Contrary to popular belief, you are more than your accomplishments. And conversely, you are more than your failures. You are the creative source, but not the creation. Attaching your self-confidence to the outcome of your actions is like attaching it to the weather. If you do, you're apt to feel good about yourself when the weather is to your liking, and critical of yourself when it's not -- and this is how many of us live.
That's not to say that you can't feel good about your accomplishments. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back, but be careful to separate that from your sense of self-confidence.
Take Daily: A Healthy Dose of Confidence
People who approach life with a healthy dose of confidence know intuitively that they cannot fail. They have a buoyancy about them that keeps them afloat on life's rough current because they don't let their failures sink them.
We all have the ability to fortify our raft of self-confidence for riding out both life's high and low waters. It comes down to the difference between a "fixed mindset" and a "growth mindset" -- the former referring to a belief that one's abilities are fixed traits, and the latter that anyone can grow through effort and trust.
A growth mindset is necessary for quieting your inner critic and building confidence. It centers on developing four qualities: self-worth, self-trust, competence and courage. Commit to bringing these qualities on board as you consciously quiet your inner critic and reinforce your self-confidence.
1. Reconnect with your self-worth
Your self-worth is a fact. It's not variable at all. The only variability is in your awareness of it. The deeper and more constant your recognition of your self-worth, the more your confidence will be bolstered and your life guided by it.
But awareness of self-worth is often shrouded by a veil of mental noise. To reconnect with the knowledge of your self-worth requires a deliberate practice of making space. Allow space -- or purposeful reflection -- to connect to who you truly are, beyond what the world tells you.
Experience the sweetness of your intrinsic worth. Structure a habit of consciously witnessing your mental dialogue, and learn how to keep your inner critic from undermining and obscuring your sense of self-worth.
2. Revive your self-trust
When you begin peeling away layers of negative beliefs about yourself, and experience an emerging knowing of the preciousness and potential that you embody, this automatically leads to a sense of reverence for your authentic Self. From that reverence comes an urge to be a person of integrity. And there's really no greater fortifier of confidence than to have integrity.
The most essential elements of self-trust are the ability to trust yourself to abide by your core values, to keep your agreements, and to manage whatever hurdles life throws at you. When you trust yourself, fear melts away because you know that you'll manage whatever comes up.
Pay attention to your self-talk. Replace "I can't" with "I don't" phrasing, such as, "I don't skip my scheduled workouts," or "I don't put junk food into my body," or "I don't get on Facebook during my workday." This is one example of how changing self-talk can empower you to trust in yourself.
3. Connect with your competence
Competence often comes through mastering a skill or achieving expertise in your chosen field. Yet competence is more than a matter of putting in the time and effort. There are scholars who've spent their lives accumulating college degrees, but who still think they're not smart enough.
With competence, in particular, it's important to embrace a growth mindset. You must believe that, by putting your mind to it, you can learn just about anything. If you catch yourself thinking that you'll never get good at something, challenge those thoughts.
Try to find objective and accurate assessors of your competence. There may be written tests available or online exams. Or, ask people in your life who will tell you objectively whether they think you're competent.
If it turns out that you do need to learn more, ask others in the field what the best avenues are for growth. The process is made easier if you pursue a skill that aligns with your interests and purpose.
4. Activate your courage
The need for courage is often diluted by an emphasis on things like business skills, education and networking. But timidity, risk-aversion and fear can undermine the most impressive skill set.
Not everyone is adventurous or extroverted. Yet, even for the introvert who wants a stable, peaceful life, there will be times when courage will allow for a deeper experience of peace and a richer experience of life's wonders.
Life is full of ways to boost your courage: Choosing what's right over what's easy; taking responsibility rather than blaming others; persisting when things get hard; accepting people who you dislike or disagree with; and so on.
We all experience varying degrees of fear and discomfort, but anytime we proceed anyway, we're activating our courage. Try to breathe into your lower belly, exhaling for as long as possible, to manage feelings of anxiety whenever courage is needed.
©2017 by Briana and Dr. Peter Borten. Reprinted with permission.
Adams Media Publications.www.adamsmedia.com
The Well Life: How to Use Structure, Sweetness, and Space to Create Balance, Happiness, and Peace
by Briana Borten and Dr. Peter Borten.
About the Authors
Briana Borten and Dr. Peter Borten are the creators of the Rituals of Living online community and Dragontree, a holistic wellness brand. Briana is a Mastery Coach with an extensive background in coaching clients to help them reach personal breakthrough and mastery. Peter is a doctor of Asian medicine who helps people attain whole health of body and mind. He has authored hundreds of articles, spanning topics such as stress, emotional wellness, nutrition, fitness, and our connection with nature. Learn more at: www.thedragontree.com.