) Engage your senses. If you tend to spend your day primarily using sight, try closing your eyes and listening to music for 5 minutes to stimulate activity in different areas of your brain.
5) Sandwich your “try” between actions that you know you are successful with. Take a few warm up steps that will likely turn out as you hope and then slide right into trying something new.