If you want to build confidence you may not know where to begin.
The best way to start is by focusing on your inner dialogue and paying attention to the things that you tell yourself, about yourself.
Building Confidence and Inner Voice
We all have an inner voice that directs us. And that inner voice is a combination of what we have heard throughout our lives. It is the internal communication of our thoughts.
You may not even be aware of your inner voice because you are so used to it. Just think of of a time that you went into a new situation and analyzed the room.
You may think, “Oh, I like her dress,” or “Are those mini cheesecakes?!”
Or, you may be think about how you interact in the room: “I don’t belong here,” “Everyone else has it together and I’m a mess,” “I’m going to say something stupid.”
When internal thoughts are negative, they limit you. The worst part is, you could be so used to them you are unaware of and comfortable with them.
But if you want to build confidence, the negative self-talk has got to go. And the significant news is that you have the power to change it.
Even better, you can change it with a simple technique that I call “I”ffirmations.
“I”ffirmations and Confidence Building
“I”ffirmations are part of my formula for lifelong, lasting confidence.
They are the combination of “I” statements and affirmations.
Which means they are statements you use to identify and affirm yourself.
Examples of “I”ffirmations
“I can, I am, I will!”
I can achieve my goals.
I am worthy.
I will be successful.
You can keep it simple and say, “I can, I am, I will,” or you can add more detail.
So if you’re feeling imposter syndrome on the first day of your new job, you can affirm yourself and say: “I can make decisions. I am qualified. I will be great.”
Of if you’re working towards a goal you can say: “I can do it. I am capable. I will achieve my goals.”
If you don’t have a particular goal in mind you can simply say, “I can, I am, I will.” in an affirming way and it will continually help you build confidence.
How “I”ffirmations Build Confidence
When you define yourself with an “I” statement, you give your unconscious mind directions. Then your unconscious mind works to make sure that how you define yourself is true. This way you avoid discomfort by proving yourself right.
Take for example someone who says, “I’m an Eagles fan.”
That person, the Eagles fan, would feel off rooting for the Cowboys. It’s not what Eagles’ fans do, they root for the Eagles. Similarly, someone who says “I can’t” would feel off succeeding in, or doing something they told themselves they can’t do.
And if you go to a party and think you don’t fit in, then you will probably do things that make you not fit in. And if you think you are going to say something stupid, then no matter what you say you will think it sounded stupid.
“I”ffirmations take the negative self-talk and changes it to compassionate and productive self-talk. So instead of thinking “I don’t fit in” you will think “I can fit in, I am a great conversationalist, and I will have fun.”
Then you will act in a manner that is consistent with your thoughts. And if you say something silly it won’t trip you up. Other people won’t notice anyway because you are acting confidently.
(Trust me here, I say dumb stuff all the time. I just let it roll off my shoulders and no one seems to notice. Everyone is so busy thinking about themselves—including me!)
How to Build Confidence with “I”ffirmations
Use “i”ffirmations regularly.
You can schedule a specific time like in the morning when you are getting ready or at night before bed.
“I”ffirmations are also a great boost when you are feeling less than confident or when unhelpful and negative self-speak pops up.
At first you might forget to use the “I”ffirmations.
You can encourage the habit by reflecting on previous times you made unhelpful “I”dentifying statements. Consider how you could change the unhelpful statements to make them “I” affirming.
The more you reflect, the more your mind will hunt for the negative self speak and soon you will catch it as it happens.
And the more you say the “I”ffirmation, the more you are going to affirm your strengths and build unshakable confidence.
The “I Can, I Am, I Will” podcast begins on March 1, 2021. Check out the first episode, about “I”ffirmations here.
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