“It’s your one and only life. I’ll say that again. One and only life. Go for it!”
A lack of confidence is something people come up against all the time, not just in dating, but in life in general. Most people will suffer from lack of confidence at some stage in their lives. How are some people so confident and others are not?
Well firstly, we are born confident. Make no mistake about that. As babies we cry and assert ourselves when we want something. As children we dream big and act as we want with no regard for what others think. As we grow up our parent, teachers and peers’ comments affect us and in turn, affect our confidence.
The school system alone doesn’t encourage us to be who we are or express our unique talents and creative gifts. Some of us may have had a traumatic event in our lives that strips us of our confidence. To keep it protected and intact, we need to work on it to re-ignite it.
Confidence can be recreated, so don’t think that you can’t become confident! Here are a few tips to get you started.
Be honest about where in your life you need to work. You could be completely confident at work and crumble in a dating situation. Once you know where your weaknesses lie, you can then work on that specific area. Where your focus goes, energy flows.
Then get prepared. When you prepare for something, it builds your confidence and self-belief that you can do it. Whether it’s a date or a job interview, research it! Just take action to prepare yourself. Being prepared and knowledgeable is empowering thus leading you to be more confident.
Acting leads you to accomplish your goals which gives you a sense of self respect and pride which in turn strengthens your self-belief and confidence.
Do what you are good at
We were taught at school to concentrate on our weaknesses. Confident people do the opposite-they focus on their strengths. Did David Beckham study science? No! Because he is not an academic. He is an athlete. He knows where his strengths lie.
When you are great at something, this brings up your confidence. In contrast, when you are doing something that you are not good at, it chips away at your confidence. The secret is to excel at what you are innately good at. This is where your natural gifts are.
Be the gatekeeper to your mind
We all have negative thoughts, but its allowing these thoughts to take over is the problem. Listen to every thought you have. For every negative thought replace it with a positive one. You will not believe the effect this will have on your happiness and your life in general.
Navy SEALS recruits are actually trained to use positive self-talk as a way of getting through tough times. This helps them quash fears that develop from the Limbic brain system, a primal part of the brain that helps us cope with stress. If its good enough for them, it is good enough for us!
Now is the only time you have
Start doing things you are afraid of now. Don’t wait till you feel completely confident or you will never do anything. People think that successful people are not afraid. They are. The difference is they feel the fear and do it anyway. They get through it and this raises their confidence to take more risks.
This cycle continues which allows them to keep climbing because their self-belief and confidence keeps growing. To increase their safety, FBI agents are actually taught to move closer to the threat because they know that it’s a waste of time ignoring, denying, or avoiding fear.
I cannot stress how life changing exercise is to your mental, emotional, and physical health. So much research has shown the benefits of exercise has on a better self-image, preventing depression and killing stress. It releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals, into your body and keeps you young. In my humble opinion, exercise is nature’s anti-depressants.
Stop caring what people think
Let’s be honest, most of us don’t believe in ourselves, so how can we expect others to believe in our goals? Ignore the nay sayers and believe in yourself! As John Lydon (lead singer of the Sex Pistols) once said ‘I have to like myself, I’m all I ve got’.
You have to stand your ground and protect your dreams no matter what people think. If you think you can do it, you can. Stand up for what you want and stand up for yourself. You are enough. Be your own best friend and soon you’ll be living the life you want on your terms.
You will be free not to mention bursting with confidence because you were brave enough and authentic enough to follow your own path regardless of what people thought. It’s your one and only life. I’ll say that again. One and only life. Don’t let something as unimportant as what people think stop you. Go for it!
By Frances Kelleher & Kathy Prendeville