Do you have confidence issues?
Can you at times feel super confident while at other times feel insecure and weak?
Are you good at putting on a confidence front, but deep down you feel very insecure?
Maybe you struggle with confidence full stop, and never act or feel confident?
If you said YES to any of the above, then don’t worry… so do most people.
Most people, if they say NO, are lying or kidding themselves. They are just good at hiding it, or won’t put themselves into situations that expose their vulnerabilities.
Struggling with mental confidence is tough, and it wears you out…
You have this voice inside your head that just doesn’t shut up…it keeps going on and on. Nothing you ever do is good enough, and you beat yourself up for not being tougher…
Offering you a helping hand…
I’ve written this article to try and help you.
I’ve had my struggles in the past (and to be honest, still do). I’m by no means a guru or some buddha like figure who claims to have life all figured out…
Unfortunately, I don’t.
But that said, I’m much happier than I used to be — way more in fact.
I have learned over the years, through trial and error, hiring coaches, and reading hundreds of books.
While I’m far from the finished article, I do believe I can help you, and that’s the intention of this article.
What’s in the article?
I’ll try my best to explain why you may suffer from confidence issues.
I will also provide eight simple solutions that can help you boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Before I dive into solutions, let’s look at why you may be struggling with confidence in the first place…
Why do I have confidence issues?
“Why do I feel this way?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
These are just a handful of questions that buzz around your head when suffering from a bout of low confidence.
Confidence… all comes down to how much we back ourselves and believe in our worth.
Confidence can be there one moment and then gone the next…
For example, when I’m coaching LEP Fitness clients, I’m super confident…
I’ve completed over 10,000 x one to one coaching sessions. I’m experienced. I know that I’m good at what I do.
That said, if you were to stick me in front of one hundred people (or even just ten people) and ask me to do a presentation…I wouldn’t be so confident.
In fact, quite the opposite, I’d be petrified like an arachnophobic confronting a gigantic Huntsman spider.
The first thing to realise is that confidence comes and goes depending on how you feel about yourself and the situation.
It’s normal to feel confident in certain situations, and fearful in others.
Where do my confidence issues come from?
Do you have overbearing parents? Who were/are continually putting pressure on you? It probably started out in childhood… pressure to get good grades in school? Or follow in their footsteps and get into law/med school?
Perhaps a teacher said something to you at school, such as “you’ll never make it.” or “you’re stupid.”
It can happen in the school playground, at work, somebody says something to you or gives you a particular look, that makes you feel ugly or unimportant.
It begins in childhood…
Often the issues you carry throughout adult life stem from childhood.
Up until the age of eight years old, we are purely emotional beings, living in the present and receiving feedback from the people in our environment.
During childhood is where you learn ‘right’ from ‘wrong’ and often get rewarded for perceived good behaviour and scolded for bad behaviour.
Your parents and the people who raise you play a huge role, but so do other family members and people who regularly featured in your childhood.
If you were neglected as a baby/child, it’s common to carry this through to adult life.
Often all it takes is a funny look from a stranger, and the feeling of abandonment and unworthiness is triggered…
All of a sudden, we fall into a deep sadness, perhaps a depression that’s difficult to escape.
For some people, it lasts minutes, others…hours, or days, and for many, the feeling is always lingering.
These types of self-esteem issues lead to all sorts of behaviors in adult life such as addiction – whether that be an addiction to food, drugs, alcohol, sex, thrills, exercise, you can get addicted to any behaviour.
The impact varies from person to person…
Abuse or neglect in childhood will impact individuals differently. For one person, it may lead them to drink heavily or become dependant on drugs. In contrast, for another person, it may drive them to succeed and become a professional athlete or successful entrepreneur.
The emotional pain is the same, although the lifestyle a person leads will differ…
For example, a man on the street whose addicted to crystal meth may not differ much emotionally from a successful and narcissistic CEO. While the homeless person has no money and a drug habit, compared to the CEO, who has a mansion and more cars than a car showroom…
They both have emotional wounds that lay beneath the surface and are, in many cases, just as unhappy, despite the outside appearing differently.
I’ve experienced this with lots of people.
Outward vs Inward Success…
Outward success can often be a reflection of inner turmoil. And often (although not always) successful people are driven by pain, or what some psychologists like to call ‘voids’.
For example, if you grew up in a low-income family, where food was scarce, and you were picked on for wearing cheap clothes…
This could potentially drive you to become a successful entrepreneur later in life.
If you read the biographies of many successful people, you’ll notice lots of them came from complicated and challenging backgrounds.
And also, vice versa…
Some people come from very privileged backgrounds, but end up going the opposite way, leading a rockstar life and a life devoid of meaning. Drugs, depression, anger, frustration, and gluttony can still arise from such a privileged background.
If your needs weren’t met in childhood, you’ll try to get your needs met in different ways, such as the additions I mentioned earlier.
How do I gain confidence?
I wish I could click my fingers, wave a magic wand, and say abracadabra and give you the confidence you desire.
Unfortunately, you probably know this already, but I don’t have a magic wand.
That said, there are some tips and strategies that, if followed, will lead to a significant improvement.
Here are eight tips that have helped me and the clients I work with:
#1 Confidence Is A Muscle
First of all, it’s important to state that confidence is a muscle that needs to be strengthened.
When you first start going to the gym, it’s tough, and you come away feeling tired, drained, and slightly demotivated because so much work needs to be done.
BUT over time you get stronger, your muscles can lift more, and you can run further. In 8-12 weeks, you can make a huge difference…
Lots of LEP Fitness clients lose 24-30lbs (life-changing weight) in less than two months – read the success stories here.
You can achieve incredible things over a short period…but it still takes time, effort, and daily commitment.
So, first of all, realise that boosting your confidence is a marathon, not a sprint. Give yourself time to build your confidence muscle. And know that as long as you are doing your training, you will gain more confidence (it’s guaranteed).
#2 Figure Out Where You Want To Improve..
Where would you like more confidence?
Here are some common areas:
- body image
- meeting future partners
- social situations
The first thing is to figure out where you’d like to get better.
Then you can go and acquire the knowledge you need.
For example, let’s say you’re afraid of going out on dates…
The fear of rejection is too high. You’re scared, and therefore don’t put yourself out there.
Or when you do go on a date, you try and pretend to be somebody your not to impress the person.
You don’t feel like you can be yourself, so you present an inauthentic version of YOU.
This leads to lots of failed dating attempts, which further dents your self-esteem, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy…
You believe you’re destined to fail and therefore DO fail.
Well, what you can do instead is read books on how to get better at dating, and how to build confidence within so that you can express it outwardly. You can read books on improving your mindset and practice your new techniques.
Here a couple of books I highly recommend:
- Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway
- Chimp Paradox
- Feelings Buried Alive Never Die
- Values Factor
- The Path With Heart
- Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself
#3 Daily Journal
Writing down your thoughts each day can be a huge confidence booster, for the simple reason that you can release unpleasant and worrisome thoughts and let go of any mind and body tensions that you’re experiencing.
Get them all down on paper. Once they’re on the paper, they’re out of your mind. Or, at the very least, you can acknowledge them and gain a clearer perspective. You’ll be more likely to come up with solutions, and you’ll feel as though a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
When you wake up, or when you go to bed (or both)…
Keep a diary by your bed and write down all the things that are on your mind. These can be positive thoughts, negative thoughts, worries, concerns, etc. Just get them down.
Each morning I will always write down three things I’m grateful for in my life. I will also write a quick daily journal of how I’m feeling.
I then like to look back every three to six months and reflect on my life.
Most of the time, I’m worried about stuff, BUT it never happens.
It’s a great learning exercise, as well as helping you to elevate stress. When you minimise stress, you’ll grow in confidence.
One of the ways to boost confidence is to get out of your fight or flight brain. When you’re living in fear, are scared and feel unconfident, you’ll make poorer decisions.
So how do you get out of fight or flight?
This brings me to my next point…
Now before you skip this point…
Meditation isn’t solely for monks that live high in the mountains…
Lots of people now meditate, from athletes, business people, politicians, doctors, dentists, teachers, to name but a few.
It’s become increasingly popular because it works.
Meditation helps calm down your body’s stress response. It’s an opportunity to take time out, chill, recharge, and build a positive relationship with yourself.
Most of your confidence issues will lay deep in your subconscious mind. Sometimes you won’t even be aware of whats triggered a lousy mood…
It could be something that happened in childhood when you were two. Or a memory you’ve buried deep, but that’s still negatively impacting your life. It could be grief, rejection, etc.
One of the best ways to get to the route cause and to develop a better relationship with yourself is to meditate.
I would recommend trying the free version of Calm or Headspace. Try meditating for 10 minutes per day for the next two weeks and see how you feel.
#5 Hire a coach…
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
You can hire a life coach, a relationship coach, a personal trainer, counselor a business coach, etc.
You already know what area(s) of life you struggle with the most, so why not reach out to somebody that’s an expert and who can help you?
It’s much easier and quicker than trying to do it all alone.
Books and audiobooks are great, but paying for private one to one coaching has the potential to transform your life. You’ll get there in a fraction of the time it takes you by yourself.
As of writing this post we are currently in lockdown, due to Covid-19, therefore it may not be possible to see somebody in person. You can however do telephone therapy and hire a coach remotely.
#6 Surround yourself with positive people…
“You are the average of the five people you spend your most time with” – so, therefore, choose the people you hang around with wisely.
Negative people will drag you down.
Positive people will lift you up.
Now I know this can be difficult. To suddenly get rid of negative people isn’t always possible. But what you can do is make plans, so that in the future it is possible.
You can join groups, or listen to podcasts of people that inspire you. I often listen to 3-5 podcasts per week by people who are where I’d like to be. I gain inspiration and confidence, and it gives me a boost. Podcasts, to me, are one of my best friends because they make me feel good.
#7 Exercise to instantly boost your confidence
I challenge you to do a 20-45 minute workout?
I bet you £50 that you’ll get an instant confidence boost.
It’s almost impossible not to get one.
Of course, I’m going to talk about exercise…I’m a personal trainer after all…
But the truth is that there’s nothing better to change your chemical state than exercising.
You’ll gain an endorphin high after each session, and it will help to build both your outer and inner confidence.
When you struggle with confidence, it’s easy to sit around and feel sorry for yourself. Negative thoughts circulate and build momentum…and therefore, your state never changes.
You need to change your state to segway into a better mood.
Nothing does this more quickly than a good workout.
Now before you freak out, your workout doesn’t have to involve pumping iron with some burly sweaty blokes or dancing around with fit looking women all prancing around in lycra!
Working out can be anything from running to cycling to walking. As long as you are moving, you’ll change your state.
I challenge you to workout every day for the next four weeks.
Can you commit to this?
If you do…you’ll grow in confidence.
Here are some exercise ideas, please choose from the ones you enjoy the best and that suit your lifestyle:
- weight training
- fitness class
- personal training
- boot camps
- power walking
#8 Daily Action
I’d like to finish with the point I made earlier in this article…and that’s confidence is a muscle that needs to be built on overtime.
It’s not going to make much difference if you do these tips for a few days. It may make a slight difference, but the long term transformation will take time.
It takes, on average one hundred days to form a new habit. So you need to give it at least three months.
I can guarantee that if you apply all of these tips (or even just a handful) that you’ll see a significant boost to your confidence.
I’d like to finish off by wishing you the best of luck. And if you need any help along the way, please get in touch, it would be a pleasure to help you – Get in touch with Nick today.
Nick Screeton (Founder Of LEP Fitness)