3 Tips to Improve Your Confidence!
I think it's important to share with you all a little bit about my past. I grew up the shy kid in class, but it went way beyond just the shy kid. I find it so important to be completely aware of how you speak around children, and I practice this with my niece and nephew, because they really do pick up on everything that you say. It sticks with them, sometimes for their entire life.
Somewhere at a very young age I learned that what I had to say didn't really matter, so I spent my childhood kind of tip toeing around everyone else, and making sure others were happy but I never focused on myself. I wouldn't speak in front of people, if I spoke I was always whispering to someone I trusted...usually my mom, and that tends to makes others uncomfortable because it makes them feel like they need to take care of you. I'm pretty sure me always whispering wasn't comfortable for others.
I got Fs in college because my social anxiety stopped me from giving presentations. I was that person that would skip the first day of class so I didn't have to participate in those ice breaker games. If I happened to be caught in one I would seriously sweat my butt off and freak out the entire time until it was my turn...then my turn would come, my throat would close, and I'd blurt out some nonsense and feel like an idiot. It came to a point where my confidence was so low that the only time I felt comfortable in situations was after at least 5 drinks. That became the only thing I was proud of. I was little as hell (I'm 5'2" on a good day AND on my license), but could drink the guys under the table. That make have been cool in high school, but after a certain age it's just not a good look.
I could go on and on about this, but let's just say that my entire life was affected by my social anxiety and low self confidence, so much so that there were times I just didn't even want to live.
So let's fast forward through a lot of uncomfortable situations, and years of me hiding in the back of the room, to me joining my first fitness challenge group. The initial group got me started on my journey to feeling more comfortable in my own skin, but coaching is what completely pushed me to the next level. It felt really good to do something that I was proud of, and I decided that I was going to do everything it took to be successful with this business...but that going to mean a LOT of personal growth...A LOT!
Started really working on growing as a person, becoming more confident, and training myself to change my thoughts. I knew that to make it in this business, you need to have confidence. I noticed that eventually my own confidence was soaring, and I was really trying to figure out what it was that got me to that point. There was a strong correlation between my increased confidence, making myself step out of my comfort zone, and really focusing on my personal development.
When I started focusing on confidence, I saw huge changes and growth throughout all aspects of my life. I saw myself as a leader, and so I became a leader. Today I want to share with you all three things that I focused on, and that you can really focus on to increase your confidence.
The first thing to focus on is positive thinking. If you change the way you think, you will change the way you feel, and the way that you live. I was wandering around with a head full of negative thoughts and always assuming the worst, my brain was just trained to do that. But just like we changed our habits associated with health and fitness, we can change our thinking habits as well. Because that's what it is, it's a habit.
One thing I did to change this habit was I really started focusing on the way that I was speaking to myself.
How are you speaking to yourself? Would you speak to your mother, daughter, or grandma that way? If you wouldn't, STOP SPEAKING TO YOURSELF THAT WAY!
Stop putting yourself down, and stop being your own worst enemy. Any time you begin to say something negative in your head, stop yourself dead in your tracks and replace it with a positive thought. Stop telling yourself what you AREN'T good at, and start telling yourself areas that you can focus on improving. Make a conscious effort to change how you speak to yourself. Be nice! We are all a work in progress, and that's ok, no one is perfect! NO ONE!
Another thing I do is I make sure to end each day thinking about all that I HAVE accomplished. Before I fall asleep at night I think about ten good things that I did that day. I make an effort to change my thoughts from everything I didn't do, to the things that I did do. And they don't have to be anything crazy. My list usually sounds a little something like this:
Did my workout
Wrote a blog post
Made someone smile
Even the little things deserve to be recognized!
So lastly with positive thinking...
Look up and smile at people!!! I used to walk around with my head down thinking the worst of everybody. Not only is life much better when you smile and have conversations with strangers, but you never know who you will meet from it!
So keep that head up and smile at strangers!
The next thing you can focus on to increase that confidence is...
You got to step out of your comfort zone, we all know that BUT I'm going to ask you to take it one step further and actually schedule that time in like a meeting, or a call that you have to attend.
Every Friday I have something on my like page called Fearless Friday. That is my time to make myself do something that is outside of my comfort zone. That is in addition to the daily activities that already push me outside of my comfort zone. I save my big ones for Friday's. I would love it if you all would participate in fearless Fridays and if you do feel free to tag me in your posts. When I see you all do it, it pushes me even more! I found that the big difference came for me when I stopped talking about things, and started doing them..obviously!!
You have to be honest with yourself, are you REALLY pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone? Are you really going after that big scary goal? For example, I'm somebody who has social anxiety and this year I put it out there that I am going to perform a rap I wrote on stage at a talent show during our coach summit in front of hundreds of people. That is a HUGE scary goal for me, it's something that scares the absolute crap out of me, BUT I publicly announced it, and now I have to do it!
The third thing I focused on to improve my confidence was...
Make personal development a priority! And I don't mean just go through the motions of personal development, I MEAN make it a PRIORITY!
This is what's going to develop you as a coach and a leader, but it's also just going to make you a better person! If you don't like to read, listen to it in the car or on podcasts. I listen to podcasts while I'm in the shower, I'll put headphones on while I'm vacuuming and listen, or while I'm waiting at an appointment. I found that Chalene Johnson has some really great podcasts on developing confidence. She also has a new program called the Courageous Confidence Club which I have not yet enrolled in,but I'm looking forward to it. If it's anything like her podcasts, I will tell you right now it will be well worth it.
Some other podcasts I like to listen to are Shaun T's define your life, and The Life Point church. I bring up LifePoint Church specifically because the fact that I even listen to it shows how far I have come as a person. Because I had such low self-confidence in the past, I always assumed that people weren't going to like me for whatever reasons. Religious people used to scare the crap out of me, and I would avoid them at all costs. When I grew in confidence I didn't care if somebody wasn't going to like me for personal differences, so I talked to everybody! In doing that I realized that people weren't what I thought they were going to be. It was ME who was judging THEM, and not the other way around. Becoming more confident has helped me open my eyes and speak to people that I never would have in the past. I realized that I needed to get over my own shit, so that I could make these connections. And I'm not gonna lie to you, life is so much better that way!
Personal development paired with stepping out of the comfort zone, and positive thinking is a recipe that will bring you to a new level of confidence. A new level of confidence will lead to a new level of success. The way I see it, you have a choice...you can either SAY you're going to take action to gain confidence, and then continue to go to the motions staying in the same place you have always been...OR you can take the bull by the horns, make yourself uncomfortable, and start becoming the leader that you're meant to be! I don't think it's a mistake or a fluke that you are reading this post. I believe that we are all here for a greater purpose. The difference is, some of us will follow through on that purpose, and others will get left behind because they don't want to make the changes necessary to grow. It's up to YOU which you become!
If you know someone who could benefit from reading this post, share it!
If you know someone who could benefit from reading this post, share it!