Challenge: Avoiding People, Places and Situations That Will Bring You Down

We all have people in our lives that act as cheerleaders and who are great for our self-esteem. We also often have people around us who bring us down. Or maybe it’s a particular place or situation that makes you feel inadequate or self-conscious. It’s important to be aware of these people, places, and situations that will bring you down. When you know who and what they are, you can guard against them and if possible avoid them.

Become Aware of the Negative Energy

Your self-confidence takes the biggest hit when you are unaware of the person or situation you’re walking into. When you feel blind-sided, it hurts, it and it’s hard to recover and rebuild your self-esteem and courage. I like to think of how these people, places, and situations affect us as negative energy. Your first task is to become aware of this negative energy and realize where it’s coming from before it hits you. By simply being aware you avoid being surprised. Try it.

Guard Against It and Neutralize It Going In

Once you are aware of what or who is bringing you down, you can start to guard against it. The basic idea is to neutralize the negative energy that’s being send your way. One of my favorite ways of doing this is to expect it going in and realizing what’s causing it. For example, if your cousin always gives you a hard time about your weight, it may help to realize that she’s putting you down because she’s not happy with her own life. If you feel judged at a local club by a group of people, it helps to know that they may be doing it to make themselves feel better. Realizing this going in will go a long way towards neutralizing things. Of course, another way to guard yourself is to do what you can avoid interacting with the people that bring you down and of course avoiding the places and situations that make you feel bad.

Adjust Your Life as Needed Until You Feel More Confident and Courageous

Last but not least, avoiding people, places, and situations that will bring you down is always an option. If you know a conversation with your sister will make you feel less confident, or you feel judged when going to a certain bar or club, avoid those people and places for now. I’m not saying you have to cut them out indefinitely. Instead, take a break and focus on building up your confidence and your self-esteem. When you’re ready, you can go back to spending time with those people or hanging out at those places and see how it goes. Often the experience is completely different for you when you approach it in a confident manner.

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Challenge: Confidence Hack: Cultivate a New Habit

It’s time for another confidence hack. Today is all about cultivating new habits. There’s nothing to boost your confidence like getting into the habit of doing something positive. I don’t care if it’s giving up coffee or smoking, hitting the gym each morning, or getting your most dreaded task out of the way by 10 am. We all have habits we would like to create that will improve our lives, our jobs, or at the very least make things easier for us. But establishing new habits isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be hard to get going. Which is where today’s confidence hack comes into play. I have a simple little strategy that you can deploy anytime you want to cultivate a new good habit.

Use The KISS Principle

Creating new habits isn’t easy. That’s why it’s important to keep it simple (Keep It Simple Silly). Don’t overcomplicate things and don’t try to change too much at once. Instead of completely making over your morning for example, tackle it one habit at a time. Start by getting up at a certain time of the day and doing one simple task like writing in your journal. Once that habit is established, start making a new one. Rinse and repeat until you’ve completely made over your morning routine, one positive habit at a time.

Commit For 30 Days

There’s a very good reason I made this confidence building series 30 days long. It takes about that long to start establishing a new habit. Use the same concept and commit to your new habit for 30 days. At the end of that time you should see some serious results and chances are you’ve formed the new habit so you no longer have to put a lot of energy and effort into making it happen on a daily basis.

There you have it. Keep it simple and define one new habit you want to establish. Then stick to it for 30 days. It can be helpful to have a calendar or checklist where you can check it off every day. Your biggest challenges will be to remember to do the new task each day, and to keep from talking yourself into slacking off towards the middle of that month long commitment. By the end the new habit should become a true habit and something you will do without having to think about at least spending a lot of energy talking yourself into getting it done.

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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.

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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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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.

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