Have you been experiencing a dip in your confidence lately? Maybe you still haven’t reached your confidence goals and would like to increase your self-esteem altogether. Whether you need a general boost in your confidence or just want to get it back to normal, today’s lesson is going to focus on three key factors that will help you get there!
Many of us who struggle with confidence have simply never learned what to focus on.
This was an issue of mine for years. Without knowing how to move forward during hard times, my mind would wander from worry to self-consciousness to insecurity and back around again.
Instead, what I should have been doing was following a new pattern of thought that I could turn to when my negative thoughts would begin to spiral. I needed a list of specific items to focus on when I would get depressed, worry about an outcome, or just feel lousy.
So, what are those three major areas of focus that we should access when things aren’t going our way?
Love, courage, and levity.
When we imagine the three pillars of confidence, it’s helpful to do it as a triad or pyramid. In this case, the top of our pyramid is love.
You’ve heard it in countless songs, poems, and stories throughout the entirety of history: love is the answer; love will keep us together; all you need is love. Now, obviously, love is extremely important to have in your life. Having people to share your ups and downs with can reduce your anxiety, give you social structure, and provide a much-needed outlet for anger, frustration, or fear.
Including love in your social confidence triad, however, means more than just loving others: it also means showing love for yourself.
Whenever I’m struggling in life—whether at work, at home, or in a relationship—I always remind myself to be on my own side.
This is something I call OMOS (On My Own Side): how much are you showing love and compassion for yourself in any given moment? Think of it this way: when you’re feeling anxious or depressed, does beating up on yourself
help lift your emotions? Does it help solve your problems?
So, take some of the pressure off and go easy on yourself, especially in those moments. How can you increase this show of love and be a little more forgiving of yourself?
Even in settings where it seems as though love has no place, there is always a way to bring more love into any situation. At work, for example, you can show a fellow employee love by being supportive, highlighting their achievements, and answering their questions when they’re having a rough time.
So, how can you focus on loving the people around you more so that you can share good vibes and invite some of that positivity back to yourself in the long run?
The middle layer of our confidence pyramid is confidence.
Love is hard to access when you’re afraid.
It’s been said that the opposite of love is fear. So it’s no shock that we lose our patience and tolerance for others when we’re threatened in some way.
When we’re feeling scared or threatened, our focus on love goes right out the window . . . and that shouldn’t be surprising—the phrase is “fight or flight,” not “fight, flight, or love someone.”
Hence, when you have lost your access to love, the next step is to turn to courage. When you’re feeling afraid, self-conscious, or nervous, find something that scares you and move toward it—attack an action that makes you uncomfortable; take charge on a situation you’ve been avoiding.
Confidence is the byproduct of your courageous action.
So, when you’re struggling and you’re not sure what to do, ask yourself, “How can I be more courageous? What would be courageous for me to do right now?”
Now, there’s something very important to keep in mind: your courageous action does NOT
have to be an intense one. Don’t go for a ten out of ten—just start small. If you’re struggling with severe social anxiety or agoraphobia, your courageous action might be walking to the mailbox.
Just because it might be easy for someone else, it can still count for you . . . so, don’t judge yourself. If it’s difficult or intimidating, then tackling it is a big deal, period.
Plus, with each small action you take, you can increase your level of difficulty bit by bit. And with each accomplishment, you will strengthen your resolve and build your confidence level higher and higher until you’re able to take on the sorts of things you never thought possible.
Some people call it humor or playfulness; some people call it lightness. I like “levity” because it sounds weightless and easy. Sometimes love and courage can carry a lot of baggage with them—they can be heavy.
Once in a while, we need to let go of the seriousness and bring a little carefree enjoyment into our lives.
When we’re able to balance ourselves enough to include lightness and laughter, it attracts people to us. If you’re not smiling and laughing at least a little bit throughout the day, it can definitely turn people off, not to mention the toll it will take on your mood, energy, and confidence. This will cause your relationships to suffer over time.
Now, a good source of levity if you’re really at a loss is to watch some comedy that really affects your mood and makes you laugh out loud. In the long run, though, it will be better for your confidence and relationships if you can become a source of levity for yourself.
So, when you find things are getting a bit heavy, ask yourself, “Where is the humor in this situation? How can I bring some levity to this problem?”
This ability to add humor or lightness to a situation (especially tactful humor) is almost always eagerly welcomed by everyone involved.
Not only does humor relieve tension, but it also shows that you’re able to keep a positive attitude, even in trying times.
Love, courage, and levity: how can you play with these three to find aspects of them to access at any given time? How can you combine them to work to your advantage when one just isn’t doing the trick? What can you do to invite more of each into your life, even if it’s through outside sources?
Please get involved in the conversation and share your thoughts and questions below. What have you discovered as you go through the process of inviting more love, courage, and levity into your life? Each time you offer an experience to the group, you create an opportunity to connect with countless other people who are on the same journey as you.
Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.