When I slumped into a lonely motel room, homeless, 3000 miles away from family , five years ago, I thought my self confidence would never recover.
It was the lowest time in my life. My breakup hit me hard. It left me with zero self esteem.
It took me months to pick myself back up, to regain my self confidence, to feel good about myself once again. It took me 6000 miles of flying to reconnect with myself.
During that time, I learned so much. I learned psychological techniques that were supposed to be great but were actually rubbish. I learned mind-tricks that sounded crazy but worked. And I found 10 things that seriously gave me back my life.
I know right now that other people are suffering. And I’m not willing to sit here, now I’m happy, and let them go through what I went through.
That’s why I’m writing this guide to self confidence. And I hope it makes a difference (if it does, please will you leave a comment and share this article? I would truly appreciate that).
10 Things That Gave Me Back My Confidence
1. My journey to confidence started with a mindful moment
When I was at my all-time low, I felt so bad I couldn’t even see straight for one minute. I was depressed. And I was experience constant negative thoughts.
I’d broken up with my girlfriend, whom I had moved country for. I was 3000 miles from family. I was completely alone. And honestly, I was terrified about the future.
My level of confidence was 0 out of 10.
Science shows that we experience 50 000 thoughts per day, and the majority of them include some degree of negativity.
Well, sitting in that dingy motel room all alone (and some 3000 miles from home after I immigrated to Canada), I think I experience about a million negative thoughts in one hour.
There were so many negative thoughts in my mind that I couldn’t even see straight.
What I needed was one mindful moment.
Mindfulness means “being conscious of the present moment”.
Science has proven that mindfulness creates happiness. And of course, confidence is very closely linked to happiness
When we are mindful we are able to perceive our thoughts, and that gives us power to change our thoughts. That’s why mindfulness is one of the best things for confidence.
Problem is, it’s not always easy being mindful, especially when you’re experience an endless siege of negative thoughts.
Me? I pinched myself. Hard. On the hand. And I let the jolt bring my mind back to now.
My level of confidence was now about 1.5 out of 10.
2. Then I took a really long Zen walk
Have you ever noticed how walking helps relax the mind?
In one experiment, scientists Miller and Krizan studied the mood of students when walking compared to sitting. The results, the research say, show that walking increases our engagement with life. In a second study, Miller revealed that walking helps us to stay positive for longer. So when we’re feeling low walking increases our happiness and when we already are happy, walking helps us stay that way for longer.
At the time, I was dreadfully unhappy and had zero confidence. I stepped out the lonely motel room and went for a 10-mile Zen walk around the city.
A Zen walk is basically a meditative walk in which we focus on the sense of movement. This helps us to feel free.
My tutorial on Zen Walking shows you to do it.
My Zen walk reduced the ruminating negative thoughts I was experiencing and helped me to feel a little better about myself.
Confidence level: 2.3 out of 10
3. Then I forgave myself for past errors
It’s hard to be confident when you’re constantly hating on yourself for mistakes you made in the past.
I was low and my mind was attacking itself. I was hating on myself. I kept thinking of all the mistakes I’d made. And that made it impossible to live in the moment, and impossible to see any hope.
Science has proven that forgiveness is vital to our wellbeing. Whether we are forgiving ourselves or forgiving others, we need to forgive in order to move on.
A lack of confidence is often caused by the idea that we didn’t do things correctly before, so why will now be any different.
But for self growth we need to forgive ourselves of past errors, learn from those errors, and be empowered by our past experiences. And do all that, we need to forgive ourselves.
So I worked on forgiving myself. I admitted past mistakes and learned from them. And I decided to use those lessons to my advantage in the future.
Confidence level: 3.1 out of 10
4. Then I started watching a ton of inspiring movies
Having forgiven myself for past errors I was starting to see hope. But I was going through major changes and it was exhausting.
I needed to Netflix And Chill.
I started watching a lot of inspiring movies. That way I could relax while still improving my confidence.
Scientific research has proven that our minds learn from the movies. When we watch positive, inspiring movies we actually develop psychologically.
Lion King. Aladin. Star Wars. The Pursuit Of Happyness, these movies all helped inspire self confidence.
I wrote a complete article about the psychology of positive movies. Take a look.
These movies helped me to relax while inspiring me to move forward.
Confidence level: 3.7 out of 10
5. Then I spent a lot of time with positive people
I checked out of the motel room, reconnected with my ex, and was starting to feel that maybe I might have a future. I had a small scrap of hope. But I knew I needed to visit my family and friends back home if I were ever to feel good about myself again.
Truth is, the best therapy is friends and family.
So I went back to England, still low of confidence but feeling at least a little hope.
For the next 3 months I spent literally every moment with people I knew, trusted, and felt secure around. My family. My friends.
When your self confidence is low you’re better off spending time around people you know you can trust, people who will help you to feel better about yourself.
At these times, you’re not looking to win the Olympics. You’re just looking to be supported and feel comforted with friends and family.
And if your friends and family are awesome like mine, they will do everything in their power to help you recover your confidence and self esteem. Kind words. Smiles. Companionship. It’s a big deal.
And at the same time, cut out negative people from your life. They are lowering your self confidence with every negative word they say.
Incidentally, a major source of low confidence is people who use gaslighting tactics. Take a look to see whether you’re being manipulated.
Confidence level: 4.3 out of 10
6. Then I started meditating
I have written a lot about meditating (take a look at my guide to the top 31 meditation techniques).
Meditation can be a challenge when you’re extremely low, because it can make you see things in your own mind that you don’t want to see.
Having returned home and with the support of family, I was ready to start meditating again.
I started using basic meditations for confidence, meditation techniques like mindful breathing, mantras and Smiling Buddha Technique (learn more here).
These meditations help the mind to relax and they let us see our thoughts more clearly. Once we see those thoughts we can start to change them.
For me, meditation provided a much-needed pause. It let me reconnect to the living moment. This gave me the change to start again.
Confidence level: 5.3 out of 10
7. Then I started yoga and pratyahara
It’s not rocket science, but exercise makes you feel good.
Funny how we forget that when we’re down.
When your self confidence is low you often forget to do the basics like going to the gym and exercising.
It took me two months from my lowest point to be able to start exercising again.
I started with yoga. Yoga is fantastic for the mind and the body. The stretches help free the mind while the body gets loosened up.
I’ve written a guide to using yoga for positivity if you would like to take a look.
Yoga promotes so many positive mental states: happiness, confidence, inner peace…
And we can take it further by using Pratayahara, which is a more psychological method that is one of the best things for confidence.
Confidence level: 6.5 out of 10
8. Then I adopted confident body language
Did you watch the Amy Cuddy TED presentation in which she explained how body language effects our minds?
Cuddy revealed that we can create positive states of mind just by changing our body language.
When I started to sit up straight, to hold my chin up, and to look people in the eyes, I started to feel more powerful and more confident. And this took my confidence up yet another point.
The best body language for confidence is:
- Not putting your hands in pockets
- Holding your chin level (parallel to the ground)
- Always having good posture
- Standing with your legs separated by a foot or more (this will change depending on your stature)
- Nod to yourself occasionally and when speaking to others
Confidence level: 7.3 out of 10
9. Then I started focusing on loving kindness
Three months after my fall from grace I learned a truly remarkable tip for confidence.
This tip completely changed my definition of confidence. And it turned my world around.
We usually think that confidence is a personal thing, that it is entirely about us, ourselves, and whether we have confidence or not.
This, I learned, is an unenlightened perspective.
Because confidence is actually shaped by the way we view the world.
People who think that the world is a vicious, predatory place; people who think lowly of others, these people naturally have low self confidence. Because they believe the world is evil, they do not feel secure in that world.
People who believe the world is kind and loving naturally have high level of confidence because they believe that other people will help them and be kind to them even if they mess up.
So instead of changing ourselves we should change our perspective no the world.
How do you do that?
Practice loving kindness meditation. It is a Buddhist meditation which trains the mind to think compassionately about others and (importantly) to recognize the compassion of others. When you train yourself in this technique you will massively increase self confidence. And science proves it.
Take a look at my guide to the 100 benefits of meditation for the proof on this one.
Confidence level: 9.3 out of 10
10. Then I started positivity training
I had come so far. I had broken up with my ex then reconnected. I had been homeless than returned back home to England. I had been at my absolutely lowest point in life. And I had pulled my way back up.
My confidence was high. Now I wanted to maximize my confidence and to sustain it.
That’s why I started positivity training.
There are so many psychological techniques we can use to train the mind to be confident: mindfulness, self love, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, affirmations, mantras…
How do you know which techniques to use?
I used a handful of very powerful strategies. And these strategies trained my mind to be confident and posititive.
I’ve shared it all in my article on training the mind to be positive automatically.
Confidence level: 9.7 out of 10
My journey to confidence ended in success
I made it back to confidence. And looking back, I am darned proud that I did.
For me, confidence was a journey. It had its low times, its high times. There were friends and there were villains. But through it all there was one ting that kept me going: The belief in the human mind.
The mind is more powerful than we know. And when we access the true power of the mind, we achieve amazing things.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, please share it on social media.