Challenge: Let’s Talk Diet, Exercise, and Sleep

As we near the end of this 30-day blog series to build our courage and increase self-confidence, I think it’s important that we discuss diet, exercise, and sleep. They may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we’re talking about self-confidence, but they can have a profound effect. I’m sure you’ve noticed that you feel like crap and are less confident in yourself and your abilities after not getting much sleep. The same holds true when we eat a bad diet and don’t get out there and move.

Don’t panic. I’m not saying that you have to start eating super clean, train like a pro athlete, and always get nine hours of sleep. Instead, I want you to simply become more aware of how these things affect you. My hope is that you’ll make small changes in your life to improve each area. Create new, healthier habits that will improve not only your self-confidence but how you feel in general.

Eating Foods That Nourish Body and Mind

Food affects our mood. Turkey and an assortment of rich foods eaten on Thanksgiving makes us sluggish and tired. Coffee perks us up in the morning and chocolate puts us into a better mood. There are so many examples of how our diet affects, body, mind, and how we feel about ourselves. The better diet you eat, the better you’ll feel. Pay attention to how food affects you and make changes accordingly. If that plate of spaghetti for lunch makes you useless in the afternoon, stick with a healthy salad on days when you have an important meeting in the afternoon.

Go Out There and Move Your Body

Exercise is another part of the equation. Not only is it important to go out there and move for your overall health and well-being, exercise also releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Going for a quick walk in the fresh air does wonders to clear your head and help with focus and concentration. And there’s nothing like a little physical activity to boost your confidence and courage. Go out there and move more often and more regularly. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Do What You Can To Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things for overall wellbeing. We can get away with eating junk for a while and do nothing but sit on the couch and still feel physically and mentally ok. But just a few sleepless nights turn us into useless zombies. Heck, one night of not sleeping well can put a serious damper on our productivity and how we perceive ourselves. It’s no wonder that creating good sleep habits is one of the best things you can do for your self-confidence.

We all go through seasons in life where sleep isn’t a priority. If you have a newborn in the house, there’s simply no way to get a solid eight hours per night. Do what you can and realize that this is temporary. Give yourself some grace and realize that it can mess with your self-confidence.

Don’t Miss a Post!

Catch up on any posts you miss during the challenge. Here’s the link: confidence and courage challenge posts.

Challenge: Confidence Hack: Make Yourself a Promise and Keep It

It’s time for another confidence hack. These are short little actionable tips that you can implement right away to grow your courage and self-confidence. Today is another great example of how a simple idea and a shift in thought and perception is all it takes to give you that confidence boost you need. It’s one of those hacks that works better the more you use it. Give it a try starting today and then make an effort to use it regularly.

The confidence hack is simple. Make yourself a promise and then make sure you keep it. That’s it. If it sounds simple, it’s because it is. But like some of the other hacks I’ve shared with you already, it’s more powerful than you may think.

By making yourself a promise, you’ll accomplish several things. The first is that you define what you need to do. You can’t make a promise if you don’t know what you’re promising. The second is that you are committing yourself to taking action. To keep the promise, you have to do something. Which brings us to the last part of the hack. You have to make sure that you keep the promise you made yourself. By getting in the habit of doing that, you won’t let yourself make up excuses or put things off. Start right now by making yourself the promise to give this a serious try. I want you to promise yourself that you will keep the promises you make to yourself. It’s an important part of this hack and what will help build your self-confidence.

Think of it this way. Who do you feel is more reliable and who are you more confident in? The person that makes big promises, but doesn’t always keep them, or the one that will keep his promise no matter what when he’s given his word? It’s the second one. It’s no different when you’re dealing with yourself. With this one little commitment and shift in thinking you can greatly boost your confidence in yourself. Best of all, each time you keep another promise to yourself, you’re reinforcing that confidence.

Let’s look at an example of this confidence hack in action. Let’s say there’s something you want to get done in the morning. This could be going to the gym, reading a book, writing in a journal, or a specific task for your job or business. Define what it is you want to do and then set aside time for it each morning. Then make yourself a promise to get it done each and every morning for a week. Write it down and commit. Stick to your promise and after the week re-evaluate. Is it working? Is there something you need to change? Make those tweaks and then make another promise to yourself to do this task every morning (or Monday through Friday) for another week. Rinse and repeat.

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Catch up on any posts you miss during the challenge. Here’s the link: confidence and courage challenge posts.

Challenge: The Power of Being Prepared

We all have times when we don’t feel confident or are even worried about what we’re supposed be doing. Often the reason for the worry is that we’re not certain what we should be doing. For example, when you first start a new job, it’s hard to feel confident, particularly if you don’t know much about the job and what’s expected of you. The same goes for other new or unusual tasks as well. The less we prepared we are, the harder it becomes to feel confident. The solution is simple. Be prepared.

Do what you can to be prepared for the situation. The action of preparing alone will make you feel more confident. Of course the new knowledge you learn and the skills you’re acquiring while you’re preparing doesn’t hurt either.

Start by learning more about what will be expected of you. Talk to the person in charge of hiring you for the new job, chat with future colleagues, have the person currently holding your job give you a quick rundown, and take a tour of the new job site. You can do this same “initial information gathering” in any other situation where being more prepared will be helpful. If you’re starting college, tour the campus, figure out where your classes will be, and get a course syllabus for each. If you’re becoming a new parent, take classes, read books, hang out with parents of babies, and do a little babysitting yourself to gain experience. If you’re getting ready to spend time in a new country, learn some of the language, meet a few people from there, study the culture, and try some of the food. You get the idea.

Another good way to look at this is to figure out what you don’t know yet. Once you have that information, it becomes easier to determine what you need to learn, and then start studying and gaining experience. This whole idea goes back to what we’ve talked about in a previous article. The fear of the unknown is much greater than when we sit down and figure out what we don’t know precisely. Once you know what you don’t know, you can start to take action and that’s always one of the best confidence boosters.

Give it a try the next time you’re in a situation where you don’t know what to do. Instead of letting fear and worry take over, take charge by figuring out what’s expected of you and start learning as much as you can about it. It’s a strategy that’s served me well over the years, and I’m sure it will work for you too.

Don’t Miss a Post!

Catch up on any posts you miss during the challenge. Here’s the link: confidence and courage challenge posts.

Challenge: Confidence Hack: Eat That Frog

In yesterday’s post I shared some tough love with you and explained why complaining about things isn’t a good long-term strategy. In today’s confidence hack we’re going to piggyback on that idea by eating the frog. Often the thing we complain about is something we don’t want to do. It’s the thing we dread and keep putting off. We spent more time worrying and complaining about it than is good for ourselves. Worst of all it makes us feel less confident and less competent. Instead of pushing it back and putting it off, we should get in the habit of tackling it head on, first thing in the morning.

What do frogs have to do with it you ask? Good question. It’s an expression from Brian Tracey who wrote a book called “Eat that Frog”. Pick up a copy when you get the chance. The reasoning behind it is this. What if I asked you to eat a frog? Unless you’re into French cuisine, that does not sound like an appetizing endeavor. Instead it’s one of those things you really don’t want to do and you keep putting it off. If you just went ahead and ate that frog first thing in the morning, you wouldn’t spend all day worrying and agonizing about having to eat it. Instead of dampening your self-esteem and confidence, getting it done right away will boost your self-confidence and increase your courage.

While you probably haven’t been asked to eat a frog, you’ve been in plenty of similar situations. Maybe it’s the tough homework assignment in school, decluttering your closet at home, or doing your taxes. We all have tasks we want to put off, sometimes indefinitely. But doing this holds us back. We know we’ll have to get that homework assignment turned in eventually and that taxes will be due April 15th. We also know that getting ready in the morning will be much easier with a closet filled only with outfits we’d actually wear.

We also know that doing this work that has to be done early in the day when we have the mental and physical energy to do it will be much easier than trying to rush through it and pull an all-nighter at the last minute.

Going forward I challenge you to “eat that frog” and do the most difficult or most dreaded task first. Not only will you do a much better job with it and waste less energy and worrying about it, it’s also a great way to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.

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Catch up on any posts you miss during the challenge. Here’s the link: confidence and courage challenge posts.

Challenge: Stop Complaining and Start to Focus on Solutions

I have some tough words to share with you today and for some of you, it will not be the easiest thing to read and come to grips with. Believe me when I say that I’m sharing this because it’s important to me to see you succeed and make a real positive change in your life and your level of self-confidence.

Complaining Does You No Good

I get it. It feels good to complain and let off a little steam from time to time. I’m not saying you should never complain and I’m not saying that there isn’t a time and a place when you should launch a legitimate complaint. What I’m trying to tell you is that it’s often a waste of time to whine and complain about your situation. Complaining without action and a desire to bring about change does you no good and actually hurts your self-confidence. When you focus on complaining, you’re embracing the role of a victim and that’s not a powerful role at all. It’s a passive, accepting what’s dealt to you kind of role.

Here’s What I Want You To Focus On Instead

The good thing when you stop complaining is that you have a lot of time and energy for more productive things. Instead complaining, I want you to channel that energy into taking action and making a difference. For example, instead of complaining that your kids never clean their room, get in there with them and create a system. Take the time to teach them how to clean their room. Going forward, make them responsible for keeping it tidy and make sure there are consequences when it doesn’t happen.

Taking action and doing something about the circumstances or things you don’t like is very empowering. Think back on a time when you’ve taken a stand or done something to change your situation instead of complaining about it. I bet your confidence went through the roof once you started talking action.

From here on out, I want you to think of complaining as a clue to take action. When you hear yourself complain about something, or when you start thinking about complaining, stop and ask yourself what you can do about it. What can you do to change and improve the situation? Not only is it a much more productive use of your time and energy than whining and complaining, it is also a great way to build your courage and self-confidence.

Don’t Miss a Post!

Catch up on any posts you miss during the challenge. Here’s the link: confidence and courage challenge posts.