One of the things that is frustrating about confidence is that it leaves.
I once felt like confidence came easy to me, almost naturally, but now I am realizing that sometimes, as weird as it sounds, you have to re-learn how to be confident. Which is always a strange feeling… when you once had something and now you don’t.
Things happen in life that can cause a major damage to your confidence level — break ups, divorce, interviews, job loss, miscommunications, mistrusting situations, failures, etc. When life gets you down, it’s hard not to want to stay down, to wallow in our defeat, to want others to just give us sympathy instead of picking ourselves back up and continuing the fight. Even though, I, often times, want to stay in the pool of misery, I know and have come to learn that these are the exact situations when you have to look within yourself to find the strength to keep moving forward. It is during these times that I have come to rely on the following tips.
1. Humor is the best pain reliever. Not drugs, not alcohol, not the $150 outfit that you just had to have from Macy’s… The ability to poke fun at yourself is the best way to brush off those brief encounters with low self esteem. No one is perfect. I repeat, no one. So if today is your day to veer off course, to fall in the pit, why not do it with a good laugh and a smile. After all, you’ll get em next time, tiger.
2. Confidence is the key to all good things. When I want to continue to get down about my short fallings, I try to remind myself of this saying. There is nothing ever, truly bad that comes from confidence. So if you got it, flaunt it. And, let’s face it, everyone’s “got” something so figure out what it is and use it.
3. Comfort. What is confidence, really? I think that a lot of people mistakenly judge people who are overly confident as those that have something different from everyone else, a naturally big ego. But, when you break it down, confidence is really just a level of comfortableness with yourself and who you are. You know your strengths and your weaknesses and you play the cards you’ve been dealt. If you’re not good at public speaking, recognize that and find the things that work for you. Speak loudly. Go slow. If you’re great at public speaking but tend to overwhelm the crowd, tone down your approach, make more eye contact. Find the things that set you apart and expose them. Work on the things that don’t.
4. There is always a second chance. Always. Nothing is written in stone. One incident, event, failure is not going to make or break who you are and what you can accomplish. The more you believe in this, the higher you will bounce back from the times when you hit the ground.
5. Buy time. I know, I just talked about this. But, it is so quickly that I forget!! Times of unconfidence often occur when you react quickly to something that happens in your life. So remember to BUY TIME, think about your approach and actions. What are the consequences? How will you feel after you react?
6. Never apologize. Ok, unless you actually did something wrong. But, I often times say sorry for my actions even if they have no effect on anyone else. It is a bad habit that I am trying hard to break. The point is you should never have to apologize for your slip ups that are inconsequential to others. Own your mistakes, but only for yourself. Recognize what you want to improve and move on. Continuous, unnecessary apologies will only make you feel worse about the situation.
After all, don’t you want confidence to stick around longer the next time it comes to visit?