11 Ways of Building Self Confidence

Truth is what we agree on anti more information comes along

When you’re confident you feel secure in yourself and your abilities. Not arrogant but quietly certain that you’re capable of handling what shows up in your life. Confidence is necessary for you to back yourself to move forward into the unknown to reach your goals and your dreams. Everyone agrees that confidence is important but far fewer people have solid advice on how to become more confident.

External events and outcomes can increase or decrease your confidence. You have no control over those externals except in the way you choose to respond. Stronger self-confidence creates better responses. So here they are, 11 ways of building self-confidence you can start implementing today. 

1. Make your Relationship with the Most Important Person in Your Life the Best it can be

William Glasser said that everything is a relationship issue. What you probably forget is that the most important relationship you have is with yourself. When you relate to anyone, including yourself, you are either connecting or disconnecting. 

Build your confidence with connecting habits
Smash your Confidence with disconnecting habits

2. Take the Best Care of your Body that you Can

When you value something you take care of it, right? Your body is the only vessel you have to experience life through. It’s a marvel of engineering but it can also cause you a lot of pain. Some of this pain is outside of your control but you do have a lot of control over the way your body looks and feels. The way your body looks and feels can add or detract from your confidence. 

Instead of taking care of your body do you have a tendency to use your body for comfort? If you’re comforting yourself with food, alcohol or vegging out you’re not caring for your body you’re abusing your body.  

You can keep doing this or you can look at the underlying causes of your stress and manage the symptoms better while you sort those causes out.

3. Meeting your Needs

You have five genetic needs: survival, power, love and belonging, fun, and freedom. Everyone has the same five needs to varying degrees. If you can meet those needs successfully you will be confident and happy. 

Enter your email address on the sidebar so we can send you our Needs Profile and Satisfaction Questionnaire. You can then see how well you’re meeting your needs and how this could be dragging down your confidence.

4. Focus on what you can Control

There’s only ever one thing in life that can you control and that’s you in the present moment. Blaming yourself for your past choices, or allowing yourself to get down for long over things that are outside of your control is waste of time.

Practice being the best you can be in everything you do then let everything else go. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by what’s going on around you. Most of this will be outside of your control. Pull your attention in around what you’re doing and focus on it fully. Bring joy and enthusiasm to your tasks and appreciate your efforts.

5. Do what Brings You Joy

Joy is the greatest currency of the universe. Feeling joyful builds confidence.  It feels great to feel great.

Doing the things that you love is usually the first thing you drop when you’re under pressure. When you do that you’re telling yourself that you aren’t as important to yourself as other people, and other things.

6. Accept what is Showing up

Accepting what is showing up in your life and learning how to deal with it successfully is an amazing way of building confidence. Unless you’re in imminent physical danger, the basis of most fear is the idea that you won’t be able to handle something that might happen. So each time that you do handle something successfully you’re building your confidence. 

7. Glance in your Rear Vision Mirror Every Now and Then

You can’t get where you want to go by staring at your rear vision mirror. That’s why your rear vision mirror isn’t very big and your windscreen, by comparison,  is huge. It does help your confidence however if you glance at where you’ve been and how far you’ve come, now and then. 

2017
2020 – A Largely DIY Project

8. Stop Comparing Yourself

Part of having a great relationship with yourself is to really value and appreciate who you are, your unique talents, and your journey. It’s very difficult to do that if you’re always comparing yourself to other people. So STOP IT!!

9. Check your Perception

Truth is the information you agree on until more information comes along. If the information that you’re giving yourself, via your thoughts and actions isn’t working for you go out and get some different perspectives. Ask people who you trust what they think. Gather information from reputable sources and if necessary change your perception or change your behaviours until you’re in alignment. 

10. Check your Quality World Pictures

Your Quality world pictures are the ideas you have about the things that you need to be happy. Confidence is part of happiness because it takes confidence to be able to meet your needs. If you’re having trouble meeting your needs there are three things you can change: your thoughts and actions, your perceptions, or your quality world pictures. If your quality world pictures are unrealistic or unattainable your confidence will keep getting battered. You don’t have to completely wipe your dreams and aspirations but they might need tweaking. 

11. Learn how to Manage Stress and Anxiety

How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety Effectively

Stress and anxiety are a vicious cocktail when it comes to wrecking self-confidence. When you’re highly stressed your lizard brain kicks in and your lizard brain only has a couple of options: fight or flight. It developed that way to save you from physical threats. Today’s issues require the more modern parts of your brain to help you strategise yourself out of your problems. You need to think clearly and you can’t do that with old lizard brain in charge.

As always thanks for visiting and I hope this post has helped you gain some clarity over confidence-building. If you don’t already receive regular communication from us sign up for the Needs Profile in the sidebar so we can keep in touch. You can also book an online counselling appointment with Jeff below.

To a more confident you 🙂

Deb

Jeff Steedman and Deb Burns

Your Best Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions
New Year's Resolutions

2021 was being welcomed in a way that has not happened before in my lifetime. There was a sense of hope that the world will begin to right itself. Skyrocketing Covid-19 cases around the world and even a new breakout in Australia may have dampened that optimism somewhat but most people are still hopeful that 2021 will be a better year than 2020. I could see this by the number of people out exercising this morning and working on their New Year’s resolutions.

We can’t control the world, in fact, the only thing we can really control is ourselves. Some people made the most of 2020 by changing something in their life for the better. They hung in there even when the world seemed like it was going to hell in a handcart. They can look back with a sense of satisfaction in having achieved something worthwhile.

Others soothed themselves, stressed, and worried. As a result, they probably didn’t hang onto their 2020 resolutions and haven’t come out of the year as well.

New Year’s Resolutions often revolve around reforming habits like unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, using addictive substances, overworking, etc. All these habits have one thing in common. They’re avoidance of discomfort in favour of pleasure. 

Pleasure vs Happiness

There’s nothing wrong with authentic pleasures like spending quality time with friends and family, enjoyable outings, taking care of yourself, hobbies, educating yourself, exercise, and even relaxing at the end of a full day’s work. Pleasure-seeking becomes problematic when it doesn’t move you towards sustainable happiness. Instead, you use pleasure to reduce discomfort and to avoid dealing with behaviours that you know need to change for your overall wellbeing.

We often justify this kind of behaviour. We tell ourselves that we have to put up with whatever’s causing us stress, and pleasure-seeking is the only option available to feel better about it?

Your partner’s abusive, but you can’t leave because you’re in love. Your job may be horrible, but you have to stay because it pays well or there aren’t any other good jobs around. You’re locked down, bored and frustrated so it’s OK to calm yourself with sugary snacks. This kind of thinking is incredibly destructive because it’s managing stress with destructive behaviours. It’s a poor substitute for sustainable happiness.

Making Sustained Change

Making New Year’s resolution is easy. Sustaining change isn’t so easy but long term it’s easier than continuing to seek pleasure and comfort via unhealthy behaviors. Motivation also plays a part in this. A lack of motivation is often brought about by unresolved fears that lead to a “head-in-the-sand” mentality.

One of the reasons that New Year’s resolutions don’t stick is because you start them during the holidays. At some point, life as you knew it before, re-starts. You have to find the time and the discipline to incorporate your new behaviours into your old life.

If you allow yourself to believe that there’s not enough time to maintain your New Yeat’s resolutions, or to address big issues, the next best thing is a bit of pleasure-seeking right? Wrong; pleasure-seeking is like a low-grade addiction to a multitude of things. Of course, everyone needs some pleasure; a bubble bath, a piece of cake here and there, and to watch some Netflix. But spending significant time doing these things when there are bigger things that you know need addressing, is going to lead to trouble down the track. 

Creating a Wellbeing Scale

A well-being scale is typically a scale between 1 and 10, showing a vision of yourself at your perceived worst and your perceived best. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest. 

Create a vision of yourself and your life that’s balanced, happy, and healthy. This is you at an 8-10. Now think about what you at your worst might look like. You don’t need to see yourself as a homeless drug addict. A smoking, workaholic that lives on takeout food and has no friends will do. This would put you down at a 1-2. Now place yourself on your scale according to where you see yourself at present.

This can be confronting, especially if you’re a long way short of your best version of yourself. The gulf between where you would like to be and where you are can seem insurmountable, but all sustainable change begins with just one small step. 

Begin with the Biggest Problem

New Year’s resolutions work best when you focus your efforts on what you can control. Stay in your lane and let other people figure out their own resolutions. What’s the thing about your life that upsets you the most? What can you do about it? It’s likely that you’ve tried many times to address this issue and, for whatever reason, you haven’t been successful.

This isn’t unusual. It often takes many tries to make sustainable change. Change isn’t easy, if it was everyone would be doing it. And everyone would be walking around as their best version of themselves. If you could take just one small step towards that vision you have of yourself at your best, what would it be? Each step you take will lead on to another and before you know it you will have stepped your way into your best self. 

Identify your Needs

You will have much more success with any behaviour changes if you can identify your needs and learn to be resilient to discomfort, which is a form of stress. 

You can download your Needs Profile Questionnaire in the sidebar. Or if you’re ready for more check out our Stress-less training. You’ll still get the Needs Profile Questionnaire, but you’ll get a whole lot more as well.

Choice Theory Online is all about making choices and changes to improve your life. Don’t let the New Year’s resolutions you make this year fall by the way by February. If the first two options don’t appeal, you can get a free original meme each day to help maintain your motivation right through to 2022.

5 Stress-Reducing Habits for the Holidays

Stress reducing habits for the holidays

Good habits are an important part of a successful life. Especially if they become your default setting. Things that you genuinely feel bad about not doing. Deeply ingrained good habits are like positive addictions. They will help get you through the most stressful times in your life and the holidays can be a very stressful time.

This holiday season comes with even more stresses and strains than usual. Many things that stress you these holidays you’ll have very little control over. Developing and maintaining good stress-reducing habits will not only help you to enjoy the holidays but they’ll also set you up very well for whatever 2021 has in store. 

1. Thought Control

An unruly mind, full of negative and pessimistic thoughts causes a lot of stress. Taking control of your mind is a stress-reducing habit that really works. To manage your thoughts, especially in a situation where you know that your needs aren’t being met, takes practice. But it’s extremely beneficial and well worth the effort. 

Only allow thoughts that serve you. When thoughts that undermine you or won’t lead to happy holidays pop-up, replace them authentically with better ones. It’s fine to feel disappointed because you can’t be with loved ones. Or because you don’t have enough money to give your children everything they want. But balance that out with thoughts of gratitude for what you do have. Think creatively about how you can make the holidays a wonderful time. Your thoughts directly impact the way you feel. Better thoughts lead directly to feeling better and having better experiences. 

2. Moderate Exercise

Moderate exercise turns on endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural defense against stress. Do some form of exercise you enjoy, where you enjoy doing it. For some people that will be walking in nature. For others, it will be doing a gym session or even a yoga session at home. Any form of gentle to moderate exercise works to reduce stress. Do it every day if you can. Exchanging your usual exercise for a pleasurable physical activity like gardening or playing energetically with the kids now and then, works well too.

3. Get enough Sleep

Sleep is so important in keeping stress levels down and yet it’s often one of the first things to elude you when you’re stressed. When you’re under pressure with too much to fit into each day it’s tempting to reduce your sleep hours. Having more waking hours each day won’t make you more productive if you’re sleepy and stressed. It will also make what you’re doing unsustainable and unpleasurable.  

Good sleep hygiene habits are a must.

– Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.

– Keep regular sleep hours.

– Stop working intensely at least an hour before you try to sleep.

– Don’t drink coffee or energy drinks late into the day.

– Watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol might send you off to sleep but it won’t  give you a good sleep and it can leave you feeling hungover the next day. 

If you’re still having trouble sleeping, practice relaxing your body, quietening your mind, and focusing on your breathing. If you have problems or a to-do list going around and around in your mind get up and write it all down. 

4. Redirection

Recognize when things are getting on top of you and break the stress cycle. Think of your stress levels like the heat that builds up in a pot on the stove. Ideally, you’d turn down the heat but when that isn’t possible you can take the lid off to keep everything from boiling over. 

You can redirect yourself by doing something relaxing and enjoyable. Whatever you choose to do take your thoughts with you. There’s no point in spending an hour in the garden if your thoughts are still on how you’re going to find a job.

You can also redirect yourself by doing something that needs to get done but is easy and low stress. 

5. Keep up your Dopamine Levels

Dopamine is your happiness hormone. Sleep, exercise, and doing enjoyable things increase dopamine levels but there are other things you can do to give yourself a hit of dopamine.

– Cuddles … and they don’t have to be with people, animals will do.

– Eat enough protein. Keep your diet as balanced and as enjoyable as    possible.

– Listen to your favorite music.

– Meditate … and you can meditate while you walk.

– Get enough sunlight, it really does make a difference

– Keep your lifestyle as balanced as possible.

You hopefully already have a number of these stress-reducing habits in your life. If you do hold onto them tightly. Don’t be tempted to let them go in because it’s the holidays or because you don’t “feel” like it. 

When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed it’s easy to let things go, thinking that will help you feel better, but the opposite is true. While there can be a little initial relief by giving your morning work-out a miss, you’ll get more long-term benefits by pushing through and doing it. 

By making these habits the non-negotiables of your lifestyle you’ll be able to handle more stress when you need to. Good stress-reducing habits will make it possible for you to operate better in high-stress environments. 

Everyone goes through periods of high stress at some point in their life. Good stress-reducing habits will help you through these periods, but you should always look at the bigger picture. Why are you under so much pressure? Are you on a learning curve, dealing with something new, or managing something out of the ordinary? Under these circumstances, the period of overstress will be limited. You’ll eventually get back to less stress. 

If you’re stressed over something that’s a long-term part of your life and is likely to always be there, you need to start addressing the underlying causes. A great place to start with that is by downloading our Needs Profile Questionnaire in the sidebar.

To everyone who is reading this post we wish you the happiest holidays you can create. It can be a stressful time of year but it’s also a beautiful and special time of year that can be rewarding and rejuvenating if we let it. 

Best Wishes

Deb and Jeff

How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety Effectively