It may not feel like it, but an end to lockdown will come, so be prepared. The pandemic has knocked a lot of us sideways and affected us in many different ways and may have knocked your confidence for six. And if it has, read on. Here are seven ways to boost your confidence after lockdown, by health and lifestyle coach Ina Messer.
1. You are still you!
Take some time to visualise yourself pre-lockdown. The self-assured person who was able to walk into every business meeting with confidence, and who was totally at ease with entertaining friends or social gatherings. The person who would happily chat with anyone from the barista to the company CEO. Whatever you may feel now, trust that you are still that person.
Now visualise a time when you felt your most confident and at ease with yourself. What environment where you in? What were you doing? Who were you with? Try to identify the factors that contributed to the feeling of empowerment and see if you can recreate them as you gradually ease yourself back to your regular routine. Visualising is one of your most powerful tools. Try it every day for a couple of minutes.
2. Comparing yourself with others is just not healthy
Comparing yourself to others will only undermine your confidence and self-belief. I know this can be a very difficult habit to break, especially with social media giving us no shortage of opportunities to measure ourselves against other people, many of whom we’ve never even met.
Have you ever gone on social media to connect with the outside world only to find it just drags you down seeing all those people with apparently perfect lives who’ve sailed through lockdown in a blur of creative or positive pursuits? And that then makes you feel like you’ve let yourself down? Stop right there!!!! Change your focus and shift your thought patterns to focus on what you already have and how lucky you are.
3. You are worth investing in
Investing in yourself is the best investment you’ll ever make. Learning new skills and expanding your knowledge can help boost your confidence. Even making small, positive changes can inspire you to try new things and get out of your comfort zone.
Here are some “you “investment tips:
• Try taking a course to learn something new. There are lots of inexpensive online courses available such as Udemy, Cousera, etc.
• Invest in your health by taking regular exercise and eating nourishing food.
• Invest in your creative abilities by pursuing a new hobby such as playing an instrument, painting, gardening or cooking.
4. Self confidence and standing tall
Try standing tall, holding your head up high and I promise you, you’ll feel better. Look up and you feel instantly more positively and confident. How something that seems insignificant can have such an immediate and positive effect on how you feel, I don’t know. But I promise it does!
Your posture and stance affect your mood and the way you feel, so try experimenting. If you find yourself feeling low, check your posture, raise your head and try and straighten your body. Because let’s face it, if you can change your outlook and boost your confidence just by doing that, holy cow! Let’s do it! Let’s do it every day!
5. Try a different perspective
Take a moment to think about your own thoughts. Are they happy or sad? Positive or negative? Do they lift you up or bring you down? Our thoughts are powerful and can have a big effect on how we feel. How we feed our minds is just as important as the way we nourish our bodies, and we can select our thoughts the same way we would choose from a menu. Would you order something if you knew it wasn’t going to make you feel good?
But you should also honour your feelings. This is not about trying to be artificially happy. Our feelings provide us with valuable information about our needs and desires and whether or not we’re in alignment with ourselves and our values. And that means they need to be acknowledged.
It’s a bit like the childhood game of hot and cold. The closer you are to being on track with the truth of who you are, the better you feel. The further away you get, the worse you feel. Once you’ve acknowledged your feelings, how you react to them is governed by your thoughts, and that’s what I want you to focus on today.
You have the power to choose the way you think about a situation, no matter what the circumstances. And in day-to-day life that means making choices that reflect your values and supports your dreams. With practice, you’ll develop a skill that will become second nature to you. Then the sky’s the limit!
- Use positive affirmations
There lots of positive affirmations on the internet but choose them carefully and change them so they fit you and what you want and need. Just repeating an affirmation with no feelings attached will do nothing. Think about what you want and make that your affirmation.
This can feel a bit odd at first but stick with it and you’ll reap the benefits. Start with 2 and work up to 10! Using positive phrases will challenge any negative thoughts and can be an amazing weapon for a better life.
7. Be kind to yourself
Rebuilding and improving your confidence after a tough lockdown may take time so be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack. If your life was very busy and stressful before lockdown it may be a good time now to take stock and decide what is serving you and what not.
As life slowly returns to normal, we have a unique opportunity to consider the lessons we have learnt about our pace of life and wellbeing. Make time for rest and recovery, surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and do not be hard on yourself if you find it difficult to get back into a routine.