Ever feel like you need a confidence boost? Taking small steps and practicing changing your thoughts can get you there. The more you believe you can do something, the more you can. The more you incorporate positive and confident thoughts into your routine, the stronger you feel. It’s a snowball effect and mental practice is one of the best ways to build your mental toughness. Here are my 4 tips for how to get started:
1. Take action. Do something each day that makes you feel good about yourself, no matter how small. If you feel good on a run, keep running, and if you feel good taking care of the odds and ends at home, do those things. Do things that make you feel strong and capable.
2. Envision yourself succeeding. Think about yourself doing what it is you want to be doing and doing it well. Think of anyone you know who emulates the qualities you want to have, and visualize yourself having those same qualities. You have to envision yourself being successful at what it is you want to have and start believing it. If it’s a presentation you want to do well, then see yourself doing an amazing job in front of your team.
3. Practice it and say it out loud. “I will ace my presentation,” or “I will be great during my audition.” Try saying even more specific words such as “I will be outgoing and personable at the party” or “I will will play with confidence at my piano recital.” If you practice positive thinking and speaking to yourself in a supportive way, gradually your thoughts will shift. For example, when you look in a mirror, try saying to yourself, “I look strong” or “I am smart” instead of immediately criticizing something about your appearance. Try to replace negative thoughts with better ones, such as “you are such a good mom and have so much wisdom” or “you have such a great smile that really brightens people’s days.”
4. Have a mantra. Repeat a word or words that remind you of all the hard work you’ve done. Say to yourself “I can do this” when preparing or practicing for your event.
Remember that pinpointing the nature of our problems gives us insight, but doesn’t change the way we act or feel. We need to make a systematic effort to turn it around by thinking and repeating positive words and thoughts and practicing the actions that build our confidence.
Dr. Jenni Bruning Brown is the owner of Fly | A Fitness Revolution and a practicing sport psychologist. Fly with her on Monday evenings at our SOLNK studio, Tuesday evenings at NOLNK or Fridays and Saturday mornings at our NOLNK studio.