Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem are the manifestations of fear. Fear of change, fear of judgement, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of being hurt and fear of discomfort are all powerful contributors. Feeling fearful is a natural human emotion and it can be useful in certain circumstances; however, it also chains us to dis-empowerment. We feel paralysed and unable to change our behaviours and circumstances, which lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life. To loosen our chains, become more empowered and regain our confidence we must do ourselves a huge favour and that is to stare fear in the face. Well yes, it is easier said than done you say. I agree, facing our fears can be daunting, so I put together a list of 7 powerful tools you can use to overcome your fears and build your self-confidence.
LIST WHAT YOU LIKE/VALUE ABOUT YOURSELF
Take a few minutes to think about all that you like and value about yourself. It is important that you pose self-judgment for a few minutes here and truly see all that is great about you. You can put things like being a loyal friend, patience, courage, persistence or even qualifications you achieved or physical beauty you are proud of on your list. Don’t hold back. Don’t worry this is not about developing an overinflated ego but about reaching inside and realising your own self- worth. When you are aware of your own worth then it is easier to overcome your fears. Knowing your self-worth is also an essential building block to self-confidence.
REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR STRENGTHS
Now, think about all the times in your life when you proved to yourself that you were mentally and emotionally strong. When I ask my clients to do this sometimes they tell me that they have never been strong, however after talking about it in more detail and examining life events, it always turns out that they had shown courage and strength many times before. So, I am asking you to dig deep and find your inner strength. To help you with that I suggest you ask yourself the following:
• How and when did/do I show strength in my life?
• What life lessons have I learnt?
• How could I use them as tools to build my inner strength, confidence and self-esteem?
DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT
Clarity is vital when you are working on disarming fear. You need to ask yourself the following:
What is it that I want the most?
If I had it, how would it change my life?
Write down what you came up with.
DE-VALIDATE LIMITING BELIEFS
Fear thrives on negative/limiting beliefs. When you stop limiting beliefs to run your life you cut off the fear’s life supply. You can silence your inner gremlins by questioning your limiting beliefs. You can ask yourself the following:
• Is it true that I won’t be able to succeed?
• Where is the evidence for that?
• Am I assuming? If yes, then I need to know that assumptions are based on fiction not on reality.
• How is it helping me to think this way?
ADD POSSIBILITY INTO THE EQUASION
Start to focus your mind to how it is possible to make whatever you want in life happen. It is essential that you believe that is possible, as without that fear will come out triumphant.
MAKE A PLAN
Create a plan of action that you will find easy enough to follow and stick to. Make small changes at first building up to more daring ones. If you need support at this stage, then don’t be afraid to ask for it!
TAKE THE FIRST STEP
Cliché I know but the only way to overcome fear is to face it. Start with the least scary thing first then as you gather your courage, challenge your bigger fears. What is important here is that you make the first step and step out of your comfort zone. If you have done the groundwork and know your inner strength and that you can deal with your negative beliefs, then making the first step of stepping into unknown territory will be an exciting rather than a scary experience.
You might have thought that you must be confident before you can make changes to your life but in fact it is the opposite, you become confident by changing your life, or to be more precise by changing the way you think and the way you act. You will find that as you make changes to your life, gradually your confidence will grow.
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