10 Steps To Regaining Self-Confidence After Disappointment

Photo: getty
10 Steps To Regaining Self-Confidence After Disappointment

Disappointing others is bad enough, but when you let yourself down the effect can be devastating. And it can brew into a storm of self-doubt that ruins your self-confidence.

It may feel as if you failed, which takes you down a notch or two — or three. You may begin to believe the inner voices that say, "I can’t," "Who do I think I am?," and "It’s never going to work for me."

That kind of inner self-talk means belief in yourself has taken a hit. It’s a clear sign that now is the time to learn how to build self-confidence and get back to the business of reclaiming your power.

But how?

RELATED: 15 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Self-Esteem (That Can Be Done *Anywhere*)

First, you need to understand why you can’t stay in this rut of uncertainty. The danger in lingering too long in the world of disbelief in yourself is that it can eat away at your sense of self-worth.

You question whether you’re good at anything. And you may wonder if all your plans and ambitions are just pipe dreams.

What happened to all your confidence? Where did it go? Regaining self-confidence becomes impossible.

The negative thoughts that swirl around in your head can stop you in your tracks. Even worse, it can bring up nasty emotions such as shame, guilt, and fear.

But the truth is, deep down inside, you know you’re better than your last failure or disappointment. You just need to take a step back, become your own best advocate, and cut yourself a break before taking a few steps in a new direction.

The first four steps require an inward look, the next five require action, and the last one will become your friend as you restore confidence.

With that said, here are 10 steps to regaining your self-confidence after disappointment.

1. Be kind to yourself.

Show compassion and give yourself the same understanding you would give your best friend or a colleague in the same position.

What would you say to them to make them feel better? Say the same things to yourself.

2. Examine your mistake.

Become an objective observer and review what happened without passing judgment.

What could you have done differently? What can you learn from this experience so you can do it better next time?

3. Allow the emotions to come to the surface.

Acknowledge them, feel them, and process them, so they can move through. Harboring strong emotions like fear, guilt, shame, or anger will keep you stuck where you are.

Only when you honor what you feel are you able to release those emotions, so you can learn and move on.

4. Give yourself room to breathe.

But don’t wallow in the emotional upheaval. When you can step aside for awhile, you can open new channels of creativity.

Think of this as an opportunity to let the door close with the disappointment firmly locked behind it. Then, invite the windows to open.

Be intentional about what you want your next step to be.

5. Get curious.

What unique approaches can you take to get a different result? Tap into your network of resources to help brainstorm the possibilities.

Research options, test out a few, then choose one to implement, taking one step at a time.

You may notice a bit of that old fear popping up about now. Don’t worry — talk yourself off the ledge and take a step in the new direction.

RELATED: 4 Bold Ways To Boost Confidence And Love Yourself Just The Way You Are

6. Focus on what you’re good at.

Make a list of all the things you do well and make it an exhaustive list. Include things like making the best chocolate-chip cookies, being kind to others, a great organizer, a good writer, an exceptional trainer — you get the picture.

When you have a list of accomplishments like this to reference, you will always have a tool that reminds you of the value you bring to many different people and areas of your life.

You’ll feel your confidence building as you create this list.

7. Prepare to begin again using all that you’ve learned through this process.

Regaining confidence takes practice and builds over time by doing things well and learning from the mistakes you make along the way.

8. Find reasons to celebrate as you achieve small victories.

Since you’ve already learned to show yourself compassion, have honored your emotions, and allowed new windows to open, there will be many reasons to applaud your successes.

Take time to pause and reward yourself.

The progress you make along the way will restore confidence like nothing else can.

9. Practice resilience.

The act of bouncing back each time there is a failure or disappointment will make you stronger. And when you activate your resilience like you would a muscle, you become more flexible.

As a result, your confidence builds and you can step back into your powerful self.

10. When all else fails, recall several times in your past when your confidence soared.

What were you doing? Why was your confidence so high? How did it make you feel?

Write down in technicolor detail what you experienced, remembering all the facets of these certain times in your life.

Use this exercise to help restore your confidence today by remembering what that felt like. Think of all the confident times in your life, starting when you were young, until just before this last time when your confidence took a hike.

Imagine each experience as a patch of beautiful fabric in brilliant and radiant colors. Now, visualize each separate piece sewn together into something you can wear — this is your "Confidence Cloak."

Each time you feel disappointed in yourself or as if you’ve failed at something, take your Confidence Cloak off the hanger and drape it over your shoulders. Take a deep breath.

Remember how you want to feel. Go through the 10 steps to reclaim your confidence, then wrap yourself in your Confidence Cloak and step back into your power, restored.

RELATED: 5 Empowering Phrases To Build Confidence When You're Feeling Down On Yourself

María Tomás-Keegan is a certified Life & Career Coach specializing in transition and the founder of Transition & Thrive with Maria. Learn more about the impact change can have on your life and how to move through it with more dignity and grace in her free ebook, From Darkness to Light: Learning to Adapt to Change and Move Through Transition.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.