I have a confession...I've been struggling with my confidence just lately. It's kind of strange because when I was a teacher I knew I was a good teacher. My thoughts in that are validated by the students who stay in touch with me and occasionally come to me for advice. But I stopped teaching about 6 years ago and have been searching for something I am good at ever since. I want to be a great writer, but getting published is hard. I have a few minor publications under my belt, but nothing major. So how do I build my confidence back up?
I've been reading this wonderful book called Manage Your Mind by Gillian Butler and Tony Hope. I thought I'd share some of the high points and my interpretations of the chapter I just finished.
- Recognize that you are confident in certain areas. (Don't focus on just one area of weakness.)
- Understand that people who appear to be confident all the time may not be as confident as you think.
- Work on gaining confidence by doing things. (Keep trying to get published in a variety of venues.)
- Use positive talk about yourself. (If you tell people you are no good, they might believe you and you will believe it.)
- Practice having confidence.(Pretend you are in a play and you are the confident charming character that everyone loves. I do this all the time at conferences.)
- Learn from your mistakes, but don't let them define you. (What's done is done, and move forward.)
- Don't allow yourself to use negative self talk. (Speak encouragingly to yourself, just like you would to a friend.)
- Always be kind to yourself. (Apply the same standards to yourself that you do to others.)
- Don't undervalue yourself. (I have a lot of trouble with this one. Recognize that you bring something to the table.)
- Do the best you can, but don't make yourself feel bad for not being perfect. (Would you ditch a friend because they weren't perfect? I doubt it.)
- Spend time (real or virtual) with people who make you feel good. (Remove negative influences from your life. If someone is not bringing something positive to your relationship, then it's time to move on. Did you know you can hide people on Facebook, so you don't have to see their posts?)
Something I realized as I was writing this post is that you should treat yourself the same way you treat your friends. Wow...(dramatic pause, cause a huge light bulb just went off in my head.)
On a positive note...My writing tip was chosen as the Tuesday Tip on Literary Rambles. I am so excited that Casey and Natalie thought it was worthy of being on their awesome blog. (Note the positive self /public talk here.)
What do you do to keep your self confidence level up?