Confidence and anxiety don’t really go hand in hand. Anxiety is a response to a perceived threat, so when experiencing anxiety, it is normal to feel vulnerable. After all, you are escaping from something dangerous. Maybe you are a confident person when you’re not having to deal with anxiety or maybe you want more confidence regardless. In this post, I’ll go through some ways to help you feel confident whether you are experiencing anxiety or not.
The first thing on the agenda is positive affirmations. These can seem trivial but words do have power. By repeating positive affirmations, they slowly sink into your subconscious and they do help in how you feel as well as shifting your mindset. Saying things like “I can do this” or “I am brave” will greatly improve how you feel. This may not happen straight away but that’s why repetition is necessary. It can also help having sticky notes placed around your house with these positive affirmations.
Something else that can greatly influence mood is music. It can invoke feelings of relaxation or get your heart pumping faster so that you are more motivated to run. It’s worth finding or creating a playlist that makes you feel good about yourself. We all have different tastes but personally, I enjoy listening to the likes of twenty one pilots, The 1975 and The Arctic Monkeys. I would listen to them on the way to university to try and get myself in a more powerful and confident mindset and it worked most of the time.
One of the main things can help, is challenging any negative thinking patterns. It’s something that is often used in cognitive behavioural therapy and has proven to help a lot of people. Take a negative thought that you notice repeating itself when you feel anxious. It may be something like “I’m going to embarrass myself” or “people are going to think I’m dumb”. Then you can look into why you are worried about that happening. So what if you embarrass yourself? So what if people think you’re dumb? What’s the worst that will become of that? Challenging those thoughts in such a way will ease some of the anxiety and help you to feel more confident. You slowly start to let go of the fear of judgment. A lot of confidence issues stem from that fear so eradicating it, should leave you feeling better about yourself and better about going into a situation.
Personally, keeping myself focused on the task at hand made me feel more confident going into a situation. Take for example going shopping. Rather than paying attention to the people around me, I would stay focused on what I need to get. When you notice those around you, it can feel overwhelming and cause the anxiety to heighten. However, focusing on what you’re doing increases motivation and by doing it, you increase the confidence in your ability.
When starting out on your journey to increasing your confidence or in overcoming anxiety, it can help a lot to have someone you trust with you. It may be a parent or a friend or even a support worker. It depends who is best for you. They can accompany you to challenging situations, mostly for moral support. You can become familiar with the setting, and seek reassurance from them. The more you practice, the less you will need them. Then you can start off on your own. You could also try reaching out to support groups or online workshops that help with confidence building. They are a good way of gaining insight from like-minded people as well as learning new ways to increase your confidence. In itself, participating in such things can increase your confidence as you are meeting new people and trying new things.
That leads me onto my next point. Trying out new things and building up your skillset is a good way to increase your confidence in general. Of course it is hard to feel confidence when anxious, but if you believe that you are a capable person, with many talents who has been through this before, you will feel stronger when facing the situation.
Aside from the mental ways of growing your confidence, there are also elements of body language that will affect the psychology. For example, when walking, keep your back straight, shoulders down and head up. Carrying yourself with good posture will help shift your mindset subconsciously to a more confident place. You could also work on your physical strength and fitness so that your body feels more equipped to deal with dangers (which not only should help your confidence but should lower your anxiety).
Hopefully you can use the above techniques to increase your confidence. Let us know in the comments how these have worked out for you and be sure to get in touch, either through the website or through Instagram or Facebook: (URLs). You can also find us on Facebook.