Boost your self-confidence in just 12 minutes a day
(Practical doubt-busting strategies for shy, sensitive women)
The single biggest obstacle that stops quiet, sensitive women like us from loving our lives and rocking our dreams is usually mindset.
Shyness, fear, self-consciousness and doubt can keep us frozen to the spot and hiding in the shadows, when in our hearts we know we have the vision and potential to get out there and change the world.
Facing down those fears and stepping up to claim your voice can be a long and complex journey. And wherever you are along that path, there are times when the self-doubt and nagging, critical voice can creep back in and stop you dead in your tracks.
The good news is that there are some simple, practical techniques you can use to set yourself firmly back on your path to empowerment.
And the best bit?
They’ll only take you a few minutes a day – so no matter how busy you get, you’ll always be able to fit in a quick, revitalising boost to your flagging self-confidence.
- When you first jump out of bed (1 minute)
This is actually one of my personal hot tips and it’s something I do every morning. I find it a very powerful strategy for setting up my mood and intentions for the day.
Every morning, before I even get out of bed, I say out loud three things that I’m grateful for. These can be personal or business-related blessings – whatever comes to mind first.
Then I take a moment to tell myself – firmly and out loud – “I can do it.” This strong, affirmative statement helps get me in the right mindset to face whatever challenges come my way during the day.
Finally I read out my goals for the month, to help keep myself focused on my priorities.
- When you need a burst of creativity (2 minutes)
Sitting hunched over a desk literally saps your energy and your creativity. But changing your posture for just 2 minutes promotes chemical reactions in your body that can have a powerful influence on your mood and the way you feel about yourself.
When you shift into a ‘power pose,’ sitting or standing with your arms wide, you not only open up your chest and get more oxygen into your body, you also lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, so you feel both more energised and more relaxed.
I do this whenever I’m getting ready for an important call or an interview, preparing for difficult conversation, or just need an energy boost, and it has an instant impact on my confidence.
For a fascinating insight into the psychology and physiology behind this strategy, check out this awesome TED talk by Amy Cuddy: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?language=en
- When motivation starts to flag (2 minutes)
Believe it or not, a good laugh is like a mini–workout. It stretches muscles, boosts your heart rate, and increases the speed of your breathing – sending more oxygen whizzing around your body. All of which boost your energy and lift your mood, just like physical exercise.
So if you feel your doubts crowding in and your confidence taking a dive, take a sneak peek on YouTube at your favourite cat funnies, and give yourself a good medicinal giggle.
- Before you go to bed (2 minutes)
Last thing at night, grab a pen and write down everything you’ve achieved during that day – personal and professional. Acknowledge your wins and notice just how well you are doing.
Even if you’ve had one of those less productive days, where you didn’t tick anything major off your to-do list, write down something (however small) that you did well – cuddled your children, handled a difficult conversation, kept calm under pressure – and give yourself credit for it.
Most days you’ll be surprised how much you’ve got done without even noticing. And there’s nothing quite so affirming as seeing yourself making tangible progress towards your goals.
- After you turn off the lights (5 minutes)
This last one is an awesome tip I picked up from heart-centric visionary Marijke Kershaw during our fascinating interview for the Empowered Women Show.
Recognising that there’s no voice your subconscious mind will trust more than your own, she used the rather fabulous Omvana App (http://www.omvana.com/) to record herself repeating her personal affirmation “I am enough”, and set it to a mediation track.
Listening to it for just 5 minutes every day has had a profound impact on her confidence and self-belief. You can download the app for free, record your own statement and start putting your faith in a wiser voice than that narky inner critic of yours.
Now have your say!
What’s your top trick for beating self-doubt into submission? Share your thoughts below – I love feedback and always answer every comment.
Look out for our next post on why introverts make great entrepreneurs – coming soon!
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