From a very young age, I remember always being shy. I was the girl in the corner who hardly said a word. In fact, often people didn’t even know I was there.
As I grew up I continued to be quiet, believing I had nothing important to share. Who would want to listen to me?
It wasn’t until I started my own business that I realised I was actually my own worst enemy. Being quiet and reserved was holding me back from my full potential. I was limiting my own success in life by not believing in myself and trusting in my own self-worth.
I realised that how I felt about myself was the most important belief that I hold. So I learned to trust myself, admire myself and, dare I say, love myself. I learned to believe that I am good enough just as I am.
How did I do this?
After years of studying self-development in the form of courses, books, audios and seminars, I learned a few key tools that really helped me to transform my life.
This transformation didn’t happen overnight. The breakthrough came from truly believing in myself and not worrying about what others thought of me.
I read somewhere that what others think about me is none of my business, and this really struck a chord with me. Most people are far more concerned with thinking about themselves to actually concern themselves with you. Keeping this in mind helped my self confidence immensely, along with three key tools I want to share with you.
Daily Small Wins
Firstly, I learnt to acknowledge myself for my daily small wins. At the end of each day, I wrote down three small wins. These wins might have been simple achievements such as I spoke up at a meeting, I let someone in at a queue of traffic, or I made the check-out lady smile by complimenting her.
Acknowledging these simple acts each day really helped me to see everything I had achieved, much of which I took for granted as I went through the day. These affirmations boosted my confidence. What encouraged me even more was to read each day’s three wins at the end of the week. If I ever felt low I would simply pick up my ‘wins’ list which gave me the quick shot of confidence that I needed.
I learnt how important it was to become aware of my self-talk. What we say to ourselves and what we focus on will invariably come true. Telling myself that no one would want to hear what I had to say was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I would barely open my mouth before someone interrupted me.
Positive Self Talk
However when I learned to tell myself that what I had to share was interesting and of value to others, I learned to hold my ground, hold my head up high and speak with conviction and authority so that those around me listened with interest.
In an article in The New York Times, The Year of Conquering Negative Thinking, Dr Rick Hanson, a psychologist and senior fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley stated:
“The more you dwell on the negative, the more accustomed your brain becomes to dwelling on the negative.” Dr. Hanson suggests asking yourself, “Are my thoughts helping to build me up, or tear me down?”Dr Rick Hanson
Being aware of your negative thoughts and turning them around to be positive will take you a long way towards building your self-confidence and self-belief.
Develop A Routine
Lastly, I developed a routine. Sticking to a routine was key to setting up my whole day for success. The routine I set myself, and to which I still adhere to, was to get up at 5am, practice meditation, do some exercise and read at least 30 minutes of personal development before getting stuck into my day.
Previously I got up whenever I woke up, which sometimes was well into the morning. It was often a struggle to get out of bed. I would always be down on myself for the whole day for sleeping in and not giving myself enough time to meditate and exercise, often skipping these important disciplines.
When I learned to fully embrace my self-imposed routine, I showed myself that I have self-discipline – I built up my own feelings of self worth. I learned to trust and rely on myself and to actually admire myself.
Of course there were and still are times that my routine falls by the wayside, but when this happens I know within myself that I can do better. I’ve learnt not to beat myself up if I “fail” because I know that failure is also a learning opportunity.
The jewels are in the challenges that we all face. There is no such thing as failure if you gain wisdom from each and every experience. This knowledge will shift your perspective of “failure” from a negative experience into a positive. Set-backs are only failures if you don’t learn from them.
We are all worthy of living a life of happiness, a life full of joy. Cultivating self-confidence and learning how to love yourself, to know that you absolutely are good enough, will ensure you live a truly happy life.