Have you ever had one of those days that started pretty neutral… you went through your morning routine and everything seemed fine. And then… WHAM! As if out of nowhere you have an attack of “I suck at life.”
Maybe it’s just me?
I had one of those days recently. I felt completely overwhelmed by life and my business. I was so overwhelmed that I felt paralyzed. I mean, what’s a life coach to do when they feel like they can’t handle life? Which is a terrible question, because it sends me straight into a shame spiral. How fun, right?
Here are the exact steps I take to start feeling confident again. Use these anytime and anywhere when your confidence gets shaken.
1. Journal it out
Sometimes that shame storm is happening because you have some really negative thoughts. You are not your thoughts, so it's better to let them out. Write down everything you are thinking and feeling. It’s ok if you cry (crying is simply a release). It’s very possible that there are some trapped negative thoughts that just need to get out. After you’ve written down everything you’re experiencing, meet it with compassion just like a parent would act with a kid that skinned his or her knee. Sometimes seeing these things on paper lets you put it behind you.
2. Channel your hero
How would Beyonce handle this situation? Or Kobe Bryant? Put yourself in that person's shoes and try to imagine how they would handle this moment. If that feels like too much of a stretch, have your hero give you a pep talk. What would that person tell you right now to help pump you up? They probably have had some tough days and have some advice for you about how to boost yourself and how to get back out there.
3. Hug yourself
This may sound silly, and it might even feel silly when you try it. But trust me. Right now, you probably need a little comfort. And the best person to give it to you is yourself. Get a nice blanket and wrap yourself up tight like a burrito. Cuddling releases the feel-good hormones and helps calm your nervous system. There's actually science behind this, look up the hug machine if you don't believe me. Try it, it works. The tighter the squeeze, the better.
4. Move your body
For many similar reasons as a good hug, a good walk can turn your entire attitude around. Move your body in any way that you can, even its just squeezing your toes or fingers. Be grateful for what your body can do. Just look at all the things your body CAN do! Get a little sweaty and feel some endorphins. Keep the focus on things you can do, even small things. (Now is not the time to try a headstand in yoga for the first time.) Be grateful for this human body that you have and shake it.
5. Call a friend
My friends are my go to when I’m feeling low. Tell them what you’re experiencing and how they can best support you. Tell them EXACTLY what you need right now. It’s important to tell our friends exactly what you need because otherwise we may be disappointed by support that doesn’t fit our needs.
6. Recall something good that you’ve done
You haven't made it this far in life without doing at least one thing well. What was it? And it could be anything from making a delicious PB&J sandwich to winning an award in your field. Recall a time when you felt really confident about yourself. Remind yourself of that. You’ve accomplished something. Just because things feel not great right now doesn’t mean you’re a total failure. I promise. You have other great things that you have done in the past and will do in the future.
7. Look for places in life where you do feel good
Looking for areas that do feel good in your life is called finding your Bright Spots. It can be any part of your life, and it's even better if it's unrelated to what is shaking your confidence. What we focus on expands, so focus on the Bright Spot. That good feeling will start to spill to other places. Spend your time doing things that feel good. If you feel less confident because your bank account doesn’t feel abundant, where in your life do you feel abundant? Perhaps in your friendships you feel an abundance of love. Practice feeling that abundance with your friends, and watch it start to expand into other parts of your life.
8. Help someone else
When you feel helpless, helping someone else accomplishes a few things. Yes, it can feel good to focus on someone else and do a good deed. But this does some great stuff in your brain, too! Choosing to help someone else activates a part of your brain associated with taking action. Taking any action immediately starts to help you feel better and rebuild confidence. Take a small action to help someone else, even if it's sending a compliment or thank you text. Then you are more likely to take another action, and then another. And all of a sudden you are in momentum and moving forward.
Don’t let a confidence set back ruin your whole day. Take small steps to start feeling more confident immediately. We might think it has to be the big things like a job promotion or hearing someone say yes to a date. But it’s actually about taking the little actions to realign with our good feelings that help us feel more confident more of the time.
Which of these are you going to try first?! Comment below and tell me what you did and how it felt. I can't wait to hear.