Confidence is something that seems to elude us, from time to time. It slips away right when you think you’ve got it down. It can feel right outside your grasp with uncertainty about how to pin it down for good!
When we don’t feel confident, we tend to put ourselves down and think we’re not doing something right. We can then feel hopeless and despondent at once again watching confidence slip through our fingers.
What is confidence?
One definition I found was: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. In other words, you feel good because you appreciate you and what you have to offer the world.
For me, confidence is also:
· knowing who you are and taking responsibility for yourself. This is YOUR life. You are the only one that can drive it where you want to go.
· taking ownership of your skills, abilities, talents and gifts. Considering all you’ve done and accomplished so far, it’s clear you are not skill-less or incompetent.
· believing that you are worthy and deserving. You matter and all you do has worth.
It’s also not a permanent state. It’s a journey not a destination. Many people want to land in confidence and never leave. I’m not sure that’s humanly possible. We simply don’t always feel confident and it’s ok. It doesn’t mean anything’s wrong with you or that you’re doing something wrong, despite what you may think.
When you have been experiencing self-doubt and uncertainty for a while, it can be challenging to rebuild your sense of empowerment and confidence. But it’s not impossible. It can be rebuilt.
3 Top Ways to Build Confidence
1. Accept that sometimes you won’t feel confident. When you expect yourself to feel confident 100% of the time, you are setting yourself up to feel like you’re failing when you inevitably feel unsure or doubtful. This puts unnecessary pressure on you since it’s an unrealistic expectation which then creates stress. When you can’t accomplish this unrealistic goal, you start to feel like there’s something wrong with you, like you’re doing something wrong or like you’re somehow failing. Next thing you know, confidence goes out the window. Instead, try embracing that confidence is somewhat fleeting and that occasional self-doubt is pretty human. Offer yourself self-compassion, this will help you move back towards confidence with more ease.
2. Notice and celebrate what you do, not what you don’t. When you focus on what you didn’t get done or move to quickly to the next task without acknowledging your accomplishment, it can make you feel inadequate, defeated, and powerless. Instead, track your accomplishments daily. The size of the accomplishment does not matter. The important thing is to pay it attention and celebrate it. When you do this, you retrain your brain to focus more on the positive which is energy boosting, motivating, and helps you feel accomplished. At the end of the week take notice all that you’ve done and celebrate!
3. OWN your skills, strengths and abilities. Do you know what’s good about you? Do you know what your strengths are? Are you aware of your intelligence, wisdom, gifts and talents? When I suggest to my clients that they own their stuff, they worry they’re being selfish, arrogant, a little too braggy. It’s none of those things! When you take inventory of all that is amazing about you and take FULL ownership of it, you can feel more empowered, confident, and have more energy to keep moving forward.
When you actively put these strategies into practice, you will begin to slowly feel more empowered and confident, as well as have more energy and feel more motivated to take action.
Remember that building confidence is a practice and not a permanent state. This will help keep your expectations of yourself more realistic and help you feel more successful.
WILD WOMAN ART TIP
Suggested Materials: Paint Sticks, multi-medium paper
1. Fold your paper in half.
2. Let go of making “good” art or doing it “right”. Let go. Breathe.
3. Close your eyes and connect to feeling unsure, uncertain, doubtful. Notice how self-doubt feels in your body. Notice any colors, shapes or images that may emerge.
4. Using the paint sticks, create an image of your self-doubt on one side of the page.
5. Once completed, again, close your eyes and call up a time when you have felt confident or empowered. Notice how confidence feels in your body. Notice any colors, shapes or images that may emerge.
6. Again, using the paint sticks, create an image of your confidence on the other side of the page.
7. Journal prompts: What is it like to see my confidence and self-doubt co-existing? What would it be like to offer both grace and compassion?
Using art making and WILD self-expression in and of itself is confidence building. WILD art is art without thinking and instead tuning in to yourself, and freely expressing yourself without restrictions. WILD art can help you feel accomplished and empowered by helping you let go and trust yourself and your inner knowing. Once the image is complete you can feel a sense of accomplishment that helps build confidence and self-assurance.
Encourage yourself to play with art and creativity without thinking or attachment to outcome and you will notice that the more you do this, the more confidence and self-assuredness you’ll feel.
Myriam Martinez is a Women's Mental Wellbeing Coach, Creativity Mentor, Art Therapist, and stick figure artist based out of Northern California. She gently guides women to embrace their Woman-ity© and love themselves fiercely through the power of the creative process. Her calling in this life is to teach women the power and importance of putting themselves first, loving themselves fiercely, and tapping into their creativity in order to bring more happiness, success, and ease into their lives.
To learn more about Myriam click here: https://www.myriammartinezcoaching.com/
mental health, confidence, art