Confidence is the belief that we can succeed. The number one destroyer of confidence is negative self-talk. What we say to ourselves greatly impacts our ability to believe we can succeed. If we are to become more confident, we need to pay attention to the messages we send ourselves via self-talk. We often chip away at our sense of well-being and confidence through internal expressions of self-doubt. This negative self-talk leads to us being negatively primed. When we are negatively primed, our belief in positive outcomes is greatly diminished. By monitoring our self-talk we can determine if we are positively or negatively primed. If we are negatively primed, we can take steps to change this.
One of my favorite exercises to determine whether I am feeling negatively or positively is to say five things. Pick any topic and say the first five things that come to mind. If three out of five are positive, this reflects being positively primed when thinking of the subject matter, and fewer than three reflects being negatively primed. When we know which way we are leaning, we can make corrections. If we are negatively primed, we can fine-tune our thinking to be more positive through positive association and positive self-talk. Positivity work helps to improve our confidence and overall sense of well-being.
It is helpful to keep in mind that becoming more positive and confident is a process. Being aware of what is undermining our positivity allows us to make corrections. Most negative self-talk is supported by feelings, not facts. Paying attention to our negative self-talk allows us to use positive facts to change negative feelings. One way to accomplish this is to write down negative feelings and then reflect on positive facts that disprove each feeling. This exercise takes time and practice to work. It also requires looking for positive facts to counter long-held negative feelings. When we are presented with evidence that we are good, smart, likeable, and talented, we need to take notice. When we start to look for positive facts, other types of positivity tend to come into view.
When we can take notice of the good, it becomes easier to feel confident. Part of the process of noticing the good is to own that good things are in our lives because of our actions. We take actions every day that welcome in positivity and success. The fact that we get up, even if it is simply to use the bathroom, is an action that welcomes positivity. Welcoming positivity does not need to be extraordinary actions. Welcoming positivity is about acknowledging and respecting our own efforts. Acknowledging our own efforts and viewing our efforts positively builds confidence. When we start to think about what we are doing right, we increase our confidence. We have proof that we are doing something right because we are here; we are alive.
Being alive is a positive because it gives the opportunity to grow, change, and improve. Identifying what it is we want to improve and then doing the work to grow in ways that create change is an incredible act of courage. It is brave to assess ourselves and decide to do better. Owning that we are responsible for our own happiness is a scary concept because it means owning that we are also responsible for our unhappiness. Once we take this ownership, the payoff is knowing that we can be happy. Knowing that we can create happiness for ourselves is profound. When we believe we can create a life that is happy and rewarding, we increase our positive actions. As our positive actions increase, so does our confidence. We can be build a happy, confident life through positivity.
Kisstopher Musick is an American-trained and qualified mental health therapist with over 20 years experience helping people. Kisstopher opened her Nagoya therapy practice, Adjustment Guidance, in 2009 where she works with clients Tuesday through Saturday by appointment.
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