Be your full self, no matter what

For me, self-confidence used to be one of these funny things – they come and go as they please. I remember feeling lost, completely insecure about literally everything about myself. How I looked, how others thought of me and perceived me. No successes at work were big enough to feel better about myself. And I was fighting to fall asleep every day as anxiety plagued me.

Over time and in my work as corporate manager and career coach I learned that nobody feels always completely confident. Like everything that’s important in the space of personal development it requires work and grit, and often some tears are involved. And that’s ok, because we are all human.

Below are my 3 biggest tips on how to boost your confidence over time. They are all backed up by positive psychology and cognitive behavioural science, so trust the process even if it feels unnatural at first:

1. “I am enough”

This one is plain and simply the strongest exercise found in research: Listen to yourself what the voices in your head say when you are in your darkest places and moments. That might be something like: I will never succeed in building a company. I am not good enough. I will never be enough.

Now look for the opposite of that.

Usually, that new opposite you found feels scary, outrageous, plain simply not true for you. The less comfortable you are with this positive sentence about yourself, the better. Using the example above, it might be: ‘I am enough’

Now, write this sentence down on post-its and put them throughout your office or at home, on your fridge, or write it on the mirrors. Whenever you see one of the post-its, read them out loud. Repeat it every day multiple times.

Over time your brain will start to believe it, because your brain believes what you tell it, that’s how it’s wired.

2. ‘I am remarkable because…’

This one is based on a workshop series from Google I am trained in. In essence, you create a list of things you are remarkable at. And you share it with the world, telling your friends, manager, or colleagues about it.

My favorite line from the course is:

‘Its not bragging if its based on facts’

Examples can be:

I am remarkable because I founded another startup after my first startup failed

I am remarkable because I stood up for my own value on equality even when it felt dangerous to do so

  • I am remarkable because I become more of myself everyday
  • I am remarkable because I start to show my feelings more and more

3. Create a Self confidence drawer

Keep a self-confidence drawer with feedback about yourself from clients, your manager, friends and family. Whenever you get a testimonial or a positive piece of feedback in the future, add it to this place, file, notebook or box. Keep it all in one place to get back to when feeling down and read it whenever you need a boost.

And make a list of the following to make your inner spark become a big raging fire of confidence and pride. Finish the following sentences with each 3 examples:

  • I feel very happy when I…
  • Something that I’m really proud of is…
  • A unique thing about me is…
  • I like who I am because…
  • I’m super at…
  • I feel good about my…
  • Somewhere I feel happy is…
  • Something I really enjoy is…
  • I really admire myself for…
  • I’m naturally gifted at…

If you want to take this one step further, take 2 minutes before falling asleep to think about your day and where today you felt comfortable, where you are proud of yourself, where things went really well and what your part in this was. Recognizing the positive (even in a sh*tty day are key to rewire your brain connections. Gratitude and positive affirmations will boost your confidence over time, one step at a time.

Bonus exercise: Own your stories

Write down 3 occasions where you have shown resilience and fought adversity in the past. That can be in teenage years, in your twenties or even just yesterday. Pick the moments that you feel brought you to your knees, almost broke you, but actually didn’t.

#selfconfidence #feelconfident #iamremarkable #coaching #career #promotion