Why are we so reliant on others for praise? Don’t get me wrong, receiving praise from others is fantastic; it can make you feel so good in the moment.
But it is temporary.
And we want lasting confidence, right!?
One of the easiest ways to have lasting confidence is to start praising yourself.
The reality is your confidence is entirely reliant on what you believe about yourself; in other words, true confidence comes from within.
When you believe in yourself, other people’s opinions won’t have the same influence or weight. You become immune to both positive and negative opinions — praise and criticism. You can choose what you want to let in.
You build your confidence by simply acknowledging yourself more often.
I am not suggesting that you walk around boasting about every little thing. I am suggesting that you start taking time to acknowledge that you are capable, talented, brave, and any other positive qualities you feel you have.
I struggled with my own confidence in many different situations or scenarios; I would feel uncomfortable and almost regress into adolescent shyness, which is not very helpful when growing a business, trying to network or trying to meet a partner.
My self-confidence, or lack thereof, was holding me back in a lot of ways. I wasn’t achieving my goals; I wasn’t content in relationships, I was nervous to speak my mind.
One day, I just decided enough was enough. I started to notice how much I beat myself up over nothing, or worse over nothing that happened when I was seven. It had to stop.
So I created a little self-praise game — every time I made a warm drink like tea or coffee, I had to praise myself for one thing, big or small.
I will say I felt daft at first. But over a couple of days, I noticed the difference. I felt more at ease; I was more creative, happier. I was more confident. And self-praise has made me bulletproof to other people’s criticism; it keeps me out of their drama story.
You have a busy brain
Praising yourself starts with becoming aware of your internal dialogue, that inner chitter-chatter in your mind. We have approximately 6,000 thoughts in a given day, 80% are negative, 95% are repetitive.
Your thoughts are telling you a story on repeat. Every. Day.
Start noticing that story, is it a positive or negative story? When you make a mistake, what is the thought that comes in? Are you putting yourself down? When you find yourself flooded with thoughts of criticism, shame, insult or guilt, turn those thoughts around.
Instead of going into the negative thoughts, can you reframe them? Maybe you tried your best. Maybe you learned something new. Find something that you can focus on and begin to praise yourself. Tell your mind that you did well. Pretend you are talking to a child that you would like to encourage.
Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between fact and fiction; it just believes that whatever you are saying is true. Give yourself a truth that is beneficial to you, and watch your self-confidence grow.
You have a choice — be your critic or be your cheerleader
There is no better reason to praise yourself other than you are stuck with yourself, so you might as well make the most of it.
You can choose between being your biggest critic or being your biggest cheerleader. Which do you think would do better? Who would achieve more?
What you believe about yourself influences your emotions, your actions, your outcomes. No one else has as strong an influence on you as you. Praising yourself more creates positive emotions, positive actions, and your outcomes are naturally going to be more positive. And more rewarding.
Everything has improved
When I started to praise myself more, I saw a significant shift within a short time. I noticed I wasn’t as stressed or tired. I no longer felt like the world was coming in on me.
I am happier. I have more energy. I make more time for myself and the things I love, like yoga, dog walks, meditation. I’ve removed toxic people from my life, which in itself is a great stress reliever.
I was trying to achieve goals for six months, I have now achieved those goals in a much shorter timeframe. I am making better decisions, being more proactive. And the results are showing.
Praising myself more has completely changed how I approach everything.
One of the tasks that I set clients early in the coaching process is to start focusing on their self-praise. I get them to play my little drinking game — every time they make a warm drink like tea or coffee, they must praise themselves for one thing.
Try it out for yourself and let me know how you got on!
If you are ready to grow your confidence and self-love in a real way, why not sign up for my FREE 10 Day Self-Love Challenge. It’s jam-packed with tools and exercises to grow your confidence, self-esteem and self-love.