Written by Jacqueline Hurst 

Confidence is one of those things that if you don’t have it, you can feel utterly crippled. It can turn the strongest of men or women into feeling like mice. And it can seem as though some people just “have it” and it’s as if they have a self-belief you think you could only ever dream of. But I am here to tell you the good news: confidence is your birth right and totally within your power. It is not elusive, it is not something beyond your reach and it is not something given to only a special few. In fact, quite the opposite. With my tips you should start to feel confident from the outset…

What are You Thinking?
Thoughts pop into our minds all the time (in fact, we have around 40-60,000 thoughts a day) and 98 per cent of what we think is actually repetitive. Thoughts are important to be aware of, purely because it is the thoughts that are creating our feelings. To keep it simple, all negative thoughts lead to negative feelings, actions and results, and all positive thoughts lead to more positive feelings, actions and results. The first step to helping you help yourself is to ask you to simply slow down your thought process and work out what thoughts you are having. In order to feel confident you need to think thoughts that create those feelings.

Play Detective
Once you are clear on what you are thinking start to question those thoughts. Ask yourself, "Is this thought serving me or making me feel bad?"; "Is this thought going to get me to the outcome I want?"; "Is this thought making me feel strong and confident or weak and pathetic?" In other words, start questioning the hell out of them and thinking about your situation in a more positive way. Ask yourself, “How can I think about this situation in a way that I feel more confident?” or “What is the evidence I have to prove why I can do this work/go on this date/talk to my boss?” etc. Questioning your thoughts is the key to helping you become a little more aware of what you are saying to yourself and, in turn, changing your feelings around, from unconfident to confident, in a matter of moments.

Your Thoughts are Not the Facts…
We humans really do believe that what we think is always a fact. The truth is, when we believe that every thought we have is true, we open ourselves up to a whole world of pain and stress. If a thought comes into your mind that "you're not good enough" and you believe it, it can trigger a ton of other negative thoughts and feelings around this. However, this is an unmanaged mind. We have to learn to become mindful and recognise that our thoughts are not facts, and, in turn, we find a lot more peace. To be clear, facts can be proven with evidence, so if you are struggling with this, ask yourself, "What’s the evidence to back up this negative thought?" Chances are there won't be any.

Role Model Behavior
Creating confidence through your thoughts first is key. But the second tip to start becoming more confident is to pick a role model you aspire to, someone you respect and admire, then start modelling yourself on that person. For example, if you think Samuel L Jackson has the sort of confidence you are looking for and you are in a situation where you want to be that confident, ask yourself, “What would Sam do?” Works every time.

Stop Caring About What Other People Think of You
What other people think of you is ultimately something you have no control over. Being self-obsessed and worried about what everyone thinks of you isn’t the sexiest trait and definitely doesn’t help your confidence. Ultimately, most people are not as interested in you and your actions, thoughts, or appearance as you think they are, so it’s a good idea to let go of stressing yourself out about what you think other people might be thinking and just go ahead and do your thing. Truthfully, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Stop making it all about you and never forget that, actually, the most important person's opinion of you is only ever you.

Talk to Someone
Feeling like you have low confidence can feel very isolating when you believe you're alone in what you're going through and that you are the only one in the world that feels like this. The truth is that these feelings are not uncommon. The great thing is that you do not have to live with these feelings and they are something you can change. It’s really important to open up to friends and loved ones about your thoughts and feelings as talking about things can help you to feel better right away and get you seeing things with a clearer and more realistic, truthful perspective. Also, remember this, confidence is a choice. Choose a different thought and get a different feeling. Work on it and see how this changes for you.