| By Laurel Moll |
Most of us can use a little help with self-confidence, right?
And while you might not need it in all areas of your life, perhaps there is just one place that you keep having doubts over and over again.
Maybe you think you’re not cutthroat enough to get the promotion at work, not good looking enough to get a date with your crush, or not talented enough to make your own podcast to check it off your bucket list.
Or, maybe you simply made a new year’s resolution to be more productive, to believe in yourself more, or to start (or re-start) a healthy habit, and it just feels hopeless now that we’re a month into it.
If any of that hit home, you may be struggling with the confidence to get it done or make your dreams come true. The good news is that you’re not alone. But, the way to find the confidence to do the darn thing may look a bit different that you think.
It’s Not What You Think
I could tell you to practice positive affirmations and meditations, write down a list of your strengths and wins, or to listen to self-help podcasts (and don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge supporter of doing all of that), but the biggest change you can make right now is to try to stop judging yourself and everyone else so much.
We all judge, and it’s just as natural and commonplace as wondering what to eat for lunch. But let’s be honest, judging is a bad habit we all need to break.
The Confidence Killer
The truth is, judgment is the No. 1 killer of self-confidence.
The urge to judge comes from our inner critic (aka the inner voice that says, “I will beat myself up or judge someone else before anyone else gets the chance to criticize me.”) It’s a natural reaction meant to protect us, but really, most times it’s acting a little overprotective and a lot crazy.
The bottom line is… if you keep judging yourself and others too much, you’ll certainly ruin your chances of growing, reaching your goals or trying new things.
Start Asking Questions
So, how do you fix it? Start with paying attention to your thoughts, even if just for a few minutes a day. Set up a few reminders on your phone to get you in the habit, and then every time you notice you’re judging yourself or someone else, try asking yourself any of the following questions:
- How can I view this situation with love or patience?
Be a witness to your thoughts when you start to judge yourself or others. Don’t feel pressure to change them right away, just notice and be curious.
- What beliefs or expectations do I have about this person (or myself)?
Challenge your own beliefs and stereotypes. The more you surround yourself with different types of people and personalities, the more you will notice your shared grievances, struggles, hopes and dreams. Naturally, you’ll judge people less when you see your commonalities.
- What can I learn from this person or situation?
Even in the most annoying situations and interactions, there is always something to learn. Maybe the lesson is to accept that the person (or you) is doing the very best they can at that moment and to let them be. Taking more time to think about what you can learn from others will naturally reduce your urge to judge.
It won’t happen in a day, but shifting your attention to how much you judge yourself and others will drastically (and most certainly) boost your confidence. Don’t try to eliminate every critical thought. Just make the intention to be a bit more aware, and watch your trust in and belief in yourself begin to thrive in ways you never thought was possible.
Laurel Moll is a lifestyle writer specializing in personal development, healthy lifestyle and food. The Central Florida resident has a degree in technical writing and is a certified holistic health coach. Laurel also co-owns the inspirational T-shirt company Golden Rhino.