How do inner peace and self-confidence affect our being authentic with others? A question this week was, “How do I find more inner peace and self-confidence to be who I am and interact with others without overwhelming myself?”
I think a lack of self-confidence can lead to less inner peace. As introverts this inner peace is vital to who we are. If we disconnect with it it’s like pulling the plug of a lamp out of an electrical socket. I’m going to be quoting myself here (LOL) from my 5 part online ecourse for Building Self-Confidence for Women where some of the ideas are timeless.
Self-esteem is how you think and feel about yourself. When it’s positive you can associate it with a feeling of pride. It is how YOU perceive you.
Self-confidence is a belief in yourself and abilities. You can have no, low and over self-confidence. You can even have different levels of self-confidence in different areas of your life.
People with a positive self-confidence both feel good about themselves and know they can take on any task with experience, resources and training. Chris Belding, a co-leader for a series of programs at the Women’s Resource Center says, “A woman who is self-confident, who knows herself and feels positive about who she is, has a greater chance of improving her career and employment situation. She is more likely to take the risks necessary to grow personally and professionally.”
We all make mistakes. We all have failures. What’s different between those who have self confidence and those who suffer with either no or low self-confidence is how they recover from these setbacks. One of the behaviors you may find keeping you stuck in feeling low or no confidence is engaging in negative self-talk.
Use your self-talk to boost your confidence.
How do you become aware of the type of self-talk you have? There are actually two parts to a method to make the process work for you. First, perhaps when under stress, notice how you feel. Are you embarrassed? Are you fearful? Do you feel unworthy? What you want to notice first by paying attention to your feelings is what the feeling is. Usually we will have any negative feelings show up in the same place of our body so this first part will help make your observation skills sharper and quicker.
Next, observe your thoughts about the situation for a short time. Just what IS going through your head? Just let the thoughts run their course. You will not know what you are saying to yourself normally unless you catch yourself in your thinking. Examples of common negative thoughts are:
— self criticism: “Gosh that was stupid of me. …” “I don’t need to talk much, no one is going to listen to me.”
— focusing on poor performance: “I can’t believe I didn’t do that right …”
— worries about your appearance: “I wonder if they noticed that my shoes are scuffed. …”
— feelings of not being enough: “I just can’t seem to get it right.” “I know they asked me but who cares about what I have to say.”
Make a written note of the negative thought, and then let your mind run on with it. Take as long as you can in letting the negativity out.
Self-talk awareness is a key step to be able to substitute more positive self-talk. Letting our mind run it out is as effective as letting an upset customer spout off about their dissatisfaction. You’ll feel better and fulfilled. Write this self-talk down if you want to examine any patterns.
Do you exercise? The American Heart Association states “in addition to the physical benefits of exercise, both short-term exercise and long-term aerobic exercise training are associated with improvements in various indexes of psychological functioning.” Besides lowering medical risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other indicators, exercise improves self-confidence and self-esteem. If you don’t exercise, begin at the beginning: with your regular routine: park as far as you can when you travel to your office or to the mall; take the stairs instead of the elevator; once a week or even once a month, walk instead of eating lunch. At the end of the day these extra paces add up.
Finally for now, change some of those limiting beliefs you might have and instead, be free to grow in newly installed beliefs. Write out the more positive statements of any of the negative ones you notice.
You may think of others from the negative expressions above. Try writing them down to get them deeper into the recesses of your memory. And be patient with these changes. You didn’t lose self-confidence overnight and it will not be overnight that you will be more self-confident.
When you have your self-confidence going in a positive direction you will find that inner peace and it will help you in your interactions with others.
How do you give your confidence a boost?