Friday, 1 December 2017

Dancing Through Life's Lessons: Confidence

     Hey everyone. I hope you all are doing well. One thing I've been working on a lot this year is becoming more confident and exuding confidences even when I feel less that than. It's definitely something you have to learn and learn quickly when you could walk at one point and then out of the blue you have to use a mobility aid of some kind to get around. It's especially important for wheelchair users, such as myself. Being in a wheelchair can be a tough thing to deal with but confidences really is key. And this applies to any part of life, not just a drastic lifestyle change. So here are my top tips on how to become more confident. Enjoy!

1. Fake it until it fits
     You’ve all heard that saying “fake it until you make it”. That saying is true when it comes to being confident. If you pretend you are, then eventually you’ll start to believe it. If you express an air of esteem in your words, thoughts and body language, even if it is essentially acting it will establish the behavioral patters that eventually become natural habit, instinctively building confidence. A bright smile, good posture, even a little swagger can go a long way... your heart and mind will follow your lead.

2. Clean up your self-talk
     Nasty self-talk is detrimental to your self-esteem and confidence. As women, we can be truly ruthless against ourselves, criticizing everything from the way we look to our performance at work to the dynamics of our relationships. And in turn, this vicious cycle makes us feel bad about ourselves instead, we need to think more positively about our looks etc.
     Yes, we need to hold ourselves accountable for mistakes we make but we also have to understand that mistakes are part of life and no one is perfect. To move away from negative self-talk is to back up every negative thing we say about ourself with three positive things. Soon all you’ll be saying are positive things. Another good step is to tell your own worst critique (aka the devil on your shoulder) to go to hell.

3. Focus on your fans
     Do not underestimate the power of positive influences. Always surround yourself with your fans, positive people who will always bring out the best in you. Kick those negative people out the window and lock it so they can’t come back. It’s especially important to connect with your fan base during times when you feel particularly low because you’ll be able to draw from their positive impressions of you and to remind yourself of all the important relationships in your life worthy of your self-assurance. As like attracts like, the more you grow your own esteem, the more you will attract equally wonderful people to share your happiness with.

4. List your achievements
     Through the highs and lows of life we can easily lose track of how far we have come and all that we have accomplished on our journey. As you continue developing confidence, take time to reflect on the many challenges you have overcome, and the many beautiful achievements you have earned throughout the years. I have every award I’ve one in dance displayed in my room. It’s a subtle but important reminder to myself that if I was a terrible dancer I wouldn’t have won all the awards I have. If you don’t have anything materialistic to display, make a list of your accomplishments and post it somewhere you can see it daily. Keep adding to this list as you continue to meet your goals. Each success is a step toward building confidence and it will likely surprise you how much you have truly achieved. Not to mention, re-discovering how fabulous you are never gets old.

5. Play to your strengths
     Knowing how to build confidence comes in from knowing your own strengths and how they counteract your weaknesses. Are you extremely outgoing? Do you have a great sense of humor? Having a clear understanding of the personal attributes that enable and empower your success gives you an opportunity to play to your strong side and more easily manage your weaknesses. Focus your efforts on connecting with situations in a way that flatters you and you will naturally feel more confident in each interaction.
     For example, my strength in ballet is my artistry and that I’m a strong jumper. My weakness is having trouble learning combinations quickly and that I’m not a good turner. So when I dance, I really try to put in as much emotion as I can along with a lot of jumps and only the turns I can do well. Dancing like this makes me so much more confident in my abilities.

6. Try new things
     This one is easily the hardest way to build self-esteem because if we try something new and fail at it we beat ourselves up about the mistakes we made. Unfortunately, this is one of the most beneficial ways to become more confident. While engaging the same activities every day can have a stagnant effect on our self-esteem, learning or trying something new offers the opposite advantages, revving our creativity, increasing our sense of purpose and promoting a feeling of pride in our efforts. If you are determining how to build confidence, try taking on a fresh challenge beyond your usual routine - learn that second language, explore the local museum or train for your first marathon... each dynamic experience, with its own challenges and achievements, will serve to enhance your feelings of self-assurance.

7. Redefine your failures
     This way is one of my faves. To become more confident, you need to redefine what it means to fail. The majority people look at trails in their lives with harsh judgement, painfully labeling their struggles as mistakes, inadequacies and downfalls (that, my friends, is my definition of failure). Though it is natural to reflect on some experiences with disappointment or regret, in order to continue developing confidence, try looking at past and present errors with a new perspective; focus on what your life lessons have taught you, how much you have grown through the process of learning, and how happy you are to have overcome that obstacle. And as Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I just found 1,000 ways that did not work.”

8. Know your worth
     My pretties, here is a formula we all need to remember: how much we love our lives is typically a direct reflection of how much we loves ourselves. If you want to know how to build confidence, ask yourself if you truly value your own worth as you should. Many women confuse feeling worthy with arrogance or self-absorption... The difference is that believing in yourself relates to the meaningful qualities you have to offer; intelligence, kindness, love and humor, for example. Celebrating, pampering and most importantly, respecting your worth are all significant parts of the hunt for greater self-esteem. Strive to honor yourself daily will show you how worthy you really are.

     So as you can see, building confidence is an evolving process that takes eons to achieve especially with all the nasty winds that fly through our lives every so often. I hope this post as helped you figure out some ways to build self confidence. I know I will be referring back to this post a lot through out the rest of my life, to be honest, because even though I may seem confidence to people, I definitely do have my insecure days.

     As always, I hope you all found it informative. If you did, don't forget to give this post a +1 if you have a Google+ account, follow me on all my social media accounts and share it with your friends.

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