Your brain runs a script and you can change it for more confidence!
Halloween is coming up and whilst we love the scary stuff in form of witches, monsters and Adams family, there is spooky stuff we don’t love at all. What are we talking about? The constant negative noise our inner voice, that script that your brain is running automatically, is not serving us, but seems to be everywhere. Our brains seem to have this annoying attachment to dark, negative, spooky and sometimes even scary thoughts, many of them connected to our self-image.
We can’t be on cloud nine all the time. Being scared has a function, not only to give us the shivers on Halloween, which might give us this fun boost of adrenalin, but it protects us from danger. Only, in reality, in our day-to-day lives, there is no life-threatening danger. There is some social discomfort, fear of failure and anxiety around all sorts of modern day life and all of these thoughts are having an impact about how we feel about ourselves. Our brains might constantly be telling us the odd story of the silly mistakes we’ve made and lead us back to places that feel like torture chambers, our minds like haunted houses (you see where we are getting here)….But fear not!
Giving the brain some positive nourishment (we are speaking metaphorically here, but it helps to get your Omega 3s as well), helps to bring a bit more balance into our thinking into a direction that serves you. Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to form new connections, we can re-wire the neural connections to think more about the great stuff, the wins and achievements and that can lead to a far more positive self-view and an increase in confidence.
Think out with the old (self-deprecating limiting beliefs) and in with the new (more confident and self-loving thoughts).
The great news? This can be learned, but be aware that it doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that you might need to invest a few weeks in to start seeing a difference, but it is very much worth the effort, if greater confidence for the rest of your life is to be gained?
In a practical way, writing down all your possible wins in life and re-reading those daily (you need to take 5-10 minutes out of your day), will help. Write down the big and the small, the personal and the professional wins. Whenever there is something that feels like a weakness, reframe it into a strength. Thinking that you don't speak up enough? Maybe you are a very good listener. You might speak more than one language, play a musical instrument, have a driving license or you can swim? You might have hiked up a mountain? Or you have a large crowd of friends and are invited to a lot of social gatherings? Or you have rad more than 50 books in the last year alone? Have a professional degree? You might have suffered from a mental health issue like anxiety and managed to make progress? Your wins can be as little as getting dressed and making your bed in the morning when you come from a difficult mental place and as big as being awarded a PhD. Believe or not, there are a lot of very accomplished people who are not feeling very confident! Write all of this down and then add the new daily wins on top of that. Then, re-rad this to yourself so that it can fully sink in. That's what you feed your brain daily.
If you do that over a period of 4-5 weeks, this should show first results. The key is to be generous and compare yourself only to yourself. There is obviously more to confidence than just win-journaling. What comes first, is the first step to do something that scares you a little bit. That could be public speaking (a thing that scares most people, a lot), or it could be asking for a pay rise, or going to a yoga class as a total beginner. You know what scares you. Do that. Be prepared that you might fail in some way. Write down that you have done it anyways. Do it again, become better, write it down again!