The events of the last year and a half have caused many of us to lose our confidence, “swag” or “mojo.” Confidence can impact every aspect of your life from self-worth to your professional development to your relationships. So, what can we do to help get it back? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to help rebuild your confidence as we enter a less isolated phase of this pandemic.
- What are you telling yourself? Confidence comes from within. You can never look to the world to build you up. What can you do to help start your day feeling confident? A mantra is always a good start. I start my day telling myself “I am a star.” It is not egotistical. You must believe it first. It starts with self-worth. Another thing you can do is keep an email folder or a paper folder highlighting some past successes to help boost your confidence. I love re-reading notes from clients that tell me about an “a-ha” moment they had after working with me. If that is not a measurable confidence booster, I don’t know what is.
- What is your next goal? You can build confidence by setting “reach” goals. When you start this process, you may be thinking a certain goal you have is impossible. But once you succeed in reaching that goal, set another one. This time it may not seem as unattainable. Each time you will get more comfortable and confident attempting something outside your comfort zone. Even if you fail or it takes multiple tries to accomplish the goal, your confidence will improve, and you will not sit in failure knowing it is just part of the road to success. Always keep a list of a few goals (both professional and personal) and look at them each week to think about whether you are taking active steps to make them happen.
- Who are you surrounding yourself with? We have all heard about the need to surround ourselves with positive people who help each other to level up. But sometimes there are people in your life you cannot just let go of who are negative. It could be someone close to you like a family member. In those situations, one suggestion is to spend time with them doing “active” things. For example, instead of having coffee with a friend who is questioning your start up idea and listening to a naysayer for an hour, you can suggest the two of you take a yoga class together. You are still spending time together, but you are not losing confidence by having to listen to doomsday thoughts while you are in their presence.
- Are you saying yes? It has been well over a year that we have been more isolated than usual. The more isolated you are, the harder it can be to re-enter society. This can really hurt our confidence as we all need human connection and a community. To the extent your personal covid safety allows, start saying yes to invitations. Start slow. Even if pre-covid you attended multiple events or outings every week, start saying yes once a week and see how it feels. You do not want to overload yourself.
- Will things ever be the same? Accept that things will never be the same. If you are old enough to remember life before 9/11 than you know some things have never gone back to the way they were. And they never will. And that is ok. Covid has caused a similar shift in society. The more you can come to a place of acceptance about the changes, the easier it will be for you to have more confidence and less anxiety about moving forward.
Jennifer Lynn Robinson, Esquire is founder and CEO of Purposeful Networking. Her expertise is in strategic networking, communications, public speaking, and workplace relations. She is also a TEDx Speaker who does motivational speaking on resilience and change. You can learn more at purposefulnetworking.com and follow Jennifer at @areyounetworked on Twitter and Instagram.