It takes time to build confidence and no time at all to tear it down. We all have setbacks. Some are easier than others to bounce back from. When our self-confidence is on the decline, we question ourselves, we second-guess ourselves. It slows us down and makes it hard to build trust. When your confidence has taken a hit, here are a few things that you can do to start gaining it back.
Take the time to process what happened. Think about the situation. Separate out the facts from strong emotions and opinions. Reflect on what your personal responsibility was in the situation and whether there is something you can learn from it. Let go of the things that you had no control over.
Once you have thoroughly processed the situation, close the chapter. Don’t spend time dwelling on what happened. Focus on your next achievement. Set a goal or goals for yourself and start moving towards them.
Prepare, prepare, prepare.
Whatever goals you set for yourself, increase your chances of success by being thoroughly prepared. Resume, project plan, presentation, sales pitch. Knowing your stuff is not enough. Being able to share it in a compelling fashion takes planning and preparation.
Reflect on your achievements.
If you are ultra-focused on what you did wrong, you are forgetting what you’ve done well. Take some time to reflect on your achievements. Remember who you are and what you have to offer.
Question negative thoughts.
When you are processing the situation or just moving through your day, be wary of negative thought patterns that are sapping your energy and enthusiasm. I’m not suggesting you think only pretty / positive thoughts. It’s about having a balanced approach to things and not focusing only on the negative aspects. Some common negative thinking patterns are: All or nothing, labeling, mind reading, fortune telling, focusing on the negative, should/must, self-blame, refusing personal responsibility. Recognize them and nip them in the bud by questioning their legitimacy.
Celebrate little successes.
Don’t wait for the next huge thing to celebrate yourself. Set small goals and celebrate achieving them. Every step in the journey counts. Pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.