How to Reclaim Your Confidence in Five Steps with Suzy Reading
Confidence has been affected by the pandemic and so many of us are struggling to rally our spirits. Here, psychologist, author, yoga teacher and Gazelli visiting practitioner Suzy Reading shares five steps to reclaim your zest and self-belief. There are so many good reasons that we are feeling like this – the pandemic has left behind a trail of chronic anxiety. We’ve been living with a daily sense of uncertainty which has left many with a diminished sense of shine and has had an impact on our sleep. We also haven’t had the chance to use and practise our skills in the same way we would usually.
Suzy recommends trying these ideas for size. There are five so if there’s one that doesn’t work, just try the next.
Observe Your Energy Bank Basics
Feed your brain by hydrating your sense of humour, move for your mental health, sleep for sanity, rest for resilience and spend time in nature to reconnect to what’s most important to you. If your sleep has been impaired, go gently on yourself as it can have a great effect on your self-perception. But remember it’s also temporary and something as small as a great meal can leave us able to think straight again. When we hydrate ourselves, we have access to a better mood – so observe the scaffolding that you need in life to function as a human being.
Do Your Homework
If there is something that you are preparing for then think about what will help you to feel prepared and ready. For Suzy to feel confident and ready for her Instagram lives she makes time to prepare and do her homework. If you have a journey coming up then the homework could be thinking through the logistics and knowing the route. If you are preparing for a trip away, a social event, a meeting or even an interview consider what you need to do to feel ready and confident.
Suzy encourages you to reflect on your strengths. Try doing a timeline of grit and courage. It could go back to your teens or just the last twelve months – draw or write out a timeline and include any experiences that you have weathered. What have you had to overcome? What have you grown through? What are the strengths that helped you overcome those times? All of those strengths are within you and will help you in your next pursuit.
Use Your Body
This is Suzy’s favourite tip. Confidence isn’t just something that is in your head, it is also something that you feel in your body. So, use your body to help you feel confident. Research shows that if we stand with a tall elongated spine and broad collarbones, we connect with a feeling of personal power, zest and optimism – whereas a slumped body posture (perhaps nursing your phone or computer) makes it easier to recall negative memories and cry. It lowers your mood and zaps your energy levels. Remember – you have every right to be here. You have every right to take up space. Use your body to come into this feeling of confidence. It’s been shown that it is physiologically impossible to be stressed at the same time as breathing well. If you’ve ever felt agitated while doing breath work, then try combining breath and movement rather than just breathing on its own. Movement has potent antidepressant effects.
Treat yourself with dignity, care and respect
Consider how you talk to yourself, how you dress yourself and how you extend touch to yourself. If you want to feel good about yourself then please be kind, gentle and tender with yourself. You don’t have to love how you look but you can be loving towards yourself. You can dress yourself in something that helps you feel soothed or in a colour that you find uplifting. If Suzy wants to feel ready, she washes her hair, chooses an outfit she feels good in and, as she gets ready, speaks to herself with great tenderness and kindness. Life is tough enough and you don’t need to add to your burden with toxic words. We don’t have to – it’s a habit. And because it’s a habit you can step out of it and just not do it anymore. Decide that you’re going to give yourself permission to shine, to show your unique strengths and think about what’s important to you as a human being.
Suzy is passionate about empowering people with the tools of self-care and helping people commit to sustainable, positive lifestyle choices. She has a special interest in supporting those who are in the midst of stress, crisis, loss and change. Suzy offers 1:2:1 counselling both in person and remotely – click here to find out more. You can also click here to shop Suzy’s books.