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Published on February 24, 2020

5 Steps to Building Confidence That Is Unshakeable

5 Steps to Building Confidence That Is Unshakeable

Ayn Rand wisely said,

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

Building confidence is not about ability; it’s about belief. As evidenced by Rand’s quote above, a healthy sense of belief in oneself can go a long way.

Belief and confidence are like the chicken and the egg, inextricably linked in such a way that it doesn’t really matter which one came first because they are both essential to the other’s existence. When building confidence, we must believe, and to believe we must be confident that what we believe is right.

No one is born confident. Your confidence and beliefs are shaped by your lived experiences, including failure and disappointment that can cause you to question everything you thought you knew.

When you question your beliefs, it directly affects your ability to be confident. However, it is almost certain that you will fail and be disappointed from time to time. Therefore, knowing how to maintain your confidence in the face of those low points is paramount. [1]

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In an effort to help you avoid the destabilizing effects of failure and disappointment, here are 5 steps to building confidence that is unshakeable.

1. Create a Strong Personal Belief Statement

A strong belief statement, or affirmation, can be a game changer. Your belief statement should be both a distillation of your beliefs and a statement of encouragement that reminds you of your capabilities. You should feel positive and empowered when you say your belief statement to yourself.

An example of a belief statement is: “I fearlessly succeed, no matter the circumstance, and remain victoriously affluent.” The statement speaks to an ability to overcome life’s failures and disappointments while still accomplishing whatever must be accomplished.

In order to create your belief statement:

  1. Take 10 minutes to write down some challenges you have faced thus far and any themes that keep coming up in your life.
  2. Spend 10 more minutes generating some possible beliefs statements (1 or 2 sentences each) that sum up your ability to overcome those challenges and rise above any negativity presented by the themes while still embracing the positive.
  3. Spend 5-10 minutes saying the statements you have created out loud.
  4. Choose the statement that evokes the most positive emotion and confidence in you when you recite it.

When you have finished, memorize this statement, write it on your bathroom mirror, or carry it in your pocket to reference when you need a pick-me-up. Frequent recitation of your belief statement out loud or internally will start to lay the foundation for long-term confidence.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Through repetition we gain facility. The more you practice being confident, the more confident you will be.

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There are things that you already know you are good at or are capable of. The data from those past events can be helpful as you intentionally practice being confident, especially when it is used as evidence to support the belief that you can do whatever is required in the moment. [2]

Any time you believe you can accomplish something or deliver on an expectation, that is an opportunity to practice confidence. Simply expressing your confidence out loud to yourself or others can have a truly transformative effect.

The act of verbalizing your self-confidence immediately gives a positive belief more weight, and sharing it with others allows them to validate and support you in that belief. When they echo their confidence in you, it will help you in building confidence in yourself.

You have to strengthen your confidence like a muscle, otherwise you don’t stand a chance when life hits you with unexpected disappointment.

3. Surround Yourself With Confident and Competent People

You are a reflection of both the people you spend time with and your environment. Therefore, making sure that you’re spending time with people who exhibit confidence in themselves is important. They are modeling behaviors that are beneficial for your growth.

Watching others exercise their confidence despite life’s challenges will help deepen your belief and confidence in yourself. Their presence will not only serve as reminder of how to be confident in tough times, but it will also remind you that you are not alone on this journey.

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4. Keep Track of Your Wins

You can’t argue with evidence. The internal critic can get pretty loud and aggressive when you are dealing with self-doubt, which can snowball into an all-out assault on your beliefs and confidence.

We tend to be very good are remembering what went wrong but not as great as remembering what we did well. Keeping a record creates an archive of valuable data. [3]

When you have your wins written down, you can always refer back to them as tangible examples of your capabilities, bravery, and accomplishments. Your inner critic will be hard pressed to negate such compelling examples of your confidence in action. These examples are great prompts to reconnect with your confidence and exercise that muscle.

5. Establish a Foundation of Trust in the Greater Universality of Life

Trust, here, refers to a deeper knowing that allows you to experience a deep faith that leads to confidence.

When you trust that there is something greater in store for you, that everything happens for a reason, or that nothing is random, then you are able to tap into a sense of acceptance when thing go awry.

There is a beauty in your individual spiritual experience that is unique only to you. Many things are unknowable, including the future. However, what you do know is that you are here on this planet with millions of other people, all trying to live their best lives and bring something of value to their community.

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You can trust that you are dedicated to doing what is necessary to move along your journey to self-realization. You can trust that up until this moment you have allowed yourself to be guided to where you need to be — whether by intuition or by something else. You can trust that you are already whole.

Cultivating a deep trust in the universality of life and the things we know to be true is an invaluable anchor for our confidence.

Final Thoughts

Building confidence is important, and for many that process can be daunting. Ultimately, what we believe about ourselves effects our confidence. We have all heard the old adage,

“If you don’t think you can, then you won’t.”

It may seem like an oversimplification, but it’s not. When you believe in yourself deeply, and the belief is rooted in deep trust, there is very little that can shake your confidence. Remember to practice confidence daily, be unafraid to create a belief statement that fires you up, track your wins, surround yourself with confident people, and establish a foundation of trust. Practices like these will give you the confidence you need to accomplish what is possible every day.

More to Boost Your Confidence

Featured photo credit: Xan Griffin via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Build Confidence
[2] Kingston University: Self-confidence at work: understanding and developing the construct
[3] The Gallup Organization: Investing in Strengths

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Awilda Rivera

Success Coach - Author - Speaker - Yogi - Advisor

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Published on September 25, 2020

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

Stress doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, invariably in different ways. Regardless of how stress shows up in your life, I think we can all agree that it’s present. When it does show up, it takes over the show. It then becomes difficult to stay in the present moment or show gratitude for what and who we have in our life. In the eye of the stress storm, everything is tossed around into oblivion. This is probably when self-care finally comes to our mind.

How Does Stress Show Up?

On a physical scale, stress tends to be behind many of our typical ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, or body aches and pain.[1] When we’re in stressful situations, our body activates our fight-or-flight response. According to the American Institute of Stress, when the body is in this mode due to stress, “the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.”[2]

Why is this important? While our fight-or-flight response is extremely helpful when we’re in situations that risk our survival, not every situation is that dire. However, the body doesn’t know how to differentiate between such scenarios. Rather, we become accustomed to seeing every stressful situation as dire, and essentially locked into this fight-or-flight response automatically. This causes us to burn out because our body is constantly fighting or fleeing from threats that are not causing us any real harm.

On a mental and emotional scale, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.” Everything is interconnected. When our physical body takes a toll due to stress, this has a domino effect on how we process our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see correlations between depression and anxiety when it comes to dealing with stress.

How to Combat Stress?

Below are five self-care ideas for combating stress in your life. Consider implementing them into your daily routine for the best results.

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1. Start a Brain Dump Writing Exercise

When you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, it can become very difficult to stay present and focused. This could affect you at work, in school, or in your relationships. It’s as if your mind were filled to the brim with thoughts that are constantly competing for your attention. If left unattended, this can affect your performance or your state of being. Stress is just brewing!

One exercise to get this under control is called a Brain Dump, and it’s exactly how it sounds. Start by getting comfortable with a pen and paper or your favorite journal. Without any special formatting or introduction, just start writing any and all thoughts that come up. Consider your paper a blank canvas onto which you’re going to spill every thought, no matter how small or unimportant. This can look like a laundry list, a jumble of words, or a paragraph. Don’t think too much of how it looks. The idea is to give your thoughts an exit. Once they’re on paper, they’re no longer swimming in your head for attention.

Once you have them written down, leave them as they are. We have a tendency to want to fix our thoughts. Instead, allow them to simply exist as they are — they’re not right or wrong. Consider coming back to this exercise daily or whenever you feel like you have a lot on your mind.

2. Sweat It Out

There is nothing more therapeutic than moving the physical body when it feels the weight of stress. Energetically, we carry our day in our body! If we’ve had a particularly difficult day, that energy is going to feel tense and unsettling. This is why it’s so important to move and really break a sweat!

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,[3]

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“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.”

Find what exercise regimen works for you, and commit to it for a few days per week. Scientists have also found that even 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a tremendous effect on your body. Go for a run, take a spin class or a power yoga class, or dance the stress away in Zumba. Whatever gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat is one of the perfect self-care ideas to keep the stress away.

3. Seek the Care of a Therapist

Sometimes writing out our thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem quite enough. This is common and to be expected. After all, we are complex human beings who want to understand and process our emotions on a deeper level. This is why having a regular therapy session is so beneficial!

In the presence of a professional, we can open up about what stressful situations we’re going through. We don’t have to keep our emotions bottled up, and we know that our honesty will be protected and safeguarded.

Additionally, when we’re feeling stressed, we often want to simply vent and get things off of our chest. Having someone on the receiving end who will simply listen and hold space is a truly healing gift. We can often leave the session feeling more empowered, seen, and offloaded of the stress we brought in.

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Lastly, we may be able to receive guidance from our therapist on a particular situation we’re struggling with. Having someone else’s perspective on something we’re too emotionally close to can be just the right solution.

Here are more self-care ideas from a therapist: Self Care Tips During Difficult Times (A Therapist’s Advice).

4. Interrupt Your Day

This may seem like a derailing technique, but give it a shot! Interrupting your day means introducing something entirely new or random into a routine that is very monotonous or typical.

If your work or school day is the same sequence of events every single day, bringing in an interruption can be quite conducive to your productivity and creativity. This can look like pausing in the middle of the day for a yoga stretch at your desk or in your office. It could be playing your favorite playlist in-between meetings or taking a walk outside for lunch. Not only does this stir up new energy for your day, but it can also de-stress your day.

As I said in the earlier tip, when we’re too close to a situation or conflict, we have a harder time breaking away. We’re so emotionally and mentally invested that we don’t see how that proximity is affecting our health. So, interrupt yourself when you’re feeling stress coming on, and do something fun, random, and refreshing.

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5. Get Some Energy Work Done

Energy work is anything that is being done to improve the circulation and energetic flow of the body. This could be a massage, Reiki session, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture. As I said in a previous tip, moving the body helps move the energy that is blocked or stuck. This is why exercise is so important. However, sometimes we need a session where that work is done for us by a licensed professional. In such treatments, we have the luxury to relax and receive the benefits of the treatment. It’s a beautiful way to self-care!

Final Thoughts

Stress is unfortunately a common part of our life. It affects everyone, but to what extent it affects you is personal. One thing is for sure, and that is that stress has a tremendous effect on our physical, mental, and emotional state. This is why regular exercise is so important, as well as mental stimulation and emotional release. These self-care ideas won’t necessarily guard you from ever feeling stressed, but they will help you manage it better.

More Self-Care Ideas

Featured photo credit: Alisa Anton via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Mayo Clinic: Stress Management
[2] The American Institute of Stress: How the Fight or Flight Response Works
[3] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Physical Activity Reduces Stress

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