These 3 exercises that I am sharing with you today get to the core of low confidence and low self-esteem. Unlike other superficial techniques, they increase your confidence in a deep and lasting way. As you might expect, these ways are not a “magic bullet”, but will require some work and persistence to see results. If you want to build deep and lasting confidence, you might consider working with a life coach.
The first two techniques I describe here are great ways to discover and remove the negative thoughts about yourself that are dragging your confidence down. The last technique is a great way to bring your confidence up by creating new beliefs about yourself. See how they work in harmony with each other.
1. Increase Your Self-Awareness
Whether you know it or not, there is a constant internal dialogue going on in the back of your mind. There’s a voice in your head, and it might be saying things like, “You can’t do it”, or “You’re not good enough,” or “You don’t deserve it.” As my life coaches remind me, most of us are unaware of what our “monkey mind” is saying to us and about us.
To get a better grasp on what that little voice is saying, you’ll need to start listening to it. The two best ways to do this are:
- meditate and listen to what your inner critic is telling you
- write those thoughts down in your journal
As you gain more awareness of what your inner critic is saying, you’ll notice that the voice may quiet down and go away, or it may even intensify (because now you’re hearing it more). Either way, you’re now more aware of it. From here, you (or the life coach you’re working with) can question whether these thoughts are true, challenge them, and work with them to let them go.
2. What You Don’t Like About Yourself
Now you’re going to start writing in your journal, a word document, or on a piece of paper.
Make a list of all of the things that you don’t like about yourself. It can be about anything: the way you look, the way you talk, the way you act, write it all down. After you’ve written down your list, slowly go through each item on the list and forgive yourself for each “flaw” or aspect of yourself that you don’t like. See if you can accept this aspect of yourself.
I can’t stress enough the importance of doing this deep and sensitive work with patience, love, and acceptance. Bring an attitude of understanding and most importantly, acceptance. As you go through the list, ask yourself some questions like, “Can I accept this aspect of myself?” and “What would it take for me to accept and love this part of myself?”
3. Reasons Why You’re Great
My favorite way to tackle low self-confidence was introduced to me by a life coach in Atlanta.
First, consider in what way or in what aspect that you’re not feeling confident. Maybe it’s socializing at a party, talking to a love interest, or applying for a job. Or maybe it’s just how you feel about yourself — for instance, how you look, your personality, or something you don’t like about yourself.
Again, we’re going to write in your journal, on your computer, or on a piece of paper. At the top, write “5 Reasons Why I…” and fill in the desired outcome. For instance, “5 Reasons Why I Am Good at Socializing”.
Now list all of the reasons that come to mind. Ask yourself, “Why am I good at socializing?” Perhaps you’re good at making people laugh, or you can bring up interesting topics to talk about. Maybe you have a knack for asking good questions, or you have a really good friend who you can just be yourself with.
Write a fresh list of your 5 reasons every day. Then start doing 10. You might keep coming up with the same answers, or even find new ones. You’ll probably be surprised at some of the reasons you come up with.
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What are you feeling unconfident about?
Did you try out one of these exercises? How did it work?
What’s your favorite way to increase your confidence?
Tom Casano is the creator of Life Coach Spotter. Life Coach Spotter is a place to learn about life coaching and how to get what you really want out of life. Subscribe to our blog to learn from professional life coaches how to live your dreams.