Self - reflection Sundays: Confidence cont...Your inner voice

Hi there!

I can't believe this is the 9th episode in the Self-reflection series, only one more to go!
I've really loved writing this series and can't believe it's gone so fast. If you'd like to see more please let me know in the comments below and I'll look into making a second series very soon!

You can catch the whole series by looking in the archives but if you missed the first self-confidence post you can find it here...

Last week we reflected on some of the activities in life that we might feel less or more confident about and look for any trends or patterns.
This quick and easy activity is a great way to gain some perspective and hopefully you'll also be pleasantly surprised by just how many things you are confident about that you never realised. It can give you a real boost!

We also discussed the importance of not playing the blame game. It's OK and in fact a very good thing to recognise why you might feel a certain way, or which experiences in your past might have been the origin of your confidence or insecurities, but we don't want to use that knowledge to blame others, we want to use it so we can progress and move past it.

We then set these scene for step 2 - improving self-confidence. I asked you (and you can do this now too if you'd like) to think of an area in your life whether that's in your personal life, professional, or a more practical activity where you would like to improve your confidence. that's what we're going to cover today.

Think about what it is about that situation that makes you feel less secure, what goes through you're head?
Make a few notes on the thoughts that go through your mind when you think about that situation because your inner thoughts is what we're going to be working on today.

I shared mine in the first confidence episode, but here it is for a recap and to give you an example:

My situation: An Actors Improvisation Class

Goal: I would like to build my confidence as an actress so I might feel more comfortable, able to get into character, and confident to interact with others.

Why: I lack confidence in interaction with strangers, the thought of the unknown especially in relations to others behaviours or actions really makes me feel insecure...

Cause: I think this probably comes from my childhood. I grew up around some people who were very hard to predict and could fly off the handle without warning. As a result I feel very conscious of other people's behaviours and how they might react to me which makes me very wary.

My Inner thoughts:
"I don't know what they will do/say"
"How will they know what I'm going to do/say?"
"Will they mock me?"
"Will I look foolish?"
"Will I know how to respond? Will I just end up standing there like an idiot?"
"Will my response look natural/believable?"

Do you notice how all of my thoughts seem to be pretty negative?
Your thoughts have a huge impact on your confidence and can either boost or hinder your self-confidence so in order to build it up we need to change those thoughts.

First I just want to say, I'm not suggesting this is the complete fix to self-confidence but it's an important part and can help you on the journey to self improvement and a more confident outlook.

I also want to say that I'm not one to sugar coat things, I like to think I'm a realist and when I first learnt about these methods I was sceptical because to me they seemed a little 'airy fairy' but actually they honestly work, and as a psychology researcher I've done the background so I can truly say that if used regularly these simple steps can really help you on your path to greater self confidence and quality of life.

In honest truth one of your best mentors you can ever have is yourself. You're own thoughts play a huge role in how you feel on a day-to-day level, and how you react to all situations.
The act of thinking reinforces your thoughts, views feelings and emotions and by 'hearing' yourself think something you can have a massive impact on your confidence.

So if you were to have the confidence you're aiming for in the situation you've chosen, what do you think you're thoughts would be instead?

Here's mine:

"I have trust in what they are going to do/say"
"I know they have confidence that I will do my part well"
"They will respect my response"
"I will look professional"
"I trust myself to have an appropriate instinctual response"
"My performance will look natural and believable"

It may make your feel uncomfortable at first but having put a new more positive spin on your inner thoughts, try saying them to yourself, out loud or in your mind on a regular basis. Repeating positive thoughts in your mind two or three times a day can in itself have a great impact on your outlook and your confidence. By listening to positive thoughts it can have the same impact as hearing someone else say them to you. It seems a little false but with practice and regularity you'll be pleased by the change it can have on your perspective.

To track your progress I'd recommend keeping a confidence diary or even a video diary too. Everyday remind yourself of your goal and look at how you are feeling about your confidence that day and keep track. Hopefully with regularity you'll start to notice a difference in your confidence over time and you'll find your motivation increases too.

I'm going to be doing this very activity all week (and beyond) and in next weeks final Self reflection I'm going to share with you my weeks confidence diary entries and let you know how I progress with my acting aspirations! I hope you take part too!

What are you hoping to improve your confidence in? Let me know in the comments below and if you have any great tips for improving self-confidence please share them so we can all try them!

I hope you've found this useful, and you come back again next week for the final episode in the Self-reflection Series! I'm going to miss all this!

Thanks for stopping by!


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