“Hello and Welcome to Episode 39 of ‘Tuesday Choose Day’, my inspirational weekly post.
My aim here is to inspire you to feel more positive and more confident within yourself so you can find your way to overcome anxiety and create the change you want to happen in your life.” I’m offering you here every Tuesday straight to your inbox empowering strategies to help you to take control, feel better and feel good!
Sometimes just when we think we are all set to hit cruise control and enjoy the ride, when it just seems that’s we’ve got it all going on, something bad happens that we didn’t see coming and we get knocked back. Has that ever happened to you? Perhaps in your life today, it might be that someone you trusted betrays you, or you lose your job or that promotion, or maybe your business partner wants out, or your spouse or boyfriend says it’s over.
When it catches you off guard, a blow to your confidence can be catastrophic. It can spiral you down a big black hole and it can seem that there’s no way to climb back out. If you let that knock get the better of you, your world will become smaller and you will live in an anxious compromised way, fearing that any future risk may knock you further, settling for less and stopping yourself from trying something similar again.
So what can you do, to steady yourself before you fall?
The first thing is to realize that confidence isn’t something you have (so you can’t hold onto it) it’s more something you do. It’s there by the action you take and when you’re down, it’s the getting back up that secures your confidence in the future. It is always risk that makes confidence grow.
Crucially it is in those times, when you don’t feel confident to put yourself out there, that you MUST. If you don’t, you send a message to your mind that there is something to fear. If you do, you prove to your mind that you CAN DO IT (even if you are shaky at first) and life gets easier as your progress and your confidence grows through those challenges.
So how might you take care of yourself to safeguard your confidence and move on from this?
Accept that it’s ok to hurt; to feel the pain of failing. Give yourself a little time to lick over your wounds.
Take the time out to invest in some self care. Be kind to yourself and to your body. Flood your senses with uplifting sounds, vistas and smells. Replenish your emotional tanks and get more hugs.
If you can, take a short break and travel a little. A change of scenery can work wonders in shifting perspective.
The simple truth is you either win or you learn – you don’t lose. Once the dust settles, pick over the failure and see what you can glean from it. Aim to see the situation differently. Consider what really contributed to the failure that you haven’t considered yet. This information will help you to become wiser and stronger.
Let yourself ‘zoom out’ for a bit and try to see the bigger picture. It’s all too easy in the bruising whirlwind of a hurting ego, to lose perspective. This one failure does not define you. This knock is not a reflection of who you are. It doesn’t have to be your future. It’s only happening just now and it’s likely there are other factors related to other people’s issues that actually have nothing to do with you.
It’s worth pointing out here that sometimes getting knocked back or down can be a sign, even a wake-up call that you are heading in the wrong direction, with the wrong people, in the wrong way. Use it as opportunity to question – you might find a vital clue for you in what to do next.
Use this knock as an opportunity to further develop your skills and resources so that you become more proficient in some way, such as in communication, or preparation or know-how. Raise your game. Find people who do what you want to do better and get to know them so you can learn from them.
Just take it one step at a time and set yourself small challenges that you can build on every day. Be gentle with yourself, but firm too. Let your best self take charge and guide you through. It’s natural to feel nervous following a failure or knock back but it’s crucial that you stretch yourself a little beyond your comfort zone each time.
Make the time to reflect on the progress you are making – the smallest achievements really do count! Keeping a log or a journal will help you to be aware of how far you have come and will it boost your confidence because you’ll have the evidence of what you can do.
Let me know how you get on. I’d love to hear how this helps you.
With love and light x
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Lisa Skeffington, Anxiety Expert – Anxiety Help Bournemouth