Now, in all of the above situations, this "confidence" or lack of confidence issue should not be confused with anxiety. Many people have anxiety, a specific condition that affects their body in certain circumstances. What I am referring to may involve anxiety, but it is not a "clinical diagnosis" of anxiety. However, it may likely involve some stress related features and behaviours that occur for many " normal" daily functioning people.
Being confident does relate to your self-esteem. That is, how you feel about your self. This is directly related to your life so far, your childhood experiences, and your adult memories. Some people have shy personalities or anxious personalities, they are not confident in many social situations. Many people who are functioning well in daily life may still have a challenge around being "confident" in certain situations,
So, what's it all about? Let's think about how our bodies work. In the field of psychology, how the brain operates is of great interest. Much focus has been on assisting people with managing challenging situations. A large part of the challenge comes from our mind, and what we are thinking about.
It does, however, also relate to our experiences, and also to our memories. For example, if as a child you spoke in front of your class and it was a positive experience, you would be more likely to feel comfortable to do this as an adult.
Even in a new situation, you would be able to use some strategies to calm your self and to get thru the challenge.
However, if you had a challenging childhood, were teased and bullied or experienced abuse in your family environment, it is more likely that your self-esteem would be negatively impacted, and this is more likely to affect how you feel about yourself as well as your interpersonal relationships.
If your memories of speaking in front of a group were traumatic or you experienced severe anxiety in new situations, then being "confident" would be more of a challenge for you. So our experiences and our memories affect how we are and what we feel confident to do.
Also, our physical body is going to respond and react in certain ways. We all know how it feels to be nervous, stressed, worried or fearful. For some people, the anxious response is a strong physiological reaction which affects their ability to function or to do certain things. The physiology and mental thought processes interact together and "boom" we feel worried, anxious or less confident. The key to getting through is a combination of self-awarenesses and cognitive strategies. Some people may also need some behavioural strategies, such as relaxation techniques to assist them
How to overcome this challenge?
So my "tips" for "being confident in your own skin" are-
- Be self-aware, notice your thoughts......
- Notice how your body is... What you are feeling
- Change your posture, hold your shoulders back, stand up straighter and smile
Do something that will help your mind and your body
For example, you might need to reassure yourself, "I will be ok, I can get through this"
Or you might need something to help you be prepared, having notes and dot points with you.
Perhaps, if it's about people "seeing your body", then you may need to practice in a quiet place. Wear what you want to wear. Wear what you feel like you need to wear. You may need to go to a place where there is no-one who knows you-walking along a quiet beach in your bikini. You may also decide to walk along a crowded beach where you will blend in. Just remember this, everyone is different -we all have different challenges. That's ok, things can be different!
If you feel the situation is too challenging like you just can't do it, or you get a migraine or your stomach is so upset you spend significant time on the toilet, or you can't leave the house......then you might need some additional professional help. Talk to a counsellor or a Psychologist. Perhaps there are some experiences or memories that are impacting on you now, affecting your "confidence".
Remember that, everyone has difficulties sometimes. You will be able to make some progress. Share your thoughts with someone close to you, someone who will listen and could give some positive suggestions. Set SMART goals. Be brave, try it. Reward yourself. Enjoy life!
Have something important to share??
Are you a client of ours who has a story or wants to share something important with us which will help our community of females? Have a look at how you can submit your story here.
Take the next step in being confident in your own skin!