Is Returning To Work Causing Imposter Syndrome? With lockdown easing, I’ve seen more of my clients returning to their workplaces after more than a year…
How To Increase Your Self Belief
According to the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, 50% of women will not be assertive in their opinion or decision. Furthermore, eight out of ten people feel under pressure never to show weakness or make mistakes. This lack of confidence, self belief and esteem can be incredibly detrimental. However, you are always going to be your harshest critic. So, how can you cut yourself some slack and increase your self belief?
The problem with self belief
Our self belief is a tricky being. It can fluctuate day to day and minute by minute. This is usually because we have confidence in some areas of our lives, but not others.
When our self belief is unstable, it tends to rise and fall when we consider ourselves in different areas of our lives. Your self belief may be high at work, but low in friendship and social situations. It could be high when playing sport but may be low when you stand in front of the mirror. It could be high when you are with your children but low when you’re with your partner.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
When you start to see yourself as different entities; a parent, a partner, a lover, a friend, a worker, a runner, for example, it may make your self-esteem worse. You start to see these individual aspects as more important than how amazing you are as a whole. So, how can you increase your self belief in a way that is going to improve how you feel as your whole self?
Lasting ways to improve your self belief
1. Swap self-criticism for self-compassion
When we are feeling low, it is easy to sink even lower with self-criticism. It is important to remember that self-criticism is entirely useless. It doesn’t make you feel better and doesn’t spur you into action. Self-criticism is incredibly demotivating. So, as soon as you hear your critical self, actively recognise it and switch your mindset.
Instead, try to only talk to yourself the way you would speak to a friend. So yes, you’re still allowed to be straight-talking, but you are likely to be far more compassionate, fair and reasonable.
2. Eliminate words from your vocabulary
There are words we use so often in our day to day self-talk that actually lower our self-esteem and belief in our abilities.
For example, I have a whole blog post that talks about removing the word ‘should’ from your life. The word ‘should’ switches a task from something you want to do, to something you feel you have to do. Guilt can then set in when you haven’t done something you ‘should have’. The words ‘need’ and ‘must’ also have a similar effect. For example, when you don’t complete something you need to do or must do; you may feel like you have let yourself, or others, down.
Similarly, ‘can’t’ is another word we don’t need in our lives. If we tell ourselves that we cannot do something, we are ultimately bringing our self belief down. It is telling ourselves that we are not able, not worthy or not skilled enough.
Another word to remove from self-talk is ‘but’. For example; ‘I have always wanted to do this, but….’. This type of self-talk gives you excuses for why you are not reaching your potential, living your best life or doing something you’ve always wanted to do. When you tell yourself excuses, you begin to believe them. This could be stopping you getting what you want from life as you’ll always feel there is something in your way.
3. Accept compliments
How easy is it to brush off kind words and compliments? When we feel bad about ourselves, we become resistant to hearing and believing compliments. This can often go to the point of telling the other person why they are wrong. Try to prevent that reflex kicking in to shoot down kind words when they are given. Instead, have responses ready to make sure you stop that reflex in its tracks. It could be as simple as replying with ‘thank you’ or ‘that’s kind of you to say’.
Hopefully, in time, you’ll notice that you are less inclined to rebuff compliments and actually start believing what others say. This will help to build your self-esteem even more.
Use affirmations wisely
If you use affirmations that you don’t believe, then they can do lasting damage to your self belief. So if, at that moment, you’re really not feeling a particular affirmation. Adjust it to fit your needs. For example; ‘I am a success’ can change to ‘I am going to persevere until I succeed.’ If you email me at email@example.com, I will send you a free affirmations audio, where you can select the affirmations that will work for you.
Get your confidence back
If you need help restoring your confidence and self belief, then my bespoke blended therapy can really help to overcome any demons and make you feel secure in yourself. Get started with your free consultation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0207 971 7677 to book your telephone consultation today.