Last week, in a matter of minutes, I went from feeling confident to sitting with my head in my hands, full of self-doubt.
Because something I had been working hard on had received poor reviews.
It happens like that – one minute I can be self-assured, and then the next, someone says something that makes me question my capabilities, or else something happens where I feel like I should’ve done better than I had.
Most of the time, there’s no stopping midway. It simply happens. And fast.
Think of a roller coaster and how long it takes to reach the top. Now think about how quickly it speeds down.
And because it’s so easy for us to go from high to low, what’s most important is to figure out ways to boost ourselves back up.
We’re going to get knocked down multiple times in our lives – maybe even multiple times in one week or even a day! So if you need some help figuring out how to make the ride back to the top faster and easier, here are some techniques.
An easy way to up your confidence is to get yourself outside in the natural world.
Walking in the woods helps expand the mind, raise consciousness, and soothe the soul.
What makes a walk in the park or a hike through the woods restorative is that you aren’t bombarded with everyday sounds like honking horns, sirens, construction, people yelling, and the like.
You’re isolated, disconnected from sensory overload, which makes it meditative.
And with meditation, we accept ourselves as we are, and there is no need to be anything more or less.
Along with the healing qualities of being outdoors, there’s also the fact that light elevates people’s moods and that physical activity lessens anxiety. Studies have also been done linking time outdoors to increased concentration levels.
Although taking a hike during the weekday may be a stretch, if you can take a nature break even for ten or fifteen minutes, you’ll give yourself the reboot that you need.
Over the weekends, try sitting in the park or walking a nature trail.
Sometimes just looking up at the sky for a couple minutes may be all you need, or taking your shoes off and putting your feet into the ground.
Eat Good Food
When I’m feeling badly, I have a tendency to go all in with it, which means that I’ll pig out on food I wouldn’t normally eat, or eat a lot more than normal.
Basically, when my confidence is shot, so is how I treat myself.
A great way to create confidence is by making decisions you’ll feel good about.
One decision we are faced with multiple times a day is what we put into our bodies.
A great way to pump up our confidence is by choosing food that makes us feel good, energetic, and satisfied.
For some, this could mean eating a lot of fresh foods, organic, or cage-free meats, or maybe it’s ordering a chili at Wendy’s instead of a double cheeseburger.
For others, this could mean taking a quick break from your normal habit of healthful eating for a slice of cheesecake.
Listen to your body. And give it what it’s asking for.
Clean Up Your Space
My desk is a mess most all of the time.
There are books, papers, markers, pens, rocks, and miniatures balancing just so, because if one piece of it is out of place, the whole lot of it falls.
What happens though is that sometimes when I can’t think, and I get frustrated, and the feeling of inadequacy creeps in, the best thing for me to do is to clean up around me.
Maybe it’s your desk, or maybe it’s the dishes in the sink, or the laundry that’s piled up, but taking care of your space helps clear not only physical clutter, but mental confusion as well.
And it can be as simple as making your bed, or hanging towels that have been thrown on the floor after a shower.
Socialize with Energy Boosters
If I’m down and I call a friend who is also down, or whose energy mimics mine, it’s an hour-long conversation of one negative that feeds another and on and on it goes.
By the time I hang up, I don’t feel better. In fact, I actually feel worse – depleted and frustrated.
What I need in this moment is support and encouragement, but also a different way to see the world.
When you’re down, the people to seek out aren’t those who can commiserate in your misery. The people to grab a drink with or head out to dinner with are those who boost your energy.
Seek out those friends who are positive, helpful, and fun.
The more you’re around their energy, the more likely your mood about who you are will shift.
Learn Something New
A couple of weeks ago, I started a martial arts class.
When I showed up for the all-levels class, I was scared, nervous, and without a clue as to what I was doing or what to expect.
But when I walked out of the class, I felt unbelievable – like I could do anything.
A big way to boost your confidence is to try something you’ve always wanted to.
Putting yourself in a position to learn opens you up to seeing how much you can accomplish.
Learning something new – whether it’s how to swim or code a website, or maybe taking a writing or pottery class – gives you the opportunity to see yourself doing what’s best for you.
There are many ways to boost confidence.
Some say that wearing nice clothes helps them, while others feel that volunteering is a great lift. And for some, it’s just stretching in the morning.
What’s great about creating and boosting confidence is that it’s not big, monumental change we have to make for it to happen.
So what can you do?
Cynthia Kane is a Contributing Writer at Everyday Feminism. Cynthia Kane is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism. Over the last year and a half, she’s relearned the following: how to jump up and down when she’s happy, cry when she’s sad, laugh when something’s funny, take a compliment, smile at strangers, and be open to the fact that everyone is going through it all the time. For more, visit her website or follow her on Twitter @cynkane. Read her articles here.