As a business success coach I have worked with many people who consider themselves successful and who are considered successful by their peers. No matter how much you earn, how fast you find yourself on the right track, or how often people compliment and congratulate you and your work, you can have a confidence crisis. Even people with high self-esteem and self-confidence can suffer from a confidence crash. Sometimes, things happen that knock the confidence right out of us.
A confidence crisis can be caused by normal life transition such as getting a new job, moving to a new city, starting a new business, or starting a new relationship. Life's losses can also cause confidence to sink - the loss of a relationship, the loss of a job, the loss of a big client, the loss of a dream we come to realize will never happen.
At times, our confidence is already shaky as a result of a transition or loss and a single incident like missing a deadline, getting a bad haircut, or spilling coffee on a document can send us storming out of the confidence cafe.
When you crash, it is usually because your daily diet of life has not included enough confidence causing foods. Confidence is like Vitamin C. You need it in your diet. Your body can only store it for a short time before it needs some more. You have to take responsibility for planning your confidence meals and making sure you have large enough portions.
When you have a confidence crisis, don't despair, don't reach for the bottle of bourbon or the bon bons. Instead, start to use some of these confidence-boosting techniques. Begin with at least two, then add a third and a fourth. You will gain a lot more than confidence - you will learn to love, honor and appreciate yourself more and more.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to process, and clarify your feelings. Forcing yourself to write everyday also forces you to take time for daily reflection. Daily reflection can help you solidify what you know, what you have learned, and what you still need to pay attention to.
Practice gratitude - be thankful for what you already have and put your attention on all the blessings you already possess. Keep a gratitude section in your journal. Everyday write down five things you are thankful for. This will help you feel richer and stronger in character and that translates into confidence.
Affirmations work. Write a list of statements that say what you want and how you want to be in life such as, "I get more confident everyday" "new clients come to me easily", "I am an expert at what I do". State all affirmations in the present. Some people stand in front of a mirror and say them. I also encourage you to record them and play the tape over and over. Read your affirmations at least once a day.
Evaluate Your Relationships
Assess the relationships in your life. Do they support you or sabotage you? All relationships change with time; some get better, some get worse. If you have relationships in your life that are more of a burden then a joy, it may be time to sever your ties - or at least loosen the reins.
Start New Relationships
Identify people that have the qualities you admire - people you feel you could learn from and who could learn from you, as well. Look for people you can have fun with. Boosting your confidence can be really fun, if you want it to be.
Get into a Good Group
This may be time for a traditional support group. Chatting over a cup of carrot juice with your pals might be a remedy. Organize your own group of confidence boosters and support each other in making changes.
Change Your Behavior
What do you do that boosts your confidence and what do you do that brings it down. Exercise, getting enough sleep, speaking your mind and dressing well are behaviors that tend to boost confidence. Staying up late, spending all your time with Ben and Jerry, and saying "yes" to avoid confrontation when you really want to say "no" will bring your confidence down.
When we withhold communication because we are afraid of how we will be received, we chip away another bit of our confidence. Share your thoughts, opinions, and preferences. Speak up in all situations. The insignificant situations will be practice for the important occasions that are sure to follow.
Take a Risk A Day
A risk is something you would do in an instant if you knew you would be successful. It is the fact that you do not know how it will turn out that makes it a risk. The best way to bolster your confidence is to start doing things you are afraid to do. Make a list of risks for you and start to do them one by one.
Sometimes, it takes a few days to boost your confidence, sometimes, it takes a few weeks. Occasionally it can take a few months to overcome a confidence crisis. Know that if you are consistent with your confidence boosting techniques, you will eventually find yourself renewed, stronger, and more confident.