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Embracing confidence and self-compassion

A great way to get working on your confidence is to remind yourself of your strengths. What are you really good at? How have you been really resilient these last few years, and what have you learned about yourself?

Confidence, a quality so essential in our personal and professional lives, can often feel elusive to many of us. Yet, by embracing a few key principles and incorporating them into our daily routines, we can nurture our confidence and allow it to blossom.

Recognising Our Worth

Confidence, at its core, lies in recognising our inherent abilities and strengths. It’s about acknowledging the unique talents and qualities that make us who we are. It’s important to understand what we excel at and by focusing on our strengths rather than fixating on our weaknesses, we can play to our advantages and approach challenges with assurance.

A great way to get working on your confidence is to remind yourself of your strengths. What are you really good at? How have you been really resilient these last few years, and what have you learned about yourself? Of course, sometimes it’s hard to answer those questions because without a healthy dose of confidence, we can find it hard to think of anything we’re good at. This little exercise is designed to help you create a ‘strengths list’, which is something you can use to build yourself up from within.

  1. Complete the following sentence: ‘I acknowledge myself for…’ List 10-15 achievements or things you’re proud of, throughout your life.
  2. Now consider how you made those things happen. What skills and talents did you use?
  3. Write down a list of those skills and talents – however big or small – and then write ‘I am’ in front of each of them. Perhaps you’ve acknowledged how resourceful you’ve been – that becomes ‘I am resourceful.’ And so on.
  4. Those ‘I am’ statements are now positive affirmations you can use every day, or every week. Look in the mirror at yourself and read them out loud – maybe lock the bathroom door first, just in case! Say each one out loud. ‘I am resourceful.’ ‘I am resilient.’ Positive affirmations help us reframe the way we think about ourselves, and this helps build confidence.

The Power of Positive Self-Talk
Our internal dialogue shapes our perception of ourselves. Positive self-talk is a potent tool in building confidence. By consciously practising self-compassion and kindness towards ourselves, we pave the way for a healthier self-image. Making a shift in our mindset not only boosts our confidence but also fosters resilience, enabling us to navigate life’s uncertainties with grace.

Courage to Step Out of Comfort Zones
Our confidence flourishes when we step out of our comfort zones. The significance of facing our fears and embracing challenges on our self-confidence is profound. Every opportunity to stretch ourselves, be it in our careers or personal lives, provides a platform for growth. Overcoming these challenges, even when faced with setbacks, instils a sense of achievement that fuels our confidence.

Embracing Imperfections and Self-Compassion
Perfectionism often hampers our confidence. Instead, try embracing your imperfections and acknowledge that ‘you are enough’ which helps to foster a sense of self-compassion. As we learn to be kinder to ourselves, we cultivate a nurturing environment where confidence can thrive. Just as spring embraces the beauty of imperfections, we too can find strength in embracing our flaws.

The Support of Others
Confidence is not a solitary journey. The support of friends and mentors can provide valuable perspectives and encouragement. It is essential to learn from others and channel their confidence when needed. So try to find your ‘power person’ – the one you want to emulate. Surrounding ourselves with positive influences amplifies our self-belief and reinforces our capabilities. It also shows what good looks like.

Watch your Body Language
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy is renowned for her TED Talk about how body language can have a direct impact on our hormones. She’s very keen on power posing like Superwoman or Superman to help us take on the world.

She’s known for telling people to ‘fake it until you become it’. Which I personally really love. So rather than ‘fake it until you make it’ her twist encourages us to think about how we can make a real difference if we’re thinking confidently or channelling our ‘power person’. Whoever that might be, think of someone to act as inspiration to help you fake it until you become it. The more that we practise confidence by playing our strengths, taking compliments gracefully and ‘faking it until you become it’ then the stronger our self-confidence muscle becomes. It’s the ultimate self-fulfilling cycle.

Remember to SPRING
I do love an acronym and this is a great one we came up with at Wishfish to help people with the process of getting their confidence back. If in doubt, remember to SPRING.

S: Stop comparing

P: Practise positive self-talk

R: Reduce the urge for perfection

I: Invite feel good moments into what you’re doing

N: Nurture your body

G: Get out and about, get outside and do things.

As we move forward in our year, I encourage you to embark on your own personal journey of confidence with a spirit of self-compassion and determination. Just as nature awakens from its winter slumber, let us awaken our inner confidence, embracing our strengths and imperfections alike. Spring forward with a renewed sense of self-assurance, for within us lies the power to blossom and thrive.

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