Here at my practice in Bexhill I see lots of people who struggle with self-confidence. Why is it that low self-confidence is such an issue? There can be many reasons. Often low self confidence has its roots in our early relationships; sometimes bad childhood experiences such as bullying and abuse shape the way we view ourselves. The cumulative effect of “put downs” and ridicule lead us to form a view that we are somehow less worthy than others. .This view of ourselves becomes a rigid template upon which we hang our identity. Yet, so often, these, “beliefs,” are never challenged or even questioned. They are accepted as established facts, yet these so called “facts” are just “opinions”.
It is time to challenge and re-shape these opinions. Here’s how:
1. The first step in improving self-confidence is to accept responsibility for change and growth.
2. Stop spending time aimlessly drifting; stop procrastinating and do things on time. Recognise your own needs: sleep, relaxation and a good diet.
3. Are you a dreamer? If so, make some goals so that your dreams can come true.
4. Take risks, share in groups, give feedback to others. Don’t be too proud to ask for help and admit you’re wrong. Don’t refuse help when it is offered.
5. Start asserting yourself and stop saying yes when you really want to say no. Stop being a “people pleaser”.
6. You are an OK person. You do not need to depend on others for a sense of importance. You are of equal worth.
7. Speak up, believe in yourself. Remember, no one can insult you or put you down unless you allow them to so.
8. Behave towards yourself as you would a friend you care about. Listen to your inner compassionate voice not your inner critical voice.
9. Lower your expectations of yourself. No one has to be perfect.
10. Remember you are unique; you have a lot to offer, you are special and there is only one of you in the world. You are a worthwhile person.
Begin to make changes now. Good luck.
Until next time, Steve.
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Steve Clifford Senior Accredited Integrative Psychotherapist. Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.