While impossible to prove scientifically, it’s pretty much taken as fact of life that, when things go wrong, they all go wrong at once. Generally, positive and negative influences all coexist as you go from one day to the next, neither one massively outweighing the other, but every now and then the negatives grow monster-sized and leave your confidence on the floor.
During these times self-belief dissipates and pulling yourself out of the situation seems about as likely as cracking the secrets to alchemy. However, feeling better about yourself is half the battle when you want to improve your circumstances, so it’s a good idea to focus inwards when life has taken a wrong turn. When it comes to bouncing back, there are practical steps you can take – these five ways to regain lost confidence will help you move onwards and upwards with renewed determination.
When you feel terrible the last thing you need to do is punish yourself. Also, it’s important to remember that while a few booze-soaked evenings or retreating under the duvet for days may well be inevitable when you feel at your absolute worst (and nothing to beat yourself up over), this can’t go on forever. Finding sustainable ways to feel better can help you avoid triggering self-destruct mode, where relief is temporary and the consequences long-term.
Self care means all kinds of different things to different people but, in general terms, it’s about looking after yourself. This means allowing time to rest, doing the things you enjoy, and ultimately giving yourself a break. When we feel bad about ourselves, it can be difficult to convince ourselves that we are even worth the effort, but simply getting up, showering, dressing up a little and taking the time to eat well can make a big difference.
As far as habits go, few have the restorative powers of meditation. Stress, poor sleep and hormonal imbalances are all exacerbated in times when external influences are negative, and meditation can help to counteract these. By allowing people to rest more deeply than is achieved in the deepest cycle of sleep, meditation helps people become energised and refreshed.
You can also combat stress with meditation, as the effects of our innate “fight or flight” stress response are lessened by the habit. Harmful stress hormones are reduced and meditators find themselves becoming calmer in general, which allows them to think clearly and become happier.
People can be surprisingly helpful and supportive when you allow yourself to ask for help and with the internet breaking down barriers such as distance, it’s nearly always possible to find a community that suits you.
As there are very few people who haven’t experienced the sort of situation you may have found yourself in, from losing your job to breaking up with a partner, they can give advice on how they got through difficult times, and just be there to listen. People often feel they need to present a capable and unemotional front to the world, but in showing some vulnerability you can gain the support you need.
Work on Your Own Projects
When you confidence has been shaken away to nothing you can regain some self-belief by rediscovering what it is you are passionate about and enjoy. Throwing yourself into an endeavour of your choice can provide some much-needed distraction, as well as building up your confidence again as you complete tasks that you are proud of.
Find the Positives
A positive frame of mind can seem like an impossibility when life isn’t playing along as it should, but it’s something that it’s absolutely worth putting some effort into. Tides of optimism are much more likely to deliver you to somewhere you want to be than pessimism, and much of this can be achieved by small changes in attitude.
You can take what seems like a disaster and turn it into an opportunity – because one of the things about your life being shaken up is that it offers the chance for change. Focus on success rather than setbacks, and see every positive, no matter how small, as a growing bank of evidence that everything is going to go brilliantly. The more you think this, the more it will become true, and soon you’ll be on top form once again.
If you’ve found yourself in the midsts of a challenging period in life, from divorce to redundancy, meditation could help you cope. Get in touch anytime to discuss how we might be able to help you.
Words by Holly Ashby