How to Overcome a Confidence Crisis
By Caterina Rando, MA, MCC
A confidence crisis can be caused by normal life transition
such as getting a new job, moving to a new city, starting a
new business, or starting a new relationship. Life's losses
can also cause confidence to sink - the loss of a
relationship, the loss of a job, the loss of a big client,
the loss of a dream we come to realize will never happen.
At times, our confidence is already shaky as a result of a
transition or loss and a single incident like missing a
deadline, getting a bad haircut, or spilling coffee on a
document can send us storming out of the confidence cafe.
When you crash, it is usually because your daily diet of
life has not included enough confidence causing foods.
Confidence is like Vitamin C. You need it in your diet. Your
body can only store it for a short time before it needs some
more. You have to take responsibility for planning your
confidence meals and making sure you have large enough
When you have a confidence crisis, don't despair, don't
reach for the bottle of bourbon or the bon bons. Instead,
start to use some of these confidence boosting techniques.
Begin with at least two, then add a third and a fourth. You
will gain a lot more than confidence - you will learn to
love, honor and appreciate yourself more and more.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to process, and clarify
your feelings. Forcing yourself to write everyday also
forces you to take time for daily reflection. Daily
reflection can help you solidify what you know, what you
have learned, and what you still need to pay attention to.
Practice gratitude - be thankful for what you already have
and put your attention on all the blessings you already
possess. Keep a gratitude section in your journal. Everyday
write down five things you are thankful for. This will help
you feel richer and stronger in character and that
translates into confidence.
Affirmations work. Write a list of statements that say what
you want and how you want to be in life such as, "I get more
confident everyday" "new clients come to me easily", "I am
an expert at what I do". State all affirmations in the
present. Some people stand in front of a mirror and say
them. I also encourage you to record them and play the tape
over and over. Read your affirmations at least once a day.
Evaluate Your Relationships
Assess the relationships in your life. Do they support you
or sabotage you? All relationships change with time; some
get better, some get worse. If you have relationships in
your life that are more of a burden then a joy, it may be
time to sever your ties - or at least loosen the reins.
Start New Relationships
Identify people that have the qualities you admire - people
you feel you could learn from and who could learn from you,
as well. Look for people you can have fun with. Boosting
your confidence can be really fun, if you want it to be.
Get into a Good Group
This may be time for a traditional support group. Chatting
over a cup of carrot juice with your pals might be a remedy.
Organize your own group of confidence boosters and support
each other in making changes.
Change Your Behavior
What do you do that boosts your confidence and what do you
do that brings it down. Exercise, getting enough sleep,
speaking your mind, and dressing well are behaviors that
tend to boost confidence. Staying up late, spending all your
time with Ben and Jerry, and saying "yes" to avoid
confrontation when you really want to say "no" will bring
your confidence down.
When we withhold communication because we are afraid of how
we will be received, we chip away another bit of our
confidence. Share your thoughts, opinions, and preferences.
Speak up in all situations. The insignificant situations
will be practice for the important occasions that are sure
Take a Risk A Day
A risk is something you would do in an instant if you knew
you would be successful. It is the fact that you do not know
how it will turn out that makes it a risk. The best way to
bolster your confidence is to start doing things you are
afraid to do. Make a list of risks for you and start to do
them one by one.
Sometimes, it takes a few days to boost your confidence,
sometimes, it takes a few weeks. Occasionally it can take a
few months to overcome a confidence crisis. Know that if you
are consistent with your confidence boosting techniques, you
will eventually find yourself renewed, stronger, and more