Learn to Trust Yourself: 7 Tips to Strengthening Your Self-Confidence
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” ~ Golda Meir
I don’t trust myself to ___. With what words would you fill in this blank? Make good decisions? Follow through? Just say no? Before you can step forward with confidence, it’s important to build trust in yourself, because second-guessing and doubting yourself are some of the key reasons for inaction.
Unshakable self-confidence comes from knowing how you will react under adversity, stress and pressure. This self-knowledge takes time as you experience each situation, analyze how you can improve, and successful handle a similar situation in the future.
Think about it…what leads you to trust another person? Is your trust earned by one grand gesture? No, it’s the consistent, trustworthy moments you experience that build up a pattern of trust. Likewise, each small moment of self-trustworthiness you experience builds a record you can count on.
Our confidence and trust in ourselves is never dependant on the behavior of others. One person might give a stellar presentation that everyone loves, but if her internal talk tears it apart and puts herself down, her confidence will be shattered. On the other hand, a speaker whose audience is bored and distracted, can step back, assess what happened and why, identify what part she played in it, and learn from the experience, without it shaking her confidence, because she believes in herself.
We can’t afford to give our power away by letting other people dictate how we think and feel about ourselves. We can respectfully listen to what they say and then make a conscious decision that their thoughts won’t change who we really are. As Frank Sonnenberg, author of Soul Food: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, says:
“Consider the advice of others, but trust yourself in the end.”
If you’ve lost trust in yourself because you haven’t forgiven yourself for a mistake you made or someone in your life has worn you down with harsh criticism, know that all is not lost! Use the following suggestions to reboot and strengthen your ability to trust yourself again…
- Embrace the whole YOU. Acting like someone you’re not is a sign that you don’t trust yourself. Be mindful of your emotions and avoid the tendency, when hurt, to withdraw and hide your true self. When you start to feel insecure, remind yourself it’s OK to be you.
- Hold onto your values. Under pressure we might cave in. It takes practice to stand up for what you believe in even if that makes you “different”. After all, other people are entitled to their thoughts, beliefs and feelings the same as you are.
- Keep promises to self and others. Sometimes we make promises we know we can’t keep because we want to end the pressure being placed upon us. To keep this from happening, build strong boundaries so you can mindfully choose to say either, YES or NO and mean it! That way you build a reputation as someone who is trustworthy.
- Be accountable for mistakes. If you mess up, don’t let shame overpower you. Apologizing will bust shame into pieces so you can move forward once again.
- Practice self-compassion and self-forgiveness. One misstep doesn’t make you a bad person. We’re all weak at times and being judgmental does not help! Stop any negative self-talk, before it takes a hold in your brain. Be generous in your assumptions about yourself, choosing to see the best in yourself, while realistically working on the weakness, so it eventually becomes a strength.
- Build on your strengths. it can be helpful to do more of the things that you’re good at and less of the things that you aren’t great at. When you excel, your self-confidence and self-trust will soar.
- Firm up your decision-making skills. Break the habit of questioning your decisions. The next time you make a choice, even if it’s not the best choice you’ve ever made, maybe it’s even a disaster, there’s no benefit to beating yourself up. Learn from it and your next decision will be better.
When you don’t trust yourself, introspection feels uncomfortable. Avoidance — using external noise from electronics and activities that keep so busy you can’t think — isn’t the answer to feeling more confident. It works against you learning to trust yourself.
Is it time to break the habit of looking away, by mindfully looking within? Our 3rd annual Bring Forth the Leader Within Retreat will be the perfect time and place to become comfortable with introspection and learning to trust yourself under any situation.