Monday, March 19, 2012


Psychologist Cynthia Hickman takes a look at some simple ways to boost self confidence - starting with one thought for each day of the week.

The cliche "look good, feel good" is actually true. If your appearance looks confident and at ease, your feelings will follow. So it's important to pay attention to your appearance including your fitness, grooming and clothes. And keep the environment around you clean and ordered. These things create internal confidence.

We drain much of our confidence by our own negative thinking. But thoughts are just thoughts - it doesn't mean they're true. Catch the negative thoughts, flick them away and replace with encouraging thoughts. You may need to do this a hundred times a day. Don't worry, it will improve over time.

Our body holds meaning. If you slouch and droop your head, you look like you lack confidence and will feel this way too. The beauty of the body is that we can choose to change it regardless of how we feel. Positive energy will follow. Imagine you feel confident, then get your posture to match.

Many of us have internal issues that diminish our confidence. There may be emotions, situations or relationships that have influenced our self-perception. Get these in perspective. Critics reveal more about themselves than the person they criticise. So don't take things personally.

If you treat someone well and give them encouragement, they blossom. Why would you be any different? How can you feel good about yourself if you treat yourself with disregard? Bring your attention back and treat your own self with the care and consideration you know you deserve. 

You can't feel confident if you aren't grounded in your own self. Breathe gently. Feel the breath going in and out with gentleness. Let that gentleness flow down into the body. Then anchor yourself in your own heart. Put your hand on your chest and say, "Here I am. I'm on my side. I deserve to treat myself well."

Start with small goals. If you aim too high you may scare yourself off. Competence is built slowly with each small success. But do get started on something. Sitting on the couch in self-pity and fear feeds negativity. Feedback from a self in action creates the building blocks of confidence.

Body and Soul

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