Today’s guest post is brought to you by former anxiety sufferer Jon Jones. Jon began his struggle with anxiety and depression over 18 years ago. And after years of struggling he’s learned how to overcome these two challenging conditions. — Paul Dooley
Being confident and feeling great about yourself are two qualities that make life deeply satisfying.
You have a spring in your step and a twinkle in your eye. People you meet are swayed by your natural charisma and charm.
The good times are better and the bad times not so bad.
You can take any problems life throws at you on the chin and plow forward to reach your goals with optimism and in high spirits.
Socializing becomes enjoyable, and people become attracted to you as you have the confidence and self-esteem to just be your real, genuine, fantastic self.
Being a sufferer of anxiety and panic, these qualities can seem out of your grasp. You feel hopelessness, despair, and maybe even shaky to the core.
Your mind is full of doubts, what will people think of me, will I perform at work, will the economy
recover, and so on.
So the first step in building confidence and self-esteem is learning how to manage your anxiety.
By learning how to deal with yourself in difficult situations that normally cause you to panic or experience anxiety your confidence can begin to grow.
Although you may still be shaky at first and experience anxiety you still managed to get through the situation and make it to the other side.
And this is what you must focus on, the fact that you were able to do it. By learning how to deal with yourself and not the situation you regain control.
By taking action and overcoming your personal battles you will begin to feel good about yourself. You´ll start having good feelings inside you.
Even simple things like walking down the street, going shopping or reading a book will become more enjoyable as you are more relaxed and have a deeper sense of satisfaction.
A Developed Skill
I´m not going to kid you and say that you can instantly develop bullet-proof confidence.
Like anything worthwhile in life you need to work on it. Confidence is grown by repeated practice.
Like a golfer who has learned to perfect his swing by constant practice at the driving range is confident in his abilities, so you too can develop your confidence in dealing with yourself by repetition.
By constantly exposing yourself to situations that normally cause you anxiety the fear dies down.
I´m not saying to grit your teeth and push yourself into anxiety causing situations, but rather to not avoid them. To go into them willingly.
This repeated exposure over time proves to yourself that you can do it. And true confidence can emerge.
But first you need to learn techniques which will allow you to be able to deal with yourself. I used to panic at the thought of different stressful situations.
My confidence was so low and my self-esteem was very weak.
But I no longer cringe at the thought of such things as public speaking, going to social events, or talking to strangers.
And this has all been down to the repeated exposure to situations which I used to dread.
I have built up my confidence of such situations by learning how to deal with myself, and not feed my anxiety.
The techniques that I have used to help me deal with my anxiety are all on this site. I can now do things with a feeling of inner strength.
I no longer doubt myself, but have clarity and purpose.
And it feels great to have this freedom. It has a very enjoyable feeling of lightness to it, as you can make your way in the world with a sense of ease and comfort.
One thing about confidence is that you can´t wait for it. You have to strive for it. Push the boat out.
Don´t wait until you feel confident before doing something, act and the confidence will come.
Although you may feel nervous, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and then speak up.
By doing so you will prove to yourself that you can do it. And will start changing your self-image seeing yourself as a confident person.
You can speak positive to yourself as much as you want, but there is no substitute for action.
You have to firmly decide that you are going to work on being a confident person, and take the necessary steps to becoming so.
So next time you in a anxious situation take a deep breath, let go of yourself, and grasp the nettle, and speak up. Then you will see that you can do it.
That the anxiety you were feeling was false, you were able to do it. And the sense of satisfaction you will feel will be amazing. You will feel fantastic.
There´s nothing better than proving to yourself that you can do things.
Keeping a Journal
A great aid in facilitating this is keeping a journal. In your journal you can write your thoughts for the day.
The moments you felt anxious and what you did to deal with yourself.
You can write down how you felt before you entered a difficult situation, the symptoms you had and the thoughts you felt.
And then you can write about how by dealing with yourself and not the situation you were able to successfully cope with yourself.
By building up positive memories of instances when you coped with yourself and got through situations which seemed very difficult at the time, then you are building true inner confidence and self-esteem.
And next time you enter a difficult moment you can recall these times. This will give you confidence, because if you have done it before, and you now have proof that you can do it again.
It is as if you have a personal cheer-leader standing beside you rooting for you, ¨saying you can do it!¨
And the beautiful thing is you can, because you already have done it many times before.
By constantly exposing yourself to different situations, writing down your successes and reminding yourself of how you were able to deal with yourself before then that little voice which once whispered ¨you can do it,¨ now starts to shout it out loud.
Feelings and thoughts of confidence become second nature, and come to you automatically. And you truly become a confident person with true self-esteem.
And the great things is the more you do this, the more reference points of success you build up the more your confidence and self-esteem will grow. It will snow ball.
So start today, by next week you´ll be more confident and feeling better. And this will continue next month, next year and well into the future. Because these personal achievements happened.
You faced what you thought were difficult moments, dealt with yourself, and proved to yourself that you could do it. So just imagine what other great things you can achieve!
List Positive Things About Yourself
Putting things on paper is a very powerful thing. The mere act of seeing your thoughts on paper and reading it has the effect of ingraining it further into your mind.
So make a list of your achievements, positive attributes, compliments and past praises that people have given you.
This also provides you with evidence to enable your confidence and self-esteem to grow and flourish. These things you have on your list are facts.
They happened and you did them! So when you are feeling low in confidence or self-esteem you can prove these feelings wrong.
When you have a thought of ¨I´m a loser¨ or something similar, you can think of your list and that time you had your boss congratulate you at work, or when you cooked an amazing meal and your dinner guests asked for seconds.
By getting into the habit of thinking of a positive thought when you think of a negative thought then you can make yourself more positive, because you can pick your moral up immediately by flipping it around.
Work On It
Being a confident and high self-esteem person is something you have to work on. It´s like gardening.
You need to start planting some beautiful thoughts in your mind. If not then negative weeds will grow.
Make it part of your routine to devote ten or fifteen minutes a day to work on your confidence and self-esteem.
You can read over your journal, and your lists mentioned above.
Also in quiet moments such as traveling to work, or waiting in line at the supermarket remind yourself of your positive points and achievements.
Doing so will develop a habit of positive thinking in your mind, until it become second nature to you. But you need to constantly work on it. If not weeds will grow.
So, by doing the different tips I have mentioned true confidence and self-esteem can emerge.
No longer would you be feeling inferior or timid. You will be able to walk tall, have an inner smile, and truly connect with people you meet.
A new sense of being will come into your life! Life is fantastic. And by developing true confidence and self-esteem you will also feel fantastic!
To learn more about how you can deal with anxiety and panic you can download my free eBook here.
Do you have a story that you want to share with the AG community? If you’re interested in spreading hope and knowledge send Paul an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.