Mindfulness, relaxation and learning new skills can all help you rebuild your self-confidence. Our counsellors have compiled their most effective tips and links for where to find extra support.
Learning something new often goes together with feelings of nervousness, lack of self-belief and high levels of stress – but these feelings are all normal, and are a crucial part of the learning process.
The next time you feel under-confident, try to remember the last time you did something new: started a new job, joined a class or built up the courage to go to the gym for the first time. Remembering this will remind you that it's perfectly normal to feel stress or think you're less than capable when learning something new.
Phone or write to a friend, clean the house, tidy up the garden, mend your bike, organise your bills, make a tasty and healthy meal – do anything that involves you making a decision, committing to it and then completing the task.
The sense of accomplishment you will feel is a building block to greater self-confidence and esteem.
Swimming, running, hiking, dancing, cooking, gardening, climbing, painting, writing... If possible, it should be something that holds your attention and requires enough focus to get you into that state of 'flow', or relaxed concentration, where you forget about everything else. You'll feel more competent and capable afterwards.
Seriously consider doing something like this at least once a week. People who experience 'flow' regularly seem to be happier and healthier and find it easier to focus on a task.
Low self-esteem is often accompanied by too much negative focus on the self. Doing something that absorbs you and holds your attention can quickly make you feel better.
Helping others is a great way of shifting your focus into a more positive direction. Consider volunteering with Terrence Higgins Trust - we'd be happy to have you!
Some people do this by exercising, others by involving themselves in something else that occupies their thoughts - like reading or watching tv.
Being able to relax whenever you want is a fantastic life skill. Learning to practise mindfulness meditation or a physically-based relaxation technique such as gentle yoga can be incredibly useful.
Joining our Connect mindfulness group or our London Mindfulness group can be a good place to learn healthy new habits and skills with like-minded people.
‹‹ Self-confidence and HIV, plus more helpful links
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This article was last reviewed on
by Anna Peters
Date due for the next review: 2/12/2018
Content Author: Kathy Osborne
Current Owner: Counselling
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