Updated: Feb 28, 2022
When you are dependent on your partner, people around you, or your career for self-confidence, you can easily fall victim to the metaphorical worm that can nibble away at your centre – self-doubt.
Self-doubt is a curveball that throws worry, fear, self-sabotaging thoughts and overwhelm in your path. You become unsure, uncertain, hesitant, and lack the belief that you can do it. Inaction becomes a temporary or permanent refuge.
The antidote to self-doubt is self-confidence, which grows deep in your centre, still and calm. It needs nourishment and your careful attention to thrive. It has its root in the Latin word confidentia meaning 'firmly trusting'.
When you trust firmly in yourself, you can depend on a solid self-help base. This firm self-reliance is the greatest gift you can give yourself. When the chips are down, this is what will make the difference and allow you to bounce back sooner from life’s difficulties.
People come and go, careers stop and start, possessions can be lost, your fortune can take good turns and bad turns. The only constant in your life from cradle to grave is... yourself. So, developing your own tools to nurture self-confidence and recognise and ward off self-doubt is an essential life skill.
How can you nurture and grow firm self-trust?
The key is to have a positive influence on your thoughts that are keeping self-doubt in place. Interestingly, it’s when you create time and quiet contemplative space to step back from the immediacy of your thoughts and feelings that you can influence them the most.
You become aware, observe, and then, with this knowledge, change unhelpful thoughts and create new fulfilling, vibrant and positive ones that radiate the life force you deserve.
The following three strategies can help you nurture self-confidence.
1. Pay close attention to the words you say
Both to yourself in your mind and about yourself when you speak to others. Did you know that your mind believes whatever thoughts and words you give it? Whether these are beneficial, true, useful or downright negative?
When you say words like “I’m useless”, “I’m rubbish”, “I’ll never be able to be as good as you”, “I’m not good enough”, these are etching pathways in your mind and reinforcing that belief.
Change your words, even if at first you don’t believe them! Slowly take firm control of the words you use. don’t allow them to badmouth you!
Words come from your thoughts, so make them kind and caring towards yourself.
Consider the difference between:
“What I did was rubbish, I can certainly learn from this and do better next time.”
With the first, you are attacking your core being, with the second you are observing the facts of your behaviour.
2. Cheerlead yourself
Recognise and celebrate your successes. All too often you downplay your achievements. Comments like “Oh that, anyone could have done it” or “Oh it’s nothing really” can dampen and diminish. Compare this to when you celebrate and recognise other people’s successes. There is a double standard going on here! And one that discredits you.
Rejoice in the moment and stop seeing what you could have done better! Give yourself this pause and celebrate as if you were your own best friend.
3. Recognise self-doubt warning signs and react
When you notice that self-doubt is taking hold, stop and take stock.
What are you worrying about? Write down and externalise your fears. Take it away from the mental chaos that leaves you stressed, anxious, tense, wobbly and fearful. Once formulated on paper, you can brainstorm and put solutions in place.
Create and regularly repeat your truly personal phrases that inspire, vitalise and empower you. These are great defences against any negativity that you still harbour towards yourself. Words are powerful.
How can cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy help?
Developing self-confidence is always one of the tools you need to overcome any challenge you face. Once you believe that you can, your thoughts and actions follow suit.
Your self-doubt, that niggling sometimes all invasive thought of “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this”, took root over time and has infiltrated many of your thoughts, words and daily actions. Cleansing these negative thoughts and feelings is salutary.
With cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy, you learn to experience a hypnotic mindset of deep relaxation, clear focus and concentrated attention.
Together with your hypnotherapist, you can use this mindset to freely explore your current unhelpful thoughts and their root beliefs.
Once uncovered, you can consciously decide to swap these out for more self-loving ones that power and revitalise you. You discover how to take back control. This has to be one of the best feelings ever! Remember, your mind believes your thoughts.
When you visualise, feel and deeply imagine new, vibrant beliefs and thoughts, these will spill over into real everyday situations. Once this positive spiral is in place and you consciously reinforce these thoughts, they become a habit. Your self-confidence can grow as your self-doubt takes a back seat and then slips quietly out of the room.
Open the door for it and wish it well – far away from you!