|A critical component for confidence|
Up and Over; Five Strategies to Boost Your Confidence
Struggling with confidence? Tired of self-defeating thoughts taking over every cell of your being? In a slump looking for a boost to get you back on track? We’ve all been there so know that you are in good company. No matter the origins of the loss of self-esteem or confidence, stress or case of the blahs it is critical to take charge to move up and over through a difficult time. While it would be great to think about someone else coming in and saving the day, helping you feel better, make you feel worthy, this boost to your confidence starts with you. And you can do it.
Below are 5 strategies from my e-book Up and Over; Boost Your Confidence When None is to be Found,
As super simple as this sounds, for those who are sinking, overwhelmed or stressed remembering to take a deep, opening breath is pretty important. There is a reason that this is the number 1 strategy. The depth and richness of your breath is what will start to give you a boost to your confidence.
As an extra, I often send myself an e-mail or put post-it notes around my desk and in my car to remind me to breathe. And I really like tweeting out a reminder to breathe – it always gets retweeted or favorite and makes me feel like I have helped someone else too. More strategies about breathing and reminders to breathe are covered in Chapter 1 of Up and Over. Fill your life with deep rich breaths and fill yourself with life-affirming confidence.
#2 Create Cue Cards
Cue cards are often used in television, plays and other public performances to help the actors or speakers keep track of their place, where they want to go and where they need to be. So often when we are involved in the moment, the passion or drama of what is happening it is easy to let adrenaline or emotions take over and lose our place.
While a little passion and adrenaline is not bad and can aid a performance, allowing that emotion or drama to sidetrack the speaker can be quite disturbing for both the presenter and the audience. So understanding that getting sidetracked is a common and usual part of the job, cue cards are used to keep us on track. The same can be said for helping us stay on track in anything we want to accomplish or move toward – so let’s create cue cards to help stay focused on boosting confidence.
You can have a lot of fun creating confidence cue cards that remind you to be grateful, be thankful, be patient, and one of my favorites is to create a mission-driven cue card:
Write down your mission in life and post it everywhere as a reminder, and reflect on your mission cue card daily. If you don’t have your mission clear in your mind, there are exercises in Chapter 2 of Up and Over to help you have fun with identifying and connecting with your mission. Cue cards provide a reminder of what we and others appreciate about ourselves and each other.
There’s a reason that the term “moving forward” is used to describe positive progression toward something – just the sheer act of moving will help boost your confidence. It does not matter if it is walking or doing gentle yoga for a few minutes or marathon bouts of Zumba or spinning, the act of moving counteracts a physiological response to being stuck in “frozen mode” so characteristically known as the fright portion of the “flight or fright” response to stress.
So many confidence defeating responses happen when stuck in frozen mode so anything you can do to move forward out of fright mode will help boost your confidence, anything; so go ahead and get started now. Start slowly, do one thing, start somewhere and add movement to your moment. Here are just a few strategies from Up and Over to help move you forward.
· Go to a playground and swing on swings, slide down the slide, twirl on the carousel or hang upside down on the jungle gym.
· Blow up a bunch of balloons and see how many you can keep in the air at one time.
· Vacuum, get into it vigorously getting all of the dust specks hidden in the curtains, behind doors, move chairs, cushions and couches and get under those hard to reach areas. And then enjoy looking at all you have accomplished. Start somewhere and just move.
# 4 Give
When experiencing a lack of confidence, nothing will boost it quicker and painlessly than giving. The act of giving helps to move our thoughts away from ourselves and toward someone else, creating movement of focus and energy. And identifying that someone may need or want something that we have to offer provides an immediate boost to self-worth.
The gift can be simple, a kindness, an action, a thought shared with another; its main components are to be genuine and intentional. I wrote a book called One Hundred Days of Giving which is loaded with ideas and inspiration for giving opportunities, most with no financial expectations, simply fun and creative ways to give and to provide a meaningful experience for someone else. Here are a few ideas from Up and Over:
· Bake an extra batch of cookies or lasagna and take them to your neighbor, or someone you know who is alone or is struggling.
· Put some spare change in someone else’s parking meter.
· Volunteer to help at your local food shelf or animal shelter or other organization where your time is indispensable and valuable.
#5 Act As If
Fake it. Yes fake it. And then fake it until you make it. This is the point where the rubber hits the road…the toughest test, the point at which when there is no confidence to be found it is critical to “act as if.” Act as if you have confidence, act as if you feel worthy, act as if you are worthy.
It will make a difference. Our hearts hurt, our cells are screaming with lessons, old baggage that is working like crazy to pull us down and it is SO easy not only to ignore the research but to use it to hurt ourselves further.
It is critical that when we are this low, feeling this crisis of confidence, that we need to dust off that persona, that actor in all of us and go out there and act as if we have confidence. Even if it is for time limited performances. The rush of the applause when we do a great acting job will help create an up and over moment, will create some momentum and then you know what to do…pull out a strategy from any of the other previous chapters in this book and start working the program again.
Up and Over is filled with practical tips and exercises to help you keep moving one foot in front of another when getting out of bed is a chore; strategies for boosting your confidence when there is none to be found and ideas for helping you move up and over when you are wavering at the brink of confidence.
You can choose confidence and these simple suggestions will help you do just that. Try one, try two, modify one, add your own, whatever you do, just do something, one thing, and then the next and then the next and before you know it - you will at least be acting “as if” you are filled with confidence, and then, even you, will begin believing it yourself.
Kathy Stutzman is a writer and world citizen who works to create meaningful connections between people. Her new e-book Up and Over: Boost Your Confidence When None is to be Found was published in June 2014 and is available at: Up and Over on Amazon or Up and Over on Smashwords you can find her at www.KathyStutzman.blogspot.com or on Twitter @KathyStutzman. One Hundred Days of Giving is available at Amazon