Change The Way You Think
When I was 14 years old, I was such a different person than I am today you probably wouldn’t even recognize me. If I felt uncomfortable in the least about anything, I would silently start screaming at myself. I would call myself names, tauntingly ask myself when I was going to mess up and when I invariably DID mess up (how can you not screw up when you treat yourself that way?!) I would hate myself. Looking back at the way I treated that poor girl, it makes me sad. I wasted so much time!
Most of us silently talk to ourselves in a manner we would never dream of addressing someone else. I used to be really, really good at hating myself. I was terrified of failure. I’m a perfectionist by nature and I allowed myself to slip into negative self-talk, which typically goes hand in hand with insecurity. Instinctively, I knew that if I wanted to be successful in life I couldn’t continue on down the path of self-loathing I was on. I knew that in order to change, I had to change the way I spoke to myself. I felt embarrassed when I first started changing my habits. I felt stupid for trying to build myself up which just goes to show you how insecure I really was. But I stuck with it, and slowly but surely by changing the way I spoke to myself, I changed the way I thought about myself.
When I would approach a situation that would make me nervous or uncomfortable, I would tell myself, “You can do this! And if you mess up, that’s OK Elizabeth! You’re human and by making a mistake you have only presented yourself with another opportunity to learn and try again!” There were times I would lapse back into bad habits, because it’s easier to stick with what you know than encourage change in your life, even if that change is for good. Joel Osteen said, “Words are like seeds. If you dwell on them long enough, they will take root and flourish.” How right he was!
Change The Way You Talk
DO NOT talk about your struggles with insecurity on social networking sights. Your enemies will only use that against you and your true friends will probably already know. Talking about how unconfident you are is just wallowing in insecurity! Tell yourself that you are a brave, confident person and you don’t need other people’s praise to feel good about yourself. You may not feel that way right now, but you just keep telling yourself that and pretty soon you’ll believe it. Of course I don’t mean that you shouldn’t discuss your life and what you’re going through in life with the people you’re close to. Of course you should and you should value their input! All I mean is that everyone and their mother shouldn’t know all the dirty details of your inner life. Not everyone wants the best for you or help you grow, as unfortunate as that is.
Smile. It’s that simple. When we’re feeling insecure we generally retreat into ourselves and focus on what’s going on inside….and we forget to smile and come across stuck up, not friendly and insecure. When you smile you appear relaxed, approachable and confident, even if you’re not feeling that way at all! And as you know by now, appearing confident is half the trick!
Focus On Others
I’ve come to realize that when I start feeling insecure, I am focusing on myself. Insecurity is basically a form of selfishness. As soon as I feel myself starting to feel that I way, I try to focus on something outside of Elizabeth. Get someone talking about themselves and be genuinely interested in who they are. Before you know it you’ll be listening to what they have to say and your insecurities will start to melt away because you’re not feeding them by giving them attention. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “Feed your dreams and starve your fears.” This applies to confidence as well! By refusing to acknowledge your insecurity when it rears its ugly head, you are essentially starving it and allowing confidence to grow!
Go Forth and Conquer
You have all the tools within you to become the sparkling, confident person that you were meant to be. You just have to access them. I believe in you! Now run, don't walk, after your confidence Doll!
“Confidence is a decision. You will never earn it. It will come when you decide to have it.”
xo xo Elizabeth