Confidence Doesn’t Come in a Bottle

If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve experienced some kind of loss. Maybe you’ve experienced the loss of a job, loss of health (including mental health), a breakup, not getting a promotion, or a failed business, to name a few.

Loss can take a toll on self-confidence. 

If you’re accustomed to performing at a high level and have suffered a loss that’s left you defeated, getting your confidence back may seem impossible. 

Hit By a Truck

In 2011, I was hit by a truck while driving to work. My body and mind were in bad shape.  I had a ton of confidence when I was at home recovering for those three months. I never thought for one minute that I couldn’t get back to my high-functioning capable self. 

I was wrong. It wasn’t until I got back to work that my self-confidence suffered. Not every day, but overall. I knew I wasn’t the same as I was before the accident, and I didn’t know how to get my mojo back. It took many years, a lot of support, and several course corrections to get back on track. 

We live in a time when there have been many losses, significant and small. Take the time you need to heal.  When you’re ready, here are some ways to help you get your mojo back. 

We All Need A Reminder

You’ve got people in your life who’ve seen you fall and get back up again. Ask those people to review your successes with you. Maybe it’s your mom, your best friend, or one of your kids. Taking stock of your accomplishments can be a huge confidence booster. It gets you in a positive mindset. You can also ask someone to remind you of all the great qualities you possess. 

When you’re feeling low and down on yourself,  it’s hard to remember the good you’ve done and positive qualities you possess. Write those things down on a post-it note and put it up on the door you take to leave for work. That way, when you leave the house, you’ve got some positive words in your head. You can even put a post-it note on your bathroom mirror with your virtues written on it.  I just love using post-it notes as a tool to build self-confidence. Those first few months back to work were tough. If my daughter said, “You’re smart, mama!” It went on a post-it note. When my husband told me I was the strongest person he knew, it went on a post-it note. 

Make a Course Correction

Sometimes you have to change your goals. There’s nothing wrong with making adjustments to account for circumstances. It’s a smart thing to do. I know a shop owner who did just that in response to the pandemic. She lowered her sales goals.  She made deals with suppliers and has less inventory.  This adjustment allowed her to meet her sales goals for the quarter. She feels confident in her ability to keep her business going. She didn’t let the circumstances defeat her. 

If you’ve lost your health in any capacity, you may not be able to spend as much time with your friends, do as much work around the house, or volunteer as many hours. The time you spent helping others must now be allocated to help yourself. That’s OK. Just make the necessary adjustments. If you have too many commitments that you can meet, cut some of them out. Having fewer obligations is sometimes better. Because accomplishing things boosts confidence, sometimes, you have to promise less to do more. 

Baby Steps

You weren’t born confident. No one was. Taking action is what will help you recover your confidence. You’ll make mistakes along the way. You’ll fail. Think about a baby just learning to walk. He gets up. He falls, he gets up again. He holds onto someone for support. Each time he fails, he corrects and gets back up.  Each time he gets back up, he’s a bit more confident. Eventually, he walks all by himself. Use this image anytime you want to beat yourself up. You wouldn’t be angry at a baby for not getting the hang of walking on the first try. Don’t beat yourself up when you’re trying to regain self-confidence after being hit by a loss. 

Even Failure Builds Confidence

Confidence comes from an amalgam of experiences, including failures. Even the most confident seeming people in the world have had setbacks, have taken hits, and suffered losses. Like everyone else, their self-confidence has wavered. Look at any athlete, successful businesswoman, or artist, and you’ll see they have overcome obstacles. Their early failures always informed their future successes. They just didn’t quit. Coming back from a loss is probably the best for building confidence. If you’ve ever failed, and we all have, you know that coming back from it feels pretty great. 

If you’ve taken a hit and don’t feel confident, lean on someone for support, remind yourself of your successes, and make as many adjustments that you need. 

Just don’t quit. Take that next step. You can do it.

What would you write on your post-it note?

Here is the video I shot that goes along with this post.

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