* This is a sponsored post for AXA PPP *
Have you ever wondered how much your lack of confidence is holding you back? What experiences and adventures are you missing out on because you don’t have any self confidence? It’s something I have been thinking about a lot over the past couple of months ago, and what I have been working on as part of my AXA PPP healthcare "Own Your Fears" challenge and I am sharing everything that has been helping me with these 10 Ways To Be More Confident.
If you have been following my posts over the past couple of months, you will have seen that I have teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to "Own Your Fears", as I work on my fear of being in front of the camera. For me, it is all a confidence thing and total lack of self-esteem. Whilst some people might see a quick care free selfie I have posted, they haven't seen the 100 photos I took before I got to that one and all the self-critical comments that came with them. But, that is slowly changing. Day by day, with little changes, I am becoming more confident and this challenge from AXA PPP healthcare has given me the motivational kick that I needed.
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What this challenge is all about is not living in fear and being scared of your fears, but using them as the driving force to make positive changes. Fear isn't a bad thing - you can actually use it to fuel your health and well-being goals in 2018, and that's exactly what I have been doing. Fears should never hold you back. My lack of confidence has been holding me back for years, and I have missed out on so many opportunities because of this, but it is time for a change and these tips are what have been helping me.
The moment we start to believe in ourselves, and we stop questioning whether we can, whether we are worthy, fearing failure and stop worrying about what other people think, is when you open yourself up to new and exciting opportunities. Don’t want to keep missing out? Here are 10 ways to be more confident.
The power of positive thinking
It doesn’t matter how many positive things you hear about yourself, or even positive things you think about yourself, as the negative ones will always overpower them. So, great rid of all those negative and doubting thoughts. I know, it’s not that easy and it’s certainly not instant. But slowly replace all those negative thoughts with positive ones. Or if it is something negative you can’t shake, find ways you can work on it to change the problem.
Find your comfort zone and push through it
Expose yourself to different situations and note when you feel comfortable and when you start to lack confidence. Challenge yourself to push out of your comfort zone a little at a time and build up your confidence little by little.
Now, I am the first to admit that I don’t spend a great deal of time on my appearance. It’s not just a lack of time “Mum thing”, as pre-baby I never did either. You won’t find me in a nail salon or having spa days and I wear make up about twice a year usually. It’s just not something I am bothered about. But over the past couple of months I have made some small changes, and it has made the world of difference to my confidence.
I have gotten my hair cut twice in a few months, rather than once in 6 years (I know). I have been using a tinted moisturiser (with SPF) to give me some colour and wearing mascara and tinted lip balm daily too. As well as this, I also make sure that I put “real clothes” on each day. Working from home means the temptation to just stay in workout clothes all day is strong. But just putting “outside clothes” on makes me feel a bit better about myself.
Set yourself goals
I have always been goal orientated, so this is one that really works for me. Set yourself a goal, something to aim towards, that is related to the area you lack confidence in. Once you reach that goal, you will not only see the areas you might need to work on, but you will also realise how competent you actually are, which will give you so much more confidence in the future.
For me, my lack of confidence is mainly being in front of the camera. So, I set myself the goal of being more confident on a hen party I went on this weekend and I didn’t try to hide behind anyone in a photo once. Whilst I won't choose to be front and centre any time soon, having hundreds of photos taken throughout the night, with no chance to make sure a double chin or two wasn’t showing, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
Cut negative people out of your life
This might seem a bit of a harsh one, but sometimes it’s necessary. If you are normally a fairly confident person, but being around certain people just has your brain flooding with negative thoughts, it’s time to ditch them. Or at least have a serious conversation about their impact on your confidence. Do they make unhelpful comments about your weight or belittle you? You don’t need that in your life.
Find solutions not more problems
I am the first to admit that I am a complainer. I used to be such a positive and confident person and always find the good in things, but that has changed as I have gotten older and I want to get back to that. Instead of just focusing on the problem, and being negative about it, look for a solution. The solution might be a lot easier than you think.
Diet and exercise
This might be an obvious one, but sometimes you just need a reminder and it’s been the one that has had the most impact for me. The past week I have been 100% on plan with my eating and I have lost 6.5lbs. I haven’t excluded anything, I have eaten ice cream, fries, a Greek meze meal and a few gin and tonics on a hen party. I have just been mindful of portions and counted calories. Also, I have hit over 10,000 steps a day. The difference in my confidence this week is massive. It’s not about the number on the scale (although it is nice to see it going down again), but I feel so much better for seeing colour on my plate, for having varied meals again and getting outside walking more. Seriously, a healthy diet and being more active will put a spring in your step.
Spend more time alone
Something else I have been working on over the past few months, and a mini challenge my AXA PPP healthcare coach set me, is spending more time alone. It’s been over 2 years since I found out I was pregnant and my whole world became about Avery and focusing on her needs, that now I am spending a little more time on myself. During this time alone, I am getting to know myself again. The new me, with new priorities, new skills and new likes and dislikes. How can you battle demons if you don’t really know them? Spending more time alone has allowed me to keep a journal, track my negative thoughts and write 5 positive things about my day. Just those small things build my confidence because they show me I am capable of doing so many great things.
Learn and practise
Confidence isn’t just in something like your appearance, it could be a lack of confidence in our job or hobby. So, what’s the best way to be more confident in doing those things? Work on being better at them. Take a class/ workshop in it or spend a couple of hours each week reading some online tutorials. The more you feel you know about the subject, the more confident you will feel doing it and speaking about it. Always make sure your goals are small and achievable to begin with.
Fake it until you make it
It’s a cliché as old as time (perhaps not quite that long), but in some ways it’s true. Obviously you want to actually work on having more confidence, rather than just pretending you do. But in the mean time, acting like you are a positive and confident person is so powerful. It gives you an insight in to what your life would actually be like if this came naturally to you.
Do you have any top tips for boosting your confidence? Do you have any fears that are holding you back? Let me know in the comments.
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