Let me start off by asking you this question: How much do you love yourself?
Odd question you might think. But as a coach what I have come to realise is just how little self worth people actually have for themselves. Most people don't even like themselves, let alone love themselves. Maybe it's their shyness, their figure, their behaviour, their looks, their neediness or inability to say no. I think it's fair to say most of us have something we dislike about ourselves.
This only becomes an issue when we allow our lack of self-worth to impinge on the decisions we make in life. When we don't truly accept ourselves for who we are we take fewer social, academic and career risks.
But remember this. Everything you attract into your life is a reflection of what you feel you deserve; your job, your relationship, your home and so on.
Don't be fooled, loving yourself isn't egotistical or big headed, that's just fallacy; in actual fact loving yourself is extremely healthy and those who do, are much happier than those who don't.
The truth is, people that hold positive beliefs about themselves seem to attract more good into their lives, more opportunities, more money, more luck and more love.
It's self-worth that's the key to attracting more abundance in to your life.
In short, high levels of self-confidence are vital to a happy, successful and fulfilling life!
So if you're feeling like you haven't got the confidence to change your career, or that you don't deserve love or to earn more money, here are my steps to having ultimate confidence so you can get what you want from life.
Stand up straight. Your mind and body are intrinsically linked, when you're feeling low in confidence this reflects in your body language, you tend to slouch your shoulders and hang your head. Changing the way you hold your body can instantly alter your mood. Stand up tall; put your shoulders back and head up high. Notice the difference, oh and don't forget to smile!
Make an appointment with yourself. It's vitally important that we make time for ourselves each week. We have to recognise when we have become unbalanced or when we have low self esteem and take care of our own well-being both physically and mentally. When we do this, it shows the outside world that we care and value ourselves and when others see this, they start treating us with the love and respect we deserve. Ask yourself today: If you could spend a little time nourishing yourself, what would you do? From having an early night with your favourite book, spending an afternoon clothes shopping alone, to enjoying a weekend away at a spa.
Keep a gratitude journal. Each night write a list of ten things that you are grateful for both big and small. Your list might look something like this:
. I'm grateful for dad's help today with the garden
. I'm grateful for the Tesco deliveryman
. I'm grateful that Poppy did well in her exam
. I'm grateful I have a healthy body
Keeping a gratitude journal highlights the good in your life and what's particularly amazing; you start to notice even more things to appreciate. This is a great way to change your focus on life and become a more confident person.
Step inside the new you. Try this simple exercise each morning for the next month. Imagine another 'you' standing in front of you. This other 'you' is you in total perfection. Notice how your authentic self stands, talks, moves, notice the confidence that oozes out from your authentic self. Notice how relaxed and comfortable your other self is. Your authentic self has achieved everything you have ever wanted. Imagine stepping into your authentic self's body. Your two bodies now become one. Notice the difference in how you are feeling. Look through the eyes of your authentic self, what do you see? How are things different? Let your mind wander and imagine all the things you would do if you were living in your authentic self's body all the time. What differences would accrue? What would you spend your time/day doing? How would you be feeling? Keep practicing this exercise and notice what a massive impact it has on the way you feel about yourself and your life!
Set boundaries and learn to say no. Don't allow others to walk all over you. Do you find yourself saying 'Yes' when you know you really ought to be saying 'No'? Do you find yourself organising your works party, whilst spending your evenings baking 100 cup cakes for the school fate? If you're the type that constantly over commits, you need to realise you're not a superhero! You cannot do it all, and if you try, it'll be you that suffers in the long run. Learn how to say 'No' gracefully and take the weight off your shoulders. Value yourself, because if you don't, no one else will!
Act as if. If you were super confident how would you be acting? How would you be moving? How would you be speaking? What would you be thinking? What would you tell yourself inside? Seek out those individuals who you really admire or envy and really analyse their behaviour and body language, then simply copy them. Imagine you're an actress taking on a role in a movie. Act as if until it becomes second nature. It really works!
Create your Happy Box. This is without doubt my most favourite 'confidence booster'. Find a pretty box and start filling it with things that make you happy; photos, quotes, books, affirmation cards, special items, post-it-notes with special messages on, letters, e-mails, chocolates even! The purpose of your Happy Box is to use it to lift your mood when you're down. It's your special magic box of tricks!
Listen out for those voicesBe aware of the voices in your head. Listen out for your own negative self-talk, which I call your 'Inner Critic'. Negative thoughts and beliefs can be very dangerous for your own personal growth and self-worth and tend to keep you trapped in your comfort zone. Challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs. Are they really true, if so what evidence is there? Are you just giving yourself a hard time? I guarantee that you are your harshest critic. Make a commitment to start listening out for the gentle little voice inside that I call your 'Inner Guide'. Your 'Inner Guide' has total belief in you and once you start actively and regularly listening, your confidence will soar and your life will change dramatically.
Louise Presley-Turner is one of the UK's leading lifestyle experts and author of Finding a Future That Fits (Hay House 2012) Get your Life Evaluator now at www.thegameoflife.co.uk