WORDS by Stacey Colthup

Do you often feel shy or overly reserved? Critical of yourself or negative about past failures? How you perceive yourself is typically how other people will perceive you. If you're lacking in the self-confidence department, the good news is, it's a skill that can be learnt and built upon by following a few simple strategies.

I’d like to think of myself as a confident and self-assured person, and I may even come across that way to my friends and family, or strangers in the street. But I’ve learnt over the years that even the most self-assured people have moments when they doubt themselves, or fear failure and rejection – including me! Sometimes it’s hard to get out of the rut, and our self-confidence soon starts to dwindle down the drain. Well good news! By following these simple strategies you can learn how to love yourself again and truly reach you potential! 

1. Can the Trash Talk in your Head

Learning to be aware of the negative commentary that’s running through your head is the first step to gaining confidence in yourself. Push aside those negative, ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘As if I’d fit into that’ thoughts and instead focus on your strengths. Every time you catch yourself feeling negative, turn it around and focus on the positive thoughts you have about yourself. By turning your mind set to ‘Can Do!’ you’ll soon start to notice a newfound confidence in yourself and your abilities! 

2. Remember All the Things You Have Achieved

When you feel like your confidence needs a kick-start, take a moment to remember all the things you have achieved! It will make you feel better about yourself and remind you of all the awesome things you have going on in your life. Now I can hear you say, ‘But I haven’t achieved anything’! Well I'm not talking about climbing Everest or discovering a cure for cancer. Small things like saving for your first car, or cooking a three course meal all count. Trust me - you’d be surprised how many people haven’t actually achieved some of the things you have already accomplished! This can be difficult at first, but after a while you'll develop a handy mental list of self-esteem boosting memories!

3. Set Some Mini Goals

By setting mini goals you’ll prove to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to and feel fabulous for achieving something new! Keep your mini goals simple and realistic – it could be talking to a stranger on the train, or creating your feel-good music playlist! Always remember to jot your goals down, so you have that ‘hell-yeah’ feeling when you tick something off the list! Once you’ve mastered a few mini goals, start setting some larger goals, and then the sky’s the limit!

4. Plan and Prepare

It’s easy to fall into the ‘fear of failure’ trap if you don’t put effort into preparing yourself for the things you want to achieve. If you want to be more confident at work, go to your meetings prepared to discuss your ideas. If you want to run a marathon, plan a training routine you know you will stick to. When you’re prepared with a plan of attack you’ll feel a lot more confident in your ability to succeed and kick ass! 

5. Always be Ready to Face the World 

It’s amazing how much your attitude and outlook can change by simply ditching your ‘dags’ and getting dressed for the day. Spend time in the morning getting ready and wear an outfit you know you rock. Bold jewellery or a colourful shirt can also be a focal point and a good conversation starter! Taking pride in your appearance doesn’t need to be expensive either. Invest in a few basic pieces that you feel good in and you’ll be strutting your stuff down the street in no time.

6. Break a Sweat

Exercise not only helps you look better, it makes you feel better by producing biochemical changes in your body that boost your mood! All you have to do is take your dog for a walk a few times a week, or join a dance class and you’ll start to see the benefits. Plus, shaking your behind like Beyonce will make you want to steal her ballsy attitude! 

7. Stop Falling into the Comparison Trap

This one is the killer! Put your hand up if you’re guilty of comparing yourself to others? Now use your other hand to slap yourself! Unfair comparisons are the most dangerous habit that can destroy self-confidence. No one is perfect, and while it’s natural to envy others, focus instead on the things that make you unique and where you want to be in life. I know it’s tough, but the only person you should be competing against is yourself! 

Now I know what you’re thinking … I made it sound all too easy, right? Well practice makes perfect, so make an effort to start practicing the above tactics EVERY SINGLE DAY, and sit back and watch your confidence sky rocket! 

What every day tactics do you use to give your confidence a much needed boost?

Image Source via: Vogue UK

WORDS BY:  Stacey Colthup

Stacey grew up on a farm in rural Australia, and has spent the past few years working in the bright lights of London while travelling the world. Stacey now calls Brisbane home, and spends her time writing to scratch her creative ‘itch’. Stacey is known for her short attention span, her (unintentional) loud laugh, and is most comfortable when she’s wearing her ugg boots.