Improve your state of mind… improve your confidence.
As women, most of us can identify with that moment we look at the size four skinny jean clad girl in the street and feel desperately inadequate. Not to mention the feeling when we see yet another photo of Waity Katie and wonder why we couldn’t have married a prince.
But Anna Aparicio, a NLP Life Coach and Self-esteem and Confidence Expert based inDublin, explains that the problem may not be with your circumstances but rather, with your state of mind.
“When we compare ourselves to other people we usually suppose that they are better than us, which makes us feel bad,” says Anna. “Not a great thing to do if you want to feel good!”
“Perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. You are unique for a reason and you should revel in this fact. You should also become aware of your strong points and play up to them.”
Emphasise the positives
While it might not always be easy to look at the positives (after a break up, after losing your job etc) Anna states that its important to do this if you want to feel good.
“People spend too much time looking for what’s wrong in their life, looking for the negatives, over-analyzing things, focusing on what they don’t want, or putting themselves down.
“This is not a good recipe for confidence,” she emphasises.
“The good news is, you can learn how to become more confident in all aspects of your life.”
But how do we do this? Two words: fake it. Look at people like Megan Fox on the red carpet – she’s hardly the hunchback of Notre Dame but it’s not just that. See how she walks with confidence, holds her head high and knows she is beautiful?
“Self-esteem is not something you either have or don’t have, it’s something you do,” explains Anna. “Confident people display certain characteristics: they have certain beliefs about themselves and about life, they practice certain behaviours and skills consistently, and are able to get into useful states when needed.”
Leave yourself alone
We’re all guilty of it – but Anna explains the quiet yet constant put-me-downs have to stop.
“Quit self-bullying! If a stranger shouted at us half the terrible things we call ourselves inside our heads on a daily basis we wouldn’t take it. But it seems that as long as it’s us its okay!”
“Negative thoughts cause bad feelings, positive thoughts cause better feelings. Become more aware of your internal dialogue and whenever you catch yourself putting yourself down or being too negative about things, use the famous NLP mantra and tell yourself to shut up!”
Thinking yourself thinner
“My clients say “Anna, when I lose weight I’ll be more confident.” But what you have to realise is that losing weight requires a lot of confidence and self-belief. Otherwise, what are you going to do when someone offers you cake? Are you going to confidently and politely say “no, thanks” or are you going to cave in?”
“Plus, do you know any woman who has the type of figure you’d die for but still isn’t happy? Waiting for things to happen before you can feel good is never a good idea, because you run the risk of never being happy. Instead, you can learn to be confident and happy now, and doing the things you need to do to be thinner will be an easier, quicker and more enjoyable process.”
Avoid negative relationships
Often find yourself attracting the ‘wrong’ kind of men? It may be subconscious.
“Our level of confidence dictates the type of partner we choose. This is why many women, and men, get into unhealthy and toxic relationships, where they are taken advantage of, cheated on, bullied and worse… but they still have trouble leaving.
“Our partners tend to be a reflection of our self-worth. This is why it’s so important we love ourselves before getting into a relationship.
“We have to make sure that our partner has a healthy self-esteem too – to be assessed during the dating process. Otherwise, we could be in for a rough ride!”
Make confidence work
Anna explains that confidence can affect us in so many ways, right through to career.
“I get clients who have the qualifications and experience but don’t have the confidence to go for the positions they want. People who have job interviews lined up which they are terrified of. If you don’t believe in yourself and your capabilities, why would anyone else?
“Jade Goodie comes to mind. An ordinary girl with a rough background who took every opportunity life presented her with and made the most of it. What she lacked in general knowledge she made up for in confidence and ambition. My advice is never wait until you are ready to take action, and always do those things you are most afraid of.”
Anna Aparicio is a NLP Life Coach and Self-esteem and Confidence Expert based in Dublin you can visit her website at http://www.delite.ie