Mental Health Awareness Week has never been so relevant. As it comes to a peak we wanted to reflect on how we’re really feeling and how to enhance our self-confidence. Isolated from our friends and missing the comfort of a weekly routine, lockdown has left many of us with feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty. We asked Rhiannon, a self-development coach and future forecaster, to share her tips on how to overcome the new challenges lockdown has thrown at us.
Ah lockdown, what a wonderful opportunity to work on yourself, with endless amounts of time and banana bread to make the days of self-development drift on by. But wait, what happened to my motivation? To my self-belief? Robbed of the day-to-day cues we get from our external world, many of us are scrolling pages of Instagram wondering where on earth our sense of self wandered off to.
The dictionary defines self-confidence as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement. During times of immense change, say a global pandemic, our brains enter threat-mode, sparking a chain of complex neural reactions. With our brains are on hyper-alert our cognitive resources are significantly depleted, leaving room for self-doubt to creep into the spaces where self-confidence once bloomed.
While the expectation to show up to the office every day as ‘your best self’ has all but disappeared, with a spattering of people furloughed and others adjusting to the new zoom office, we still need to show up for ourselves. Working on self-confidence can help both in the long-term and in the immediate future; helping you to cope with stress, improve your relationships and boost motivation.
So, what can you do to give yourself a boost? Here are three steps I share with my clients to support them in building self-confidence:
#1 Identify your strengths
One of the best ways to boost your self-confidence is to identify your strengths and think about how you can use them more often. You’re far more likely to find success when you take on tasks that draw on your strengths, which gives you an experience that in turn fills you with self-confidence.
Take a minute and think back to a time where you have felt a sense of achievement, what were the unique strengths that you brought to the situation? Focus on the basics—don’t get caught up in details or plagued by perfectionist tendencies.
#2 Make it stick
A lot of people talk about gaining confidence like it’s something you can order off Amazon, but just like how you build a strong core through yoga, you need to do the same for your self-belief muscle. There are certain tricks you can use to ‘self-hypnotise’.
Some people choose affirmations or mediation, personally I use the ‘tooth-brushing technique’. Each day while brushing my teeth I repeat my strengths to myself as I brush. By doing this you are training your brain to create new neural pathways. The pathways get stronger with repetition until the behaviour is the new normal and these beliefs are embedded in your subconscious.
#3 Rest & Self Care
It’s very difficult to feel confident when you’re tired and not caring for yourself. Engage in self-care to show yourself how valuable you are, and you will feel more confident in your abilities and motivated to share.
To learn more about boosting your confidence and handling self-doubt, check out Rhiannon on Instagram here.
Guest blog by Rhiannon Jones