Feeling confident is an issue for many people and with summer just around the corner, it can often feel even harder.Issues can come from lack of body confidence, dressing for the beach and self-image. This month, I’m going to teach you some quick ways to get more confident for the summer – fast!
Obviously, one key to feeling more confident is your appearance. Diet and exercise will have a big impact on this.
But if your just not motivated to go to the gym or eat right, what can you do?
One method is to become aware of the pictures and feelings you create when thinking of going to the gym. Imagine for a moment you have not brushed your teeth this morning and notice how you feel inside. You’re likely to get a yucky feeling and an urge to take action and clean them.
Now take those same feelings for not cleaning your teeth, hold on to those feelings, think about not doing any exercise today, and notice what happens in your mind and body. You should find yourself more compelled to take action, get up and exercise.
In a similar way notice what pictures and feelings you create, and what you say in your head when you’re eating food you know you shouldn’t.
Say you were reaching for chocolate cake; notice the pictures you make in your mind, the feelings in your body and what you say to yourself just before you reach for a slice.
Now think of a time you felt really sick and re-create all the emotions, images, and thoughts that go with that. Hold on to that negative feeling and try overlaying those feelings with reaching for the chocolate cake. Allow the feeling of being sick to mingle with it – you should find your desire for chocolate cake goes right down.
Of course, a lot of our self-esteem is simply down to our own self-image. So, what can you do?
If you want to shift your confidence, a quick way is to create positive associations.
Imagine a time when you felt really confident. Notice what you think and feel in that moment. When your fully associated with the feeling, squeeze your thumb and forefinger together. Keep repeating this process, getting into that confident feeling and squeezing your thumb and finger and after a while you will create a positive trigger.
Now imagine yourself in that summer outfit and squeeze your thumb and finger together – notice how you feel differently.
Another method for feeling more confident is in how you carry yourself. Stand up, breathe deeply and notice what happens if you lift your chest slightly and put your head and shoulders back. Walk with purpose. The more you do this, the more you’ll start to feel more self-assured and it becomes self-fulfilling.
Focus on What You Want
So much of how we feel about ourselves is directly related to our thoughts. Whatever we focus on tends to get bigger, even if that is something we say we don’t want. i.e. if you say to yourself “don’t think of a blue tree, don’t think of a blue tree”, you would first have to think of a blue tree in order to not think of it. You get my drift?
So if you are saying to yourself, “I don’t want to feel bad, I don’t want to be fat, I don’t want to look bad” etc, you will still get the feelings associated with the negative thoughts.
The key is to start focusing on what you DO want to feel.
Start spending time each day focusing on all the things that make you feel good, happy and confident, and the more you put into those thoughts and images, the more you’ll find your confidence will increase.
Practise the tips above, even if it only for 5 minutes a day, and you may just find the coming summer will be a stress-free, confident and happy one.
Chistopher Paul Jones,
Phobia and Anxiety Expert