Hit a slump? Here are 7 Proven Ways to Feel More Confident and Successful Right Now.

By Brenda Della Casa – Murray

I recently had lunch with a very successful friend who had just attended an event with some of the most respected professors at Harvard, Brown and Yale. A revered author with an Ivy League education, my friend is an impressive woman with seemingly little to feel insecure about. “I was worrying about this cocktail party with all of these incredible minds and impressive bios and bylines; I just felt a bit small,” she confessed. She went on to explain her shock when, after a few conversations, she realized that “everyone in the room” was feeling the same way. “I saw the same nervousness and heard the same markers of self-doubt in everyone else I spoke to. It was a watershed moment for me as I realized that a lack of confidence is something we all deal with,” she explained. Her words inspired a deep exhale as I am certainly not immune to feeling awkward and insecure and I can’t lie; the reconfirmation that I wasn’t the only one made it feel more manageable mainly because I didn’t feel so isolated. 

But how do we make lasting change?

Identifying what we want to improve is often easy, but figuring out how to get from A to B can often be overwhelming. We live in a society that thrives on the concept of instant gratification which means most of us don’t take the time to set ourselves up for success but instead dive right into action without a plan. This usually makes change harder and we end up feeling even more defeated than we were when we started. That all changes now.

Whether you’re looking to reignite your career, build better relationships, or simply want to work and live to a higher standard, we’ve got seven no-fail ways to make a quick impact and get going. Think of this as the vehicle to change with your consistency serving as the gas. The more often you reflect, reference and respond as your best self, the faster you’ll move into your next chapter.

Create a mission statement

The first step in creating a meaningful career and life starts with having a strong understanding of who you are, what you want, and why you want it. What is it that motivates you to get up in the morning? What would you do all day if you didn’t have to worry about money or judgment? That’s your passion. Why would you choose to do that over anything else? Those are your values. What would you like to achieve with the work you would do? Now you know your mission. Take some time to write all of this down and read it daily. When an idea or opportunity pops up, cross-reference it against your list. Is the idea in sync? Is the opportunity aligned? If yes, move forward. If not, move on. 

Remember that everyone feels like an imposter at one time or another.

Though it might seem as though everyone else has it together in your Instagram feed, the truth is that we all have moments of self-doubt, are bullied by imposter syndrome, and worry we have lost our mojo. The goal is not to avoid those feelings but to use them as a sign to dive a bit deeper and figure out what is at the source of your concerns. For example, if you’re feeling you have lost your edge professionally, look at ways to upskill. If you’re not feeling as creative as you once were, schedule time to visit a museum, a library or take a walk in nature. Proactivity is a great way to avoid going down the rabbit hole of self-doubt while reminding yourself that you’re in control and capable of learning new things and making changes. 

Stop personalizing everything

Whether it’s your colleague ignoring your suggestion, a family member dismissing your efforts or a friend not inviting you to an event, moments of devaluation can feel hurtful and deeply personal. While it might be tempting to lash out or allow your inner critic to start listing all of the things that are ‘wrong’ with you, both of these roads tend to do little more than make things worse. Instead, remind yourself that everyone has their own set of experiences, expectations, values, and desires and those all play a role in their everyday decision-making. Most of the time they are focused on satisfying their own needs and soothing their egos which means they aren’t even thinking about you. That said, if you do feel that something is happening a lot (a colleague constantly steals your ideas or a sibling repeatedly puts you down) speak up! Pull them aside and let them know that you have noticed their behavior and expect it to stop immediately. You’ll not only feel better speaking your mind, but you’ll also likely gain more respect (from others and yourself) as a result.

Use Your Future Self as a Muse 

I have never been a fan of the ‘fake it until you make it” mentality. Inauthenticity feels icky and people can smell it a mile away. Instead, use your future self as a mentor and muse. Think about the person you want to become — How does she carry herself? How does he keep his home? How do they respond to negative feedback? Once you have a good sense of how you 2.0 looks, acts and behaves, write out a one-sheet profile and practice acting and reacting as they do. You can go as slow as you like, but once you see that the world doesn’t fall apart when you set a boundary and a bold ask here and there brings you what you want, you will build authentic confidence and grow into a bigger, brighter version of yourself naturally.

Source: @mbiye_k

Think carefully about the energy you bring to a situation 

If you have ever sat across from a negative lunch companion, walked on eggshells around a roommate or found yourself feeling frazzled after meeting up with a friend, you know how it feels to be on the receiving end of stressful or low-vibe energy. While everyone has ‘bad days’ it’s important to recognize that, when it comes to our day-to-day experiences, we often get what we give — and this goes far beyond getting a random stranger to smile back. Those who enter situations with a positive attitude are not only seen as better leaders, but they are more likely to have better romantic and social relationships and to score higher on evaluations and be chosen to be on high-performance teams.

Get comfortable with self-advocacy 

Though it would be wonderful if bosses valued (or even remembered) every win at your end-of-year assessment and dream partnership opportunities just fell into your inbox, that’s not how life works. Most of the time, getting what you want starts with asking for it and giving clear, indisputable evidence that you have earned it (notice I didn’t use the word ‘deserve’). Keep a journal where you can see it and write down every win, accomplishment, and accolade with names, dates, and supporting information. You will not only have a quick reference when it is time to make the big ask but you’ll also have a reminder of your success when you hit a slump. 

Expect Ups and Downs

Finally, remember that feelings of confidence and success aren’t linear; they will ebb and flow throughout your lifetime simply because insecurity and self-doubt are a part of the human experience. They’re just a fact of life. The key to winning the long game is to equip yourself with the tools you need to pull yourself our of slumps while reminding yourself that very few things in life are personal, permanent or pervasive. You’ve got this.

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