Insecurities plague all of us. In fact, I have never come across someone personally or professionally that hasn’t wanted to feel more confident about themselves. There are ways to overcome insecurities and even though they may not materialise overnight, if you make an effort you could be a stronger, more confident version of you within weeks.
1) Define Yourself
Who do you want to be? What type of person do you want to be in the world? You can choose. Only you can define yourself, no one else can. People may say you are this or you are that, but that is just their opinion. You can take or leave what they say as you, and ONLY you, create who you want to be. Are you someone that lives by certain values? Decide what those are. Think of five words to describe the essence of you…what would those words be? I choose these words: kind, funny, adventurous, inquisitive and optimistic.
2) Ignore Negativity From Others
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. People may say hurtful things but if you accept their version of you, you are agreeing with another person’s perception of you and allowing it to override your own ideas about yourself. You don’t have to take on board what others say about you. There will always be some people in the world that you won’t be able to please. So go about pleasing yourself instead, living according to healthy values. Care less what others think.
3) Stop Comparing
We compare an idealised version of other people’s lives to the bare truth of our own lives. This is irrational and unbalanced as you will never really know what is going on in other people’s lives. We tend to see the “highlight reel” of other people and focus on the “behind the scenes footage” of our own lives – a very unfair comparison. We tend to feel worse when we compare ourselves unfavourably to others. Remind yourself when you look over at another pretty woman or handsome guy (and feel inadequate) that this person has troubles too. Their lives aren’t as perfect and charmed as we often tend to believe.
4) Reinforce Your Strengths
Remind yourself regularly of all the good things about you. I find it shocking how many clients find this really hard to do. The majority of clients start to blush and get all edgy when I ask them to list five things about themselves that they like. It’s an easy way to make a client squirm. Yet, it is healthy for us to be able to extol our virtues. It’s healthy to be able to rattle off a list of strengths… “Yes, I am a hard worker, conscientious, honest and always on time”. Whatever it is, get used to repeating positive statements to yourself daily.
Are you good company? Do you have a good sense of humour? Have you got incredibly sexy big toes? You get the picture!
5) Be Your Number One Fan
Back yourself 100%. Not 90%…you owe it to yourself. If you don’t, who will? Confidence is contagious. If you act confident, others treat you accordingly. They don’t ask for your ‘confidence credentials’, they merely accept that you obviously like yourself and it does change the way others treat you. Never talk negatively about yourself or call yourself negative names under your breath. Instead of saying “why am I so stupid?”, say something like “That wasn’t the best way to go about things, I will know better next time”. There are ways to talk to yourself that maintain your self esteem. This is important.
6) Act As If
If you need a little help in the beginning to get the ball rolling, imagine someone that you admire. It could be a family member or a celebrity, whatever works for you. Imagine how this person would talk, stand, sit and greet others. Take on the role of an actor and the more you act this way, the more natural it will become. Trust me it works. At times we have to fake it, call on the strong part of your personality to do the acting job.
Remember: No one is better than you or worse than you. Everyone has something that they are insecure about. You can overcome insecurities by honouring the person you are – every wrinkle, bump and wobbly bit…love it all. It is part of you. Being happy in your own skin is one of the most powerful characteristics you can possess. You know how you can see someone who isn’t particularly good looking but they ooze confidence and really seem to like themselves? That is what we can all have when we learn to love our ‘raw materials’ that we’ve been given. Make the most of what you have but more importantly, love every part of you. Other will follow without question…