When I Breathe, I Inhale Confidence and Exhale Timidity // Self Affirmations to Jump Start Your Year
Confidence has always been something I struggled with, but my struggle has been brought into even more light in recent years. At age 28, I’ve yet to figure out the perfect calculation to get over feeling timid and standing strong in confidence. One thing I do recognize is that I’m not the only person on the planet who’s gone through the same fears and anxieties I have. I’ve countless expressed my feelings of self-confidence issues and have been wonderfully given insight on different coping mechanism from people of all walks of life.
Recognize the Source of Your Timidity
One of the best ways to overcome timidity is understanding what’s causing it. For me, my timidity is based on going into uncharted territory and not finding a solution right away. In essence, I’m scared to fail. I find that when I am first introduced to an unfamiliar situation or social setting, it takes me a while to adjust to the environment. In more laid back scenarios, I prefer to listen and give myself time to take in everything around me. If comfortable enough, I start to open up. However, in a stressful situation where I have to react quickly, I freeze. I know I only have limited time to respond. I don’t have time to take in the situation at my preferred pace and I start to shut down. Then, the process of tearing myself apart begins and I am in a spiral of self-defeat and embarrassment. It isn’t until a few times of being in that same stressful situation that I am comfortable enough to react confidently with a solution. My timidity is based on fear of the unknown, of how I am going to accomplish something.
I read something by author Daniel Southern that talked about how he wanted to become a great leader, he just didn’t know how. So he actively sought out help and was brought under the wing of a well-known Christian leader. Daniel learned from his idol and focused on the goal. He is now one of the most recognized leaders in his industry because he started focusing on the goal, not the “how”; he let God do that.
I need not let my timidity to be the stronghold of allowing me to move forward in confidence. Instead of allowing myself to get caught up in potentially not succeeding in something, I need to tell myself, “No matter what, you will survive whatever comes your way”, take a leap of faith and allow God to handle the “how”.
Write All the Good Things You’ve Done and Read Them Aloud
One great tip I learned over the years of battling lack of self-confidence is to write down all the good things I’ve done and re-read it to myself over and over again when I need a really good pick-me-up. When I first took a step study class in recovery, we were eventually prompted to do an inventory of ourselves by writing down all the bad things we’ve done to others or others have done to us and then writing out the good things we’ve done for others and the good things others have done for us. I remember being able to write down the bad things, but I had such a difficult time writing the good things. I had to ask an accountability partner and my husband for things because I was so blinded by my timidity, I couldn’t think of anything.
Currently, I hold that list of good things in my binder. Every now and then, I take it out and I read it to myself. This sparks a fire in me to shift my mindset to WHY I should be confident in myself. My list is filled with loving acts of kindness I’ve done, career accomplishments, quotes from people who responded to how my work helped them personally, and positive words of affirmations from my loved ones. And if you need help, take a page from my book and ask those around you who know you and your heart.
Surround Yourself With People That Bring Out the Best In You
This has been a key tool in overcoming my timidity. Life is not meant to be done alone, so link up with best of people. I have a few people in my life that I can count on my hand that I know I can go to and be reminded of the greatness within me. However, I also struggle with reaching out to people. I almost always let the negative narrative bounce around in my head for too long that I end up depressed, lonely and detached from reality. I have been battling my way to make sure I express how I feel and not stuff my feelings, a habit I formed due to being taught that expressing anger or sadness was a “bad” way to handle things. However, I know logically, I can’t get better if I don’t talk to people about it. I’ve been blessed to find people in my recovery groups that I can share things with and feel better with, including my husband. Outside of recovery, I have a couple girlfriends who I can always reach out and I can spend hours on the phone with them talking about how I feel without any judgement. These are my go-to people. If you have loved ones in your life who love on you and support you, hang out with them. If you go to church, ask God to lead you to a group of friends so you can bring out the best in each other. Find a community online that is positive and inspiring so that you are always connected with positive vibes. You’ll find yourself so built up from all their positive words, that you’ll be able to pour life back into them when they need it too. Whoever these people are, stay connected with them and keep them!
Create Reminders For Yourself of How Awesome You Are
One really great tip I’ve heard for many years is to write out positive affirmations about yourself on a post-it note and then hang them up next toy our mirror. By doing this, you can always read them when you are looking at yourself in front of the mirror when you need it most. Personally, I haven’t done this, but I had a girlfriend reach out to me and tell me how she was coping with self-doubt. She took a picture of her reflection in the mirror with her positive affirmations pressed up on the borders of her mirror. It was a beautiful sight! What I do, is I tell myself positive affirmations in my mind when I’m doing something I don’t want to do.
For example, as of recent, my husband and I have been waking up before the crack of dawn to run around her neighborhood for a good early morning workout. As much as I love envisioning myself doing this, the process sucks! It’s early, I’m tired and no ounce of caffeine is in my system at this point in the morning. But, running in the morning before work gives me energy, sets up day up right and it’s good for me. So instead of telling myself I can’t do it and that I suck, I figured out that telling myself positive affirmations as I run. I pretty much tell myself the same thing over and over again, “You’re awesome, you’re great, you’re amazing!” This especially comes in handy when my mind starts going downward. Before I know it, we’re back home in our apartment, dripping in sweat with smile on our faces feeling proud of what we accomplished.
Find out what works for you. Write positive affirmations out on post-its and stick them everywhere. Find a powerful quote graphic online and save it as your wallpaper on your phone. Print out positive messages and frame them to hang up in your office or all over your bedroom. Set a alarm in the morning and instead of having the test read “Wake up!”, put a positive quote to help you get ready for your day. Whatever route you decide to take, make sure to speak to yourself kindly to build up that inner confidence.
What are some things you do to break out of timidity and step into confidence?