Crushing the Rear View Mirror and other Confidence-Building Tips

Many of us experience periodic bouts of  low self-confidence that can temporarily impair  self-esteem.  Here are some simple steps  to ease some of the negative feelings and help us regain our sense of self-worth.

1. Do an honest and  comprehensive strengths and weakness assessment

Instead of focusing on the weakness list (which people with lack of confidence tend to do) focus on core strengths and resolve to find ways to utilize them in your every day life and interactions. Playing to your Strengths Ask trusted friends and family members for feedback on what they value most about you, or how they see you. For many insecure people there is an enormous discrepancy between their self image and the view of significant others.

2. Assessing Expectations is Next

Are our expectations of self reasonable?  In this age of role-strain,  multi-tasking and constant digital demands it is important to review the expectations that govern our everyday lives and set performance goals. Are they realistic?  One solution is to prioritize core expectations and outsource or dump the less critical. We are mere mortals.

3. Let go of obsessing about the “why” and over-analysis.

“Fake it till you make it”  is the mantra of many successful people. If you are “afraid of success’ and crippled in moving up a ladder you might have to “just do it.”

4.  Crush the rear view mirror.

Highly successful people do not spend much  time looking back and being overly self-critical. Moving forward and towards goals is a better way to harness your energy. Being positive is contagious.

5.   Work  on the projection of a more positive self image by working on your   posture,wardrobe, voice, and  overall presentation of self.

6.   (This might seem to contradict number 5. It doesn’t) .Worry more about connection than how you appear to others.

We usually do our best when we shift our consciousness from self to that of others.  Whether giving a presentation, interacting at a dinner party or talking with a client it is best to strive for connection. The rewards are great.

7. Exercise and care for self.

Emulate habits of more confident people. If you can’t invest in yourself why should anyone else? You are worthy.

8. Forgiveness is cleansing.

Forgive parents and other relatives, friends, bosses, colleagues, and acquaintances who have hurt you. Holding on damages us  more than the targets of of our resentment and anger.

9. Practice, rehearse. Study others who are confident.

10.Visualize positive outcomes.

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5 thoughts on “Crushing the Rear View Mirror and other Confidence-Building Tips

  1. Okay — I’m back. I’ve been thinking about this subject for quite some time now. It’s uneasy for me to think about it, to talk about it, to admit to poor self-image. I actually came to a revelation recently that I don’t have “low self-esteem” more so “fragile self-esteem”. That seems a bit easier to swallow!
    Let’s take this in order:
    1) Yes, but… and here’s where that fragile bit of me comes in, it’s hard asking for affirmations from anyone. I’ve actually sought affirmations, from the wrong people mind you, and walked away feeling needy and well… needy. I give out positive affirmations to people freely, I always think it will be returned freely.
    2) Yes, I like that and need to do more assessment and prioritizing.
    3) I don’t know about the “fake it until you make it” mantra. I’ve tried that. It felt dishonest. But, on the other hand, I’ve been too honest. That’s a tough one.
    4) I agree moving forward is critical. but, if we don’t figure out where we were and why we were there, we might not get very far.
    5) Yes! Without a doubt — when you look good you feel good!
    6) Yes — the rewards of connection.
    7) Definitely — I was told on several occasions about this mind/body connection. It’s true… care for your body.
    8) Yeah — I get that.
    9) Yeah — I get that too :-).
    10) Actually, I’m working on this one — I have a CD and everything!

    Thanks Marsha — I think you are one of the most special people I know (except that we’ve never actually met so when we DO meet it’s bound to me amazing!)

  2. Becky, I so appreciate your thoughtful critique/response to my thoughts on confidence bolstering. This topic is always on my mind because I work with so many nanny candidates who can use a little coaching. I have also used these tips to navigate my own bouts with fragility of self-esteem (your term). As a mother I have worked on confidence building for my son’s since they were wee lads and still help out as asked.

    I, too, have sought affirmation from the wrong people. This has been a steep learning curve but one that can be handled. There are a few people that I go to when it comes to this. There are others that I might enjoy having dinner or walking with but not bare my soul. I think that look for affirmation can be seen as resourcefulness rather than neediness.

    As for “faking it till I make it”- I applied it to my job as a Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the age of 24 and the start of my nanny agency in my mid thirties. For me the formula worked as I grew into each role and it became my own!

    Becky, please know that you inspire me in so many ways. I so respect your writing. striving for growth, genuine support as a friends, creativity, mothering and zest for living. Can’t wait until we do meet in person.

    Big Hugs.

  3. I like Becky’s phrase “fragility of self-esteem.” This is an excellent post, Marsha, and I think I’ll be referring back to it more than once. I’m quite guilty of No. 3 and over-analyzing instead of looking at what my next step should be. No. 7 care for self can be huge. Small problems will become big ones if we ignore them. They won’t just go away. You are SO right about No. 8 forgiveness – I was fortunate to come to that realization before my mother passed away. I would add one thing to your list – simplify and organize your surroundings. Physical clutter in our environment disrupts our concentration and prevents a sense of calm in ourselves, don’t you think? Thank you for a wonderful post.

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