Job search can be a tough time for anybody’s self-confidence. Getting rejected for jobs or having the search taking longer than expected can eat away at our self-esteem. Here are some tips on keeping up your positive self-image even during tough times.
Self Confidence is a learned behavior
According to famed motivational speaker Tony Robbins, self-confidence is “the feeling of certainty that you can accomplish what you set out to do.” And it is a learned behavior! In his words, “The truth is that you are completely in charge of how you feel, including whether or not you feel confident. Confidence is not something that people are born with or simply have – it’s something you can create.” Gerald Schiraldi, author of the Self Esteem Workbook, points out that “the love and approval of others do not equal self-esteem. Otherwise it would be called other-esteem”. So, how can we increase or strengthen our self-esteem?
A healthy mind in a healthy body
It’s harder to feel self-confident when we feel physically unwell. Self-esteem builds on the basics of enough sleep, a good diet and exercise. Good posture and standing up tall also improve our feeling of power and agency. Try powerposing!
Retraining the brain for self confidence
Self-confident people know that they are the narrators of their own story. They take full accountability and have the belief that it is in their power to achieve what they set out to do. Since this belief in oneself is trainable, let’s look at a few exercises that can help everybody to build up their self-confidence.
- Practice the Golden Rule in reverse. We often talk to ourselves more harshly than we would to other people. Resolve to treat yourself as you would treat a good friend or loved one.
- Practice self-compassion. Use mindful awareness of emotional distress. Recognize self-critical thoughts without accepting them, e.g. “there is a critical thought – it’s just a thought”.
- Use “even though…nevertheless” statements, rather than labeling yourself. For example: Instead of “I’m just not good at this,” say “Even though I am not very good at this right now…. I nevertheless am on course and moving along” or “…. I nevertheless still enjoy trying” or “… learning nevertheless still feels adventurous”.
- Rewire your self-talk. “I’ll never succeed” turns into “success is exerting effort and moving in the desired direction”. “If only I‘d….” turns into “Next time I’ll….”. “I hate this about me” turns into “What an interesting quirk; I’m going to work on that”. “I’ll probably blow this” turns into “I’m not afraid to try, because my worth comes from within”.
- Create an inventory of your accomplishments. Everybody has accomplishments to be proud of. Write yours down and remember how good it felt to achieve them.
- Make a playlist with music that builds you up.
- Surround yourself with people that build you up. Avoid people that make you feel small.
There are many TED talks that give great examples of the techniques outlined above. Here are some to start with:
Written by Anne Nowak