With more pressure on women nowadays to have the bottom of J.Lo, the boobs of Kim Kardashian, the legs of Gisele, the abs of a Victoria’s Secret model and the intellect and high-flying career of Amal Clooney, it’s no wonder that our self-esteem levels have taken a pretty hard knock in recent times.
With our self-image and sense of confidence taking a battering thanks to a standard for life goal and bikini body supremacy that’s near enough impossible to reach, we believe the best foundations for a healthier, happier you begin from the inside out. So with that in mind we had to ask, what are the secrets to unshakeable self-confidence?
“To start with, it is important to know that ‘confidence’ means something different to all of us,” says clinical hypnotherapist Terrence The Teacher . “A top executive might need more confidence to hold a board meeting with 200 of his colleagues while a mother of 2 might need more confidence to step out in a bikini over the summer holidays.
Simply explained, confidence is an emotional state. A way we feel and therefore act at a certain time.”
Ready to see yourself in a more positive light? Here are 6 ways to put your confidence demons to bed for good.
“Having worked with top athletes and actors, I’ve noticed that the calmer they managed to stay, the more confident their performances were” says Terrence. “Find a way to create a calmer, more relaxed you. There are so many ways to achieve this from Hypnotherapy to mindfulness, Pilates to yoga and the list is ongoing. Being a calmer person in general will assist in keeping you feeling more confident in most situations.”
2. Think beyond the body
“Research shows 83% of adults do not feel confident about their body. Promoting healthy living and wellbeing over weight loss and appearance is a realistic and nurturing approach to our relationship with our body,” says psychologist and Get The Gloss Expert Elaine Slater .
“Encouraging young women’s aspirations and confidence in their full value and social contribution offers a wholesome perspective on life as an authentic and empowered woman.”
3. Strengthen your ego
“It is important to learn to accept and like oneself - understand that you are a unique person. The world would be boring if we are all the same. Again, I have noticed that people with a healthy ego in general come over as more confident in general,” says Terrence.
“I tell my clients that our psychology is divided into 3 groups: the adult, the parent and the child. Interestingly enough, we all seem to access these continuously, moving from adult to parent and often the child with no effort."
Knowing this, a good exercise would be to ask yourself the following:
- Would an adult find it ‘useful’ to slate themselves continuously?
- Would a parent not be loving and caring towards the child inside?
- And from the child's angle, would they spend that much time on how they look to the world or would they just get on with things and have fun?
4. Celebrate what your body can do
“Shift focus from what your body looks like to what it can do,” recommends Elaine. “Move your body; experience its strength, agility and power. Exercise ensures you experience your body from the inside rather than the outside. Research shows that people who regularly exercise have better body images than those who don’t. Feeling fit and strong at your core builds inner and outer confidence.”
5. Self-help yourself
“When you are generally more relaxed and comfortable with who you are, confidence will spill over into every area of your life,” says Terrence.
“An exercise that can assist people towards finding confidence in different areas of their lives is the following:
i) “Find a quiet, safe space where you can sit and close your eyes. Spend some time to imagine a situation in which you know that you are really confident. It can be any situation in which you feel in control and strong. Play the scene over in your mind. Find where the feeling of confidence sits in your body. How does the confident you act, talk and even breathe? Really get comfortable with how it feels. Get familiar with the confident you. Own it and then open your eyes.
ii) “The next step would be to again close your eyes. This time, bring up a situation in which you usually feel less confident. Bring up the picture and then change your experience. Use your wonderful imagination and add the confident you to the picture. Feel what you would feel, see what you would see and even hear how the confident you now sounds in this situation. Add colour, sound and feelings to the picture of confidence.
“The above exercise is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) tool that has achieved amazing results with my clients. REMEMBER, the brain does not differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. That means every time you imagine the above scene - the new confident you, your brain experiences it as if it is really happening and releases the chemicals around the body that a confident person would experience. Before long you will be able walk into the ‘real’ situation that used to cause you a crisis of confidence in a totally new way. Your brain will see the event as something it has experienced before and go into the calm, in control and much more confident you.”
6. The imperfect is perfect
“Discover the unique beauty in you. Celebrate what makes you happy about your body and embrace your imperfections – we all have them,” says Elaine. “Pay less attention to how you think you ‘should’ look and more attention to loving yourself for who you are; both on the inside and outside.”
For more tips and information on a more confident mindset, download T The Teacher’s app: Tranceform 3T , which is available through the App Store, £2.29 and Google Play, £1.99. It comprises three hypno-therapeutic audio tracks dealing with relaxation, ego-strengthening and confidence.